Summer Reading Recommendations 2021

Summer is one month away now. The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining brighter and for longer. Summer is when I get most of my reading done, just sitting outside taking in the warmth and a good book. Now if you are in the UK, non essential shops are now open to the public which means bookstores are back up and running again and what a great way to celebrate by recommending some great books!

So, I have chosen 5 books that are either set during the Summer or just give me Summer vibes.

Circe – Madeline Miller

Plot: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. 

So, this book while not set in the Summer just feels like a perfect fit for the season. When I think of Greece I think of sunshine, Circe herself is the daughter of the god of the Sun and a lot of this book is set on an island. I just feel that this would work as a great book to read at the beach with the waves crashing against the shore.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series – Rick Riordan

Plot for Book 1: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

This is an easy one apart from Book 3, which is set during Winter, all the books in this series are set during the school summer holidays. A perfect read for the upcoming season!

My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite

Plot: When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

Now, I can’t remember exactly if this is set during the summertime but I thought this book would be a great quick read when you’re snatching some moments in the sun and you want to read a book. This book has very short chapters and isn’t super long so I feel this would work really well when you’re coming back from work and want to sit in the sun for a bit.

Peril at End House – Agatha Christie

Plot: Hercule Poirot is vacationing on the Cornish coast when he meets Nick Buckly. Nick is the young and reckless mistress of End House, an imposing structure perched on the rocky cliffs of St. Loo. Poirot has taken a particular interest in the young woman who has recently narrowly escaped a series of life-threatening accidents. Something tells the Belgian sleuth that these so-called accidents are more than just mere coincidences or a spate of bad luck. It seems all too clear to him that someone is trying to do away with poor Nick, but who? And, what is the motive? In his quest for answers, Poirot must delve into the dark history of End House. The deeper he gets into his investigation, the more certain he is that the killer will soon strike again. And, this time, Nick may not escape with her life. 

Now, I know for a fact this book is set in the summer as it mentions its set in August but also the writing in this book firmly places you in the beautiful Cornish coast. The descriptions of the beaches and the holiday makers really makes you want to go to the beach yourself!

Ariadne – Jennifer Saint

Plot: As Princesses of Crete and daughters of the fearsome King Minos, Ariadne and her sister Phaedra grow up hearing the hoofbeats and bellows of the Minotaur echo from the Labyrinth beneath the palace. The Minotaur – Minos’s greatest shame and Ariadne’s brother – demands blood every year. When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives in Crete as a sacrifice to the beast, Ariadne falls in love with him. But helping Theseus kill the monster means betraying her family and country, and Ariadne knows only too well that in a world ruled by mercurial gods – drawing their attention can cost you everything. In a world where women are nothing more than the pawns of powerful men, will Ariadne’s decision to betray Crete for Theseus ensure her happy ending? Or will she find herself sacrificed for her lover’s ambition?

So, this is the same reason for Circe. Ariadne, is granddaughter of Helios the god of the sun and in general the greek islands and the book itself feels like the perfect book for the summer. Honestly just refer to my points about Circe and they apply here.

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