My Favourite Books Of Summer 2016

Welcome Back To A Day In The Life Of The Anonymous Me,

Today I am doing a collaboration with best blogging friend Maddie and we are going to be sharing with you our favourite books that we have read this summer. Overall, it has been a really good few reading months for me and I have discovered some amazing books. Therefore, Maddie and I wanted to share with you the phenomenal books that we have read this summer, so hopefully you might want to pick them up and read them too. Make sure you go and check out  her post after you’ve read this one. Her blog, called Sundays Are Sunny, is amazing and I’m sure you’ll all love it as much as I do. Enjoy!

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‘A book is a dream you hold in your hands.’ – Neil Gaiman

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The first book I really enjoyed was The Art Of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson. This book recently came out in paperback and both end papers are covered in reviews from people all raving about it. Authors such as Lauren James (The Next Together), Phillip Pullman (The Northern Lights) and James Dawson (This Book is Gay) have all praised this book and I can totally see why. This book is about David and he believes he was born in the wrong body and wants to be a girl. The book is all about him discovering who he is and telling his parents. I don’t want to say too much about this book because I think it is best to go into it blind. Don’t even read the blurb! This is one of the best books that I have ever read. It is insightful, interesting and heart wrenching. Everyone has to read this as it is so important to support the transgender community. As I said earlier, James Dawson recommended this novel, who came out as wanting to be a girl a few years ago. I will post a full review on my blog in the near future for those of you who have read it and want to hear my full opinions as it is difficult to talk about the book without sharing spoilers. My edition is also really special as it is signed and has an exclusive chapter in the back. If you want one of these special copies, head into your local Waterstones and try and pick one up. They are only available in Waterstones stores I’m afraid.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love If I Was Your Girl by Meg Russo as this book also deals with the topic of transgender.

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Next up is The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood. I’m going to be completely honest here and admit that this was a cover buy. I saw it in Waterstones and instantly knew I had to pick it up. At the stand I then discovered that the page edges are pink with white numbers. The design is exquisite and it looks stunning in my bookcase. The book is about a girl called Gottie (Margot) who lives in Norfolk and is 17. It is the Summer Holidays and one year since her Grandfather’s death. Last summer when her Grandad died, she was going out with Jason, who is her older brother’s (Ned) friend. However, their relationship was a secret and didn’t work out. Also, five summers ago when Gottie was twelve her best friend Thomas moved away to Canada and never contacted her. He’s back for the summer and has a secret. I thought this book was going to be your classic contemporary read, but it is so much more than that. There is a lot of science in this book with mathematical diagrams explaining wormholes and time travel, for these are two of the key parts of the novel. For the book to make sense, you really have to pay attention to the science and keep it in mind throughout the story. I really liked the drawings and sketches in the book as it really helped me understand the science. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to you.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon as it is also a very visual book with sketches and illustrations.

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I also thoroughly enjoyed reading On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. If you read my blog last year during Blogmas, you will know that one of my favourite authors is Ian McEwan. So, when I saw someone selling On Chesil Beach second-hand for a really good price, I picked it up immediately. Therefore, when I got home and read the blurb I was a little disappointed. I discovered from reading the blurb that it wasn’t exactly my kind of book. The blurb stated, ‘It is July 1962. Edward and Florence, young innocents married that morning, arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their private fears of the wedding night to come…’. I was a little apprehensive when I started reading this, but it was not what I was expecting at all. It was incredible. Although it discussed how the characters were feeling on their wedding night, it looked a lot at their lives up to that moment and the expectations of women then. The whole way throughout reading it I kept thinking about how much knowledge Ian McEwan has. Every ounce of the story is filled with excellent detail and I could visualize the scenes in my mind so clearly. The book is so subtle, one of the things I love about Ian McEwan. You come away from reading one of his novels and just think WOW. This is definitely one for the mature reader and I would not recommend it for those of you under 15. However, I don’t want to dictate what you read, so you decide if you are mature enough for it, go for it. Although the book is primarily set around their wedding night, there are only a few pages that contain graphic details.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love The Children Act by Ian McEwan as it is another AMAZING book by him.

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You might remember from my May and Half Term Wrap Up that I read Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell. In the back of it was a chapter sampler for Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard, which I really enjoyed, so I picked up a full copy of Beautiful Broken Things as soon as possible and read it in June. The novel is told from Caddy’s perspective and she goes to a private school for girls in Brighton. She is best friends with Rosie, who goes to public school. They have been friends for as long as they can remember, but this year their friendship is tested. In the opening chapters Caddy tells us her milestones she wants to reach before her next birthday are: to get a boyfriend; to lose her virginity; and to experience a significant life event. However, she sets these milestones before she meets Suzanne, who has just joined Rosie’s school. When Suzanne arrives, Rosie spends all her time with Suzanne and Caddy feels jealous about their friendship. It is not until Suzanne confides in Caddy that they begin to come close.

I am so glad that I read this book as it isn’t often you find a Young Adult book purely about friendship. It was beautiful, devastating, heart wrenching and insightful. I thought it was brilliant how the story was told from Caddy’s perspective because although what Suzanne went through affected her, it also affected her friends. Sara Barnard is an amazing author who doesn’t sugarcoat mental health or friendship. This book is so relatable, funny and truthful.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison which also deals with teenage friendships. Both authors capture the teenage voice extremely well.

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The next book I loved was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Oh My Goodness – it was phenomenal! This book follows a Father and a Son who are walking through a post-apocalyptic America that is burnt and covered in ash. The boy’s mother committed suicide several years before. It follows their journey trying to get to the coast before winter because the Father knows they won’t make it through the winter. On the cover there is a quote from The Times which I think sums up the book perfectly. It says: ‘A work of such terrible beauty that you will struggle to look away’. The book is depressing, harrowing, dark and shocking, but it is also gripping and mesmerizing.  I also see it as a warning of a believable future which is not too far off.My favourite quote from it was: ‘You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget’. The language used is so simple, but it paints the picture so well. This books is also interesting as it does not have any speech punctuation, so it really relies on your knowledge of speech *thanks my year 2 English teacher*. This book has definitely made its way on My Favourite Books Of All Time List.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy.

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Next up is All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I am a huge lover of historical fiction, with one of my favourites being Regeneration by Pat Barker. However, I’m talking about Regeneration today, I’m talking about All The Light We Cannot See. I don’t really know where to start with this book. The writing and description are phenomenal. I can picture all the scenes so visually in my head; it feels like I am there. I also liked this book because I have studied Nazi Germany for GCSE and therefore when Anthony Doerr is describing how all of a sudden there was meat on the table in Germany and lots of people had jobs, I know it is because of invisible unemployment ect. The book follows a young French girl who is blind and a boy who is in the Hitler Youth. You follow them from their early childhood years as well as their lives in World War Two. Then you follow the story when their lives cross paths. The writing and story telling is exquisite and exceptional. The way it switches between characters and time periods is sublime and perfect. It is a very long book, but the chapters are very short, which I feel helped me get through it so quickly. I loved seeing how it all connected on the page. It was truly magical.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love Regeneration by Pat Barker which is another phenomenal historical fiction.

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And last, but most certainly not least is Eleanor and Park  by Rainbow Rowell, which is told in dual narrative and set in the 80’s. I thought the dual narrative worked really well. It follows Eleanor and Park who meet on their school bus. They bond over music and comics. It deals with body image, race, social class and poverty in a realistic,  but sensitive way. It warms your heart, but also tears it apart at the same time. I loved learning more about the 80’s culture when it came to the comics as I only knew about the music before. I really enjoyed hearing some of my favourite bands mentioned in it. Park starts the book by talking about XTC, so immediately I had Making Plans For Nigel in my head – such a good punk-rock song! As a result of all the information on the culture, it made me feel really connected to the characters. I loved both Eleanor and Park, but I especially enjoyed about Park. He was cute and quirky – the kind of character we don’t normally read about in a YA book. The love story is very subtle and is someways one of the undertones in the book as important matters such as poverty played a much more important role in the book.

If you enjoyed this book, you’ll love Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. You’ll also love All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven as the dual narrative in this works really well too.

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So there you have it, those were all the books I loved this summer. I would love to know in the comments if you have read any of these and also what books you have read this summer and enjoyed. Don’t forget to go and check out Maddie’s post.

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Happy Blogging! xx

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22 thoughts on “My Favourite Books Of Summer 2016

  1. Such lovely photos! This is a really helpful post and I am for sure going to check some of these out. Beautiful Broken Things sounds amazing. I really like how you have set it out with a photo between each book and the stars. It makes it really clear,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you lovely! You should totally read Beautiful Broken Things. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like the layout too 🙂 Happy Blogging! xx

      Like

  2. Thank you so much for this post! It was really helpful. I loved how you did a ‘if you liked this, you’ll also love this’ at the end of each review. It is really original and I have never seen it done before. As always your photos are perfection and look really clean, neat and professional.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad you liked the post and thank you so much for your lovely comment. It means a lot. Happy Blogging! xx

      Like

    1. Yes, lets definitley do this again soon. You’ll really enjoy Beautiful Broken Things! A Quiet Sound Of Thunder which is written by the same author is coming out really soon. Happy Blogging! xx

      Like

  3. I love On Chesil Beach!! Its one of my new favourites!!

    Ive just started a blog and I would love it if you could check it out xx

    Happy blogging !! xx

    coffeeandcoatsblog.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It makes me so happy when other people read All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and really enjoy it. It was such a phenomenal book! I will definitely be checking out your recommendation of Regeneration xx

    tynnikablogs.blogspot.com.au

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love it when I see people raving about it too. You’ll love Regeneration. It is based on a true story. Happy Blogging! xx

      Like

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