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7 books for the end of summer


There’s still time! Shift that sun lounger to catch the last of the sun’s rays and pick up one of these great summer reads, as recommended by the bookworms of Thelma & Louise Club.

Image by thejaan on flickr
Recommended by Ishbel Raffle, via Facebook: “She was very brave in her reporting - quite an eye-opener.”
During her 40-year-long career, journalist Sue Lloyd-Roberts witnessed some of the worst atrocities inflicted on women across the world. And even when the situation was truly dangerous, she found a way in to give a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard. The War on Women brings to life Lloyd-Robert’s extraordinary experiences through a series of short articles focusing on women’s lives all over the world, from Manemma who was married off in Jaipur at the age of 6 to victims of the gender pay gap in Britain. It’s a wide-ranging book that will make your blood boil and your tears fall – but read it you must.
Read this: to listen to women from across the globe.
Recommended by Thelma & Louise Community Manager, Ana: “This book is a wonderful description of the childhood in India of Lady Mountbatten, and her family’s life.”
Hicks’ memoir paints a vivid picture of her childhood as the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and the glamorous Edwina Ashley. Pamela’s early childhood in England was characterised by nannies, governesses and an eclectic circle of family pets, including a lion and a mongoose. This was the Roaring Twenties and Pamela’s parents lived in a social whirl – Noel Coward, Churchill and her parents’ lovers were familiar faces. Later, Hicks’ parents were the Last Viceroy and Vicereine of India as she came of age in the country. Pamela became friends with Gandhi and Nehru. Later, Hicks was a lady in waiting to the young Princess Elizabeth when she learned of her father’s death. It’s a remarkable life, and a witty, engaging read.
Read this: and dream of a life of travel and influence.
Recommended by Amanda Kenwrick via Facebook: “All of these are huge fun with some very dark parts. Wonderful escapism.”
Don’t start reading The Chronicles unless you’re prepared to dedicate plenty of time – there are 10 primary works and 24 total works in The Chronicles of St Mary’s series! Jodi Taylor started the series in 2013 and it’s still going strong. The Chronicles is a series of fantasy novels and short stories that draw on history for almost endless material. St Mary’s is an outwardly bland research facility, but amazing things happen behind its doors; researchers investigate major historical events in contemporary time. They don’t interfere, simply try to stay alive as they observe and document.
Read this: to travel through time.
Recommended by Jill Harker via Twitter: “Fantastic book. The story will remain with you for a long time. I love the residents of Broken Wheel and how the arrival of a book-loving Swedish visitor touches everyone's lives and changes the town.”
At the age of 28, Sara decides it’s time to leave Sweden and – for some reason I cannot fathom – move to Broken Wheel, a town in Iowa where she has no connections. There, she sets up the town’s first bookstore, giving the residents a dose of adventure, self-help and romance in the process. There are lessons for her along the way too.
Read this: for a quirky tale of friendship, love and belonging.
Recommended by Tess Haddock, via Facebook: “An old book but really good.”
When Red Stevens dies, his greedy family leap on the billions he has left them in his will – apart from his great-nephew Jason who instead receives a series of 12 video messages. Jason must earn his inheritance, not because Red disliked him, but because, "Although to date your life seems to be a sorry excuse for anything I would call promising, there does seem to be a spark of something in you that I hope we can fan into a flame. For that reason, I am not making you an instant millionaire." Jason unwillingly undertakes a series of experiences that ultimately help grow his appreciation for the smaller things in life, such as friends, problems, laughter and gratitude. It’s an easy read that can verge on lecturey at times, but the life lesson will stay with you beyond ‘The End’. The Ultimate Gift is also a film starring James Garner and Drew Fuller.
Read this: if you need a reminder that money isn’t the be all and end all.
6. Mystery and suspense reads
Recommended by Joyce Lucas, via Facebook: “I like mystery/suspense. These are all great books!”
There’s something about the juxtaposition of suspense literature in chilled-out surroundings. A good mystery novel will whisk you from a tropical beach to a gloomy haunted house in wintry England. But why on earth would you want to do that? Because the only time these intense but rewarding books are bearable is when you can glance up from the page, order a pina colada and take a big gulp to steady your nerves before you dive back in, that’s why. Try Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which deals with the horrifically inter-woven lives of three new friends whose children go to the same school; In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, where a remote hen party goes horribly wrong; The Woman in Cabin Ten, also by Ruth Ware, sees a luxury cruise trip to the Northern Lights go darkly wrong; and Into the Water, the latest novel from Paula Hawkins, who wrote the wildly successful The Girl on the Train.
Read these: if you like books that raise your heart rate and keep you guessing.
Recommended by Emma, who interviewed Hazel for Thelma & Louise’s Inspirational Women Travellers series: “Most women who have travelled in India will recognise themselves in the three main characters of Kanyakumari.”
Read this: if you want to travel with your best friend.