What I Read This Summer…

I’m a big reader. Huge. I began my career in the publishing industry, and have worked with hundreds of authors and publishing types. For many years I was lucky enough to get free books, often advance copies, and I relished it. Nowadays I buy my books (usually second hand as I have a love of old books) or borrow them from the library, but my passion remains the same. Every summer I usually read all seven books in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (for the millionth time), but this summer I got side-tracked by the bushfires raging across Australia. Life just felt a bit too raw, a bit too real and a bit too sad at times. Instead, I mostly picked up books I’d already read, ones that felt comforting but were also easy to read. Here’s what I read this summer…

What I Read This Summer...

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I read this every few years because it makes me feel festive. I love the descriptions of place and time that Dickens crafts, along with the memorable characters. Reading it in hardcover is always a beautiful experience too.

Acid For The Children by Flea

For those who don’t know, Flea is the bass player and co-founder of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. This is his autobiography and it is some read. Quite apart from his crazy life, which he traces from the swinging 60s in New York to LA in the 80s, this is a bit of an odd book. Flea intersperses the narrative of his childhood with anecdotes that appear seemingly at random, which can seem a little jarring. If I’m totally honest, I’d say Flea only signed on to write this book with the caveat that his editor didn’t actually do any editing. But even with that, it’s an honest book that speaks to a different era, a different time and an entirely different way of life.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This is a sweet book that I read every few years. It is essentially a fable that follows Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel and see the world. The stories it teaches the reader along the way are many and varied, and I find I take something else from this book every time I read it. The Alchemist is a modern classic that teaches you to follow your heart, find the truth within your dreams and always trust yourself.

His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman

His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman consisting of Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. It follows the coming of age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes. I came late to the party in reading this series, but I do love a bit of fantasy mixed with action, and it’s definitely better late than never with this series.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Woman in White always brings back memories of winter in London for me. It combines Gothic horror with psychological realism and is so evocative you can almost feel the chilling mist swirling around your ankles as you read.

It’s only the end of January, so I’m sure more will be added to my summer reading list, but here’s to a great year of reading in 2020!

Yours in digital,