6 Laid-Back Reads for Summer Holidays

This summer I found an eclectic mix of books in some cute little bookshops in the UK. Most of these books had sticky notes taped under them with positive remarks from other readers, so I decided to give them a go. Hope you you enjoy this selection of Laid-Back Reads for Summer Holidays

1. The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

Genre: Non Fiction

I really loved this book! It made me re-think how animals connect with humans. Thanks to this true story, I also learned that there is a whole lot more to penguins than we might think!

The story plays off against the political backdrop of life in Argentina in the 1970’s. Tom rescues a penguin while on holiday in Uruguay and manages to smuggle the Penguin into Argentina. Soon the penguin becomes part of life at the boarding school where Tom works as a teacher.

Everyone at the boarding school benefits from the interaction they have with the penguin. In return the penguin seems to genuinely love everyone he meets.

I particularly loved how Tom Michell described the penguin’s personality with so much warmth and human like qualities and felt genuinely felt sad when the book ended!

2. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Genre: Fiction/drama/historical fiction

This book reminded me of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. Perhaps because the characters and plot are so unforgettable! Where the Crawdads Sing has now made it to my top favorite 5 books ever:)

First let me begin with the unforgettable Kya Clark—a girl who triumphs in unforgiving circumstances. Abandoned by her siblings, mother and father, 7-year-old Kya miraculously learns to survive life in the marsh on her own in the 1950’s.

We meet Tate. The wonderful young man who looks past the prejudice against Kya whom the villagers call ‘Marsh Girl’. There’s Jumpin—a colored man who like a father, helps and supports Kya in any way he can. And there’s Chase Andrews the village’s ‘golden boy’ who is found dead.

The investigation turns to Kya. Will she be found guilty?

3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Genre: Fiction/ Fantasy

This feel good book makes you think about the question: ‘What if you could get the chance to try out every possible version of your life?’

Nora tries to commit suicide and ends up in the midnight library—an ‘in between’ place before death. Here Nora gets the chance to try out different versions of how her life could have been if she had made different choices.

I can’t write much more before giving the story away, so I’ll end it here with a positive 4/5 stars.

4. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Genre: Fiction/ Romance/ Humor

This feel good book is easy to digest and fun to read!

Professor Don Tillman’s social life is a disaster. He is unable to make friends or get a second date. He also has difficulties with reading social cues.

A friend tells Don that he could be a good father, and this sparks the project to find a wife. After all; it is statistically probable that everyone can find a match! With checklist in hand, Don sets out to find the perfect wife– one that does not smoke, drink or arrive late… until he meets Rosie!

5. Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby

Genre: Adult fiction/ Womens fiction/ Contemporary/ Novels

If you liked the ‘Best Marigold Hotel’, then this book is for you!

Five women who have been friends for years, meet up on Cocoa farm in Fiji. Now in their 60’s, they want to make the best of the time they have left on earth and so they start up a chocolate business.

Azure-blue ocean, Fijian culture, friendship, chocolate, happiness… this feel good, easy to read book has all the elements that make for a great holiday read!

6. Diplomatic Baggage by Brigid Keenan

Genre: Nonfiction/ Memoir/ Autobiography

Brigid Keenan’s amazing adventures and funny stories made me want to keep turning the pages!

The book follows the life of Brigid Keenan, a journalist and writer who accompanied her diplomat husband on his postings around the world.

The stories offer a humorous and candid account of the ups and downs of diplomatic life, and touches on topics such as culture shock, language barriers, and the difficulties of maintaining a career while following a spouse’s diplomatic career.

If you are looking for a unique perspective on the world of diplomacy and the challenges faced by the people who participate in it, then Diplomatic Baggage is for you!

Wishing you delightful summer holidays and happy reading times!


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  1. Thanks to you Elaine, today I bought ‘Where the crawdads sing’ and can’t wait to start reading it 👍🏼😀

    • Elaine Nauta says:

      Oh that’s great to hear Sonia! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!

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