8 Books Perfect For The Summer

Hilarious memoirs, gripping thrillers, and alternate realities: the books to bag this summer

Whether lounging by an infinity pool in Cannes or sweating it out in your local park, your reading material is essential. But finding something quicker to get through than War & Peace, but less embarrassing than The Da Vinci Code is a tricky game.

You want pacy and compelling reads but ones that leave you feeling a little smarter, not shamefully concealing the front cover. Luckily, we've found a few.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Currently at 45 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, the Swedish novel has been adapted into a popular play and film. Ove is a curmudgeonly man who strikes up a friendship with two chatty young daughters who move in next-door to him after they flatten his mailbox.

Theft by Finding by David Sedaris

The diaries of best-selling author and comedian David Sedaris that span over 40 years are published here for the first time. The light autobiographical essays recall the daily observations and events in his life in his familiar sardonic tone. A book that'll have you chuckling through your Piña Colada.


Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic

Set primarily in 2014 New York, Sympathy tracks a young woman's obsession with another, a fixation that is exacerbated by social media. "Imagine Alice Through The Looking Glass for the Instagram generation", The Guardian wrote of Sudjic's debut novel where recent events like the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370 crop up.

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Irresistable by Adam Atler

NYU professor Adam Atler investigates our slavish devotion to Instagram, Netflix, Fitbit and email and why we are drawn to technology that promises to make our lives faster and easier - while ignoring the obvious side-effects. One that'll stop you browsing Instagram all afternoon on your sun lounger.

Sirens by Joseph Knox

Despite Knox's daytime job as a crime-fiction buyer for Waterstones, it took him eight years to write his first novel. Sirens is a noir triller which follows a junior detective named Aidan Watts. He is sent to track down the 17-year-old daughter of an MP and instead falls in with a drug dealer. You'll be transported from your poolside view to the dark depths of a seedy world.


The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman

A non-fiction book written by poet Ackerman, The Zookeeper's Wife tells the unpublished diary of Antonina ?abi?ska. She and her husband Jan, the director of the Warsaw Zoo, saved the lives of 300 Jews during the German invasion of Poland which marked the beginning of WWII. A heart-wrenching but uplifting story, which is nice.

All Our Wrong Today by Elan Mastai

Don't be put off by the subject of time-travel as acclaimed Canadian screenwriter Elan Mastai manages the genre masterfully in his debut novel.  The novel is set in an alternate 2016 where technology has solved everything: war, poverty and unripe avocados. But, he's lost the love of his life and has to decide whether to save himself or everyone else.  Spoiler: it doesn't go smoothly.


The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Despite the feminist book marketing treatment, Levy's memoir is more a cautionary tale of wanting too much that is relevant to everyone. The New Yorker staff writer covers domestic life, loss and career anecdotes with brilliance and poise.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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