Books to pack for your next summer holiday

Anybody else misses the hot summer days when you were a teenager and school was almost over and a decadent 3 months of pool, summer camp and ice-cream stretched ahead of you? I have a full time job now, and even though I am lucky to live in Munich, where we get 28 days of holiday per year (plus some extra bank holidays), I still miss the times when coming back to school seemed so far in time that it was almost a fantasy.

Am I just lazy? You tell me.

But even with *only* those 28 days, I still find that summer is the perfect time to pick up those books you just couldn’t get to during the beginning of the year. Be it by the beach, the pool, or the mountains, there is nothing quite as soothing for me as turning off all my electronics, picking up a good book and hopefully, getting a tan in the process.

If this speaks to you too, but you are having a hard time selecting the right book to bring with you, I hope you will find this helpful. I have put together a small selection of my favorites with a bit of everything: action, comedy, drama… So hopefully you will find something you like!

1. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danier

Sweetbitter tells the story of a 18 year old girl who moves to New York City to “find herself”. I know, pretty clichรฉ, right? But the plot is not what I loved about this book.

The twist is that she finds a job at a very luxurious restaurant, where she learns about flavors, the origins of the ingredients, the season for the produce… and you as a reader learn through her story. Not only that, but I found it also presents a very realistic NYC, where life is not glamorous and shiny like in Sex and the City, but actually quite difficult and dirty. Sweetbitter is one of those books I enjoyed because of the writing and the world it creates, and its ability to absorb you and make you feel a part of it. This is what makes it, in my opinion, a great summer read, since you probably wouldn’t get as immersed in it if you were reading it on and off when commuting to work.

2. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life is easily one of my favourite books. And what makes it a great summer read? Hello? How about the 700 pages? I feel like I can get a bit intimidated by books this long during the year, as I feel I won’t have the time to finish them. But I guarantee, pick this up on you summer holiday, and you will be done with it in a week. It’s THAT good.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I will try to give you a short summary. This book is about four friends living in New York, their friendship in University, and how it (and they) evolves during the years. All important characters are male, which I found interesting, given the depth of their description. It’s not very often that we see vulnerable men, men that suffer, and cry and love, in fiction. But boy, do they do all of those things and more in “A Little Life”.

The characters in this book will stay with you way after you have finished reading, and, even after 700 pages, I believe you will wish the book was longer.

3. This is going to hurt by Adam Kay

From a heart-breaking book to a hilarious one: “This is going to hurt” is the kind of book you should pack if you are trying to fully relax, and enjoy a light-hearted read. This book is the fascinating memoir of Adam Kay and his time as a doctor for the NHS in London. Full of funny anecdotes and stories that will truly make you value public health-insurance, this book will turn you into one of those annoying people who laughs out loud and INSISTS on reading to others funny fragments of the book (that, in all honesty, don’t sound as funny read out loud as they did in your head).

If you think your friends and loved ones can handle it, I highly recommend “This is going to hurt” especially if your heart is feeling a bit sore after a break-up, or after reading “A little Life’.

4. Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I read “Never let me go” in the beginning of 2017, and this is one of the books that made me fall in love with reading again. You know after you haven’t picked up a book for a while, how crucial it is to pick the right one? (at least for me, if I pick a boring one I will not read again for a good two months). This one definitely fulfilled its job, and left we wanting more wonderful, heart-warming (or breaking, depending of the part of the book) stories.

I already did a brief review of this book back in my first Currently Reading post, so I will keep it short. Read it if you want to be immersed in a world so beautifully described, it will make you forget about the sunny pool you are sitting next to.

5. The Power by Naomi Alderman

Last, but certainly not least, we have The Power: a story that takes place in a dystopian world, where Women have electricity running through their bodies that they can use (amongst others) to hurt men. The Power analyses how our world could change if, suddenly, women were the more powerful sex.

This book is ideal if you need to get back into reading and are looking for something exciting that will keep you up in the middle of the night. But not only is it a page turner, The Power is also deeply intelligent, and definitely a bit of a conversation piece once you are done reading it.

And after all those book recommendations, I am ready to grab my towel and my sunscreen and go to the nearest lake to enjoy a good book. What are your book recommendations for this summer? What are you excited to read/