Summer Reads

Want to create show-stopping meals on your BBQ? Fancy growing your own vegetables this summer? Maybe you’re just in need of a new novel for your holiday? We’ve got you covered…

The Wych Elm – Tana French

One horrific night changes Toby’s life for ever. He retreats to the place he feels safest – Ivy House, to look after his terminally ill uncle. But then a skull is discovered in the garden and Toby has to question everything he believes to be true. Are his cousins hiding something from him? Is his uncle a killer? And, with his own memory damaged, how can Toby be sure he’s not the murderer? While The Wych Elm is a slow-burner, it’s well worth sticking with.

Grow All You Can Eat in 3 Square Feet – edited by Chauney Dunford

When it comes to food, few things beat picking your own vegetables straight from the garden. And you don’t need a large plot to do it. Whether you have a balcony, a courtyard or just a windowsill, you can grow your own vegetables, fruit and herbs. This book offers plenty of advice for would-be growers, from which plants thrive in shady gardens to which flowers can help to protect your crops. You’ll soon be creating your own bicycle wheel trellis, balcony saddlebag or strawberry colander.

Weber’s Greatest Hits – Jamie Purviance 

Over the years, Weber has released a series of books to accompany its bestselling barbeques. The latest, Weber’s Greatest Hits, has more than 100 recipes for starters, mains (beef, lamb, pork, poultry, fish and shellfish), sides and desserts. Dishes include Chicken Tacos, Salmon Skewers, Zesty Garlic Prawns, Chilli-Rubbed Chicken and, for the traditionalist, Texas Burgers.

Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella, but who stops to consider her stepsisters? Isabelle is neither pretty nor demure. But if she’s brave enough to cut off her own toe to fit her foot in a glass slipper, what else is she capable of? While Stepsister is aimed at young adults, this imaginative story is also likely to appeal to older readers who fancy losing themselves in a twisted fairy tale for a few hours.

Property – Lionel Shriver

Looking for a book to dip in and out of, rather than devote whole sunny afternoons to? This collection of short stories and novellas might be the answer. If you want fast-paced action and loathe long passages of description, it’s probably not for you. If you enjoy wry humour, detailed characterisation and stories that you’re still pondering about hours later, it’s well worth a look.

The Rosie Result – Graeme Simsion

Professor Don Tillman is back, more than a decade after we first met him in The Rosie Project. This time, he has a new project – helping his son Hudson to settle into school (and neurotypical society). Hudson’s teacher thinks Hudson may be autistic. Don and Rosie need to decide whether to seek a formal diagnosis. And, while they’re at it, whether Don should be classed as autistic himself. While The Rosie Result is the third in the trilogy, it can be read as a standalone novel. A warm, humorous, thought-provoking read.