Light Holiday Reads Perfect for Summer

Even those with the most highbrow-tastes enjoy a light read during the summer months. Kick back and be inspired to travel with Jules Verne.

May 2017 • Jules Verne

Light Holiday Reads Perfect for Summer

Whether you usually enjoy dipping into Eat, Pray, Love or War and Peace, the summer is the perfect time to explore holiday novels with a lighter touch. The publishing industry knows this and usually there’s a deluge of fluffy holiday reading material available at bookshops across the country. In fact, sometimes there’s so much available that it’s hard to choose the best of the bunch. This is why we’ve created our guide to 2017’s best summer reads, focusing on novels set in wonderful holiday locations.

hands holiday a book on green grass

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

This is one of the heavier novels in the list, in terms of subject matter at least. What We Lose tells the story of Thandi, an African-American woman who loses her mother, her only connection to the land of her ancestors in South Africa. This beautifully bright and vivid novel juxtaposes the cultural and physical landscapes of America and South Africa, drawing the reader into its narrative and locations.

Set to be released in July, this book has already received some serious critical acclaim, and should definitely make your 2017 summer reading list.

The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker

This captivating book set in Viking-Era Norway draws heavy influence from the Icelandic Sagas. These tales were originally written in the 9th and 10th centuries, and the original texts can still be seen on tours of Iceland. In this iteration however, the true story of Ragnvald of Maer and his sister is given a modern, almost Game of Thrones style makeover, making for compelling, page-turning fiction. The story follows Ragnvald Eysteinsson and his sister Svanhild as they struggle in a political climate that threatens to take both their freedoms.

Lovers of Westeros and historical fiction alike should get their hands on this book as soon as it is released in August. 

Infinite Summer by Edoardo Nesi

Eduardo Nesi is better known for his historical writing about Italy’s past, but this novel, set in the heady landscape of 1970s Tuscany, combines a keen historian’s eye for detail with generous and engaging story-telling. This book has been described as “bubbling” with good reason: the effervescent dialogue and description transports the reader to the Italian countryside. This light novel could be considered an ode to the rise of capitalism in Italy, and its captivating story makes it the perfect holiday-reading fodder.

We’ll be pre-ordering copies so that we can gift our friends and family when it is released in July.

Refuge by Dina Nayeri

This is a heart-warming novel about trying to find home, as seen through the eyes of a young Iranian woman forced to flee her home and leave her family behind. Written by Dina Nayeri, herself a daughter of immigrant parents, this novel explores whether home is a physical place or can be found in a person. The narrative shifts between Iran and America, and the lush, rich descriptions of the Iranian culture and landscapes are sure to capture the imaginations of all who read them, inspiring readers to explore Iran for themselves.

Refuge will be released in July by Riverhead, but is already available for pre-order online and in bookshops.

Where the Light Falls by Allison Pataki and Owen Pataki

Another great choice for lovers of historical novels, Where the Light Falls is set during the French revolution, and is written by bestselling author Allison Pataki and her brother, Owen. Those who usually favour more serious authors such as Hugo and Dumas will enjoy the dense historical detail, the vivid imagery and the epic nature of the novel. Those with lighter tastes will be captivated by the deft pacing and mastery of the source material, as well as the enthralling storylines.

Where the Light Falls will be released in July and we’re sure it’s going to be a popular holiday read.

Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin

Ok, so this one isn’t technically a novel. (In fact, it’s not a novel at all.) But we’re so excited about the release of this book that we had to include it. Lauren Elkin weaves together narrative strands of women who have travelled around the world with her own travel narrative, in this witty, well-paced book. She blends the historical and the quotidian with wonderful results. From fictional characters such as Holly Golightly, to historical figures such as Virginia Woolf, this book is as dramatic in scope as the cities it describes: Paris, New York, Hong Kong.

Find more reading and travel inspiration in our blog series, Jules Verne Reads.

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