Summer Reads Suggestions… From Publishers

Yesterday you saw the summer selections from The Not The TV Book Group, so how about some more? As I mentioned on Saturday when I started my week long ‘Summer Reads Season’ I decided that this week I would get a selection of bookish people’s favourite summer read suggestions and have a nosey at what people are looking forward to reading in the future weeks. I have asked bloggers and authors and the stars of today’s post… the publishers, who I am not sure get mentioned quite enough on the blogosphere. Here are what some of the lovely publishers I emailed came up with…

Andrea See, Canongate Books

A perfect summer read could be either so trashy you don’t need to pay real attention to it while you’re enjoying your summer, or so absorbing and compelling that you don’t care what anyone else is doing, or where you are. Last summer I read ‘The Road’ while I was in the Bahamas and I couldn’t care less about the weather, it was such an amazing book.

Um, I have a mountain of books I’d love to read. I’ve just borrowed Close Range (Annie Proulx) from the library, but I’m also keen to get into Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (Richard Yates), One Day (David Nicholls), The Ascent of Money (Niall Ferguson), Pereira Maintains (Antonio Tabucchi)… sorry, I don’t just have one! These (hopefully) fall into the latter category.

Judith Greenberg, Little Brown/Virago

It has to be something truly engrossing not just mildly diverting .This is also the time for something to savour, a sprawling saga or a Dickensian tome as there is that sense of time unfolding slowly ahead. It seems fitting to share that with some literary companions with whom you can really bond. I look for something with the sweep and heart of a beach read but the challenge and substance to satisfy and inform. Last summer I became a little obsessed with The Kilburn Social Club by Robert Hudson, a zingy debut about the fate of a London football club and the dynasty that owns it.  It is a state of the nation novel with a sense of humour. As much about the fun and the fear of coming of age and finding love as it is about the future of the FA. It has, dare I say it put the beautiful into the game for this footie sceptic!

Sophie Mitchell, Orion Books

I love to travel but I hate the “getting there” part so for me, a perfect summer read has to be something that can help me survive a flight (the boredom, the misery of being sardine tinned into a tiny seat with no personal space, the icky tummy…) I need a book with an engrossing plot and characters I really care about and can become invested in. I remember reading Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights on a flight to somewhere, and my surroundings completely disappeared. At one point, my husband had to lean across the aisle and ask me to please stop acting like such a freak because people were starting to watch me. Apparently I had been alternately gasping, giggling and crying, all out loud, without even realising it.

I’m off for a trip round Ireland in a couple of weeks and I’m really looking forward to reading the recent Lost Man Booker winner, Troubles by JG Farrell, while I’m there, though I will probably take something a little less challenging as well just in case.

Meike Ziervogel, Peirene Press

Because I am a publisher of short novels and novellas and therefore spend a lot of my time  reading short books, I do love to indulge in long books during my holidays. Moreover, they are usually books I feel I ought to have read a long time ago but for some reason have so far missed out on. Last year I read the whole of Dante’s Divine Comedy (in German translation) – absolutely fantastic, especially “Paradiso”, extremely poetic and beautiful. I can whole heartedly recommend it for a summer read (make sure you get one with good commentary, as some of the passages would otherwise make no sense) – challenging, yes, but definitely rewarding. 

Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” – over the years I have read excerpts here and there but never the entire 6 volumes from the first to the large page. Although I’d love to read all six this summer – I know that is illusionary. But I will definitely read “Swann’s Way” and “Within a Budding Grove“.

Joe Pickering, Penguin Books

I don’t really have an ideal ‘summer read’-type book. I’d just hope that if I had time to read whatever I wanted that I picked something good. That time usually happens on planes as I don’t tend to take beach holidays, so I guess I wouldn’t want something too heavy, literally or linguistically. I read The Sportswriter by Richard Ford on the plane to New York recently and that seemed to fit well.

Along those lines I’m hoping this summer to tick off a couple of books I’ve been meaning to read for a while: Netherland and Remainder, because I think they might be my kind of thing and because I want to know what all the fuss is about.

Rebecca Gray, Serpents Tail/Profile Books

Summer reading for me is all about being absorbed in a book, but I don’t want anything too challenging or upsetting. My guilty pleasure (except I’m pretty unrepentant and happy to stand up for it, so not that guilty) is Jilly Cooper, a genius of the summer read. Rivals is one of my all-time favourites. I’ll put Thackeray’s Vanity Fair on a shelf with it, because it’s definitely got a sense of pace and gossip in common – I want a book I can’t bear to tear myself away from. My favourite kind of holiday is one where I’m allowed to read all day, including at meals (my boyfriend fiercely disapproves of this, but sometimes I can persuade him).

I’ll be re-reading Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich, which we publish in August – it’s perfect summer reading because it’s laugh-out-loud funny and everything works out ok in the end. An inventive, fun book for a sunny afternoon – I first read it on a Friday night and was so excited I didn’t go to the drinks I was supposed to, choosing to stay in on my own, not eat dinner and ignore all distractions, including things like turning on the lights and taking off my shoes, because I was enjoying the book so much.

Well its given me a few books to add to the never ending TBR I have to say! So which of those have you read or have added to the TBR?


Filed under Penguin Books, Profile Books, Serpent's Tail

24 responses to “Summer Reads Suggestions… From Publishers

  1. Whta an excellent idea for a post Simon! A number of titles new to me there.

  2. I read Troubles very recently and it is a really great book. Don’t know any of the others.

  3. I have One Day on my to-be-read pile and I’ve read Troubles.

    I met Judith last week at an event for publicists so lovely to see her thoughts.

    • I have got to read One Day after the hilarious edition of The First Tuesday Book Club that I watched this morning, they were sooooo divided on it which made me want to read it all the more.

      I dont know if I have seen your thoughts on Troubles, or have I missed it because its quite high on my TBR and I avoid any reviews about books am soon to read until the last page has been long turned.

  4. Ooh – I love the cover of that Vintage Proust edition! Might have to pick that up…

  5. novelinsights

    Brilliant post! Fascinating to see the variation in what different pick…

  6. I just bought One Day on my Kindle, reserved for my trip to Indiana. Seems like the perfect summer read!

  7. How interesting to see what publishers are reading/recommending. I have Troubles already on my list to read and will have to check out the rest.

  8. lizzysiddal

    Just to let you know. The power that is the corporate firewall has adjudged this post offensive and, as a result, I can no longer access Savidgereads at lunch time from the office.

    I think it’s the football related title …. maybe the firewall has had enough of the world cup!

    Nevertheless a terrific list. Shame that I’ll have to wait till evening for my daily shot of Simon.

    • Why is this posts title football related am confused? Oh you mean the book.

      I have heard most corporations are blocking WordPress, Blogger etc just like they are facebook sadly!

  9. I will be reading Troubles soon, and the other two books in the trilogy, yay! Am also currently reading The Captive (fifth volume of Proust). Frances and I began with Swann’s Way last year.. we intend to finish the last volume by the end of this year.. that’s 2 whole years for the whole lot! Enjoy the first two volumes! Also, I’m reading Divine Comedy this summer along with Richard and others.. I haven’t begun yet but leafed through Inferno and cannot wait to dig in. Enjoy your summer reading!

    • I keep forgetting Troubles is part of a trilogy. Look forward to your thoughts on them… well I wont read the Troubles thoughts until after I have read the book.

  10. I’ve been wanting to read One Day since it came out, but I wasn’t aware it might make a good summer read.

    • I think it might be the fact its meant to be a great and well written ‘lighter’ read. I will let you know when have read it – prob this weekend actually after seeing The First Tuesday Book Club this morning.

  11. I love seeing what publishers read when they’re not reading their own stuff. What a great post – I just love the nosiness of seeing what books people want to curl up with.

  12. Pingback: Summer Read Suggestions… From Authors « Savidge Reads

  13. Pingback: Summer Read Suggestions – The Bloggers (Part One) « Savidge Reads

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