Ask the book buyer about the perfect summer read. Part 2
Has the fortune teller told you you're about to go on a long journey? Welcome, then, to part two of our recommendations for great books to pack for your summer holiday reading, says Jarrold book buyer Chris Rushby.
Whether you’re heading to Singapore on a hot date, to Russia for a kick-about in the park, or the sunny prom at Cromer for fish and chips there’s no journey that isn't more bearable, no destination that isn't enhanced, by the presence of the right book by your side.
Here, then, is part two of my selection of the summer reads I think will add salt and spice to your travels. For your convenience they’re mostly paperbacks, but there’s one hardback here, for which I make no apology, it being (as far as we know) the last fiction by that late and much lamented genius of prose and poetry, Helen Dunmore.
(published 12th July 2018)
Where would Tom Hanks be without Dan Brown? Well, still famous and successful, actually, but with a bank balance somewhat slimmer without the benefit of those Robert Langdon films under his belt. The latest novel in the Langdon series is about to be out in paperback and legions of fans know what they're going to get.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
If you haven't come across it yet you might just be the last person you know who hasn't yet read this word-of-mouth bestseller. The term 'feel-good fiction' might seem a little glib, but is pretty apposite for this tale of a strange, solitary woman who seems to have no spark of joy in her life, until... but don't let me spoil the plot for you.
Marian Keyes was perhaps justifiably indignant that the judges of the Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction decided not to give the prize at all this year because, allegedly, there was nothing published in the period funny enough to justify its award. Here, as in her other novels, Keyes does addiction, depression, domestic violence, illness and the like – but does them with characteristic hope, compassion - and humour.
Into The Water
The Girl On The Train was a brilliant debut thriller, its three intertwined narratives teasingly and compellingly linked. Now, after a couple of years, we have the follow-up: if you loved those multiple narrators in the previous book you're going to get an even more complex series of narratives and some twisty-turny plotting in this one. If you tune in to the monthly book club slot in Chrissie Jackson's BBC Radio Norfolk show at about 11.15 on Tuesday 3rd July it's our read of the month.
A Legacy Of Spies
John le Carre
The elder statesman of thriller writers is back - and so is his most famous character, the enigmatic George Smiley, for one more outing in the dark world of the secret services. In some sense a sequel to The Spy Who Came In From The Cold this book shows an author still on top form and turning out thrillers of the highest quality. To paraphrase John Lennon, it's good to have the both of them back.
Girl, Balancing & Other Stories
Helen Dunmore, who died last year, was a very fine author indeed: whether writing adult fiction, poetry, or children's books her touch was always sure, her prose supple, intelligent and moving. I haven't had the chance to read these stories yet, but undoubtedly will. Meantime, here's what her publisher says about them: 'With her trademark imagination and gift for making history human, she explores the fragile ties between passion, love, family, friendship and grief, often through people facing turning points in their lives.' Recommending a book one hasn't read can be a potentially dangerous thing, but with this one I'm quite confident in doing so.
Ask the book buyer
Chris Rushby can help you find your must-have summer read for your holiday - and your must-have read for any time of the year for that matter! Pop in to see him in the Jarrold book department, lower ground, or email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org