When it comes to unwinding after a long day or having something to occupy the mind a little while you relax on holiday, there really is nothing like a good book. Thumbing through the pages, immersing yourself in other worlds, expanding your mind or just getting to know something or someone else a little better, books can take you on all sorts of amazing journeys that will enrich your life. They’re also a great way to get away from all of the screens that dominate our lives, whether that’s being glued to social media on our phones or stretched out on the sofa watching shows on our favourite streaming service.
Of course, picking the right book can be a challenge. There are so many different directions you could go in. Of course the secret is having a book ready for every possible mood. Perhaps you need some light, fun and entertaining tales. Or maybe you want to really delve into an academic subject you’ve always been curious about. Whatever your desire, here are some excellent releases that have been storming the book charts that can fill that gap in your life with some much needed entertainment, a little knowledge, or even just a few minutes away from a screen to really relax. We’ve books here to satisfy a wide range of different interests and needs.
Me: Elton John
A must-read memoir
Now in his early 70s, it’s surprising to learn that this is the first official autobiography that Elton John has released. Covering his entire life from potty training with his mother to bringing up his own kids today, this is about as comprehensive as an autobiography can get, certainly digging much deeper than the movie Rocketman.
It’s an autobiography that promises to pull no punches with open discussions of his drug problems, how he got through them, losing friends like John Lennon and Freddie Mercury over the years and much more.
There are few people in the world who can claim to have lived life as loud and unabashed as Elton John can and for that alone this book promises to be a rollercoaster experience that anyone can enjoy.
Over 30 years since the release of The Handmaid’s Tale (and after that book was successfully adapted into an award-winning TV show on Hulu) Margaret Atwood has penned a powerful follow-up set in the dystopian theocracy of Gilead. Set 15 years after the original this story follows three women who have grown up in a world where women have few to no rights and are seeking their freedom.
Atwood herself has said that this follow-up was inspired not only by the requests of fans over the years to learn more about her creation of a religious dictatorship in North America, but also by current world events. Atwood has a reputation for sharp and wonderfully immersive writing and that promises to be on show in full force with this long-awaited sequel.
Talking To Strangers
Malcolm Gladwell comes with a stellar reputation as one of the great social commentators of our time having penned books on achieving and maintaining success and how to be the best person you can be. His latest turns the lens the other way at how we look at others as well as ourselves.
In Talking To Strangers he uses examples of how misunderstandings and conflicts that can arise between people for the simple reason that they do not understand each other’s point of view and how different our behaviour might be if we put ourselves in another person’s shoes from time to time. Gladwell’s work is renowned for observational power and simple, empowering messages, so he’s well worth checking out.
The Dressmaker's Gift
Fiona Valpy brings her lauded heart-wrenching and romantic flair to a multigenerational tale that promises to be thrilling, heartbreaking and uplifting. Split between three seamstresses living and working in Nazi-occupied Paris in 1940, plus the story of one of their grandchildren now visiting their old building years later, it looks to tackle the complex human stories that existed in wartime France. That means getting into the difficult decisions that everyday citizens had to make about their place in the war and the role they were going to play, sometimes risking either their lives or the lives of people they cared about at risk. What choices will they make and what will that mean for future generations? Valpy’s latest looks to bring some heartfelt understanding to a challenging era.
Sorry Not Sorry
Bringing to mind some classic romantic comedy scenarios and the transformation of Sandy at the end of Grease, Sorry Not Sorry has us join Charlotte just as she comes to the realisation that playing it safe and living up to the rules and standards that those around her have laid down aren’t making her happy. Now she’s going to try living a more risqué life and take the initiative in ways she never has before. Sounds like the perfect set up for a mix of fish out of water situations and self-empowering breakthroughs as well as plenty of comic and awkward failures along the way. Sorry Not Sorry has been celebrated as a gripping and hilarious page-turner in the great traditions of the genre.