What Did you Read this Summer?

This summer has been a roller-coaster of emotions for me, and I feel so ready to get back into a routine, with University right around the corner. But while my emotions may have been up and down throughout this long summer holiday, I have had a fantastic couple of months of reading.

Throughout my first year of University, I barely read anything, and so when the summer came I was ready to start reading everything I’d put off during term time.

While I may have documented most of my reads here on my blog, there are some that I didn’t review, and so I want to take this chance to recap my summer reading. And maybe evoke a few fond memories of what these books meant for me throughout the long summer!

Luckily I keep a reading journal, where I write all the books I’ve read (or try to, whenever I remember) so it shouldn’t be too difficult to remember!

June

1. ‘Jane Digby’s Diary’ by C. R. Hurst

This was the first book I read in the summer, as the author contacted me, and I love to read anything based on history, particularly if it involves a strong female heroine. Although I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, it was brilliant to have the chance to review something for an author, as I hadn’t had chance to do any reviews throughout my first year. If you want to read a more in-depth review of this book, click here!

2. ‘Everyday Sexism’ by Laura Bates

This was such a good book, and really pushed me to read more non-fiction, as I ended up reading three non-fiction books this summer! I loved reading this book, and whenever I see the beautiful cover on my shelf, it reminds me of the hot summer days we had in June (which actually continued throughout the summer) and spending those days with my Uni friends. Click here to see more details on this fantastic book!

3. ‘You Learn by Living’ by Eleanor Roosevelt

I completely forgot I read this one until I looked back at my list! I loved this book! It was a short book by Eleanor Roosevelt, giving advice on pushing through fear, and continuing to motivate yourself even during hard times. It was definitely an inspirational read, and the copy my mum bought me is so beautiful. Another brilliant charity shop find 😉

4. ‘Hotel Iris’ by Yoko Ogawa

I absolutely loved this one! It was nothing like I expected, and it was definitely a lot more explicit than I was expecting, but I liked the honest and brutal nature of it, telling the tale of a BDSM relationship from the point of view of a young girl. It looked at stereotypes and the expectations and judgements of others. Click here for a more in-depth review of this brilliant story.

July

1. ‘The First Wife’ by Emily Barr

This was such a good book, and finally pushed me to email Emily and ask if I could interview her. I was so flattered when she said yes! I love this book because it holds all the memories of that freak warm summer weather we had, and it was just such a good thriller. To view the interview I did with Emily, click here. Or to view of more in-depth review of the book, click here!

2. ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ by Truman Capote

I was so glad when I finally got the chance to read this book! All year at University the book was taunting me on my bookshelf, and when I actually got round to reading it, it only took me about a day. I’d never realised it was such a short story! This review was actually the first time I felt like my blog was getting bigger, and from that point on I’ve enjoyed watching as my blog has gained more and more traffic over the summer, as I’ve given it more time and energy. Click here to view the review!

3. ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath

Omg I love this book, and this author, so much! I read this book for the second time this summer, as I really felt like reading something familiar at that point in the summer, and for me this book is just phenomenal. I don’t read a lot of books more than once, but this is definitely an exception. Last summer I remember re-reading ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne Du Maurier, so I guess it was Esther’s turn this time.

4. ‘Summer Sisters’ by Judy Blume

I loved this book so much! I actually read this book while on holiday with my family at the end of the month, and this is such a perfect beach read, as the main characters tell their story predominantly from the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard. Judy Blume has always been a favourite author of mine, and I’m so glad I finally got round to reading some of her adult fiction. Click here for a review.

5. ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ by D. H. Lawrence 

I really enjoyed this book, and loved the fact that I could finally understand why it was taken to trial etc. This is definitely one of those books that is good because of the history and controversy that it brings with it, and I loved reviewing it. I got so much good feedback for this review, and so when I see my beautiful copy of this book, I’m reminded of that 🙂

August

1. ‘Talking as Fast as I can’ by Lauren Graham

This was the third non-fiction book I read this summer, and I really enjoyed it. Lauren Graham recounts her time acting as Lorelai Gilmore in my favourite series, ‘Gilmore Girls’, and I found the book funny and honest. My review is coming soon, so watch this space!

2. ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood

What a read this was! I have such a vivid memory of reading this book at one of my local parks, stretched out in the sun and unable to take my eyes off the page. I received so much brilliant feedback for this post, and so I loved everything about the experience of reading this book- even if it was hard-hitting, and made me feel indescribably angry.

3. ‘Girl, Interrupted’ by Susanna Kaysen

I wanted to read this book ever since I read ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath, and so when I finally got the chance this summer, I was so happy. I thought this was an honest portrayal of mental health, and one woman’s experience of the system during the 1960s. Click here for an in-depth review, including quotes and discussion.

4. ‘Purple Hibiscus’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This was the only book I bought this summer, as I usually read books I already have, or that I’ve borrowed from the library. I was so glad I bought this though, as the cover is beautiful, and I could take some lovely bookstagram pictures 🙂 This book was so rich with culture, and every time I see it on my shelf I am taken back to the Nigerian world which Adichie so beautifully depicts.

5. ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman

I really liked this book, but perhaps not as much as I was expecting. I’d been told this was a fantastic, life-affirming book by many on the blogosphere, and so I found myself slightly disheartened when I finally got round to reading it at the end of August. However, it was a light, and occasionally amusing tale, and I’m really glad I read it 🙂 This is one of the first bestsellers I’ve read in a long time, and you can check out my review in a couple of weeks!

So those are the books I read this summer! Technically I’m still on holiday, but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing some pre-reading for one of my history modules next year, and so my life as a reader for peasure seems to have ended for another year 😦 I’m going to try and read more than last year though, for sure!

Have you read any of these books? Have you read my reviews and other posts over the summer?

Thank you so much for your support and feedback, it all means a lot! Let me know any thoughts in the comments below!

Happy reading x

34 thoughts

  1. I’ve read You Learn By Living! There are several books on this list that I want to read: A Handmaid’s Tale, The Bell Jar, and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I did not know Breakfast at Tiffany’s was a book. Have you watched the movie?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great article! You read so many books this summer, that’s so awesome! I didn’t read any of the books you mentioned except The Handmaid’s Tale. I read that last summer. Such a great novel and the tv series is an amazing adaptation.

    I actually just bought Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Although, I can never manage to stick with a reading list, I usually always change my mind on what I want to read next, LoL. I heard there’s going to be a movie adaptation of the book which is awesome.

    I read You by Caroline Kepnes over the summer in anticipation of the Lifetime series. So far it’s a great adaptation. Currently reading the sequel to that book.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you- I had to make up for my lack of reading in term time! I still really need to try the tv series 🙂 ooh, I hope you enjoy it when you get round to it! That sounds like a good summer read, thank you so much for dropping by 💕

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I read “Girl, Interrupted” in high-school and really enjoyed it. I actually prefer the movie adaptation of “Breakfast at Tiffany`s”. I feel like that`s Audrey`s iconic role, and even though I`ve enjoyed all of her movies, nothing will top that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Summer sisters is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it many years ago. I never forgot it. I love your list. We share a love for many of the same books. I followed your blog I can’t wait to see what you write next.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so sorry that Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine isn’t make a favorites list for you — it’s definitely one of my all-time favorite novels. The pacing and characterization really gripped me. I also listened to the audiobook and it was brilliantly done.

    Personally, I don’t really understand Plath’s work. I’ve read quite a bit of it including The Bell Jar but I can never get it to speak to me. Can you elaborate a bit more on what about this novel moves you? Perhaps I’m just missing something?

    My favorite reads this summer were Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. But there are so many others, how does on choose?! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it more than me 🙂 I absolutely love Plath haha, but her writing definitely doesn’t suit everyone… I just find it so interesting in terms of the history in which it is set, but I also think that the importance of the book regarding women’s position- and their entrapment in society in the past and present. Her writing about the issues facing women really speaks to me. Ah, I’ll have to check those out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your summer reads look ridiculously amazing and I take it your a fan of female protagonists. I agree about Eleanor Oliphant, the characters are endearing, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s life-affirming but that could depend on who the reader is and if they relate to Eleanor and I wish the writing was a little better. Otherwise, yep, it was a nice light read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am indeed- they’re just so much more relatable for me 🙂 I’m so glad you agree with me, but a bad book by any stretch, but there was just something about it- it didn’t affect me as much as I’d hoped! Still a nice light read for sure 🙂 thanks for your thoughts!

      Like

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