Summer is FINALLY here. All those living north of the equator are preparing for a few months of sun and downtime... all that is, except us mums. Ah yes. For mamas, summer means one thing only: Chaos. Thinking of ways entertain the little ones over a two to three month period can be daunting, and it's important to get some me-time too. To ensure this, get writing your summer reading-list now, so you will always have a book to wind down with on those sunny evenings. Here are six summer-reads you won't be able to put down
1. How To Fail by Elizabeth Day (Harper Collins)
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Well according to Elizabeth Day, failing also makes you better at life. This memoir come manifesto is inspired by Day's much-loved podcast of the same name. How To Fail delves into the difficulties of modern life, dealing with families, work, dating, relationships, babies and sport. From the pressure she felt to start a family, to a raw and honest depiction of the realities of miscarriage and divorce, Day gifts us with a gorgeously witty account of her life experiences- all while teaching us how to fail beautifully.
2. Can I Say No? by Stefanie Preissner (Hachette Ireland)
On some level, all of us mums are people pleasers. Saying NO is something we find almost impossible. Stepehanie Preissner felt the same way when her publisher asked her to write on this topic that she struggled with her whole life. Being a YES woman at heart, the creator of hilarious Irish comedy Can't Cope, Won't Cope, wished to ask us why we find it hard to say no. As young girls, being obliging is equated to being a good friend, a good person. Saying yes to social events, even when we spend the hours beforehand, wishing for the other side to cancel. Giving in to peer pressure against our better judgment appear accommodating and 'chill'. Preissner's memoir deals with these themes and more, making us think about our own motives for saying no and encouraging us to question why total selflessness is idealised in women. She talks about an Ireland that is slowly unlearning the meaning of the word NO. From the pressing question of consent to the tolerance of homophobic and sexist ideology. She shows us that there is certainly a time for YES, like when we said yes to marriage equality and yes to bodily autonomy. Advocating for a happy medium between obliging and refusing, Stefanie Preissner gives us the perfect balance for life.
3. On Earth, We are Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (Penguin)
As the month of pride has begun, why not add some LGBTQ+ literature to your summer reading list? On Earth, We are Briefly Gorgeous will be the book on everyone's mind this June. In the form of a letter from a son to mother who cannot read, It tells the heart-wrenching tale of a protagonist known only as Little Dog, whose family history is rooted in the Vietnam war. Vuong's own life story is discovered through his complex relationship with his mother. As a Vietnamese immigrant to America, he finds passion and comfort in a white boy with whom he falls in love. The story is written in beautiful prose and comes to life through the vivid details of the war and life in America afterwards.
4. Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
For the classic noir mystery seekers among us, this sleek fiction by New York Times best-selling author Laura Lippman will definitely hold your attention this summer. It tells of a housewife from Baltimore who takes a job as a reporter when she flees her marriage in 1966. Maddie Schwartz begins investigating the murder of a forgotten young woman. No one else in Baltimore seems to care that Cleo Sherwood is dead, but Maddie is intent on doing whatever she can to contribute to the case. She is determined to leave her mark on the world and help others, a forgotten aspiration from her youth.
5. The Fire Starters by Jan Carson (Penguin)
In a turbulent time in Belfast, two very different fathers are acutely aware that their children are dangerous. Former loyalist paramilitary Sammy is afraid of his son who is plotting against Catholics in his room. He is ashamed of both his violent past and the fact that his son seems to have inherited it. Jonathan is a reserved doctor who suspects his baby girl is not as harmless as she appears. The authorities in Belfast have lost control over the burning city and both men struggle to decide who they should protect. Carson's dark humour and wit envelope a social commentary that will really get you thinking this summer.
6. Rules of the Road By Ciara Geraghty (Harper Collins)
Protagonist Terry discovers that her terminally ill best friend Iris is planning to end her life at a Zurich Clinic. This news comes just as she is collecting her dad from a home that cares for people with dementia. She decides to tag along with Iris, in the hopes of convincing her to change her mind. Her father joins the two on an unlikely road trip adventure from Dublin to Switzerland. Hilarious, emotional and gripping, this read is a must for summer 2019.