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This summer’s must read books

So now that the summer holidays are in sight, what will you be reading? The good news is that while we’ve all been locked up at home, some fabulous books have been published. We just haven’t been able to see them displayed in our local bookshops. So here they are, our favourite books over the past few dark months which we can guarantee will brighten up your summer.

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Dreaming of going to France?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen in your head, so to help you go places we’ve collected a list of books that will take you to your favourite holiday destinations. We’ve been to Greece, Italy, and Spain already. France today!

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Dreaming of going to Spain?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen in your head, so to help you go places we’ve collected a list of books that will take you to your favourite holiday destinations. We’ve been to Greece and Italy already…Spain’s next. France to follow!

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Books for Boys

‘A boy won’t read shark books forever’- Jon Scieszka, author and founder of GuysRead.com.

We all know that children are made bookworms on the laps of their parents but how do we sustain that momentum, particularly with the classic ‘reluctant boy reader’? The key seems to be to avoid parental dictatorship. It may be a bitter pill to swallow but they’re often not interested in what you read when you were twelve! With this in mind, we’ve selected a lovely mix of books for boys. Here’s hoping they find their very own book magic.

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Dreaming of going to Italy?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen mostly in your head, so to help we’ve collected a list of books that will transport you to your favourite holiday destinations. Our first stop was Greece…today Italy. Spain and France to follow!

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Dreaming of going to Greece?

Seems like travelling this summer is going to have to happen mostly in your head, so to help we’ve collected a list of books that will transport you to your favourite holiday destinations. Our first stop is Greece…Italy, Spain and France to follow!

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Travelling in the time of Covid

In 2012, London-based writer Ann Morgan set out to read a book from every country in the world in a year. Pretty ambitious when you know there are 196 of them. She asked people to send her recommendations and the list she compiled is an extraordinary overview of literature from around the world.

From Vatican City to Vietnam, from Russia to Rawanda. Wherever you can’t go, this list will have a book suggestion for every imaginary journey. Enjoy!

A year of reading the world by Ann Morgan

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NPR’s Best Ever Teen Fiction

America’s excellent National Public Radio conducted a Best Ever Teen Fiction poll a few years ago and this list still stands in my opinion. Some fantastic books here for every teen age, taste and gender.

NPR’s Best Ever Teen Fiction

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And you thought home isolation was bad…

Getting a perspective sometimes make things feel better. These great books should do the job.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The ultimate ‘hard times’ book, written during the Great Depression. Classic Steinbeck with unforgettable characters.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. Remember this one? A heart-wrenching but also very funny memoir by the Irish-American author who grew up in extreme poverty in Limerick, Ireland.

Blood River – A journey into Africa’s Broken Heart by Tim Butcher. A gripping non-fiction story of a journalist’s journey through Congo, one of the most dangerous countries on earth.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Set in Korea during the Japanese occupation, this family epic vividly describes the one-bowl-of-rice-a-day-existence.

The Five – the Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold. Being a poor, divorced or single woman in Victorian times is the last thing you’d ever want to be after reading this superbly researched Baille-Gifford prize winning non-fiction book.

…and, of course, ANYTHING Charles Dickens.

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Women’s Prize for Fiction short-list 2020

Just what we need right now. A curated selection of books by smart women in the know, the judging panel of the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020. There’s a one time winner of the Booker Prize (Bernadine Evaristo) and a two-time (possibly a third?) winner of the Booker Prize (Hilary Mantel). There’s the wonderful Jenny Offill whose books (Weather and Dept. of Speculation) we love. And then there’s our recent favourite, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Good choices judging panel!

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