There’s something about the summer holidays that leave me feeling a bit… deflated.
The novelty of not having to do anything wears off by the end of the second week and, God forbid, I actually start to miss the line of focus I had during term time. That said, the long summer break does permit complete freedom of choice when it comes to selecting some new titles to read your way through your holidays. Whilst I miss having something to do, I certainly don’t miss the fact the only genres I had time to read were for research papers and textbooks.
That said, I like to keep that side of my brain ticking over during the study break. Remember how it feels to take notes for the first time in September after not picking up a pen for months?
When I’m looking for something to read that’s not academic, I’ll literally take anything. I’m not fussy about finding a favourite genre. Accordingly, anticipate my favourite five new titles to have something for you, whatever your tastes.
1. The Water Cure | by Sophie Mackintosh
The first time I heard about this new title was in the Instagram stories of a bunch of fashion influencers earlier this year – so naturally I was skeptical. However, when I heard the book has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, my interest was piqued.
This feminist dystopian novel has all the haunting intrigue and pattern of omission of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale – which no doubt influenced Mackintosh’s debut book – but with a twist that leaves you wondering whether the characters are living in a post-plague apocalypse or a tiny separatist cult.
2. Everything I Know About Love | by Dolly Alderton
I’ve been a big fan of Dolly Alderton for a long time. I remember reading her columns in my mum’s copy of The Sunday Times Style when I was probably too young to really understand what she was writing about.
I’ve listened to her podcast, Love Stories many a time, and I often find myself laughing out loud whilst listening to The High Low with my headphones in on the way to work. Reading Alderton’s memoire, Everything I Know About Love, I was no different. More of a celebration of sisterhood and friendship than a guide to romantic love, I have no doubt this new title will resonate with you – and certainly make you laugh – regardless of how old you are, or where you’re at in life.
3. On The Come Up | by Angie Thomas
On The Come Up is the latest title of the author of The Hate U Give, the 2017 book that was adapted into a film last year to critical acclaim. Thomas’ new title is set in the same neighbourhood as her debut, but changes its focus to the life of aspiring rapper, Brianna.
Addressing the same loaded themes of race and prejudice as The Hate U Give, On The Come Up portrays the everyday pressures many young adult readers will relate to with a sense of warmth and wit. This new title also deals with heavier plot lines too – through the protagonist’s personal battle with living up to the legacy of her father, who’s underground rap career was cut short by his murder.
4. Daisy Jones & The Six | by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Having written the song lyrics for the album of the titular band, Daisy Jones & The Six really draws every single aspect of Jenkins Reid’s literary capacity. Inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours era, this new title follows a fictional 70s rock band as they navigate recording a hit album in the dynamic age of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Written in the form of interviews with the band’s members, Reid’s seventh book chronicles a spectacular rise and just as spectacular fall of a group that has both Reese Witherspoon and I similarly gripped. With an Amazon Prime mini-series already in the making, anticipate this new title to become your new obsession.
5. Mr Salary | by Sally Rooney
At just 48 pages-thick, Sally Rooney’s latest title is a wonderfully concise tale with all the sentimentality and heartbreak of her critically acclaimed full-length novels Normal People and Conversation With Friends. Following the moving but often lighthearted relationship of 19-year-old Sukie and 34-year-old Nathan, it tells the story of a younger girl falling for an older man without any of the distaste you might associate with a book about an illicit relationship.
The simple plot is executed so neatly without the storyline falling flat, complete with an underlying theme of classism we would only expect from our favourite Marxist.