Ah, summertime, where reading gets kicked into high gear.
From thrilling beach readers like Something in the Water to the black comedy and Asian nuances in Kevin Kwan’s best-selling Crazy Rich Asians trilogy to the chart-topping tales of what it’s really like to work at the NHS, a la This is Going to Hurt, here are 11 books to read in 2019…
Normal People, Sally Rooney
If you loved Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine then you’ll love this. It’s just been picked up by the BBC for a 12-part series adaptation. In the meantime, I cannot wait to read more from Sally Rooney.
Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton
Fans of The High Low or Lovie Stories with Dolly Aldteron will absolutely devoir Everything I Know About Love, the first memoir from the British author and journalist. Peppered with Aldteron’s wildly funny humour, the book is filled with raucous and relatable anecdotes about life, love and lessons learned in London. A fantastic read.
Nine Perfect Strangers, Liane Moriarty
Lovers of Big Little Lies will rejoice not only in the release of Liane Moriarty’s latest novel, but in the announcement that Nicole Kidman has just bought the movie rights and will be starring in the film as Masha. Oh yes. The story takes an unexpected turn about half way through, which makes for a page-turning beach read.
Something in the Water, Catherine Steadman
As far as ‘trashy thrillers’ go, this was right up there. In fact, I think it’s probably one of the better written books of the aforementioned genre I’ve ever read. While scuba diving in Bora Bora, honeymooners Erin and Mark find something in the water that will test their marriage and their moral compasses – the perfect suspenseful summer read just beginning to be turned into a film.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid
I found this novel to be quite polarising; it really delves into the sexuality vs. feminism debate. It explores what it means to use sexuality to better your career, image and self-worth. However, without giving too much away (although I’m sure the title of the book alludes to the fact Evelyn Hugo has never quite been happy or satisfied), it stories the demise of this woman. And so for me, as someone who finds it hard to understand how the Emily Ratajkowskis of the world (who post hyper sexual photos of their naked bodies online) can call themselves feminists, this book almost confirms my sentiments, as it reads like a commentary on the negative effects that Emily Ratajkowski-ing can have on your life. Like I said, polarising. My sister would feel the complete opposite of this.
I’ll be There For You: The One About Friends, Kelsey Miller
Come on now, you don’t think a book, which deep dives into the Friends phenomenon, would launch and I wouldn’t be all over it like a rash? Could I have *been* any more excited to read this? The non-fiction retrospective looks at the like and lore of all six of the Friends cast, shining a light on their real-life bonds, the record-breaking highs and lesser-known lows of the show, and even exploring how the series’ perceived homophobic story lines would standup in today’s culture. Totally fascinating if you’re an avid Friends watcher, which, let’s be honest, you absolutely should be.
Shopaholic to the Stars, Sophie Kinsella
Ok, let’s be honest, this was never going to be the most poignant piece of literature, but I coudn’t help myself when I saw it on the shelves. A series that harks back to my teenage years, this read was full of nostalgia and plenty of cringing (did I really used to be so enthralled in Rebecca Brandon néeBloomwood’s life?). If you’re in your late 20’s, I wouldn’t exactly recommend spending your money on it. Totes still guilty of watching Isla Fisher run around Manhattan in her green scarf, though.
P.s. the movie for this came out 10 years ago. I’m just going to leave that there.
Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
A story that delves into race, class, privilege, motherhood and morals, Little Fires Everywhere came highly recommended, and whilst it was good, it didn’t totally blow me away. Perhaps it’s because I can’t really empathise will the major themes (particularly parenting), or that I don’t know what it’s really like to live in a microcosm of American society, which made it slightly less relatable and gripping. It was still an interesting read, and I jumped straight onto Richard & Judy’s Book Club podcast (my fave) after to listen to an interview with the author, which I strongly suggest because she answers a lot of questions I’m sure you’ll have.
China Rich Girlfriend, Kevin Kwan
The sequel to best-selling book (and movie) Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend was just as funny, silly, opulent and cheesy as its’ predecessor. Rife with black comedy and Asian nuances, the book continues to follow newly-engaged Nick Young and Rachel Chu as they navigate through Nick’s wealthy and demanding family. Will definitely be picking up the closing book in the trilogy.
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, Adam Kay
This non-fiction novel, which is a collection of diary entires written during author, comedian and doctor Adam Kay’s medical training from 2004 to 2010 and published seven years later, is easily the best book I’ve read since Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Hilarious, heartbreaking and incredibly well written, the book chronicles a first-hand account of what it’s really like for a junior doctor working for the NHS, from the shortcomings of the system to the 100-plus hours a week they work. Blood, guts and everything in between, if you’re even slightly squeamish, I recommend you read this book lying down.
The Break, Marian Keyes
If I’m being totally truthful, this is was a bit of a panic buy at the airport. I was grabbing a bunch of different genres ahead of a girls’ holiday, and I tried to pick something that (I thought) would suit everyone. I’ve only read one other Marian Keyes novel and it was quite an enjoyable little beach read, but this was about 200 pages too long. The pace of this 700-page book ebbs and flows, so half the time it’s an irresistible page-turner, and the other half makes you realise how thin and predictable the plot is. An easy read, nonetheless.
Do you have any recommendations of any books to read in 2019? Drop a comment below and let us know!