Good Summer Reads

What you should read next depends on so many different things, like preferences, moods, weather, surroundings, abodes, spare time, budget, etc. That is why I arbitrarily picked out three books which, I hope, will cover most of your reading needs this summer.

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

”Because I Could Not Stop For Death – He Kindly Stopped For Me.”

This summer could be the right time to (re)read Christopher Moore’s funniest book yet, closely competing with Lamb for the wittiest. I can’t recommend it enough. (It’s so surrealistically hilarious and delightfully brain-tickling that I was still laughing hours after finishing the 420-page read).

And voilà, a few of the most endearing and wonderfully bizarre characters for whom I very much had a soft spot; the neurotic non-Alpha-male Charlie Asher who thinks he is the embodiment of Death itself, his dead wife (departed after giving birth), then the Asian and the Russian babysitters to cute-as-a-button fair-haired Sophie, Charlie’s newborn baby girl, and Minty Fresh, the shop owner always wearing green outfits. All are charming and chaotic enough to grab your attention.

On the whole, the book is full of nonsensical and absurd humour, but nevertheless a healthy humorous fantasy, too. Consequently, if these days you find yourself in need of a great dose of fun, then go for this book; it is well worth the investment of time.

The Little Wartime Library by Kate Thompson

”People come into the library to make sense of the world.”

If one wants to track down our author, it will be quite difficult – right now, there seem to be at least eleven good writers called Kate Thompson around the current book market. 

This time I shall try to make it much simpler to identify the right Mrs Thompson by pointing you toward her books so far: The Wedding Girls, The Stepney Doorstep Society, The Allotment Girls, and The Secrets of the… series (Sewing Bee, Singer Girls, Homefront Girls, Lavender Girls.)

The Little Wartime Library is the seventh and the newest novel based on WW2 true events. Clara Button and her friend Ruby, rather atypical bibliothecaries, decided to open London’s only underground library, built in a subway station no longer in use, away from tough times and the bombs that fall above. A remarkably uplifting and heartwarming (almost) 500-page story.

Therefore, if you are in the right mood for a good and very well-researched historical fiction, start reading it today!

All the Things We Don’t Talk About by Amy Feltman

”Every day, parenthood broke Julian a little more—with love, with stress, with challenges that he didn’t understand.”

I do not always know why, where, who, when, or how, but honestly, this time, I know what: All the Things We Don’t Talk About – is an intimate modern-family-life fictional story about self-identity search, upside-down worlds, deception and trauma, whirlwind relationships, bottomless secrets alongside second chances, versus romance and conscience flexibility.

The book I recommend to you is Mrs Feltman’s follow-up to her cerebral debut novel Willa & Hesper (2019), with four new strong and well-penned characters: Julian, Morgan, Zoe, and Brigid, each one with a unique personality and their own struggles with life.

Just a rhetorical thought: in my more than half-century of reading, I noticed that the sadder the story, the closer to real-life it is.

Hence, even if there are many reasons to read it, you might pick up this book on a rainy day, or at least a strong windy day. Or night.

Dan Costinas is a writer, translator, and former diplomat, whose choice was to retire and read thousands of books in the Algarve.


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