KN Reads: Five Summer Suggestions

You know what? There are some good books out there. I don’t know about you, but summer for me is a time for getting my teeth into the really good ones. It’s a time to speed through or savour the best books I can find, preferably sitting somewhere in the sunshine with an iced capp from Tim’s.

I’ve never been one to go for the light-hearted stuff in summer, though sometimes it happens by chance. I’d rather have something that absorbs me completely.

Here is a list of five books that you should check out this summer.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Since I finished this book I’ve been recommending it to anyone who has even a passing interest in sci-fi. That said, I don’t think you should dismiss it just because you think sci-fi isn’t your thing. It’s a book full of fascinating, fully-realised characters with a plot that keeps you reading at a rate of knots (or whatever the space equivalent is).

That said, if you are a fan of sci-fi? Grab this thing. Grab it. It has whispers and shouts of Firefly in its ensemble crew, but it’s different enough to keep it interesting.


by Nnedi Okorafor


Nnedi Okorafor is my new favourite author. I struggled to know which book to recommend here since another one caught my heart earlier this year, but I think Binti might be the best choice. It’s a short book, but it contains so much wonder.

Binti leaves her home behind to accept a place at Oozma University across the galaxy. The Himba people do not stray far from their home, but Binti will sacrifice comfort and familiarity for her education. Things… do not go as planned, and she finds herself in the middle of a strange and painful war.

It is a touching book and easy to read in one sitting, so perfect for a hot summer afternoon.

The Book of Speculation

by Erika Swyler

The Book of speculation by Erika Swyler

It’s only been a year or so since I read this book and I’m considering re-reading it. That’s how good it is. I may even go out and buy the physical edition despite the fact I already have the digital copy.

As a young librarian watches his life unravel, he is sent a book with a link to his past that suggests a curse on the women in his family. The complicated but never overly dense plot brings a sense of magical realism to a world full of books and the ocean, two of my favourite things.

You can find my longer review here.


by Colleen Hoover


I don’t often buy romance. Not because I don’t like it, but because I am wary of the terrible sexism a lot of traditional romances hide between their pages, and because I personally do not relate to a lot of heterosexual love stories. That said, I picked this book up on a whim and I’m glad I did.

While in England I struggled to sleep (stupid jet lag) so one night I was up for a few hours, wide awake. I decided to read Confess which, as it turns out, was a mistake. I couldn’t stop. I read it in one sitting, no regrets. It is the tale of a woman whose life fell apart at a young age when she lost her beloved boyfriend, and how she finds love again in an interesting place. More than that, she finds the strength to be a good person.

Any more than that and I’ll spoil the surprises.


A Tale for the Time Being

by Ruth Ozeki


Another book I picked up on a whim from the discount section at Chapters (that place is a gold mine). I opened on a random page, read a few sentences, and all but ran to the counter to pay. It is about a young girl in Japan and a woman on the west coast of Canada, and it is the story of how their lives intertwine from afar.

The prose is beautiful and the story is hard to explain without giving it away, but I did my best in my review. This isn’t a book you can read in one sitting (or I couldn’t!) but it could be that sneaky half an hour read you catch between your busier days, and it will be all the better for dragging it out.


What’s on your summer reading list? Or for those heading into winter (hi southern hemisphere), do you have any cosy reads lined up?

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4 thoughts on “KN Reads: Five Summer Suggestions

  1. I very much like your book posts – suspect I’d enjoy each and every one!

    I’ve only read one Ruth Ozeki, My Year of Meat, but it was amazing. (Oddly enough it seems to have been renamed to “My Year of Meats”! I do prefer the original.) It was hugely popular in South Africa, but I found no one in the UK had ever heard of it. SA is odd that way, it’s small enough that word of mouth (plus maybe one or two gushing reviews) can have a sweeping effect, pushing things that never had much impact elsewhere in the world to proper cultural phenomenon status. (See also Rodriguez!) Anyway, very highly recommended.


    1. Aww, thanks! I’m glad you get something out of them.

      I really enjoyed Ruth Ozeki’s book, but I haven’t sought any others out. You’ve made it clear that I have to go seek it out. It’s fascinating what you say about South Africa, how a book can take off that way. So interesting!


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