BookerTalk

Bookends #13 – summer reading

An occasional round up of miscellaneous bookish news you may have missed (and often I missed them too)

As predictable as the ‘Must have Christmas gifts’ and the ‘get in shape for the beach’  feature articles, newspapers have started trotting out that annual stalwart: “must read books for your holiday.”

The Sunday Times “Suitcase Essential” feature listed 100 of what they claimed were the best books for the summer. The basis for their selection wasn’t explained but we had a variety of history, biography, memoirs, and science titles plus of course a fiction list. Out of the 50 fiction titles, they singled out five as  ‘top choices’

Surprisingly given the amount of attention garnered by The Girl on the Train, this didn’t get a mention in the crime & thrillers category. It did however make the summer selection published recently by the  Financial Times. 

It’s interesting to see how different the two lists are in their selections. The FT selects two of the big stories from this year so far – Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins and Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in 10 years, The Buried Giant— though both are missing from the Sunday Times list.  But the most significant difference is the selection of works in translation or by authors from outside the British/American camp. The Sunday Times manages just two as far as I can tell; The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara and The Mersault Investigation by Kamel Dadud, an author who seems to be creating rather a stir with his retake on Albert Camus’ L’Etranger. The Financial Times however gives us a special list of fiction in translation. The title that most caught my attention was Wolf, Wolf, by Eben Venter who provides a scathing perspective on the new South Africa. it could however be next summer by the time I get around to reading this…..

If you want to read the Financial Times list in full, click here

And this doesn’t help you fill up your bookshelves, you could always take a look at the list of upcoming new publications put together by The Millions.

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