One of the best things about summer holidays is having time to kick back with a good book, be it on a far-flung beach or in the garden. To help you choose what to pack in your suitcase or download on your e-reader, here’s a round-up of the latest releases
This Must be the Place, Maggie O’Farrell
A reclusive ex-film star living in the wilds of Ireland, Claudette Wells is a woman whose first instinct, when a stranger approaches her home, is to reach for her shotgun. Why is she so fiercely protective of her family, and what made her walk out of her cinematic career? Her husband Daniel, reeling from a discovery about a woman he last saw 20 years ago, is about to make an exit of his own. It is a journey that will send him off course, far away from the life he and Claudette have made together. Will their love be enough to bring Daniel back home?
October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, China Miéville
On the centenary of the Russian Revolution, award-winning writer China Miéville provides his own distinctive take on its history. In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged country, swept up in an unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions? As Russia continues to influence world politics today, Miéville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking and highly relevant story.
Giant of the Senate, Al Franken
A combination of comedy and American politics to take to the beach – Al Franken’s no-holds-barred memoir describes how he evolved from a comedian and satirist known for his appearances on popular American sketch show Saturday Night Live, into a politician with a seat in the United States Senate. As American politics continues to surprise us on a daily basis, this is a timely book about the country’s deeply polarised political culture, written by an insider who knows it all too well. Join him on the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic/hilarious moments of his new career in politics.
The Windfall, Diksha Basu
A heartfelt comedy of manners, this debut novel unfolds the story of a family discovering what it means to ‘make it’ in modern India. For 30 years, Mr and Mrs Jha's lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbours, and small dramas. When Mr Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, he moves his wife from East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status. The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbours, their marriage, and their son, ultimately forcing the family to reckon with what really matters, illuminating the precariousness of social status, pride and, above all, the human drive to find somewhere to call a home.
Seven Days in May, Kim Izzo
Fans of historical fiction will love this novel set on board the ill-fated Lusitania. As the First World War rages, two New York heiresses are due to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry an impoverished aristocrat; her sister Sydney is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement. Undaunted by the German embassy’s warning that any ships making the Atlantic crossing are at risk, Sydney and Brooke board the Lusitania for the seven-day voyage, aristocrat in tow. Meanwhile, in London, a young woman working at the British Admiralty, where her skills in codes and cyphers are called on, learns a devastating truth. Their lives collide as the days of the voyage pass and the Lusitania sails towards its fate.
Gone Without a Trace, Mary Torjussen
You leave for work one morning. Another day in your normal life. Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone. His belongings have disappeared. He hasn't been at work for weeks. It's as if he never existed. But that's not possible, is it? Hannah returns home one day to find that her boyfriend, Matt, is just… gone. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It’s as though their last four years together never happened. Her search, which leads her through a maze of madness and obsession, makes for a suspenseful page-turner, until she finds out the shocking truth…
Hum if You Don’t Know the Words, Bianca Marais
Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin, a ten-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation, but worlds apart, Beauty, a widowed Xhosa woman in a rural village, struggles to raise her children alone. Told through Beauty and Robin's alternating perspectives, with loss, racism, and the creation of family at the forefront, the narratives interweave to create a rich tapestry of the emotions and tensions at the heart of this tumultuous time.
A Speck in the Sea, John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski
In the dead of night on July 24, 2013, John Aldridge was thrown off the back of his lobster boat 40 miles from Long Island in the US, while his fishing partner, Anthony Sosinski, slept below. As hours ticked by, Sosinski, the families, local fishing community and the US Coast Guard mobilised in an unprecedented search effort that culminated in a rare and exhilarating success. A tale of survival, perseverance, and community, A Speck in the Sea tells of one man's struggle to survive as friends and strangers work to bring him home. Aldridge's wrenching first-person account intertwines with the narrative of the massive, constantly evolving rescue operation to save him.
The Heartfix: An Online Dating Diary, Stella Grey
From the writer of the Guardian column Midlife Ex-wife comes the full story in all its heart-rending and darkly comic honesty. When her husband fell in love with someone else in middle age, Stella thought she’d be unhappy for the rest of her life. But then she realised that she needed to take her future in her own hands, meet someone wonderful, and fix it. So, she joined online dating sites and embarked on a mission. What followed were 693 days of encounters, on screen and in person: dates in cafés and over glasses of cheap red wine, short term relationships and awkward encounters in the bedroom, but mostly there were phone calls and emails. Her journey was never dull, featuring marriage proposals, invitations to Tangier, badly timed food poisoning and much younger men – but did she get the fix she needed in the end?
If you’re a book lover, why not join the Boundless Reading Room? It’s an online book club that gives you the freedom to stop by and join in discussions in your free time.
The Reading Room is available to join on Facebook, where you can find out what’s going on in the literary world with latest releases, get members’ suggestions, read book reviews, meet new people, find a literary festival calendar and enter competitions.