Although someone forgot to tell the weather, summer is approaching fast. Which means it’s the time of year we all search for that perfect book to wile away the time as our shoulders slowly burn to a crisp. Whether you’re still in the closet, or a fully outed book worm, there’s something for everyone in our top picks list for 2017. So, get the do-not-disturb sign ready, you’re in for a treat (or six).
1) He Said, She Said by Erin Kelly
This psychological thriller from Erin Kelly, author of The Poison Tree, is a squirmy but essential read. It tells the story of the key witness in a rape trial, who is struggling with her doubts on what she really saw that night she interrupted a man and woman in the eerie darkness of a festival. The author has said this is the most important story she’s ever told, and with the horrifying statistics of sexual assault, we can see why. The novel explores the recurrent failure of the system towards sex crime victims and ‘rape culture’ in today’s society with honesty and grace. Read, read, read.
£4.99, Book People
2) The Raqqa Diaries: Escape from Islamic State by Samer
If the above title is an important one for your list, this one is monumental. Samer belongs to a small activist group living in Raqqa, Syria, and this is his story of the horrific events that have become daily life since ISIS occupied his beloved city. Considering the penalty in Raqqa for speaking to the Western media is death by beheading, it’s hard to imagine how Samer found the courage to write this book, but thank goodness he did. He’s risked his life to fight back, we owe it to him to listen.
3) Ice Cream for Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams
The is book telling us that it’s ok to seek praise, ask for help, and have something soft snuggled against our face if we’re sad. It’s the book every grown-up needs to remind themselves of the freedom and joy that comes with rediscovering your inner child. Off the back of her bestselling memoir, Becoming, Laura Jane writes about the lessons learnt from the kids she used to nanny on playing more, worrying less, and getting through the bad days by looking to our inner child.
It’s one of those that felt like it was written directly for me, and probably for you too.
4) White Tears by Hari Kunzru
Race, violence, modern American culture, friendship, music, love and horror. This one covers it all. In this latest novel from the bestselling Hari Kunzu, we watch two young, ambitious New York musicians navigating the dark underworld of the American music scene. They stumble across an old forgotten blues song and, as they innocently explore, are led deeper and deeper into a game of exploitation, greed and revenge that they simply don’t understand.
It’s unnerving, original and completely unputdownable. This is more than just story-telling, it’s a work of art.
5) Living With Plants by Sophie Lee
If you’re anything like me, accidentally killing houseplants has become quite a habit. Sophie Lee, founder of botanical styling company geo-fleur, is here to break that habit and help us make our home into a green paradise with ease. Learn how to choose the right plant for each room, and most importantly how to keep them alive, as well as how to get crafty with moss and make your own plant hanger. With Sophie’s help there’s no excuse not to have a house full of insta-worthy greenery.
P.S. Head over to her Instagram for some serious interiors inspo.
£10.59, A Great Read
6) The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge
It’s likely that every single one of you reading this has experienced some kind of anxiety at some point in your life. Our modern world pretty much cultivates it, and for some, it’s completely debilitating. Chloe Brotheridge combines the latest scientific research with her own personal experience as a therapist in this handbook to overcoming anxiety and stress. It looks in-depth at the root causes, and the steps we can take to reduce the effects. With plenty of practical methods including meditation tips, breathing exercises and journalling, this book should be on the shelves of every worried teen, overwhelmed mother and stressed-out working gal.
Words by Rachel Dodson