We’ve got plenty of pubs and even beaches sorted for this unseasonable sunshine, but if you really want to settle into the scorching weather, here are some perfect paperbacks to get you totally chilled
How to Stop Time – Matt Haig
As well as being an award-winning non-fiction writer for his (incredible – read it!) ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’, Matt Haig has garnered plenty of critical acclaim for his novels.
Tom Hazard may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. Living as a high school history teacher-the perfect job for someone who has witnessed history first hand, Tom has one rule: Never fall in love. As the inevitable begins to happen, Tom’s carefully constructed existence begins to unravel. Through his experience, the novel tackles heavy themes such as the inevitability of change and the value of time, but don’t let that put you off. This book is easy to pick up, difficult to put down and thought provoking all at once.
How to Stop Time is our top pick for anyone looking to get swept up in a poolside romance. Matt Haig has an incredible ability to get right to your heart.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
Hailed as the debut of 2017, Gail Honeyman’s novel is on posters and bookstands everywhere, but its prominence is well deserved. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, now’s the perfect time.
Eleanor Oliphant is socially awkward but perfectly content. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. One act of kindness threatens to change everything Eleanor treasures about her life and now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted, facing the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is surprisingly relatable for anyone caught up in the routine of everyday life, and makes our list for its ability to make you laugh, thanks to Eleanor’s cutting frankness.
Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman is a prolific writer of film, theatre, graphic novels; not to mention more than 40 books. His writing has a fairy tale like quality that brings a playfulness to his books.
Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is a rewriting of the Viking tales of Norse gods that is much closer to the source material than anything featuring Chris Hemsworth! Reworking fragmented tales of Thor, Loki, Odin and the rest of the pantheon into a single narrative, the stories are filled with wit and humour and are easy for modern readers to get stuck into.
Norse Mythology is weird and wonderful, and the descriptions of the Nordic landscapes are sure to keep you cool in the hottest summer sun.
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give is Angie Thomas’ debut, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Incredibly ‘of the moment’, this account isn’t going to be your uplifting summer read, but will definitely have you gripped.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: her predominantly white, suburban private school and her poorer, mostly black neighbourhood. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Everyone wants to know what really went down that night, and the only person who can speak up is Starr. But what she says or does not say could destroy her community and even endanger her life.
The Hate U Give is ideal for those who like gripping reads for the summer. This Young Adult novel will put you right into the shoes of the protagonist; it’s gut-wrenching and weighty with emotional impact.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Originally published in 2008, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has recently been adapted for film, in cinemas and on Netflix. Epistolary in nature, the book is sure to be very different to the movie, so worth reading now before you see it on your screen.
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is born.
This book is a celebration of literature, teeming with a love of books. Every character is sweet and their stories heart-warming. The historical setting, while somewhat romanticised, serves as a great foil to the enriching, life-affirming tales being woven about the quirky lives of the people living on Guernsey.