What’s On the bookshelf: 3 easy reads for summer
Our friends at Emirates Literature Festival share three books perfect for poolside consumption…
In the middle of the Dubai summer, you would be forgiven for choosing to stay indoors to read. If you do venture out, a chilled and shaded pool might be just the thing. So now is the time to talk about the perfect beach – or pool – reads.
After some debate in the offices of the Emirates Literature Foundation, we suggest the ultimate beach read should be easy to read. Short paragraphs and chapters are preferred for dipping in and out. It must not require note taking, for obvious reasons. Although it should be very readable, it doesn’t have to be light in the topics it tackles – all genres work.
Here are three that all fit the description.
The Beach, by Alex Garland
An icon of the backpacker genre, this smash hit of the late 1990s stands the test of time, and it is still the perfect beach book. Short and action-packed chapters make it easy to dip in between dips in the pool. As the main character Richard searches for a hidden paradise island in Thailand with only a scribbled map to guide him, you can close your eyes and feel the same heat on your skin. The Island, once found, is both more and less than he had hoped for, and what looks like paradise on first arrival quickly becomes something far more sinister.
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
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Don Tilman is like no other leading man. With his Standardised Meal System and his 16-page questionnaire for determining compatibility with potential partners, he is not your usual love interest. He is ready to give up on the Wife project after a series of failed dates, so when he meets Rosie he decides to help her find her unknown father instead, i.e. the Father Project, as a distraction. In no way is he interested in Rosie for anything else as she is blatantly unsuitable as a mate. Or is she?
This fun and uplifting book is perfect for the beach or pool.
Whatever makes you happy, by William Sutcliffe
Three mothers, close friends since their sons were little, lament how their children, once so sweet and full of potential, seem to be stuck in a perpetual juvenile mode even in their thirties. They never visit, they barely call, and their mothers have had enough.
In a moment of madness, the mothers decide to launch a coordinated attack; springing week long surprise visits on their sons which have hilarious and heartfelt consequences.
The Emirates Literature Foundation team are talking books, books, books over on the Boundless Book Club podcast and you can find it here, and on all your favourite podcast platforms. Don’t forget to check out the YouTube channel for sessions, author interviews and more book chat.