#T5W, Books

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Reads

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey and is hosted by Samantha.

All information can be found here.

The weather’s heating up, the days are getting longer. Even if it’s not sunny, even if it rains all the time (Thank you, Belgium), we still have our summer reads to get us in the summer-mood.

Here are five books I’d recommend.

Tigers in Red Weather – Liza Klaussmann (buy)

tigers in red weather Liza Klaussmann

Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha’s Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their ‘real lives’: Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.

Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena’s husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena—with their children, Daisy and Ed—try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.

This book is all about secrets. Everyone has details about their life they’d rather keep hidden. I loved the atmosphere in this book, it felt like I was there on that island. Don’t expect a super in dept murder mystery because that’s not what this is. It’s about a family that doesn’t really get along. About putting on masks to protect yourself. Intrigued? Go on, give it a go…

This is what happy looks like – Jennifer E. Smith (buy)

this is what happy looks life Jennifer E Smith

When a young movie star accidentally sends a small-town girl an email about his pet pig, the two teens strike up a witty correspondence during which they share their views on everything without revealing their actual identities, an episode that causes a relationship to develop which ultimately transforms when the actor chooses the girl’s hometown for the setting of his latest film.

This was cute and fluffy and the story takes place over the summer. I’m not a big contemporary reader but there’s just something about summer and contemporary fiction that makes them fit together perfectly.

Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (buy)

outlander diana gabaldon

The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of Our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life, and shatter her heart. For here James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire—and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

I’m putting this on my list because I started reading it while on holiday in the Provence. I FLEW through it. I haven’t read any of the other books in this series since but I really enjoyed this one! If you want something you can immerse yourself in, this might be the one.

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd (buy)

The secret life of bees Sue Monk Kidd

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come

This.is.such.a.great.book!!! I LOVED this book when I read it and I can still see myself sitting in the sun being completely overwhelmed by this story. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out!

Station Eleven – Emily St. John Mandel (buy)

station eleven emily st john mandel

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Travelling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

If you would like something more thrilling to read on those hot summer days, this is one to put on your list. I know that a lot of people have already read this one but I couldn’t not include it. This is a beautiful dystopian story about the different ways someone can ‘survive’. It’s also the next book for Sanne‘s #EndOfTheWorldBookClub , you might want to check that one out 😉

Review

The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd *****

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: "...taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household..."

This book..

This book..

I don’t know, it just hit a soft spot. I loved it start to finish..

The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily. She lives with her father on a peach orchard. Her mother died when she was little and even though she was there when it happened, she only remembers fragments of that day. T-Ray (she never calls him daddy, because he’s not very daddy-like) is always mean to her and although Rosaleen, a coloured woman, takes care of her, all she really wants is her mother.
When Rosaleen goes into town to register to vote, Lily decides to go with her. A lot of the white people don’t agree with giving coloured people the right to vote and Rosaleen and Lily run into a group of the worst of them. Rosaleen stands up to them and they attack her. It really makes you see how twisted the society was back then because it’s Rosaleen and Lily who end up in jail.

T-Ray gets Lily out of jail but not Rosaleen, he even tells Lily that those racist guys will probably go find her and kill her. That same evening he tells Lily that her mother was leaving her the day she died, that she didn’t care about her at all. This makes Lily run away from T-Ray, free Rosaleen and start on an adventure that will change everything she knows.

Lily and Rosaleen end up with the three Boatwright sisters who take them in. Lily helps August out with the honey making, falls in love with a boy and learns what really happened to her mother.

The moment I started reading this book, I knew it was going to be really good. Before I knew it, I was halfway through.
It was Shannon (@cozyteareads) who recommended this book in one of her videos. I don’t know if I would have picked it up otherwise but I’m so happy that I did.
I feel like this book teaches you so many different things. Everyone can find some life lesson hidden between the pages.
I’m not a religious person but I felt the importance of the mother figure that’s the Black Mary. I felt the love that people can have for one another whether they are family or not. I understood the difficulties of being a mother and of depression.
Yes, I think it’s safe to say that I got a lot out of this book.

Also, it’s history.. which I love.
Things are a little bit better now than the way they were but we’ve still got a long way to go.

Let’s help racism out of this world, let’s be nice to one another, let’s be friends.

Love

Ellen

P.S. Picture from Pinterest