Summertime is all about hitting the beach, deck, or pool and relaxing. And, what better way to relax than with a book? There’s just something about a well-written book that just draws you in and leaves you wanting more. This week’s post is guest-written by my good friend, Sarah. At 64 books already read this year, Sarah knows books. Read below for her favourites of the year thus far and follow her Instagram: @sars_reads for adorable photos of her cat and more photos of books than a hipster with a typewriter.
Educated – Tara Westover
A riveting account of Westover’s traumatic childhood with fundamentalist, survivalist parents, and how she used education to break free. This memoir of resilience, family, and the pursuit of knowledge is perfect for fans of The Glass Castle.
Somebody I Used to Know – Wendy Mitchell
A moving firsthand account of a woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. This poignant memoir provides a deeper understanding of living with dementia, and Mitchell’s hopeful outlook is truly inspiring.
The Ghost Keeper – Natalie Morrill
A sweeping novel set in Austria during the 1930s and 1940s, The Ghost Keeper follows a young Jewish family, the sacrifices they must make in order to survive, and their attempts to rebuild their life together after so much tragedy. This novel explores love, betrayal, forgiveness, and morality, and is a great read for any historical fiction fan.
The Cabin at the End of the World – Paul Tremblay
A group of strangers descends on a family vacationing at a remote cabin. They claim the world is coming to an end, and that they must do the unthinkable to survive. My heart was racing the entire time I read this intense, thought-provoking, and disturbing horror novel.
The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – Margareta Magnusson
This was a quirky little read I stumbled upon and picked up simply because of the title. It sounds morbid, but death cleaning is about simplifying an mininimalizing and, as the author explains, can be useful at any stage of life. This book is full of practical advice, but also plenty of humour. “Save your favorite dildo – but throw away the other fifteen!” is just one nugget of wisdom the author shares.
The Perfect Nanny – Leila Slimani
This chilling novel set in Paris stands out from other thrillers I’ve read. It begins with a horrifying crime, and then shows us the events leading up to it. Despite this, there are plenty of unexpected twists, and tension builds on every page.
The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro, Daniel Kraus
This is the companion novel to the Oscar winning movie about the romance between a janitor at a government research facility and one of its subjects. The novel is as beautiful as the movie, and is evocative of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, with poetic language and elements of magical realism.
The Wife – Alafair Burke
A timely domestic thriller about a husband accused of sexual assault, and a wife who has to decide who she can trust. The story is full of secrets, scandals, and surprising twists, but still manages to be believable.
Two Breaths One Step – Sylvia Verange
This travelogue details Verange’s 1984 trek through the Himalayas. Full of vivid descriptions of the scenery, and interesting facts about Nepal, this is a great read to inspire your next adventure.
The Chalk Man – CJ Tudor
A group of friends make a gruesome discovery together. 40 years later, they are brought back together to find out what really happened, and save themselves. The story is creepy, suspenseful, and full of twists; I couldn’t put it down.