SUMMER READING GUIDE 2016: Need a good book for the holidays?

Confused about which books to read this summer? With so many eye-catching covers and rave reviews, it can be hard to narrow down the list. Let sub-urban take the stress out of the decision! Below are the books we'll be enjoying over the holiday period. For many people, day-time reading falls into the 'guilty indulgence' basket for most of the year, but happily it's a guilt-free pastime once the summer holidays roll around. Longer days, fewer obligations, plus a slower pace of life equals the perfect scenario for book lovers like ourselves. So what are we reading this summer?

Carmen's holiday reads

1. Music and Freedom, by Zoe Morrison. This book has been touted by Readings as one of the must-reads for 2016, winning its Prize for New Australian Fiction. Written by a Melbourne author and musician, Music and Freedom is set in both Australia and England, and explores themes of love, loneliness, and the price of artistic expression. I've had my name on the waitlist at Hawthorn Library for months, and although I've been frustrated by the wait, the timing is perfect. 

2. The Orphan Master's Son, by Adam Johnson. On a cold and blustery day in the south west of Ireland, we stumbled upon a quaint little bookshop in the fishing village of Dingle. The cramped store was bursting at the seams with all kinds of books. In the corner, I spotted an old wooden shelf with a handwritten sign saying 'My all-time favourites', and the bookshop owner was quick to offer his advice. Picking out The Orphan Master's Son, he said "Now, here is a book that is absolutely brilliant". Since then, it's been firmly on my list of books to read, and I can't wait to dive head-first into this one. 

3. The Sellout, by Paul Beatty. This one needs little introduction: as the winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize, I'm guessing this American satire will be under many Christmas trees this year. 

4. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil, by Melina Marchetta. Last summer, I devoured crime thriller I Am Pilgrim in a matter of days, and I've been on the look-out for another thriller for this summer. By all accounts, this one will fit the bill. 

Helen's holiday reads

1. Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett. I've noticed this book on prominent display in every bookshop I've entered in the past few months. Carmen's already reviewed this one on sub-urban, so I was excited when a fellow book-clubber nominated Commonwealth as our official holiday read. 

2. Nutshell, by Ian McEwan. I love anything by Ian McEwan, so I'm keen to see if this one lives up to the hype. If you're interested too, check out Carmen's review on sub-urban. 

3. Fight Like a Girl, by Clementine Ford. Every time I read a list of 'Best books of 2016', this feminist call to arms is near the top, if not number one. Curiosity has gotten the better of me, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon. 

4. You guessed it...The Sellout by Paul Beatty!

So there you have it. We look forward to bringing you many more reviews and book club suggestions in 2017. In the meantime, here's wishing you a Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays and many hours of Happy Reading!