Summer is the season for relaxation. Time to kick back in the sunshine with a cold glass of lemonade and a good book. Or stay in on a rainy day and curl up on the sofa with (you guessed it) a good book! Books are there for you at the beach, on long road trips, and when you just need some you time! Plus, there are many benefits to choosing to spend your relaxation time reading instead of watching or listening to something. Enhanced vocabulary, stress relief, improved memory retention, stronger analytical skills, and mental stimulation, just to name a few.
We’ve spent some time in our local book stores and doing some reading of our own, and have rounded up our top 10 picks for summer reading. Check them out and get reading!
1) Tigerman by Nick Harkaway (Fiction)
Lester Ferris, a sergeant in the British Army, is a good man that needs a break. He’s spent a lot of his life being shot at, and Afghanistan was the last stop on his road to exhaustion. He has no family, he’s nearly forty, burned out and about to be retired. The island of Mancreu is the ideal place for Lester to serve out his time. It’s a former British colony in legal limbo, soon to be destroyed because of its very special version of toxic pollution – a down-at-heel, mildly larcenous backwater. Of course, that also makes Mancreu perfect for shady business, hence the Black Fleet of illicit ships lurking in the bay: listening stations, offshore hospitals, money laundering operations, drug factories and deniable torture centres. None of which should be a problem, because Lester’s brief is to sit tight and turn a blind eye.
But Lester Ferris has made a friend: a brilliant, internet-addled street kid with a comic book fixation who will need a home when the island dies – who might, Lester hopes, become an adopted son. Now, as Mancreu’s small society tumbles into violence, the boy needs Lester to be more than just an observer. In the name of paternal love, Lester Ferris will do almost anything. And he’s a soldier with a knack for bad places: ‘almost anything’ could be a very great deal – even becoming some sort of hero. But this is Mancreu, and everything here is upside down. Just exactly what sort of hero will the boy need?
2) Monster’s Chef by Jervey Tervalon (Thriller)
Once upon a time, Gibson was a successful chef with a popular restaurant and a beautiful loving wife. He was also a drug addict with a habit that nearly destroyed him.
Fresh out of rehab, he’s now using his skills to feed his fellow halfway house residents budget gourmet meals–a talent that attracts two shady women who offer him a job cooking for a music superstar named Monster. Though Gibson doesn’t have a good feeling about his seeming good fortune, he needs a job.
Arriving on Monster’s compound, Gibson senses that trouble is still on his tail. First, he’s asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. Then he meets the compound’s gardener, who warns him not to go outside at night–and tells him that to stay alive he must see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing.
It is advice that proves all too true when Gibson discovers a dead body near his bungalow a few nights later. Suddenly, all hell is breaking loose . . . and Gibson is at the center. Now he has to figure out how to escape this terrifying nightmare. . . and whether he can.
3) The Fever by Megan Abbott (Thriller)
The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.
As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.
4) The Good Suicides by Antonio Hill (Thriller)
Senior staff at Alemany Cosmetics come home with a secret after a team-building retreat in a remote country house. Each has anonymously received a photo showing dogs hanging dead from a tree near the farm. Now they’re committing suicide, one by one. The connection between the gut-wrenching photos and heartbreaking suicides remains a befuddling mystery — one that racks Barcelona’s executive think tanks, and could lead to a frightening end.
Deciphering the personalitites of these youthful executives and their power structures isn’t easy, but Inspector Salgado has his own ways of making them speak. Meanwhile, Barcelona is freezing, suffering from an unusual cold spell and Salgado’s wife, Ruth, is still missing. Salgado must break through the icily furtive layers of this young group in order to save his family, his reputation, and his city.
5) Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (Thriller)
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
6) The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman (Fiction)
In 1913, little Malka Treynovsky flees Russia with her family. Bedazzled by tales of gold and movie stardom, she tricks them into buying tickets for America. Yet no sooner do they land on the squalid Lower East Side of Manhattan, than Malka is crippled and abandoned in the street.
Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, she manages to survive through cunning and inventiveness. As she learns the secrets of his trade, she begins to shape her own destiny. She falls in love with a gorgeous, illiterate radical named Albert, and they set off across America in an ice cream truck. Slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, “The Ice Cream Queen” — doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.
Lillian’s rise to fame and fortune spans seventy years and is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. Yet Lillian Dunkle is nothing like the whimsical motherly persona she crafts for herself in the media. Conniving, profane, and irreverent, she is a supremely complex woman who prefers a good stiff drink to an ice cream cone. And when her past begins to catch up with her, everything she has spent her life building is at stake.
7) The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joice (Thriller)
David, a college student, takes a summer job at a run-down family resort in a dying English resort town. This is against the wishes of his family . . . because it was at this resort where David’s biological father disappeared fifteen years earlier. But something undeniable has called David there.
A deeper otherworldliness lies beneath the surface of what we see. The characters have a suspicious edge to them . . . David is haunted by eerie visions of a mysterious man carrying a rope, walking hand-in-hand with a small child . . . and the resort is under siege by a plague of ladybugs. Something different is happening in this town.
When David gets embroiled in a fiercely torrid love triangle, the stakes turn more and more menacing. And through it all, David feels as though he is getting closer to the secrets of his own past.
8) Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian (Fiction)
The story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily’s parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer’s house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can’t outrun her past, can’t escape her grief, can’t hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.
9) The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (Fiction)
In The Magician’s Land, the stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy—on-sale from Viking on August 5—Quentin Coldwater has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him.
Along with Plum, a brilliant young undergraduate with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. But all roads lead back to Fillory, and his new life takes him to old haunts, like Antarctica, and to buried secrets and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers the key to a sorcery masterwork, a spell that could create magical utopia, a new Fillory—but casting it will set in motion a chain of events that will bring Earth and Fillory crashing together. To save them he will have to risk sacrificing everything.
The Magician’s Land is an intricate thriller, a fantastical epic, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.
10) Half a King by Joe Abercrombie (Fiction)
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.
The deceived will become the deceiver.
Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.
The betrayed will become the betrayer.
Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?
But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.
All book synopsies were taken from the amazing Goodreads.
Feature image obtained from Literary Traveller.
Republished by Blog Post Promoter