Time to relax: Books you'll love this summer

The Lazy Susan team have got our heads together to select some of our favourite books you'll love this summer.

At Lazy Susan we love a good book… 

Usually, we’ll share garden-related stuff such as our recent favourite outdoor furniture books

However, with the sun shining, summer staycations on our mind, we’re looking to kick back on our Lazy Susan garden chairs, read something that’ll take our minds off work for a few hours.

The Lazy Susan team have got our heads together to select our favourite books you'll love this summer. 

We’re a pretty diverse bunch in terms of age, gender, nationality, taste, etc, so hopefully, there should be something for everybody in our picks!

1. The Naturally Beautiful Garden: Designs That Engage with Wildlife and Nature by Kathryn Bradley-Hole

The Naturally Beautiful Garden
Of course, we had to start with a gardening book. 

The garden is as much a hobby as it is a job for many of us. The team is all in agreement that this is the one to read this summer.

Environmentally friendly methods of gardening are more popular than ever, with the rising popularity of wildflowers probably the biggest trend of the last 12 months or so. 

It seems that our interest in growing plants in an eco-friendly way so that we’re better-supporting bees, butterflies, birds, etc is one that is only going to continue to be adopted by more and more people.

The Naturally Beautiful Garden shows us how to introduce organic principles but in a garden design/scheme that not only looks blooming (pardon the pun) fantastic but shuns the use of short-term, quick-fix chemicals that are bad for the environment.

This book is a must-read for the green green-fingered and is available from the publisher Rizzoli.

2. Fragile by Sarah Hilary

Fragile is just one of those page-turners that have the perfect plot and pace. It combines tension with tenderness in a timeless fashion. 

You really get absorbed into the characters lives and it’s essentially a contemporary gothic thriller that you simply can’t put down once you start reading.

The synopsis is as follows:

Nell Ballard is a runaway. A former foster child with a dark secret she is desperate to keep, all Nell wants is to find a place she can belong. So when a job comes up at Starling Villas, home to the enigmatic Robin Wilder, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. But her new lodgings may not be the safe haven that she was hoping for.

It was also praised by the great Val McDermid, author of The Wire in the Blood, who said:

Sarah Hilary has always known how to chill her readers – Fragile dials the chill factor up to eleven

This is the perfect book for those who like an edge of the seat thriller and you'll find more info on Sarah's website.

3. People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet On Vacation 
The Lazy Susan team are all big fans of Emily’s previous book, Beach Read, which was nominated for a 2020 Goodreads Choice Award, so the People We Meet on Vacation just had to be on our list.

The synopsis is:

Alex and Poppy have been the best of friends ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago. Despite being complete opposites and living far apart, every summer they have vacationed for a week together until two years ago when things were ruined. Not having spoken since, Poppy realizes she needs to fix things and asks Alex to take one more vacation with her so that they can lay everything out on the table and make it right.

We’re just hoping this is another summer book that delivers a little bit of the happy-ever-after we all need at the moment!

This book is essential for those of us who need a little romance in our lives this summer and it is available from Penguin Random House.

4. The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone

The Beauty of Living Twice
As we mentioned in the intro, the Lazy Susan team have a rather eclectic taste. For me, personally, autobiographical is my go-to. Not sure why, I just love to read them over fiction.

In The Beauty of Living Twice, screen icon Sharon Stone chronicles her efforts to rebuild her life and writes about her slow road back to health and happiness.

The book explores:

In a business that doesn’t accept failure, in a world where too many voices are silenced, Stone found the power to return, the courage to speak up, and the will to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children around the globe.Over the course of these intimate pages, as candid as a personal conversation, Stone talks about her pivotal roles, her life-changing friendships, her worst disappointments, and her greatest accomplishments. She reveals how she went from a childhood of trauma and violence to a career in an industry that in many ways echoed those same assaults, under cover of money and glamour.

Sharon Stone often made the headlines not just for her beauty and talent, but also for her honesty and refusal to play nice… It is those same qualities that make this autobiography such a powerful read!

This book is essential for fans of a good autobiography and you can pick up a copy from Amazon.co.uk.

5. Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine

Stillhouse Lake 
If you want a book that’ll have you sat literally on the edge of your garden chair, then Stillhouse Lake is our choice. 

The synopsis reads as follows:

Gina was completely normal. An average housewife with a husband and two kids. But when a car accident revealed her husband's secret life as a serial killer, she moved with her children to a home on a lake, far away from her husband's secrets and the stalkers who think she was part of it all. But when a body appears in the lake and threatening letters start to arrive, Gina — now a prime suspect — must protect herself and her kids from a killer who's tormenting her family.

This is a horror story packed full of suspense with some great plot twists and turns that keep it away from the usual thriller cliches. Rachel is a master of her craft.

If you want a book that’ll scare you this summer, then this is this book, and you'll find more info and where to buy it on RachelCaine.com.

6. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl
Zakiya Dalila Harris’ debut novel delivers both blistering satire and sharp social commentary.

The book follows Nella Rogers, the only Black editorial assistant at the fictional Wagner Books, and the synopsis reads:

The day Hazel-May McCall is hired sets in motion a strange series of events that leaves Nella Rogers unexpectedly isolated. Though the two women initially bond, Hazel begins to rise in the ranks as Nella is shut out, all while Nella receives anonymous hostile messages. As the mysteries mount, Harris, who worked as an assistant editor at Knopf before leaving to write this book, guides us through a thrilling narrative set against the backdrop of the starkly white publishing industry.

Described by Cosmo as the 'Get Out Meets The Devil Wears Prada’ this is another book that once you start you won’t be able to put down.

This is a raw and emotional examination of what it means to be black in a predominantly white workplace.

We can definitely see this book being turned into a movie!

This is the perfect book for those looking for something to inspire them this summer and it is available from Waterstones.

7. The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push 
This one is a little different, it’s available in print, but we wanted to recommend the audiobook.

Love them or hate them, there’s no escaping to rise in popularity of audiobooks and podcasts.

The push is narrated by Marin Ireland, an award-winning stage and TV actress, who’s also an accomplished audiobook narrator.

The story is a psychological thriller that:

Will keep you glued to your headphones all day long. It follows a new mom, Blythe Connor, whose concerns about her children are repeatedly dismissed—until a devastating incident sends the entire family reeling.

We think it’s a gripping and compulsive listen that is only enhanced by Marin’s narration and the audiobook experience!

If you prefer an audiobook, then head over to Audible and check out The Push.

8. London is a Forest by Paul Wood

London is a Forest
Last up on the list of books you'll love this summer is London is a Forest by Paul Wood. 

Again, a little bit of a curveball this one, but a book that we all love at Lazy Susan HQ.

The premise of Paul’s book is:

In London, 8.6 million people are crammed into just 600 square miles alongside 8.3 million trees, and millions upon millions of other plants, insects and animals. According to one UN definition, this makes the city a forest. The Forestry Commission agree, describing London as the world's largest urban forest. Following a number of trails through the rich diversity of London, this book will look closely at the urban forest, our relationships with it and attitudes towards it and will uncover the fascinating stories and secrets it holds.

We simply loved some of the fascinating stories and can’t wait for our next trip to the capital to explore some of the trails!

This is definitely a book for those with a sense of adventure and you can purchase it from Hardie Grant Publishing.

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