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Kate Davies' Book Selection for July 2024

BOOKMARK Book Recommendations: July 2024  

The summer holidays are here! In our household, that means two things: what books to pack into the holiday escape bag and what books to get to entertain grandchildren? 

So, what deserves to be in the suitcase? First is Weyward by Emilia Hart.  Next up is this year’s winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, Brotherless Night by VV Ganeshananthan - it’s shocking and heart-moving. Political upheaval also features in this year’s International Booker Prize: Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck.  A perfectly poised psychological twist lies at the centre of Antoine Laurain’s French Windows.  Something more soothing to round us off? The British Library has published another anthology of seasonal tales by women writers: Stories for Summer and Days by the Pool.

That’s our suitcases full, but just in case the holidays involve some family time and entertaining of youngsters, I thought I would include some recommendations guaranteed to engross. For 3-5 year olds, Snail in Space by Rachel Bright; for 5-8 year olds, David MacPhail’s Viking stories of Thorfinn and Velda are full of fun: Thorfinn and the Gruesome Games would be a perfect companion ahead of a visit to one of our local Highland Games. And for 8 up, the list is endless: the classics are always great (Swallows and Amazons by Arther Ransome is the epitome of summer adventure), and some of the newer titles we’ve loved include The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius, The Swifts by Beth Lincoln, and The Last Bear by Hannah Gold. These are great books to read together – whatever the ages! 

I hope you enjoy these recommendations. Do let me know if you have any suggestions to make for future lists. 


PS: The Adventure into Books Book Blether group meets at 7pm on the first Wednesday of each month. On 3rd July we will be blethering about Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie, which is on the BOOKMARK Book of the Year shortlist. I’m expecting a lively discussion. All are welcome.

PPS: On 28th August, Adventure into Books is hosting nature writer Keith Broomfield, talking about his latest book Wild Quest Britain. Get in touch with the bookshop if you would like to come along.

For full synopsis of Kate's selection, please click here