Summer has finally arrived and, with it, the chance to lay out in the sunshine with a good book. Or go to the beach with a good book. Or find an air conditioned place serving iced coffee and stay there all day with a good book. You’re probably sensing a theme. Whatever your plans, make sure that some of these brand new and shiny books are on the list.
No one tells a story quite like Stephen Fry, and he’s back with this follow up to his bestselling Mythos, which also centered on the antics of the ancient Greeks.
This book does exactly what it says on the tin, retelling the stories of heroes such as Jason and Oedipus. Expect slightly mad tales told in Fry’s unmistakeable style, and bite sized chapters that will be perfect for reading between naps on the beach.
Summer is the time for releasing romance novels – something about the (hopefully) warm weather puts people in the mood for a good love story. David Nicholls, he of One Day fame, hasn’t released a new novel since 2014, so people are understandably excited about this one.
As the title suggests, Shakespeare plays a part in this YA offering, with main character Charlie getting himself involved in a play to be near a girl that he likes. At 416 pages, it is a hefty read, but Nicholl’s easy style and light touch means you will whip through it in no time, and undoubtedly be left feeling fluffy at the end.
If you prefer your romance a little bit more grown up, then this is definitely for you. Postscript is a sequel to the wildly popular novel, PS. I Love You, which became a wildly popular film, and is a real treat for connoisseurs of the genre.
Set six years after Holly read her husband Gerry’s last letter, life is going pretty well. But when she meets people inspired by Gerry’s act of loving remembrance, she finds that it is harder to move on that she thought. This isn’t a short book either, and is being released in September, just as the evenings begin to cool and you feel like curling up in the evening with a warm hot chocolate of a book.
Few things are nicer to read in the sun than a graphic novel – for one, they are short enough that you might avoid getting burned by reading too long – and this August sees the publication of the newest offering from master of the genre, Neil Gaiman. It’s been a while since we’ve seen something like this from him too. Snow, Glass, Apples is – unsurprisingly – a retelling of the Snow White story. Gaiman first wrote the story way back in 1995.
Doran’s illustrations look exactly as creepy as one needs them to be for such a story by Gaiman, and it promises to be a good read. It doesn’t really need saying that there’s going to be some freaky themes here – necrophilia, anyone? – that you should bear in mind if that’s not your sort of thing.
Three Women is a book about female desire and sexuality, a raw and honest account of how these women negotiate that part of their lives. And it’s hard. It is not an easy thing to discuss. There are not many books like this one, on this exact subject, for that exact reason. That fact alone makes this a book worth seeking out.
I might be in a minority here, but I really like reading non-fiction in the summer. Maybe it’s because you can more easily dip in and out of it when you’re busy with other things. Whatever the reason, if you’re like me, Three Women is one of the most hotly anticipated non-fiction books of the year.
Speaking of hotly anticipated books, Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is publishing in September – a whopping twenty four years later. Set fifteen years after the end of that novel, we finally catch up and see what happened to Offred, and well as what is going on in Gilead with three new narrators.
It isn’t going to be an easy read, but that’s ok. Get through all of your lighter beach reads by the start of September, and then you can be ready to settle down with what promises to be an explosive sequel to an absolute classic.