Hanna’s Summer To Be Read List 2015

Due to the months I spent reading War & Peace and the amount of non-fiction I’ve been reading lately, I’m clearly going to come out of 2015 having read much fewer books than normal. But that’s okay. This year, I seem to have realised that it’s way more important to read books that inform or excite you than just coming out with a good total.
On that note, here are the books I’m looking forward to this Summer.

1) Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

This is probably cheating somewhat, as I’m already halfway through this. In my defence, I started mentally drafting this list before I picked up the book and technically I am looking forward to reading the rest of it, so it still counts. Right?

Anyway, I’m enjoying this way more than I expected to. It’s a reasonably generic YA dystopian, but it’s written very well and it’s really engrossing. Plus I don’t hate the protagonist, so points for that.

2) Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon

I’ll be reading this just as soon as I get hold of the correct cover, which is proving to be infuriatingly difficult. Apparently you can buy the first book, and the third and fourth books, in the ‘proper’ style (see left), but not the second. Makes perfect sense. As I refuse to have only the second book in the new, awful minimalist style, I’ve had to wait and buy this version on eBay.

I can’t wait to read this though. I loved Cross Stitch, the first book, when I read it recently and I’m sure Dragonfly in Amber will be just as good.

3) Blood: A Biography of the Stuff of Life by Lawrence Hill

I recently read and really enjoyed Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolic Virus by Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy, which is infinitely more cheerful than it actually sounds,  and it’s put me in the mood for more medical non-fiction.

I bought Blood on Christmas Eve, at the same time that I bought Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found. Clearly I was on an obscure, gruesome non-fiction kick then, as well. Oh well, the heart wants what the heart wants!

I vaguely remember buying this for Ellie at Christmas too…

4) Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

The first Austenland novel made me so girlishly happy that it would just be silly not to read the second book!

I’m not sure how the plot of the sequel can really be any different, but I suppose I’ll find out soon enough. The author will have to be quite inventive to come up with something new, but I have faith. Anyone that can come up with Austenland should have a few more tricks up their sleeve.

5) The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
I’ve been meaning to read this for a ridiculous length of time, to the point where I can’t actually remember where I bought it or what made me want to.

I do know that I read and enoyed The Moonstone when we read-a-longed it a few years so, and apparently The Woman in White is very stylistically similar. It had several different characters all telling us what they knew about the crime, and as they were all present for different parts and had different motives for keeping things secret from the reader, it worked really well.

6) The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

I bought this in Chesterfield last month when I went book shopping with Katie and Ellie. In fact, Katie actually hunted across the store for The Invisible Library for me, and hand-delivered it to my basket!

I have only the vaguest foggiest idea what the plot is but it’s a fantasy novel about books… what could possibly go wrong? It looks like it’s sort-of a mix between The Rithmatist and Mr Penumbra. I certainly wouldn’t complain if that turns out to be the case… 

7) Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh

I only bought Do No Harm because Ellie pointed it out to me on the same shopping trip mentioned above; I’d never heard of it before.

Yes, it’s more medical non-fiction, but this one might actually help with my work, as well as generally sounding interesing. I’m quite obviously not a neurosurgeon, but I am a lawyer who defends doctors, nurses, dentists and even neurosurgeons when they’re being sued by their ex-patients.

8) Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

It wasn’t a secret to anybody how much I loved Between the Lines, the YA novel by bestselling author, Jodi Picoult, and her daughter. Nobody was more surprised at my adoration than me, but hey ho. I even went to Manchester to get the damn thing signed. 

Thing is, I had absolutely no idea there was going to be a sequel until I walked past it in ASDA last week. And now I own it, obviously. I’m not sure it warranted or needed a sequel, and I’m a little sure it will ruin the whole thing, but I can’t not read it.

Once I’ve reread Between the Lines, obviously!

Have you read any of these books? Where should I start?


  1. I'm reading The Moonstone at the moment and yes, it is stylistically very similar to The Woman in White which you should definitely read asap because it's amazing! I couldn't get into Cross Stitch but I might have to give it another go sometime now you love it as well as the rest of the universe! Going to kick Austenland a bit higher up my wishlist as well, thanks!

    1. Didn't mean to comment (twice now) as the Ninja Swap! totally forgot I was signed in :-p

    2. admin says:

      Didn't you do The Moonstone read-a-long with us at the time? I swear you did, but clearly not! I really do want to read The WiW, but… so many books, so little time!

      You couldn't get into it? What was it that put you off?

      I've selected Midnight in Austenland as one of my holiday reads. Hopefully it'll make me as blissfully happy as the first one 🙂

  2. Terra says:

    The Invisible Library sounds intriguing; I am a librarian and I like fantasy. You have put together a good list. Some of the medical nonfiction catches my fancy too.

    1. admin says:

      I actually started reading it a few hours ago – it's good, but I wish it explained itself a little more thoroughly.

      I'd really recommend Rabid, if you want medical nonfiction 🙂

  3. Ellie Warren says:

    I want to read the blood book. Do No Harm is fascinating and The Invisible Library is oodles of fun.

  4. Etudesque says:

    Man, I'm still recovering from War and Peace, hahaha!

    I've seen Red Queen floating around a lot lately, so I'll have to check it out this summer too! I also started The Moonstone back during the readalong but DNF, so I'll have to pick that up again as well.

    I'm sold on The Invisible Library simply because you name-dropped Penumbra so now I've GOT to read this one! I'm finally easing back into reading, so I'm looking forward to dusting off my blog and getting into a reading kick again!

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