Summer Reads gave us a blast…

Long summer days and books go hand in hand, whether it be snuggling in a hammock with a good novel or sunning yourself on the beach as your paperback slowly crinkles in the heat, we can think of no better way to while away the summer hours than immersed in a good book. We’ve picked out a selection of books for some important aspects of summer life. 

For Summer Entertaining with a difference
Kinfolk 8
Edited by Nathan Williams
Kinfolk , 9781941815007, p/b, £12.99

If you haven’t come across Kinfolk magazine before prepare to feel inspired as you gaze at the gorgeous sun-dappled images of tousle haired children playing on the beach and homemade picnics alongside articles on thrift sourced table decorations and the art of entertaining. KINFOLK VOLUME 8 is a glimpse of Japan through the Kinfolk lens, an ode to a country and culture we admire. This special Japan issue focuses on its traditions and fun things to do (origami flowers, hand-dyed indigo, ikebana); delicious indigenous snacks (ramen, cherry blossom macaroons, mochi, pickled cabbage); the harvest process behind green tea, wasabi and seaweed, along with interviews with some of the country’s finest makers and artisans who live and work in the country and abroad, with the usual focus on laid-back entertaining and great ideas for gatherings.

The Beach Reads
When packing for the beach the first thing that goes in my bag is a book and even if sand ends up everywhere and the pages get smudged with suncream, for me there is nothing more perfect than spending a day on a sunny beach lost in a great book. Both of these choices are published in July and have similarly gorgeous covers.

The Summer of ’76
By Isabel Ashdown 
Myriad Editions, 9781908434333, p/b,  £7.99

If the holiday temperatures disappoint, this nostalgic coming of age novel set in the blistering Isle of Wight summer of 1976 will offer the perfect antidote.
Luke is about to turn 18 and is enjoying his last summer at home before heading off to college on the mainland. With a job at the local holiday camp alongside the girl of his dreams, even the arrival of the super cool boy next door can’t spoil this last summer. But as the mercury creeps up the thermometer, cracks start to appear in Luke’s family life as rumours start to circulate about the mysterious parties Luke’s parents attend and he starts to question all the truths he held dear.

Mr Perfect 
By Joanna Davies
Honno, 9781906784676, p/b, £8.99 

For all who like their beach reads to be a light hearted and entertaining with a dash of romance, this could be the perfect match. Joanna Davies’ Mr Perfect tells the story of 35 year old Mari Wyn Roberts who works for a TV company in Cardiff and just can’t keep a relationship going for more than two years. She wants her Mr Perfect but after nearly 20 years of dating she’s starting to worry that her ideal man doesn’t exist. Worst of all, what if one of the ‘duds’ she was so happy to bin over the years was her ‘perfect man’ all along? On the other side of the city, Owen, also 35, is looking for love on his terms. There must be a girl out there that’s single, intelligent and doesn’t want to mother or stifle him?

For Summer Cookery

Country Comforts: Summer Favourites
By Hatherleigh Press, p/b, £8.99, 9781578263844

One of the best parts of summer for us is the vast varieties of different fruit and veg that come into season. On a sunny day, as the sweet smell of a neighbour’s BBQ drifts over the hedge we find ourselves craving some chargrilled ribs and some succulent strawberries to snack on. The Country Comforts series presents a recipe book packed with summery goodness; there are over 100 nutritious and wholesome meals perfect for families to cook outside on the BBQ or to take out on picnics. From minty mojitos and strawberry daiquiris to quench the thirst at garden parties by the lake to recipes for asparagus and pine nut linguine and watermelon salad, these summer recipes are guaranteed to please the whole family.

Travel Guides for those heading off on far flung adventures

Barcelona Luxe City Guide 4th Edition
£4.99, p/b, 9789888132065

The Luxe guides are the perfect accompaniment for the discerning traveller with their ironic side notes, insightful tips and handy pocket size. This Barcelona guide covers museums, restaurants and clubs with some insider information perfect to make any break to Barcelona as cultured, fun packed and gastronomically enjoyable as possible. The guides encompass destinations from Bali to Amsterdam and wherever you’re headed they’re sure to cover it. They also come as box-sets for anyone lucky enough to be planning an extended trip around a continent.

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