Last week we sat in Clissold Park in north London and read 25% of Jefferey Eugenides' Middlesex while actually getting TAN LINES. 

With that in mind, here are the books we think go best with a tan. Don't forget the suncream.

let us be trueDrew Jerrison, publicity manager, recommends Alex Christofi's Let Us Be True

Alex Christofi’s follow up to his award-winning debut Glass is an absolute must-read this summer. Sweeping decades and moving across Europe before and after the second world war, Let Us Be True charts the relationship between Ralf and Elsa, two lost souls brought together but held back by their individual secrets. If you like historical fiction with a juicy twist, you’ll love this.

Also packing: Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

 

all grown up

Hannah Ross, publicity director, recommends Jami Attenberg's All Grown Up

A much-needed revision and update of the single girl in the city story. Both hilarious and poignant, this is a novel that will chime with so many women who find conventional happy endings in fiction rather inauthentic and irrelevant.

Also packing: The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

 

 

 

don't cryJess Harris, sales, marketing and publicity assistant, recommends Don't Cry by Mary Gaitskill

I really enjoyed Don’t Cry, the book of short stories by cult American author Mary Gaitskill. I love books that play with the difference between how life is represented in art, with morals and happy, satisfying endings, versus how they are in reality – difficult and spiky and unsatisfying. Gaitskill did this so masterfully in her novel The Mare, and this is no different: you think you know what you’re getting, but she proves you wrong time and again. My favourite stories? 'Mirror Ball' and 'The Little Boy'.

Also packing: The Power by Naomi Alderman


Valentina Zanca, senior publicity manager, recommends Broken River by J. Robert Lennon 

broken river

A masterfully crafted ghost story that’s also a compelling family drama, Broken River is the eagerly awaited new novel from the acclaimed author of Mailman and Familiar. It’s haunting, atmospheric and suspenseful – with some of the most powerful insights into human frailties and family dynamics I’ve ever come across. A highly original, clever, unforgettable read.

Also packing: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

 

 

hidden keysFlora Willis, marketing manager, recommends The Hidden Keys by Andre Alexis

After completely falling for Andre's novel Fifteen Dogs, a philosophical and moving imagining of dogs being given human consciousness, I've now gone head-over-heels for The Hidden Keys. It's a modern quest tale with a cast of eccentric characters and at its heart, an incredibly talented but highly principled theif, Tancred Palmieri. Like Fifteen Dogs it asks big questions about our humanity, our greed, and our relationships, and what may threaten those things. It's a compact and rollicking tale, touched with the colours of Wes Anderson, the mystery of Treasure Island and the ominous threat of Quentin Tarantino, and I'll be pressing it fervently into many hands this summer. 

Also packing: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Rachel Nobilo, marketing and customer services manager, recommends The Cutaway by Christina Kovacthe cutaway

I love pacy and absorbing reads for the summer reading pile and it’s refreshingly easy to slip into the seductively obsessive mind of news producer Virginia Knightly as she hunts down the truth about Evelyn Carney’s disappearance.

Also packing: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

 

 

haunting of henry twistRebecca Gray, associate publisher, recommends The Haunting of Henry Twist by Rebecca F. John

The Haunting of Henry Twist is an exquisite novel with a devastating opening, which transports you to the contradictions of 1920s London, where people are still shattered by war but the Bright Young Things are frivolous and gay and self-indulgent. The author said it best I think, when she told me: ‘Here is life, and it is difficult and frightening, but it might be magnificent, if we can find a way to fight those memories or experiences which haunt us.’

Also packing: Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

 

ready to catch him should he fall

Claire Browne, editorial assistant, recommends Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall by Neil Bartlett

“This is a beautiful, original and uplifting portrayal of gay love and culture flourishing against a backdrop of violence and uncertainty. A perfect read for Pride month.”

Also packing: Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser



Book of DisquietNick Sheerin, editor, recommends The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

What could be a better distraction over a languorous summer than The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa’s great diary of dreams, desires, anxieties and ecstasies? A meditation on the passing ephemera of life seems just the ticket for an all-too-brief summer break, and the new ‘complete edition’ means you’re unlikely to run out of Pessoa’s aphorisms, observations and dark nights of the soul before you shuffle homeward along an interminable airport security queue. (Pessoa would have loved airports.)


Also packing: Strange Heart Beating by Eli Goldstone