11 book recommendations for summer 2018
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Amy Newbery recommends the perfects summer reading list.
1. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
Written by UEA alumni and winner of the 2017 Nobel prize in literature, The Buried Giant is a fantasy novel perfect for the summer. Unusual for Ishiguro, the novel is set in mythical times, riddled with fictitious creatures such as dragons, ogres and sprites. However, The Buried Giant is undeniably written in Ishiguro's style and a pleasant read for the long summer days.
2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
If you have yet to be brought to tears by a novel, A Monster Calls just might be the one. This low fantasy novel features a boy, Connor O'Malley, struggling to come to terms with his mother's terminal illness. Each night, he is visited by the monster that helps him face the truth. The original idea of A Monster Calls was created by writer Siobhan Dowd, and developed by Ness after she passed away from cancer.
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3. The Book of Dust Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
Norwich-born author, Phillip Pullman, has returned with The Book of Dust trilogy, cousin to the well-received His Dark Materials series. Pullman once again captivates his audience in the wondrous world of daemons and magic whilst exploring issues such as free speech and totalitarianism.
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4. The Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon
With what is probably a familiar novel to English literature students; The Lonely Londoners focuses on black working class people during the British Nationality Act in 1984. The novel follows the lives of multiple characters in segments which makes it the perfect book to put down and come back to.
5. The Collected Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield by Katherine Mansfield
Considered as one of the most influential female writers, Mansfield's Collected Short Stories are essential for those interested in early feminism in literature. With her exceptional use of linguistic techniques, Mansfield offers her readers an unforgettable experience.
6. IQ84 by Haruki Murakami
Although a dystopian novel may seem like a bizarre choice for summer recommendations, IQ84 is a novel to read outside while enjoying the summer sun. Murakami depicts a fictitious year of 1984 that runs parallel with the real 1984. He engages his reader by encouraging them to consider and entertain the concepts of reality and 'non-reality'.
7. The Ones That Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
Set during the summer and initially seeming happy, this short story will undoubtedly make you reconsider society and perhaps even yourself. Despite only lasting for four pages, The Ones That Walk Away from Omelas can evoke powerful emotions that are not always accomplished, even by novels of substantial length.
8. The Wishing-Chair Series by Enid Blyton
A staple of many childhoods, Enid Blyton's novels were a major party of my childhood summers. While well-known for the Famous Five and Secret Seven series, The Wishing-Chair is a magical set of novels that will encapture any child's imagination.
9. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Written by UEA alumni John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pjyamas is a holocaust novel. It follows the friendship of two young boys, Bruno and Shmuel who are separated by a wire fence with Shmuel imprisoned in a concentration camp. The novel explores the ideas of innocence as Bruno fails to realise what kind of situation his friend is in. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is not only a well-written novel but one that highlights the importance of history.
10. Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty
With summer upon us, it is often seen as a blessing: no school, no homework, no studying. However, it can be daunting to some, especially those who have graduated and are unsure what they want to pursue. Doty's novel is special because not only is it a great read but it encourages its readers to change how they view the world and themselves.
11. The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley
The Go-Between is a coming-of-age novel that is partly set in Norfolk (Brandam Hall). Hartley switches between the main character's, Leo Colston, past and present as a technique to explore the themes of memory, youth and transition. To any teenager on the cusp of adulthood, they may be able to relate greatly to The Go-Between.