Is it over? The random spate of 30 degree heat that brought the country to a standstill? Oh I hope so. I am not built for the heat; I am built for cosy jumpers and rainy evenings and days where there’s limited under-boob sweat. Still, there is one plus side that comes with a British kind of heat wave – it’s time for my Literary Girl Summer (a popular sub-section of Hot Girl Summer, I’ll have you know). As soon as it hits 5.30pm, I’m running outside in my comfy shorts, dragging my picnic blanket with me, and reading until the sun goes down. Or, until my body reminds me that I am an adult and have to cook meals for myself. Whichever comes first!
So, let me present my summer-friendly, picnic-ready reading list. It’s a real mix of highly anticipated new books, and novels that have been gathering dust on my shelf. Let’s go!
Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid (New Release – On To Buy List)
After listening to the audiobook of Daisy Jones & The Six, I am officially a TJR convert, so you can bet my excitement has been through the roof for her new novel. Yes, I am unafraid to say I was jealous looking at my Instagram and seeing so many folks with advanced readers copies. If Daisy Jones was dripping with LA heat, Malibu Rising seems to be offering some East coast glamour. Considering I am writing this from Costa de la Hampshire, I am hyped to have some Malibu in my life.
Swing Time – Zadie Smith (Bookshelf Baby)
I’m not proud to say this book has been sitting on my bookshelf for a good few years now. I only rediscovered it when I was organising my rainbow bookshelf in my new home (I am that person and I have no regrets about it). Swing Time is a book seeped in childhood friendships, and examines struggles with identity and the relationship with dance. Whilst I am not a dancer myself (somehow I have rhythm and two-left feet), I am all about the arts industry and creative lifestyle, so consider my interests piqued. Plus, I’ve only heard good things about this novel, with one friend calling it ‘unforgettable’. Don’t mind me, just moving it to the top of the picnic pile.
Reputation – Lex Croucher (New Release – On To Buy List)
Another new novel and a veeeeery different read for me. Reputation has been called a book “for fans of Mean Girls, Bridgerton and Jane Austen”. Well, two out of three ain’t bad. Yes, I am one of those people who just don’t enjoy Jane Austen novels (please do not shun me, I’ve tried really hard to get into all of her books!). And something about the expectation of a romance-novel makes my lip curl. However, the idea of a Regency-style story that talks about the more hedonistic life and scandal than fluffy-romance, featuring some representation of LGBTQ+ characters, has turned my head. Maybe this is the book to get me reading romance and Regency?
A Single Thread – Tracy Chevalier (Bookshelf Baby)
Books about the aftermath of the First World War are not normally what you’d associate with summer reading. But boy oh boy do I know why it’s on my summer list. For the first time in seven years, I am not living in Winchester, and the nostalgia for a Winchester summer is strong. It makes sense that I’m yearning to read a book set in Winchester, like A Single Thread! In all honesty, I don’t know much about this novel apart from what is on the blurb buuuut both my mum and best friend have recommended the novel outside of the Winchester attraction. Count me as intrigued!
Sista Sister – Candice Brathwaite (New Release – On To Buy List)
The final book I’ve got my shortsighted bespectacled eyes on this summer is another newbie, and that’s Sista Sister. Essentially, this book is a series of essays and advice from the icon that is Candice Brathwaite. If you don’t follow her on Instagram, what are you even doing? She’s a breath of fresh air, a vibrant presence, and the queen of honesty (and her colourful aesthetic is just diviiiiiine). Sista Sister comes with a subtitle of ‘notes on things I’ve learned the hard way, so you don’t have to’ so I think it will be an important but entertaining read. Honestly, payday cannot come soon enough.
So, those are the books I’ve got lined up for my Literary Girl Summer. Let me know what’s on your summer reading list and if you’ve read any of the above! Oh, and always remember to wear your SPF…