Get Booking Your Summer
Boiling down which books to pop in your luggage is one of life’s more exquisite agonies, particularly when this season’s publishing is so tempting. There’s so much good stuff: Emma Cline’s The Girls, for instance, an intoxicating tale of cult evil, simmering in the late Sixties California sun. Perhaps Paul Beatty’s acerbic, Man Booker-bagging American satire The Sellout, or East West Street, Philippe Sands’ masterful history of family, war and reckoning, a book that has hoovered up accolades including the prestigious Ballie Gifford prize for non-fiction. If it’s the glow of family and faraway places you’re after, nothing can equal Michael Haag’s delightful and revealing Durrells of Corfu, an account based in part on the authors’ own friendship with Larry. And nothing says summer more than Tove Jansson’s perennial, life-affirming masterpiece The Summer Book, brimming with as much wisdom now as the day it was written.
‘Dick Diver’s Tomato Tart’ was made on a villa holiday in France when F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night was doing the rounds by the pool and it’s lovely.' We may not yet be enjoying a balmy English summer (some of us at Waterstones Towers are still wearing scarves) but we’re keeping faith that summer days are just around the corner. To put us in a summer mood, Victoria Moore, author of new cookbook The Wine Dine Dictionary has kindly given us an exclusive recipe flavoured with a touch of literary inspiration; transporting you to a Fitzgeraldian setting of heat-filled, poolside days and glamorous bohemian nights.
"I think of every song and movie and book that taught me how to look at women and girls, but not how to be one." A standout choice for our Fiction Book of the Month for May, debut novel The Girls is intense, heat-filled and brooding; as sensuous as it is brutal. We caught up with author Emma Cline to talk about creating an immersive Californian noir, honest depictions of female sexuality and that ever-tricky label, 'girl'.
Kieran Larwood, the author of our wonderful Children’s Book of the Month for June The Legend of Podkin One-Ear, heaves open the door to his private library to introduce the texts he’d most want to press into the hands of other writers and readers. His list begins, appropraitely, with one of the most perfectly-realised fantasies of them all.
'I have increasingly realised the importance of those Corfu years, an idyll yes, but arrived at by tragedy and necessity; these were years of healing for the family who almost accidentally had found themselves in one of the most remarkable islands of the Mediterranean' Our Non-Fiction Book of the Month for May, Michael Haag’s illuminating new book The Durrells of Corfu looks beyond the fictionalised idyll to the real experience of a family in crisis who found sanctuary on an island in the Mediterranean. Here, exclusively for Waterstones, Haag introduces the Durrell's he knew and explains how, but for a chance encounter in a dusty bookshop, he might never have been drawn into their fascinating circle.