Voice of the Books | July 2021


Summer is finally with us and whether you’re braving the yoyo-ing of government foreign travel policy or enjoying a staycation, we have some wonderful handpicked summer reads to pass the time – and all of them are £2 off! Here are my personal top picks for a perfect hammock read this summer. Wayne

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Jean Swinney is a feature writer on a local paper, disappointed in love and – on the brink of forty living a limited existence with her truculent mother. When a young Swiss woman, Gretchen Tilbury, contacts the paper to claim that her daughter is the result of a virgin birth, it is down to Jean to discover whether she is a miracle or a fraud. But the more Jean investigates, the more her life becomes strangely intertwined with that of the Tilburys: Gretchen is now a friend, and her quirky and charming daughter Margaret a sort of surrogate child. And Jean doesn’t mean to fall in love with Gretchen’s husband, but Howard surprises her with his dry wit, his intelligence and his kindness, and she falls hard.

Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Set in 1634, a boat leaves the East Indies with a detective duo on board. Although one is locked
up and facing execution, their skills are very much needed when the voyage is beset by a terrible
Wildly inventive, Turton’s tale defies definition as either historical fiction or crime novel, but provides all the
pleasures of both genres and more’

How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang

In the twilight of the Gold Rush, two siblings cross a landscape with a gun in their hands. Ba dies in the night, Ma is already gone. Lucy and Sam, twelve and eleven, are suddenly alone and on the run. With their father’s body on their backs, they roam an unforgiving landscape dotted with giant buffalo bones and tiger paw prints, searching for a place to give him a proper burial…
A sweeping adventure tale, an unforgettable sibling story and a remarkable novel about a family bound and divided by its memories.

The Ratline by Philippe Sands

In this riveting real-life thriller, Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of senior Nazi SS Brigadefuhrer Otto Freiherr von Wachter and his wife, Charlotte. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, as a fugitive on the run
in the Alps and then in Rome, and into the Cold War.

Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes

‘Funny, sharp explications of what these sometimes not- very-nice women were up to, and how they sometimes made idiots of . . . but read on!’ – Margaret Atwood The Greek myths are among the world’s most important cultural building blocks and they have been retold many times, but rarely do they focus on the remarkable women at the heart of these ancient stories.


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