Booked Out: What to Read This Summer

 Illustration: Grace Jennings-Edquist

Illustration: Grace Jennings-Edquist

We asked an actual book expert – Bronte Coates, digital content coordinator at iconic Aussie bookseller Readings  for reading recs.

Q. I know it's supposed to be a happy season but when it comes to reading, I kinda like tearjerkers. What can you suggest?
 
A. Heather Taylor Johnson’s Jean Harley was Here will make you cry and laugh. Jean Harley actually dies in the opening pages, and we then hear from the people left behind. Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue is a gorgeous story of grief, first love and a very special bookshop. Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing is a road novel and a ghost story in one, all about the tenacity and horror of American history.
 
Or if you’re partial to non-fiction, I adored the romantic, heartbreaking Insomniac City, in which Bill Hayes wrote movingly about New York and the final days in the life of his partner, the neurologist Oliver Sacks.
 
Finally, if you’ve never read the work of Nobel prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, you’re missing out. His novels are extraordinary and they always make me cry. Ishiguro's magic is writing emotionally devastating stories with such restraint that you don't know how deep in you are, until it's too late You can read my entirely subjective ranking of them all here, though I’d recommend you start with either The Remains of the Day or Never Let Me Go.