Books - Lists

Top 5 Books On My Summer TBR List

July 5, 2017

As I’ve mentioned previously, when it comes to making TBR lists I’m really not the greatest. I love the thrill of browsing my bookshelves, pulling off titles I’m excited about and reading the first few pages, then stacking them all up in a lovely pile with every intention of getting to them in the not-too-distant future. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, those little TBR piles often end up sadly neglected and collecting dust, only to be once again returned to the shelves unread and unloved some weeks later.

Yet despite my rather shocking track record of failing to stick to my TBR lists, I thought that it might be interesting to set myself a little summer TBR challenge for the coming months. After much deliberation, I’ve decided upon five books that I’d really, really like to read soon, and I’m determined to do it this time! Seriously, sticking to TBR lists shouldn’t be this hard…

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Truly deserving of the accolade Modern Classic, Donna Tartt’s cult bestseller The Secret History is a remarkable achievement – both compelling and elegant, dramatic and playful.

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and for ever.

Yes, I know, I can’t quite believe that I haven’t read this one yet either. I’ve heard so many amazing things about Donna Tartt’s writing, and this book in particular, and so I cannot wait to get stuck into it. I think the length of it has put me off in the past, and the fact that my edition has the tiniest font imaginable, but I’m sure that I’ll fly through it when I do (eventually) give it a read.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

‘She throws her head back and pushes her chest forward and lets go a huge blast right into the centre of his body. The rivulets and streams of red scarring run across his chest and up around his throat. She’d put her hand on his heart and stopped him dead.’

Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light. What if the power to hurt were in women’s hands?

The recent winner of the 2017 Bailey’s Women’s Prize for FictionThe Power has been everywhere at the moment, and it seems that everyone but me has already read it. While I have heard a few mixed things, I’m interested to see what I think about this one, as the premise certainly sounds intriguing! I don’t usually follow many literary prizes, however the titles included within the Bailey’s prize long and shortlists are always a complete mix of genres and writing styles, and it’s good to step out of my comfort zone and try something new once in a while.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

If you’ve read my latest book haul post you will have seen that I recently picked up a copy of Madeline Miller’s beloved historical fiction novel, and my excitement to read it remains extremely high! Again I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, and as historical fiction is one of my favourite genres I’m sure this one will go down a treat.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Working as a lady’s companion, the heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Her future looks bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Max de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. She accepts, but whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to the ominous and brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding housekeeper, Mrs Danvers…

Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with the Other Woman. An international bestseller that has never gone out of print, Rebecca is the haunting story of a young girl consumed by love and the struggle to find her identity.

Daphne du Maurier is an author who I have only just recently discovered, fallen in love with, and vowed to read everything she has ever written. I’ve already managed to tick off both Jamaica Inn and My Cousin Rachel, and I think now the time has come to read du Maurier’s most popular and best loved classic, which again I am certain that I am doing to adore!

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir

A Spanish princess. Raised to be modest, obedient and devout. Destined to be an English Queen. Six weeks from home across treacherous seas, everything is different: the language, the food, the weather. And for her there is no comfort in any of it.

At sixteen-years-old, Catalina is alone among strangers. She misses her mother. She mourns her lost brother. She cannot trust even those assigned to her protection.

Katherine of Aragon. The first of Henry’s Queens. Her story. History tells us how she died. This captivating novel shows us how she lived.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a ticket to see Alison Weir at the Edinburgh Book Festival in August, where she will be discussing her the first two titles in her recent Six Tudor Queens historical fiction series. Sadly I am a little behind and am still yet to read either, but I would really like to make a start ahead of seeing Weir at the book festival. I love her non-fiction titles, and am sure that, given the amount of research that she puts into her work, the first instalment in this Tudor fiction series will be just as wonderful as I am hoping that it will be.

Have you read any of these books? What’s currently at the top of your summer TBR list?

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Books On My Summer TBR List

  1. Hanna @ Booking in Heels

    This list makes me so excited on your behalf!

    The Secret History and Song of Achilles both blew me completely away. I couldn’t stop thinking about them for weeks! Rebecca is amazing too – I’m due for a reread, but I can’t face it just yet as I saw a not-so-brilliant stage production recently and I need the memories to fade a bit first.

    I bought The Power a few days ago, after a friend of mine read it and loved it. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    1. The Storybook Girl Post author

      Haha, thank you! I’ve heard amazing things about The Secret History and Song of Achilles, so I’m really looking forward to getting to them, especially as you say you enjoyed them so much. I think I’m going to love Rebecca, although that’s a shame about the stage production you saw – I hope you’ll get to see a better one in the future! The Powersounds so interesting, and all the hype surrounding its Bailey’s Prize win has really made me excited to get to it. I hope that you enjoy it, too! xx


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