The Sunday Stack – Summer Reads

This is my first ever Sunday Stack, a neat idea from Bronwen at Babblesnbooks. Every Sunday there’s a different prompt from which to build your stack – this week it’s summer reads.

I very much read with the season: wintry books when you’re curled up with a cup of tea to fend off the cold, sunny and exotic books in the midst of summer. So while for some, the idea of summer reading might be a light and easy beach read, for me it’s absolutely literal – novels where the sun is shining, the heat’s cranked up and you feel like you’re on holiday!

The House on Paradise Street by Sofka Zinovieff

Could anywhere be sunnier than Greece? I remember reading this on a sun lounger in Kos a few years ago and nothing could have been more appropriate. To be fair, the story itself isn’t quite so sunny – a family drama in which a woman returns to her old home in Athens and comes face to face with some heartbreaking truths about her family’s past – but for setting alone this had to be in the stack.

The Wedding Officer by Anthony Capella

We all need a bit of romance every now and then (yes, even me) and if you’re feeling in the right mood then this ticks all the boxes. Set in Naples during the Second World War it has Italian heat, Italian passion and Italian food – in other words, a complete package holiday in a book.

Elizabeth and her German Garden by Elizabeth Von Arnim

While this doesn’t quite have the wall to wall sunshine of the previous two books, it does encapsulate all the pleasures of summer, and in fact every season, in its depiction of the garden as a perpetual sanctuary from all the family madness that goes on behind the claustrophobic walls of the house. Elizabeth is not always the most endearing of characters, but you will for sure covet her garden.

A Month in the Country by J L Carr

When telling people how much I love this book, I always describe it as quietly heartbreaking. Behind the apparent peace, tranquility and gentle warmth of an English summer lies a silent anguish that will leave your heart in bits without you being sure exactly how or why.

Tangerine by Christine Mangan

This novel positively radiates summer. Set in Morocco, the combination of the vicious mind games played out by the main characters and the city’s searing heat creates a stifling, oppressive feel that takes hold from the first page and never lets up. Not a light or fluffy summer read, but a compelling one that will scorch itself into your head.

This has been a really fun post to do – look out for more Sunday Stacks in the coming weeks! If you want to join in, don’t forget to use the #SundayStack hashtag; I’d love to see your summery suggestions.