Much as I still prefer paper books, I have discovered that eBooks offer some great benefits. For example, eBooks are great for holidaying – they add hardly any bulk or weight to your luggage; they allow easy adjustment to font size and colour contrast; and you can buy and download them instantaneously wherever you are. So whether you prefer an eReader or eBook apps on a tablet or phone, you will never be without a book again! Here are some great summer e-reads, whether you are travelling or relaxing at home:
Rogue One: a Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed
Loved the latest Star Wars film and want to revisit the story? Perhaps you haven’t yet seen the film, but don’t feel like battling with crowds during your summer break? Download the novelisation of the film instead. Rogue One: a Star Wars Story is more than a standard movie novelisation – many scenes have been extended and expanded to give a richer story while being totally faithful to the film. Alexander Freed has used his extensive knowledge of the Star Wars Universe – as creator of earlier video games, comics and novels – to deliver a well-written novel that contributes strongly to the overall canon.
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
The Austen Project – six modern retellings of Jane Austen’s beloved novels – has attracted stellar authorship including Joanna Trollope (for Sense and Sensibility ) and Alexander McCall Smith (for Emma). Now Curtis Sittenfeld has tackled Pride and Prejudice – probably the most daunting one to adapt – with impressive results. The story is set in suburban Cincinnati, where Liz and Jane Bennet return to the family home after Mr Bennet suffers a heart attack. Jane is a yoga teacher and Liz a magazine writer based in New York – both nudging 40 and still single. Along comes Chip Bingley (a doctor and former contestant in a reality-TV dating show) and his snooty neurosurgeon friend Darcy… Eligible is spot-on in retaining the wryness of the original while lampooning modern-day obsessions. It is riotous and totally addictive – even when you already know what happens!
Neighbourhood by Hetty McKinnon
Hetty McKinnon is the powerhouse behind Sydney’s Arthur Street Kitchen, a salad delivery service renowned for its innovative and flavourful modern salads – think layers of textures and flavours provided by herbs, grains and roasted vegetables as well as leafy greens. Following the success of her first cookbook, Community, comes Neighbourhood, with salads inspired by the multicultural neighbourhoods of New York, her new hometown. Neighbourhood is not just a recipe collection, it celebrates the sharing of food in building friendships and communities. I love Neighbourhood for its warmth, stunning photography as well as its message – the idea of connecting with others through sharing food is perfect for this time of year. The delicious recipes provide rich inspiration for summer eating, whether entertaining a crowd, or preparing something simple for those too-hot-to-cook days.
The Hidden Life of Trees: What they Feel, How they Communicate by Peter Wohlleben
Popular science is a great genre if you prefer books with both readability and substance. The Hidden Life of Trees is a recent release with an intriguing premise – that trees are social beings that count and remember; that look out for, and support neighbours and relatives; that communicate with each other by sending signals through a vast underground network of fungus. The Hidden Life of Trees uses an anthropomorphic style that is captivating but may sound fantastical; however, these revelations are based on Peter Wohlleben’s extensive experience as a forest ranger, and backed by recent research in biology and ecology. A bestseller in its native Germany, The Hidden Life of Trees challenges us to value forests as much more than a habitat or a source of timber.
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Swallows and Amazons epitomises an idyllic summer full of freedom and adventure. During the school holidays, the Walker children (John, Susan, Titty and Roger) are staying at a lakeside farm with their mother and infant sister. The children are given permission to sail their dinghy, the Swallow, to an island in the lake to set up camp. Camp life involves plenty of swimming, sailing and fishing for their food – and no adults. One day, the Swallows spy two fierce pirates – sisters Nancy and Peggy in their dinghy Amazon. What follows is a summer of friendship, fun and even some mystery… Swallows and Amazons is a classic story that still excites young readers with its spirit of independence and derring-do; it also unleashes adult nostalgia about our own free-roaming childhoods during endless summers. A perfect waterside read!