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My Summer Reading List & Pool-Side Recommendations

Beach? Park? Sweaty tube? Here’s what to read…

Lily always like to note how I’m someone who is either 100% into something or giving it zero effort at all. I’m all or nothing and there are few areas of my life where it is demonstrated so concretely as my reading habits. I’m either zipping through books in a matter of days, counting down my Goodreads reading challenge (I’ve already reached my goal of 12 books this year – WHOOP!), or I haven’t picked a book up in weeks. If I’m honest I’m currently experiencing more of the latter. My to-do list has crept up (exciting ‘oh my word I’ve had to keep this a secret for so long that I may burst’ announcement is coming next month!), and when that happens one of the first things to fall by the wayside is my pre-bed book time as instead I flop in and fall asleep with the light on. Thankfully though I have a bit of travelling to do over the next month and so I thought it would be the perfect time to do a bit of a book haul and pick up some new reads to dig into whilst I’m on the plane. Planes are the best way to read and I swear 24 hours on a plane to and from Vietnam is the only way that I ever got through the 700-page brick that was ‘A Little Life’. So here’s what I’ve recently read/is on my bedside awaiting the first page turn. I promise that the summer-suitable colour scheme is completely unintentional, but don’t it look cute?

‘This is Going To Hurt’ by Adam Kay. This book guys – THIS BOOK! Every now and again I read a book that I am determined to make everyone in my life read. The last time that happened it was with Dolly Alderton’s ‘Everything I Know About Love’ and this is the latest tomb to be added to that list. Adam opens up his personal diary and notes from his six years of being a Junior Doctor for the NHS and the end result is a hilarious and often heartbreaking read. If you’re currently up the duff however then this might not be great timing for you now – he worked in the Obstetrics department and so a lot of the stories concern themselves with things going wrong down there and how babies sometimes make a clean (and not so clean) break. I’ve always admired those who work for the health service, but this book will make you take it to the next level. Those that do have grit, determination and selflessness miles above anyone else. You know when people say that a book has made them laugh and cry? This one really did. I laughed (kinder egg story anyone?) and cried (the ending is a guaranteed tear-jerker) to the point that I shed a tear on the tube. I currently have about six friends and family eagerly awaiting for the one before them in line to finish this.

‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ by Ruth Hogan. This is what I’m reading right now and I will admit that I’m struggling to get into it. It has a trillion reviews on Amazon singing it’s praises and so I will persist and last night I got to a point in the story where I think I’m finally hooked in. I don’t want to give too much away, but it tells three different stories from two different timelines and there’s just been aΒ serendipitous moment that connects the two and I’m into that. I think this could really be one of those ‘ahhhh – no way!’ stories once it gets going. Have you read it? Must I keep going? Please send words of encouragement, please and thank you.

‘Together’ by Julie Cohen. Again this falls into the same vein as the previous book. Sometimes I just want an easy to read deep dive into the chic lit genre and this sounds like exactly that. I’m always on the lookout for recommendations from bloggers that I know and follow and I’m pretty sure that I saw Kate recommend this on her Instagram Stories and promptly snapped it up. I’ve yet to begin, but the book is told backwards, unreeling to slowly shed light on a big secret. It’s a love story and I love a good love story. I’ll have to report on this one once I get round to it, but so far all the signs are pointing in the right direction.

‘The Lido’ by Libby Page. I had a day where I felt like the weight of the world was bearing down on my chest. Of course all that had happened was that I’d been overoptimistic with my list-making for the week and had set myself a ludicrous amount of things to get done and was therefore experiencing a case of #FirstWorldProblems that could easily be resolved by doing this wonderful thing called prioritising. I had to head into town to run some errands and whilst I was there I thought I’d pop into a book shop just to have a browse. I mean you can’t leave empty handed right? I’d seen this book mentioned on a few Instagram accounts and it caught my eye because there was a personally written note next to the book that said that it was the next ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ – a.k.a my favourite book that I’ve read so far this year. SOLD. Home it came with me and I’ve been leaving this one till last to get reading because I’m anticipating good things. It tells the story of friendship, finding your feet in London and unexpected meetings down at the local Lido. I mean it’s called The Lido! It’s got summer written all over it.

Photos by Emma Croman

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