6 Great Reads For Summer

The flights are booked, AirBnb has been scoured, studied and settled on and you’re finally stocked up on  travel-sized supplies. Now all you’re missing is a good book to read as you laze on the beach or for the quieter moments discovering cute coffee shops, if you’re holidaying alone. A book, a good book no less, is the quintessential travel companion. It shares a story and offers a portal of escapism, allowing you to experience new feelings, surroundings, a total sensory vacation.

Some of the titles below are books I read both whilst living in Nashville last summer, and during the winter break as well as ones that I have just finished. I think that these are the perfect for many reasons, they’re lightweight, entertaining and offer fresh perspectives on the habitual. That is why we go on holiday, right?

How to be Both Ali Smith

Nominated for the Man Booker Prize, How to be both excites the reader with Ali Smith’s fictional finesse. Utilising art’s versatility, gender ambiguity and circumstance, the perspectives of both a modern-day grieving 16 year-old girl, George and Francesco del Cossa, an artist living in 15th century become intertwined. Struggles, relationships and the drive to create are at the fore of this novel.

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The Opposite of Loneliness Marina Keegan

Marina Keegan’s literary career was cut short when she was tragically killed in a road accident, having just graduated from university at the fruitful age of twenty-one. Her academic tenure was filled with hours of writing and creating eloquent, contemporary prose. From the banal (her ode to her car) to the interesting delves into all walks of life, generations and situations, with a masterful and mature grasp of the world/language. The Opposite of Loneliness is a really easy holiday read as it is comprised of several short stories that allow you to venture through at your own pace and preference.

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Role Models John Waters

Role Models provides a refreshing approach to the traditional memoir. Instead of chronologically recounting boyhood, adolescence, and eventual stardom, Waters acknowledges his roles models, examining how these remarkable individuals impacted him. From his way of dressing (Rei Kawakubo) to boyhood idols, Johnny Mathis and Little Richard, and, of course, his good friend, and convicted former Charles Manson associate, Leslie Van Houten. Water’s wit and eschewed reality make for an immensely entertaining read.

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D’You Remember Your Man? Bobby Aherne

If social histories are your preferred holiday reading materials, D’You Remember Yer Man by Bobby Aherne is an essential read. Aherne has compiled the perfect portrait of Dublin’s most loved and infamous characters, including Bang Bang, Mad Mary and  the Master of the Universe, Aidan Walsh. Each tale is succinctly told and incredibly entertaining, there’s a remarkably unique sense of Dublin throughout the pages, which may make you feel a little homesick as you bask in the sun.

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Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is the perfect literary travel companion. His novels unmask a part of humanity that is often left on the long finger, understanding  life and it’s complications. Tskuru Tazaki embarks on a pilgrimage to unravel the reason why his close-knit group of friends turned their backs on him without explanation. Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki is ideal if you are travelling alone, as Murakami writes about solitude and the role of the outsider in a humane way, always recounting emotions and relationships with the utmost realism.

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Worn Stories Emily Spivak

Do you have a comfort garment that you wear whenever you’re feeling particularly stressed? I have a thick, oversized wooly jumper that I wear when I need sartorially security. I wear it constantly during the cold winter, and sporadically in the sweltering summer. I have relied on it’s reassurance whilst learning to drive, working, and casually running errands. Emily Spivak has spent a number of years collecting similar stories of items of clothing that people have either encountered remarkable situations in, or merely worn until the garment has weakened at the seams. Worn Stories started as a blog and progressed into a book brimming with contributions from Marina Abramovic, Piper Kerman, and Roseanne Cash.

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Zara Hedderman is a Dublin based writer and established her website Mumbles and Stumbles in 2013. Zara blends her penchant for puns and love of exploring in her writing! If you would like to contribute to MintMag.ie just email louise@mintmag.ie. 

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