2015’s Hottest Summer Reads – Prepare To Fall In Literary Love…
Whether you’re deciding what to listen to on Podcast, which audio book to download or which ‘hold-in-your-hands’ novel you should read, I’ve got you covered with this summer’s hottest page turners.
So grab your sunscreen, beach chair, a towel and one of these books and prepare to fall in literary love…
Serial – From The Creators of This American Life
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) the most tuned into podcast of the year has got to be Serial. Here at Gurlinterrupted HQ – we became completely obsessed with this case and waited with bated breath for each new episode to be set live.
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, and is hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story – a true story – over the course of an entire season (all episodes are now available for FREE download).
On January 13, 1999, a girl named Hae Min Lee, a senior at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County, Maryland, disappeared. A month later, her body turned up in a city park. She’d been strangled. Her 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was arrested for the crime, and within a year, he was convicted and sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Adnan’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped Adnan bury Hae’s body. But Adnan has always maintained he had nothing to do with Hae’s death. Some people believe he’s telling the truth. Many others don’t.
Sarah Koenig, who hosts Serial, first learned about this case more than a year ago. In the months since, she’s been sorting through box after box (after box) of legal documents and investigators’ notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations, and talking to everyone she can find who remembers what happened between Adnan Syed and Hae Min Lee fifteen years ago.
I feel like I should explain the whole ‘why audio books’ thing. It’s true, I am an old school, ‘hold in your hands’ book lover. So why download audio books when you could just read the actual book, you know, because otherwise you’re not really reading are you?! Well, since downloading my first audio book, I’ve never had such an enjoyable commute to and from work. I mean heck, it’s not like you can sit in your car and read a book while you’re stuck in traffic now is it? No – that would be not only reckless, but, well, just plain stupid. With audio books I can listen to my book, still concentrate on the road, and later that evening, still cosy up with an actual book when I climb into bed (yup, I’m a two books on the go kinda girl).
With that said – here are my favourite audio books…
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this ‘unputdownable’ masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller.
The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman
Best known for her book (and movie) Practical Magic – Alice Hoffman has published a total a of twenty-three novels and Probably Future is another smash hit novel and brilliantly narrated audio book…
Women of the Sparrow family have unusual gifts. Elinor can detect falsehood. Her daughter, Jenny, can see people’s dreams when they sleep. Granddaughter Stella has a mental window to the future – a future that she might not want to see.
In Alice Hoffman’s latest tour de force, this vivid and intriguing cast of characters confronts a haunting past – and a very current murder – against the evocative backdrop of small-town New England. By turns chilling and enchanting, The Probable Future chronicles the Sparrows’ legacy as young Stella struggles to cope with her disturbing clairvoyance. Her potential to ruin or redeem becomes unbearable when one of her premonitions puts her father in jail, wrongly accused of homicide. Yet this ordeal also leads Stella to the grandmother she was forbidden to meet, and to an historic family home full of talismans from her ancestors.
BOOKS – CHILLERS AND THRILLERS
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Rear Window meets Gone Girl in this exceptional and startling psychological thriller. A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
For Valour by Andy McNab
When a young trooper is shot in the head at the Regiment’s renowned Killing House, Nick Stone is perfectly qualified to investigate the mysterious circumstances more deeply. He has just returned from Moscow — still trying to come to terms with the fact that his girlfriend and baby son are safer there without him — so combines an unrivalled understanding of the Special Forces landscape with a detachment that should allow him to remain in cover.
But less than forty-eight hours later, a second death catapults him back into the firing line — into the telescopic sights of an unknown assassin bent on protecting a secret that could strike at the heart of the establishment that Stone has, in his maverick fashion, spent most of his life fighting to protect. And now the clock is ticking…
Hope To Die by James Patterson
Detective Alex Cross is being stalked by a psychotic genius, forced to play the deadliest game of his career. Cross’s family – his loving wife Bree, the wise and lively Nana Mama, and his precious children–have been ripped away. Terrified and desperate, Cross must give this mad man what he wants if he has any chance of saving the most important people in his life. The stakes have never been higher: What will Cross sacrifice to save the ones he loves?
The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.
Frankie Laundau-Banks at age 16: No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer. Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew’s lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.
Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way…
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
The Witches of Echo Park (The Witches of Echo Park #1) by Amber Benson
Unbeknownst to most of humankind, a powerful network of witches thrives within the shadows of society, using their magic to keep the world in balance. But they are being eliminated—and we will all pay if their power falls…
When Elyse MacAllister’s great-aunt Eleanora, the woman who raised her, becomes deathly ill, Lyse puts her comfortable life in Georgia on hold to rush back to Los Angeles. And once she returns to Echo Park, Lyse discovers her great-aunt has been keeping secrets—extraordinary secrets—from her.
Not only is Lyse heir to Eleanora’s Victorian estate; she is also expected to take her great-aunt’s place in the Echo Park coven of witches. But to accept her destiny means to place herself in deadly peril—for the world of magic is under siege, and the battle the witches now fight may be their last…
BOOKS – FASHIONABLE READS
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas.
From four stunning and accomplished French women — at last — a fresh and spirited take on what it really means to be a Parisienne: how they dress, entertain, have fun and attempt to behave themselves.
In short, frisky sections, these Parisian women give you their very original views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The authors–Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, and Sophie Mas — unmarried but attached, with children — have been friends for years. Talented bohemian iconoclasts with careers in the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing, they are untypically frank and outspoken as they debunk the myths about what it means to be a French woman today. Letting you in on their secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, a bit self-centered, unpredictable but not unreliable. Bossy and opinionated, they are also tender and romantic.
How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are will make you laugh as you slip into their shoes to become bold and free and tap into your inner cool.
Refinery29 – Style Stalking By Piera Gelardi and Christene Barber
Get set to build your best ever wardrobe featuring the hardest-working looks from around the globe with Refinery29—the world’s leading style destination—as their editors break down the essentials of the everyday chic, straight from the street.
What transforms a look from on-trend to trendsetting? Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich and Executive Creative Director Piera Gelardi deconstruct their favorite outfits to reveal what trailblazing looks like on the real-life fashion front.
Featuring the fashion world’s coolest taste makers, designers, stylists, and editors, these fearless iconoclasts challenge conventions and inspire a whole new generation of women to dress for themselves and discover their true inner style stars…just like YOU.
A Girl Interrupted By Fashion, Beauty & Anything Pretty That Catches My Eye