Here's a list of novels and short stories that we have read and enjoyed (or are planning to take away on holiday with us) to inspire your summer holiday reading...
1. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, by Eimear McBride
Eimear McBride's debut tells, with astonishing insight and in brutal detail, the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour.
2. The Lives of Others, by Neel Mukherjee
Calcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is a note.
3. Noon Tide Toll, by Romesh Gunesekera
Vasantha is a van driver in Sri Lanka. After nearly three decades of conflict, the civil war is over and the country is moving tentatively into the future - though at times the recent past seems too close for comfort. In this collection of linked stories, Vasantha drives across the beautiful but scarred landscape of his home island, lingering on the periphery of his passengers' varied stories.
4. The Children Act, by Ian McEwan
Fiona Maye, a leading High Court judge, renowned for her fierce intelligence and sensitivity is called on to try an urgent case. For religious reasons, a seventeen-year-old boy is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life. Time is running out. She visits the boy in hospital – an encounter which stirs long-buried feelings in her and powerful new emotions in the boy. But it is Fiona who must ultimately decide whether he lives or dies and her judgement will have momentous consequences for them both.
5. Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee
Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch – ‘Scout’ – returns home from New York City to visit her ageing father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her.
6. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris
Paul O'Rourke - dentist extraordinaire, reluctant New Yorker, avowed atheist, disaffected Red Sox fan, and a connoisseur of the afternoon mochaccino - is a man out of touch with modern life. While his dental practice occupies his days, his nights are filled with darker thoughts, as he alternately marvels at and rails against the optimism of the rest of humanity.
7. Gossip, by Beth Gutcheon
Loviah French owns a boutique dress shop in Manhattan. She has two best friends: Dinah - a columnist covering New York's wealthiest - and Avis - a prominent figure in the art world. Despite the deep affection they both feel for Loviah, Dinah and Avis have been allergic to one another since an incident decades earlier that has been remembered and resented. But when a marriage means that Dinah and Avis must set aside their differences, Loviah must manage her two friends' secrets as wisely as she can. Which is not wisely enough, as things turn out - a fact that will have a shattering effect on all their lives.