My Summer Holiday Reading Roundup

I’ve been very lucky to have a gloriously long summer holiday in between finishing uni and starting in the real world of full time work. This is the first time since I was 15 when I’ve actually not worked at all over summer! I’ve loved having time to just read for fun and have made huge progress on my ever growing ‘to read’ list. I’ve even completed my goodreads challenge of 26 books in 2017 with 4 months to go! I’m delighted as I really felt like I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to last year and I’ve been trying to squeeze in reading time where I can.

Without any further ado, here is what I read in the summer of 2017!


The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent

This was one of those books that had great reviews but I just felt like I didn’t quite get it. I struggled through the first two thirds of it. I’m glad I stuck with it though because it actually turned out to be quite lovely in the end. 3/5


Holding by Graham Norton

This was a great holiday read. A body is found in village in Ireland. A policeman accustomed to the quiet life is tasked with unravelling the secrets that people have held onto for decades. It was a very gentle murder mystery which was also very funny in parts too. 5/5


Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables, #2) by L.M. Montgomery

I love Anne of Green Gables and after watching Anne with an E on Netflix I thought I’d read the sequels since I’ve never read any of them before. This one concentrates on Anne’s teaching in the Avonlea school as well as the two small children she and Marilla end up taking care of. Said children irritated me quite a bit, as well as the clear favouritism towards one of them, but Anne and her escapades are just as delightful as they were in the first book. 3/5


Anne of the Island (Anne of Green Gables, #3) by L.M. Montgomery

And so the next installment follows Anne to Redmond College in the city of Kingsport. She just has the most adorable university experience in a cosy house with her best friends and a cat (and of course, a live in chaperone because it is the 1880s). I really liked the new characters in this one and it was lovely to read about Anne growing up a bit. She also turns down six proposals (I’m sure this wasn’t supposed to be as funny as I found it to be) before deciding maybe she does like Gilbert Blythe just a little bit after all. Aww. I literally have no better word than ‘delightful’ to describe the Anne books but they are like hot chocolate with marshmallows in book form. 4/5


The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

I liked the idea of this, about the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, and I thought I was going to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I found the majority of the characters very unlikeable and there were too many long winded discussions of philosophy. It was so slow and it felt quite pretentious. It did get much better though and the last 10% was much more engaging. 2/5


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don’t think I’ve read a young-adult book for a while but I’d seen quite a lot about this. Starr witnesses the shooting of her unarmed childhood friend at the hands of a policeman. She has a lot of important decisions to make as she decides what she wants to do next. It was moving, it was funny and it was thought-provoking. 4/5


My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Frederik Backman

This was honestly quite adorable. Elsa’s grandmother is her superhero and they have this wonderful world of stories. When she dies, she leaves letters apologising to the people she feels she has wronged in her life which leads Elsa to learn more about her. There was lots of storytelling within the story which I ended up skimming, but I did think this was really endearing. 3/5

Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloé Kardashian

I’m such a Kardashian fan and I was so pleased when I found out Megan was bringing this on holiday and I’d be able to read it after her. There was nothing particularly groundbreaking in this and it probably could have been an online essay. But it offered some good advice and some Kardashian gossip. It was absolutely written in Khloe’s voice, which depending on how much you like the Kardashians could sway you either way! 3/5


This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell

This tells the story of Claudette and Daniel across different times and places. There were so many characters and it jumps back and forth but somehow it all plays out into a very messy love story. I thought it was fantastic. No one in this novel is perfect by any means, but that’s okay. They don’t have to be. They’re all flawed to varying degrees and even with the best of intentions things just don’t always work the way they want them to.  Also, I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but this one is gorgeous. 5/5


You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott writes such dark books and I love them. This one is in the world of competitive gymnastics, which I know nothing about! There’s a feeling of suspense and uneasiness when you’re reading it, and you don’t know who to trust or believe. 4/5


How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

Any ‘real life’ friends of mine, How to Stop Time is probably going to be your Christmas present! I loved this so much that I took reading breaks because I didn’t want to finish it. It’s the story of a man born in the 1590s who ages a year about every fifteen years. We meet him as a 400 and something year old history teacher in London. Of course it’s about time and what we do with it, and it’s about humanity. Very inspiring and beautifully written. Read it!  5/5

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

One word to describe this would be ‘whimsical’! I love the writing and how honest the main character Lily was. And I really did learn loads about the secret life of bees! 2/5


The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Cyril Avery is adopted by Charles and Maude Avery as a baby and never allowed to forget that he’s not a real Avery. This book spans 70 years of Cyril’s life in Ireland and further afield. It’s so darkly funny- you know in that way when you’re not really sure if you’re supposed to be laughing? It’s also heartwarming and very thought provoking. 5/5


Goose by Dawn O’Porter

I really enjoyed Dawn O’Porter’s book The Cows and remembered that I’d read the first of her young-adult books when I saw the sequel for 99p on kindle. I liked Paper Aeroplanes, but just felt like this book was less about the friendship which made it so wonderful and I missed that. The voices of the characters seemed so young and naive for being eighteen too, but I don’t know if that was intended or not? It was a very quick easy read with some really nice moments. 3/5


P.S. from Paris by Marc Levy

I thought this was going to be cheesy- incognito actress running away from her marriage crosses paths with American author living in Paris whose literary success is acutely localised in South Korea- and it was certainly quite frothy, but I enjoyed it more than I initially thought I would! 3/5



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