Summer Holiday Reading Part 2 — Interesting Non-Fiction Books

In the second instalment of my summer reading suggestions, the focus is on interesting non-fiction books. The following selection of titles is an eclectic mix of numbers, diets, soul food, history and biography.

The Filter Bubble : How the new personalized web is changing what we read and how we think by Eli Pariser  This is one of the most interesting non-fiction books I have come across to date. A readable and scary insight into how our online behavior affects the information we retrieve, the offers that come our way, maybe even the way we think …

The Graves are Walking: The great famine and the saga of the Irish people by John Kelly A very readable and moving history of the Irish famine that uses contemporary accounts from a wide variety of sources to bring this period to life.

Manuscript Found In Accra by Paulo Coelho Consolation for the soul from in the form of questions and answers. A book to dip in and out of and perhaps return to in times of sadness or trouble.

Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage by Hugh Brewster. More than 100 years on from the loss of Titanic in April 1912, stories of her passengers continue to fascinate modern readers. Brewster focuses on Titanic’s first-class passengers — among them the celebrities of the day — from fashion designer Lucile, Lady Duff Gordon to tennis star, Karl Behr, from President’s aide Archie Butt to artist Frank Millet.

The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer. The diet that everyone seems to be talking about this year.

If you enjoyed this selection of interesting non-fiction books, check out this list of holiday fiction.

Summer Holiday Reading — Part 1 Fiction

Image courtesy of adamr |
Image courtesy of adamr |

Now that summer is here, it is time to start thinking about your summer holiday reading. And, when it comes to deciding what books to take on holiday for most of us that means looking for books to download to our eReader.

The great thing about electronic readers like the Kindle, Nook and other tablet devices is that we don’t have to worry so much about the weight of books in our luggage.

The next question is deciding which books to will make it on to our Summer Holiday Reading list.

This is Part 1 of a two-part series of my summer reading suggestions. The focus today is on fiction. Part 2 will focus on non-fiction:

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. A time travelling serial killer and a victim that would not die.

Deny Me Not by Margaret Hawkins. An Irish novel about secret babies and the people who make them.

The Moment by Douglas Kennedy.  Bittersweet love when ‘happenstance’ brings a man and woman together.

Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason. It can be awkward when there are bodies buried in your garden.

Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley. Escaping from a cult is just the beginning.

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge. A woman wakes in cold water with no memory of who she is or how she got there.

The Racketeer by John Grisham. Legal thriller about a lawyer who uses information about the killing of a judge to trade his way out of jail.

A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks. A collection of five related stories exploring what makes and shapes human lives.

Whatever you choose, it is worth bearing in mind that sand, sea and sunlight can get in the way of reading eBooks so having a standby paperback or two might still be worth considering. And the great thing about print is that the battery never runs out.

Happy reading!

Book club recommendations: five highly readable historical novels

My definition of historical fiction is simple: fiction that is set in the past. Here is some historical fiction for book clubs.

The Star of the Sea by Joseph O’Connor
In the bitter winter of 1847, from an Ireland torn by injustice and natural disaster, the Star of the Sea sets sail for New York. On board are hundreds of fleeing refugees. This novel by Joseph O’Connor is popular and worth consideration on our historical fiction for book clubs list.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The story of Dinah, one of the wives of Jacob is found in the Biblical book of Genesis. In this novel, her story is told from her own perspective and from that of the women in her circle.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

There have been quite a few first World War novels published in recent times and many of them are excellent – Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy comes to mind, as does Sebastian Barry’s A Long, Long Way but my choice for this list is Sebastian Faulks since Birdsong is one of those titles that many people have heard of but perhaps not read. It’s a good choice for a book club – a moving read that will produce plenty to talk about at your meeting.

Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
You’ve probably seen the movie, but did you know this book won the Booker prize back in 1975? Jhabvala is an accomplished writer and this is an engaging love story centered on Anglo-Indian relations that will give your book club plenty to discuss.

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
Regency romance, crime fiction, a hint of Mills and Boon but there’s something utterly engaging about Georgette Heyer’s writing. Read one of her books, and you’re likely to want to read your way through the rest. I discovered her in my teens and she was my constant companion for several years. Book clubs are sometimes very serious in the reading matter they choose. For a bit entertainment and escapism, you could do a lot worse than Ms Heyer and you will learn something of society and costume and customs along the way. Amazon has the blurb on this one nicely down to two sentences: Stepping into the wrong carriage at a Sussex village, Elinor Rochdale is swept up in a thrilling and dangerous adventure. Overnight, the would-be governess becomes mistress of a ruined estate and partner in a secret conspiracy to save a family’s name. By midnight, she is a bride, by dawn a widow.

If you are interested in more historical fictions suggestions, check out the links on my home page.