This is the time of year when newspapers decide that the best way to fill pages is to compile huge lists of what everyone should be reading on the beach. Of course, with the advent of e-readers you can read whatever you please on the beach without anyone being any the wiser. If, however, you’d rather have something that doesn’t totally collapse the minute you drop it in the sea, here’s our summer selection from our online store:
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall – a classic novel from the 1920’s about the discrimination that a lesbian couple encounter. Particularly, it demonstrates how external factors can destroy love and happiness and ruin the lives of otherwise private people. An excellent way to show your pool-side support for the recent gay marriage legislation.
Banjo by Claude McKay – Another book set in the 1920’s but written recently, Banjo follows a group of itinerant musicians in Marseille who appear the lives of drifters. This is a novel that explores the nature of race and belonging while highlighting the experiences of immigrants in France.
The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson – Another recent book but in a completely different vein, this is a slightly supernatural story about family secrets in middle class America. Laurel, a house-proud suburban wife and mother, discovers her young neighbour dead in her pool and begins to feel deeply uneasy about the accident that caused her to be there.
Doghouse Roses by Steve Earle – If you fancy something a bit less involving Steve Earle’s collection of short stories provides the perfect dose of brief narratives. Like his songs these all have the taste of country music about them but reveal the darker, more human side of life in the forgotten corners of the American South.
The Good Wife’s Castle by Roland Vernon – Finally an unnerving British novel that weaves together several different narratives. Featuring two men who are strangers until they both decide to cover up a domestic tragedy they are both witness to, this novel has overtones of Strangers on a Train and like that book it has a thrilling pace which builds to a climax. However, it also about the abnormal horrors that can lurk in rural villages and between perfectly normal-seeming people. Once you pick this book up, you won’t put it down.