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Summer Reading list

Scottish children are on their summer holidays, and it’s time for the chaos to start! Last summer felt very different: I moved into a workshop, organised babysitting, made hundreds of lists and worked towards the biggest event I’d undertaken so far – my pop up in John Lewis. In among it all, I shared a summer reading list and managed to spend an awful lot of time reading. This year, my big events are one behind me and one too far ahead to need focussed on, so I’m getting to embrace the summer, and a reading list, with both hands.

On my list are 6 books, chosen on a rainy day in Oban public library with a Book Bug group providing the soundtrack. Two are part of a series, one is Young Adult fiction, one is a crime thriller, one is historical fiction, one is historical non-fiction, and one has been recommended to me many, many times. I hope it’s good!

None have anything to do with self-improvement, making soap, running a business or contemporary politics. Here they are:

The Great Hunt, by Robert Jordan. I started the Wheel of Time series with very low expectations: I had read a scathing review of the books after thoroughly enjoying the tv adaptation, and I couldn’t imagine that the books would be anything special. However, l ploughed through the first book in a couple of days, pushed along by the wild journey of the characters, the often quite lyrical writing and the fact that the imagery from the tv series is a perfect fit – for me, anyway. I’m really looking forward to the next instalment, and it’s coming with me when we go on holiday.

City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare. This is book four of The Shadow Hunter Chronicles, a YA fantasy series that’s a quick and satisfying read, I’m halfway through this and it hasn’t disappointed.

The Dark Isle, by Clare Carson, is not something I would usually choose, but it was partly set in Orkney and having just spent a week getting to know people from the islands I thought I’d see what it was like. I don’t read many thrillers, but the premise is interesting: a young girl, Sam, grows up with a father who is a secret agent, and after his death she must piece together his past, which is also her family history, and uncover the secrets which shaped her childhood and impact her present.

A Vineyard in Andalusia, by Maria Duenas. “A novel of glories and defeats; of silver mines, family secrets, vineyards, cellars, and splendid cities of faded grandeur; of unexpected passion, and love in the strangest of circumstances.” Well, if that’s not what summer reading is made of, I don’t know what is.

Danubia, by Simon Winder. This is a book about the Habsburg family, who ruled much of Europe for centuries – at various times from the Middle Ages they ruled Austria, controlled Hungary and Bohemia, and reigned throughout Spain and the Spanish empire before finally succumbing to inbreeding, World War One, and possibly, simply the end of their luck. It sounds fascinating.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. So many people have said how much they enjoyed this book, but having only just read the blurb I’m not sure how much of a fun read it will be – ‘funny, brave, and utterly devastating’? Will we be laughing at Eleanor, or with her?

So that’s what I’ll be doing until mid-August, in between trying to keep up with orders and soap stuff, selling at local markets, picking up millions of pieces of Lego and having my face painted by my girls.

What have you got on your reading list this summer?

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