It’s summer. Nature is telling your brain to relax, to step away from the heavy reading and sink into something fun, easy, and maybe a little mischievous, while you lounge around on the beachside. Especially for the occasion there are an exciting selection of new paperbacks – summer’s solution to those clunky first editions, for you to take along… just about anywhere! Here are some of the top choices this season.
Some will recognise Grace Dent from her column in Marie Claire, always writing positively, always a laugh to read. Her new book is not a novel so much as a witty reaction to the trends of modern pop culture. This is a topical, expositional commentary, and from what we already know of the author, we can expect a good deal of humour. Narration is key, and Dent has got the flair, sophistication and the truthfulness common to most good columnists, which makes her writing so refreshing to read.
…his ability to transport his readers at the turn of a page is unique and engaging.
Sometimes the most sensational novels are inspired by true stories. In 2002, a promising NASA recruit stole the rarest rocks on earth from right under NASA’s all-seeing watch, only to later present them to a girl. Immortalising the heist is the man who brought us Bringing Down the House (the story behind 21) and The Accidental Billionaires (the story behind The Social Network). Famous for his narrative genius, Mezrich has an eye for spotting, arranging and amplifying the excitement from every angle, paying such close attention to detail that you won’t believe you’re reading nonfiction. Keep an eye out for this one.
For you devoted fans of the “Shopaholic” series, you’ll probably have already read the next instalment. For those unfamiliar with the books, it’s time to make a change. Yes, they are typically chick-lit, the sceptical reader might complain, but in this genre Sophie Kinsella is a rare gem. Following the life of ditzy, relatable Rebecca Brandon (née Bloomwood) – a narrator on par with Bridget Jones – the author weaves a touching account of a girl’s life and the rites of passage that every woman, at some point, must undergo. In this latest novel, the heroine faces the challenges and rewards of motherhood, an experience promising to be tender, humorous and rewarding for Becky and her readers alike.
…a culturally colourful romp, sparing no sense of macabre.
If you have a strong stomach, and you’re looking for an engrossing page-turner, chances are you’ll already be anticipating the latest novel from James Patterson. Fans of crime fiction know what to expect when they read the no. 1 crime writer, but for those of you new to the genre, this standalone novel is an ideal start. Patterson has teamed up with award-winning, Swedish crime writer Liza Marklund to write a culturally colourful romp, sparing no sense of macabre. Think Angels and Demons but more perverse and more travelled – it’ll read like a step-by-step terror tour through the famous sites of Europe.
An old man from Marrakesh begins to narrate a story, standing in a busy city square, his lips move like book leaves. “It is a love story,” he says, “like all the best stories, but it is also a mystery”. This latest novel from acclaimed author Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, The Storyteller of Marrakesh centres on the tragic disappearance of two young lovers. Roy-Bhattacharya evokes the exotic East with the simplest prose and nostalgic tones; his ability to transport his readers at the turn of a page is unique and engaging. Coming from a philosophical background, this book might demand a little more than the others, but, like most literary classics, it will give back as good as it gets.