Summer holidays are here, and what's the only thing better than a summer break? A summer break with a lovely new stack of books to read, of course! Whether it's two weeks in the sun, trekking in far-flung destinations or a restful staycation, we've put together our Summer Collection to help you choose books to keep you entertained, informed and inspired. Take a look at our top picks below or pop into one of our shops to see even more hand-picked choices.
Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami
Loneliness can creep up on all of us. Here master storyteller Murakami tips his toes into the realms of the short story again to bring us seven stories of lonely bars and lonely hearts. Contained within these pages are tales that tackle the sometimes undiscussed and shameful parts of every person’s existence and the things we do to try and cope with the day to day. Haruki Murakami expertly weaves for us a short story collection that speaks to all.
Matt, Web Team
Mythos by Stephen Fry
The Greek Gods and Goddesses: capricious, foolish, barbaric and with a massive appetite for life. Stephen Fry breathes new life into these well-known stories and characters, glazed with his wicked humour and unequalled gift to tell a story. I was lucky enough to hear Fry read from this book at Hay Festival and, I'd urge you to listen to the audio book as well as read it, because I now want Stephen Fry to read every book to me forever and ever. This is an absolute treasure of a book.
Mrs Osmond by John Banville
I do like a bit of Henry James so was very keen to read Mrs Osmond, Banville's continuation of The Portrait of a Lady. It was interesting, reading someone else writing in James' style and for the first couple of chapters that dominated my thoughts. But then I became completely drawn into Isabel's predicament and what she was planning to do next with her life. I found it an absorbing read, and I'm gladly adding it my Women Who Make Unsuitable Marriages shelf.
Sarah, Web Team
The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
A funny, touching look at life running a second hand bookshop, with all its attendant drama. Just what will Nicky find to eat from a skip today? Might we find out more about the enigmatic Mr Deacon? Will the shop's cat ever lose weight? More than that though, it explores the reality of surviving in an age of devalued books and rising costs, with just the faintest, slightest glimmer of hope for bookshops and readers.
Ed, Charing Cross Road