Whenever I write about books on the blog I tend to write about books I have already read. I thought I would do it a little different this time, as with summer now in full bloom, I have been looking forward to pick up books that I have been saving all year to read or just recently discovered.
I definitely choose what books to read not only on my mood but also on the season, so I thought I’d put a little list together of the books I am planning and looking forward to read this summer.
The Peace Machine – Özgür Mumcu*
I’m taking a bit of a chance with this one. Described as a historical “Ottoman Steampunk” adventure, it’s not the kind of thing I would normally go for but when I read an interview with the author in The Guardian a few days ago, there was something about the way the book was described that really piqued my interest. It made me think of ‘The Vanished Futurist’ that I read and enjoyed last year but Mumcu’s book also seems to be its own interesting fictional mix of mystery, travel, futuristic technology and politics. So I’m really interested to see how I will find it and whether I should take my chances on something different a bit more often.
The Woolgrower’s Companion – Joy Rhoades*
Joy recently got in touch with me on Instagram after we discovered a shared love for second hand bookshops in London. She kindly asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her book and after careful consideration I decided to say yes.
I have made a point of only ever requesting or accepting review copies of books that I will be genuinely interested in reading because I feel anything else would be dishonest but after reading the description with it’s cross between historical and literary fiction, I was definitely interested. It doesn’t hurt that it has been published by Vintage either, as they have published quite a few books over the years that have ended up in my favourites.
I haven’t been to Australia where the book is set and besides from the short story collection ‘The Redemption of Galen Pike‘ by Carys Davies, I don’t think I have read any other Australian fiction either, so I’m looking forward to read it during some (hopefully) warm summer days.
The Cost of Living – Deborah Levy
Every time I look at the cover of this book I experience an unexplainable joy. I think it’s because of that yellow and the careful way the title has been designed alongside the black and white photograph. I was recommending it to a customer one day in the bookshop after reading about it in an article but when I got home that day I couldn’t stop thinking about it and felt really sad that I hadn’t been the one to take it home with me. So even though I had bought myself two other books only a couple of weeks earlier, I decided to spend the last money I had on a giftcard to treat myself to it.
A lot of customers have been recommending Levy’s novel Hot Milk to me in the shop but I haven’t actually read any of her books yet, so this will be my first meeting with her writing. I have been reading more nonfiction than fiction lately and have also been going through a bit of a strange writer’s block, so I’m really hoping her memoir might help inspire me to write something again, as it touches upon being a writer, as well as a woman.
The Summer Book – Tove Jansson
Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have read that I recently had an absolutely awful day at work but was saved when my boyfriend Daniel surprised me by turning up in the bookshop at the end of the day to pick out a couple of books for me and give me a lift home. I mentioned in a post last year that I have wanted to read Jansson’s novel for a while after hearing a lot of good things about it and since Daniel and I are heading off on a plane to Sweden soon to spend a week’s summer holiday with my parents at our cabin, I think it will be the perfect time to read it.
While the novel is set in Finland (where I’ve never been), it is set in a rocky, fir-covered island landscape that I am familiar with from Sweden and my hope is that reading the book will feel a bit like coming home. My paperback copy is beautiful, with black and white photographs from Jansson’s own life placed throughout the book and atmospheric, blue-tinted endpapers that remind me of why I love the Nordic landscape so much. If only all paperbacks could be this beautiful.
Illyrian Spring – Ann Bridge
It’s been almost a year and a half since Daniel got me this one for Christmas and I am ashamed to say I still haven’t read it. One of the reasons is that I have always felt like it should be read in the summer and between working a lot and looking for a new job last year, I just didn’t have the time. The other reason is that I absolutely fell head-over-heals in love with Bridge’s novel ‘Peking Picnic’ a few years back and I just know I will love this one just as much and that I’ll be sad when it’s over.
I know it’s really silly but I often “save” books for just the right moment, as you can only experience the pleasure of reading a book for the first time once. It’s another novel that sounds like it’s filled with travels and descriptions of places I have never been to, and along with the fact that the main character is a painter, I think this one has potential to become a new favourite.
There are so many other books on my shelves I want to read and only yesterday I fell in love with two new ones that had come into the shop but these are definitely going to be my priority over the next few months.
Are there any books that you are planning to read this year? I’d love to read about them in the comments!
*These books were kindly sent to me from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No one asked me to write this post or include their books in it, I simply felt like it.