15 sizzling summer reads

Will Milner picks the books you need in your beach bag Discuss this article

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Always with Love by Giovanna Fletcher
Blogger, vlogger, author, pop star’s wife – there is a lot going on for the bestselling author. While her own life sounds like the plot of a beach read, it’s this follow-up to Billy and Me that we’re interested in. Will the girl next door and the Hollywood superstar stay in love when they’re so far apart?

Zero K by Don DeLillo
This is the American novelist’s first major work in more than half a decade. It may also be his most poignant and funny in a long time. The story of a billionaire investor at a mysterious cryogenics facility is a fascinating concept.

All involved by Ryan Gattis
In April 1992, Los Angeles was ablaze with anger, violence and rioting after the acquittal of police in the Rodney King case. So with every cop looking the other way, the violence of Latino gangland goes unchecked and, relatively, unseen. That is the premise behind this multiple-narrator gangster thriller.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child By J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
One of the most eagerly-anticipated stories of the year is not a novel at all but, in fact, a collection of theatre scripts. Set 19 years after the death of Voldemort, the story picks up with Harry Potter as an overworked Ministry of Magic employee and his young son Albus Severus at Hogwarts.

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
Three of his last four novels have either been shortlisted for or won the Booker Prize, yet critics are calling this Barnes’ masterpiece. It’s a fictionalised telling of the life of classical musician Dmitri Shostakovich under Stalin. The real issues are those of art, power and the struggle between the two.

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
The award-winning author is known for her emotional sensitivity. Her latest is a portrait of a marriage and the pressures of time. Set across continents, it takes the reader on a journey through key moments that change the course of a life.

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley
From the creator and writer of the Emmy Award-winning TV series Fargo, this suspense novel sees a struggling artist coping with fame after surviving a plane crash. It deals with betrayal, the media and redemption, while being a clever whodunnit page-turner.

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
A thought-provoking read reflecting on grief, exploration and animals, from the Life of Pi author. It’s set in early 20th century Portugal with the unlikely companion of a chimpanzee and told through three separate yet connected stories.

The Blade Artist by Irvine Welsh
In this literary comeback, we catch up with Trainspotting’s Begbie, now living the life of a seemingly rehabilitated artist in California. A visit to Edinburgh for the funeral of his murdered son threatens to bring his violence back.

My Name is Leon by Kit De Waal
Race, adoption and growing up in 1980s Britain are some of the issues addressed in this debut novel. It’s all told through the eyes of a young boy thrust into adulthood too soon.

The Pier Falls by Mark Haddon
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time author is no stranger to critical acclaim, and his first short story collection has received some of the best praise of all. Tales include a disastrous mission to Mars and an Amazon adventure.

Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff
The teen fiction writer delivers her first book for grown-ups, or at least those trying to be, and it’s crammed with youthful energy, romance, comedy and questions about the futility of advertising.

End of Watch by Stephen King
Part three of the Bill Hodges trilogy sees King creeping (through the dark and with full knowledge that someone or something sinister is watching, of course) away from the hard-boiled detective genre to the supernatural once again.

Shtum. by Jem Lester
Jonah Jewell is a ten-year-old boy who has never spoken a word. Through his eyes, the world can be a funny and heart-breaking place and when he is forced to live with a single father and an ageing grandfather his quiet, confusing and carefully-controlled life is turned upside down.

The Fireman by Joe Hill
An apocalyptic horror story that may be enough to shake off comparisons between the writer and his father, Stephen King. Sure there are some similarities (psychotic writer, small town America, monsters), but there is a twist to this tale of spontaneous combustion and spreading terror to mark out new readers of a new generation.
Stockists: WHSmith, Ezdan Mall (4433 4141), Hyatt Plaza Mall (4472 6263); Virgin Megastore, Villaggio Mall (4495 9060), Landmark Mall (4456 5340); www.amazon.com.

By Will Milner
Time Out Doha,

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