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Amaryllis’ Choice

In News by HanaLeave a Comment

Heading out of the city or staying put for these strangest of strange summer holidays, a good read or two or twenty is vital. Let’s face it, travel to foreign climes has become a challenge and all those great rainy day alternatives remain sadly closed for the time being. But it is not all gloom and doom because after months of drought, there are now oceans of new, great books to choose from which can take you away, take you back in time or just make you realise that your family are really not that bad.

Here are our suggestions for Summer Reading:

  • Utopia Avenue, David Mitchell – I already have several pre-orders for this new novel. I have loved Mitchell’s previous novels, all very different and I am very excited about this one set in 1967 and apparently reintroducing characters from earlier novels.

  • Small Pleasures, Clare Chambers – next on my reading pile and compared to three personal favourites – Jane Austen, Barbara Pym and Elizabeth Taylor! I cannot wait!

  • The Pine Islands, Marion Poschmann – quirky and intriguing with a sense of place that is unmistakably Japan.

  • The Most Fun We Ever Had, Claire Lombardo – a really enjoyable American family novel about parental love and sisterhood. Summer reading personified.

  • Exciting Times, Naoise Dolan – another brilliant young Irish debut. Set in Hong Kong, this very sharp and funny novel explores modern love, age old distinctions of class and the nuances of language.

  • Afropean, Notes from Black Europe, Johny Pitts – timely and eye-opening.

  • The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware – a gothic thriller that really does thrill with an all important shocking final twist!

  • If I Had Your Face, Frances Cha –  not quite yet published but a shocking south Korean novel exploring the obsession with plastic surgery amongst wealthy, young Korean women.

  • Wake, Anna Hope – I read Expectation last year which was brilliant on female friendship formed at university and how it had changed in the intervening 10 years. I am now eager to read Wake, her first novel set during the war which has been recommended to me several times.

  • Splash, 10,000 Years of Swimming, Howard Means – having moved to the seaside, I now realise how addictive swimming can be so this book is very opportune and full of interesting facts relating to humankinds relationship with water.

Finally I am so looking forward to Ali Smith’s final book in her series based on the seasons, Summer.  The previous novels have been gems of humour, humanity, art and language. 

About Amaryllis


Amaryllis is our bookshop blogger.


Her pen name is taken from Alice Thomas Ellis’ Other Side of the Fire, which is unfortunately and scandalously out of print. One of the funniest bits in the book is the bodice-ripper that one of the characters is writing and the female - who slays the men with one toss of her raven locks and one glance from her fiery green eyes as she strides among the glens, faithful wolfhound by her side - is Amaryllis! And the name just seemed to suit so here we are.

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