I am an emphatic reader. In fact I would go so far as to say that I am not happy unless there is a good book by my bed. Fiction is a wonderful escape and respite from reality and getting stuck into someone else's story gives me new perspective on my own. Matt Haig puts it perfectly in his latest book Notes On Nervous Planet.
Reading isn't important because it helps you get a job. It's important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you're given. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape.
Summer books often imply suncream stained Jackie Collins' novels. Whilst I am very partial to a little Rupert Campbell Black, these are my top 5 reads for the sunshine. Take with Mr Whippy and icy cold beers.
Bonjour Tristesse by Francois Sagan. When I read this I felt like I was having a long languid siesta in the South of France. Totally French and absolutely immoral, you'll feel the scorch at the heart of this story.
Heartburn by Norah Ephron. Protagonist Rachel feels like your best friend and who better to take on holiday? She's wonderfully witty and acerbic, you'll have a great time together.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. Scandal and wild summer parties doing the Charleston in Jay Gatsby's mansion? Yes please. Make mine a Long Island Ice Tea.
Instructions For A Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell. The tension amongst this dysfunctional family will make you feel so much better about your travelling group. It's also a lovely tangled tale of family relationships.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. An excellent travelling companion. David Sedaris will charm your socks off with his outrageously funny stories of family and living in France.
I'm sure that you have got many books that I could add to my list. I'd love to know your suggestions.