Sahara Book Club | Summer Reads
There’s no greater feeling than sunlight warming your face whilst you read a book on a warm summer’s day. Whether you’re relaxing in the garden, dipping your toes into a pool or exploring a new city, prepare to lose yourself in one of our summer reads…
How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
Tom Hazard is a history teacher with a secret – due to a rare condition, he’s been alive for almost five centuries. He’s played music with Shakespeare, hung out with F. Scott Fitzgerald in Jazz-Age Paris and sailed the South Seas with Captain Cook, however his condition has ultimately proved to be both a blessing and a curse. Tackling themes of love, loss and time, this novel is a bittersweet tale about finding yourself and truly learning to live.
Matt Haig is the author well known for his bestselling non-fiction book Reasons to Stay Alive, and his foray into fiction is an equally inspiring read. A film adaptation of How to Stop Time is already in the pipeline, with Benedict Cumberbatch due to star.
Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Ordinary People opens on the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2008, and follows the lives of two couples as they navigate black middle-class life in South London and Surrey. Melissa and Michael live in the city – she’s struggling to keep her identity as a new mother while her husband’s eyes start to wander. In the suburbs, their friends Stephanie and Damian have found that their relationship has changed for the worse since the death of his father – or is something, or someone, else to blame?
Evans channels the spirit of Dickens through her writing, creating a world full of realistic portrayals of characters and locations that you’d very easily find yourself stumbling across. An examination of parenthood, identity, grief and love, with a dedicated playlist of songs, Ordinary People invites you to experience what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison
All Among the Barley is written through the eyes of 14-year-old Edie Mather, a farmer’s daughter growing up in rural Suffolk in the shadow of the Great War. When Constance FitzAllen arrives from London to document the village’s rural traditions before they cease to be, Edie finds herself captivated by this lively young woman.
Though the villagers are initially uneasy about this new visitor, soon enough, Connie becomes a firm fixture within the community. However, as the harvest starts to approach, Connie’s true intentions are revealed and Edie has to protect all that she holds dear. Harrison tackles themes like class division, folklore and the human mind in this evocative novel that will bring to life a rural England that’s long been forgotten.
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Set in the mid-1980s, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age story following one hot summer in the life of 17-year-old Elio as he finds himself falling for Oliver, a 24-year-old PhD student completing his doctoral manuscript at Elio’s family home on the Italian Riviera. What follows is a beautifully written tale of longing and desire, unfolding against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean, where slight touches and subtle looks inevitably grow into more – shaping both Elio and Oliver forever.
The critically-acclaimed film adaptation of Call Me By Your Name was released in 2017, with Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer in the roles of as Elio and Oliver respectively. A sequel to the novel called Find Me will be published this coming October.
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Sleep is one of the most important activities of our daily life, yet we find ourselves living in an increasingly sleep-deprived society. Unbeknownst to many, lack of sleep contributes to a higher risk of major diseases like cancer, obesity and diabetes. In Why We Sleep, Professor Matthew Walker delves into questions surrounding sleep that science previously had no answers for.
Covering topics ranging from REM to sleeping aids, as well as the effects of caffeine and alcohol, Walker utilises cutting-edge science and decades of research to bring us eye-opening insights into how to harness sleep to improve every aspect of our lives. Why We Sleep is an informative and interesting read, and you will inevitably gain more shut-eye once you’ve read this book.