Are you looking for some good books to read this summer? Time to sink into the fantasy of a great novel and tackle that ‘books to read’ pile. Here are 10 Books You Need To Read if you have not already!
Sapiens: A Brief History Into Humankind By Yuval Noah Harari
How can reading about history help us in the present day and the future?
"Sapiens: A Brief History Into Humankind is a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human."" - BookBrowse
Renowned Historian Dr. Harari explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human”. Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Harari breaks the mould with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition.
From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.
“Nothing less than a history of humankind from the Stone Age to the present day, Harari’s ground-breaking volume makes spellbinding connections and devastating conclusions about where our species has been and where it is headed. A book which makes you look at the world anew, Sapiens delivers clear-headed wisdom and jaw-dropping insight on every page.” - Waterstones
Pachinko By Min Jin Lee
A heartwarming yet heart-wrenching story by Lee.
“History has failed us, but no matter.”
Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.
So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Normal People By Sally Rooney
"Normal People is fiction at its brightest and most inclusive in a universally relatable modern romance which has been a favourite amongst our booksellers and customers. Clever yet unpretentious, literary yet highly approachable, it is that rare gift of a novel which can be enjoyed by readers of all tastes." - Bea Carvalho, Waterstones Fiction Buyer
Marianne is the young, affluent, intellectual wallflower; Connell is the boy everyone likes, shadowed by his family’s reputation and poverty. Unlikely friends, and later lovers, their small town beginnings in rural Ireland are swiftly eclipsed by the heady worlds of student Dublin. Gradually their intense, mismatched love becomes a battleground of power, class, and the falsehoods they choose to believe.
Normal People is a tale of deceptive simplicity, a very accessible narrative of two seemingly mismatched young people who share a profound, inescapable understanding. Beyond that however is something properly universal, a study of how one person can forever shape and impact another. Marianne and Connell emerge almost shockingly real and deeply vulnerable in their different ways.
The Silent Patient By Alex Michaelides
“Sharp, clever and utterly original, The Silent Patient explores the complexities of trauma and the human psyche in twisty, brilliantly paced prose. Spellbinding and disturbing in equal measure, Michaelides’s debut heralds the arrival of an exceptional fresh talent, offering psychological suspense at its finest.” - Waterstones
Alicia Berenson's life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London's most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia's refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations - a search for the truth that threatens to consume him...
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle By Haruki Murakami
'Murakami weaves textured layers of reality into a shot-silk garment of deceptive beauty' - Independent on Sunday
Toru Okada's cat has disappeared. His wife is growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving.
As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.
Dark Places By Gillian Flynn
"Flynn's second crime thriller tops her impressive debut ... when the truth emerges, it's so twisted that even the most astute readers won't have predicted it." - Publishers Weekly
Libby Day was just seven years old when her older brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. Her evidence helped put him away. Ever since then she has been drifting, surviving for over 20 years on the proceeds of the 'Libby Day fund'. But now the money is running out and Libby is desperate. When she is offered $500 to do a guest appearance, she feels she has to accept. But this is no ordinary gathering. The Kill Club is a group of true-crime obsessives who share information on notorious murders, and they think her brother Ben is innocent.
Ben was a social misfit, ground down by the small-town farming community in which he lived. But he did have a girlfriend - a brooding heavy metal fan called Diondra. Through her, Ben became involved with drugs and the dark arts. When the town suddenly turned against him, his thoughts turned black. But was he capable of murder? Libby must delve into her family's past to uncover the truth - no matter how painful...
Tattooist of Auschwitz By Heather Morris
"Based on a true story, the wrenching yet riveting tale of Lale's determination to survive the camp with Gita is a moving testament to the power of kindness, ingenuity, and hope." - People
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.
Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.
So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.
The Grownup By Gillian Flynn
“Flynn is a brilliant plot-twister and manipulator of readers' expectations. The Grownup keeps you guessing until the end - and beyond.” - The Times
A young woman is making a living faking it as a cut-price psychic (with some illegal soft-core sex work on the side). She makes a decent wage mostly by telling people what they want to hear. But then she meets Susan Burke.
Susan moved to the city one year ago with her husband and 15-year-old stepson Miles. They live in a Victorian house called Carterhook Manor. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home. The young woman doesn't believe in exorcism or the supernatural. However, when she enters the house for the first time, she begins to feel it too, as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time…
17A Keong Siak Road By Charmaine Leung
“Mummy, why do you always have to leave for 17A…”
17A Keong Saik Road recounts Charmaine Leung’s growing-up years on Keong Saik Road in the 1970s when it was a prominent red-light precinct in Chinatown in Singapore. An interweaving of past and present narratives, 17A Keong Saik Road tells of her mother’s journey as a young child put up for sale to becoming the madame of a brothel in Keong Saik. Unfolding her story as the daughter of a brothel operator and witnessing these changes to her family, Charmaine traces the transformation of the Keong Saik area from the 1930s to the present, and through writing, finds reconciliation.
A beautiful dedication to the past, to memory, and to the people who have gone before us, 17A Keong Saik Road tells the rich stories of the Ma Je, the Pei Pa Zai, and the Dai Gu Liong—marginalised, forgotten women of the past, who despite their difficulties, persevered in working towards the hope of a better future.
The Heart’s Invisible Fury By John Boyne
“From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland.” - BookBrowrse
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.
In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.
Get started on your reading, even if it is just 10 minutes a day!