I’m really excited about the forthcoming publication of Sarah Waters’ new book, The Paying Guests. The first chapter is currently available to read here, and it certainly gets off to a brilliant start! – Rachel
ps. Whilst Old Fashioned Girls are in Yorkshire, we’re going to be taking a little break from the blog. We’ll see you when we get back!
If you are going on holiday this summer, there are some fantastic books on this list to help you get in the spirit of things. If you’re having a staycation instead, then you can have a wonderful imaginative holiday while you relax in the garden, which sometimes I enjoy more than travelling, I must admit! – Rachel
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Over the weekend, my Mum picked up the latest issue of Slightly Foxed and raved about it. After reading it through, I also became hooked and have just purchased a subscription. I’ve known about Slightly Foxed for years, but for some reason never picked up one of their quarterly magazines. I’ve been missing out! Their bookshop (pictured above) looks so charming too – I can’t believe I haven’t already been, but am now planning a visit! – Miranda
I have been rediscovering the joys of Barbara Pym over the past few days – her wit and exquisite attention to period detail are second to none. Virago’s bright and colourful editions make a smart addition to any book shelf, too. Enjoy! – Rachel
A Girl Reading, Vanessa Bell
I always enjoy compiling lists of seasonal reads. Here are my top choices for summer books that won’t leave you bored on the plane:
1. Evil Under the Sun, Agatha Christie. The Queen of Crime is always a good choice for easy to read plane or beachside material. This Hercule Poirot story is one of my favourites and a perfect summer choice.
2. My Family and Other Animals, Gerard Durrell. The perfect read to transport you to sunny Corfu and have you laughing out loud along the way.
3. The Expendable Man, Dorothy B Hughes. This thriller set in Arizona is unputdownable (so great for holiday travelling). The descriptions of the sweltering heat add to the charged atmosphere of the novel.
4. Summer Lightning, P.G. Wodehouse. I love a bit of P.G. Wodehouse any time of year, but his lighthearted novels always seem a good summery choice, and this one has the perfect title.
5. My Brother Michael, Mary Stewart. Mary Stewart always evokes a strong sense of place in her writing. Reading this novel has me yearning to go to Greece.
6. My Father’s Glory, Marcel Pagnol. This autobiographical account of a young boy’s summer holiday spent in the Provencal countryside brings the memories of seemingly endless childhood summers vividly back to life.
Do you have favourite reads for summer? If so, I’d love any suggestions! – Miranda
Hesperus are republishing a lovely trio of classic children’s books with their gorgeous trademark covers just in time for the summer holidays. Whether for the children you love, or for yourself, they’d make a wonderful escapist adventure for these long hot summer days of fun and freedom. I can’t wait to read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm myself – it sounds delightful! – Rachel
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Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series will be pretty excited to see the books have been made into a TV series, with the first season premiering in the States in August. It’s said to be the next Game of Thrones, and I have to say, it looks pretty fantastic! Check out the sneak peek here. – Miranda
I am having a wonderful time reading Fair Stood the Wind for France at the moment; I have made a concerted effort to read books about the war this centenary year, and this is both atmospheric and haunting in a rather unique way. Unlike any other war book I’ve read, it’s not set in the trenches, but in rural France, where a pilot is taking refuge with a country family, all the while under threat from discovery by the occupying Germans. It’s absolutely fantastic, and perfect for reading in the garden during these lazy summer evenings. – Rachel
I had a lovely time meeting my friend Kate for afternoon tea at the Delaunay on Saturday. Naturally, the conversation turned to books at one point, and she mentioned The Awakening of Miss Prim. It sounds a wonderful read – she had me at the words ‘a modern day Jane Austen.’ I’ve already downloaded the kindle edition – it’ll be perfect for my end of year bedraggled brain. – Miranda
Having managed to miss out on reading Laurie Lee’s famous memoir, Cider with Rosie, as a school child, I am currently finding myself enthralled by his poetic, vivid descriptions of his childhood in the countryside. This beautiful new paperback edition of all three of Lee’s memoirs has just been published by Penguin, and as a bonus to the wonderful contents, the jacket is designed by Mark Hearld, one of Old Fashioned Girls’ favourite modern artists. It looks absolutely gorgeous on my bedside table! – Rachel