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Top five: Summer Reads

19 July 2013

The folks at London Calling go through some of our favourite books of the moment.

With the weather this hot it doesn’t take much persuading to curl up in the shade with a good book. Alternatively with the heat keeping you awake, a book is the perfect tool to while away the midnight hours. Jealous of those with air-conditioning, we at London Calling couldn’t resist going through some of our current doorstops.

Capital by John Lanchester

John Lanchester’s 2012 novel is a great read for any Londoner. Starting just before the global financial crash, the novel centres around people who live in or are somehow connected to Pepys Road, an ordinary Victorian terraced street in South East London. When the residents of the road start to get postcards and other disturbing mail in which the words ‘We Want What You Have’ are written, we start to learn more about these people, their lives in London and what has brought them to be here. Touching on subjects from immigration, death, illness, underground artists and terrorism, this novel really encompasses the themes and characters that make up our glorious city.

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This is a great one for a light-hearted chuckle on the morning commute. Precious Ramotswe is absolutely our type of detective: she sells up her late Father's cattle to purchase the only (and therefore the No.1) Ladies Detective Agency in Botswana. Her casual approach to solving mysteries is unconventional to say the least. Fibbing fathers, suspecting spouses and witch doctors, Precious paints a wonderfully colourful and wholesome picture of an ordinary day in the life of the No.1 Lady Detective.

The War for Late Night: When Leno Went Early and Television Went Crazy by Bill Carter

The War for Late Night tells the true story of a bitter battle between Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno. The American late night talk show hosts’ time slots were inexplicably exchanged to curtail falling ratings, popularity and, more importantly, declining revenue from advertising. The result; falling ratings, popularity and declining revenue from advertising! Featuring contributions from David Letterman and Jon Stewart, the book unravels a high-stakes and highly complex fumbled feud between U.S TV major players (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX etc.) as they attempt to tame tensions and ease egos.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Published just last year, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is a thriller novel, fast paced, sharp–witted, heart pumping and spine-tinglingly gripping. It is a tale of an average mismatched marriage: both characters are out-of-work writers, drawing on the author’s own experience of being laid off from her job as a writer for Entertainment Weekly. The book’s unexpected plots and terrifying twists are sure to keep you riveted from the start!

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

The Time Traveller’s Wife meets Hannibal Lecter in this grimly twisted and inventive thriller that sees a time-travelling serial killer hunted by the one victim who managed to survive his attack. Following on from the international success of her Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel Zoo City, Lauren Beukes’ third novel is a must read for anyone looking to add a dark chill to their summer.

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