Summer Fun Guide: 10 great reads for lazy days and nights

10 books I have read and stand by as excellent choices for a deck chair near you

10 books I have read and stand by as excellent choices for a hammock near you. Getty Images/iStockphoto / PNG

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To help you make the most of summer vacation season, we’ve turned to our in-house experts for their tips and recommendations. Biking enthusiast Kevin Griffin highlights five unique pedalling tours. Driving editor Andrew McCredie suggests five scenic summer drives. Food writer Randy Shore shares 10 tried-and-true barbecuing tricks he swears by. And avid reader Dana Gee recommends 10 titles to enjoy in a hammock or deck chair near you.


A stack of books is as essential as sunscreen when it comes to enjoying the lazy, hopefully not too hazy, days of summer.

Whether you do your reading on a device or like to kick it old school and crack open a real-life book, your options are endless. So in a bid to help you narrow your list of summer reads, here’s are 10 books I have read and I stand by as excellent choices for a deck chair near you.

Necessary People Courtesy of Little, Brown and Co / PNG

Necessary People

By Anna Pitoniak

The new novel from former Whistler resident Anna Pitoniak has all the requirements of a great summer read: It’s juicy, it has rich, good-looking people, an ambitious underdog and, of course, it has numerous fancy settings. And, oh yeah, there is intrigue.

Bunny by Mona Awad PNG

Bunny

By Mona Awad

This is the story of a hard-working scholarship student who loathes but ends up involved with a clique of female classmates who have the annoying habit of calling each other Bunny. They are rich, cute and, as it turns out, not that cuddly.

Days by Moonlight Coach House Books / PNG

Days by Moonlight

By Andre Alexis

The Giller Prize winner for the incredible Fifteen Dogs is back with a fantastical story of a physical, emotional and flat-out existential journey. The question at the heart of this two-man road trip: What is real? One thing we do know is real is Alexis’s ability to spin an engrossing tale.

Aria PNG

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Aria

By Nazanine Hozar

Set in Tehran in the years between the 1950s and the ’80s, this is a classic saga complete with sweeping vistas and complicated characters. It focuses on the life of Aria, who was abandoned as a newborn and raised by three very different women. The backdrop is the unrest in Iran and how it affects people fearing both attacks from other countries and oppression at the hands of their own government.

Machines Like Me PNG

Machines Like Me

By Ian McEwan

The mighty McEwan is back with a novel about love, but this is McEwan so there’s going to be a twist. In this romantic tale, Charlie loves Miranda, and they are happy until Adam enters the scene. Adam is gorgeous and so very clever. He infiltrates the couple’s relationship and, voilà, we’ve got a tricky triangle made even trickier by the fact that Adam literally is too good to be true. Adam, you see, is a synthetic human.

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

By Tanya Boteju

It takes a village, and in this case the village that helps a young woman figure out who the heck she is and who she can become is packed full of drag kings, drag queens and heart-thumping crushes. This debut Y/A — don’t let that deter you — novel from Vancouver’s Boteju is a hilarious look at self-expression and the bumpy road we all travel on the way to getting to know ourselves.

The Moment of Lift Handout / PNG

The Moment of Lift

By Melinda Gates

Fear not, this is not some billionaire spinning a PR-polished story about her good deeds. This is a small book about the need for some big changes. Gates says a better world is only possible if women are treated better. That means reproductive rights and equality. So make contraceptives and health care available to all women and practise gender equality at home. FYI, her husband Bill — you know, the former Microsoft guy — does the dinner dishes along with all the rest of the Gates gang. Packed with personal experiences and real life and real hard conversations, this book should be read by, well, everyone.

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Howard Stern Comes Again

By Howard Stern

OK, to be clear: Howard Stern can be a gross, sexist, bomb-throwing jackass. And, you know what, he thinks so, too. A collection of his favourite interviews from 40 years on the radio, this book is also an autobiographical confession of sorts. Stern lowers his shield and shows the reader that people can change. Well, people who embrace therapy can change. Bottom line: Stern has had some pretty great conversations and many are in this book.

The Library Book PNG

The Library Book

By Susan Orlean

This book is, at its heart, a love letter to libraries from the great long-form journalist Orlean. The story begins with a fire in 1986 at the main branch of the Los Angeles library. What Orlean discovers through a look back at the investigation that follows is story after story starring colourful characters who moved through the building over the years. Like a visit to a great library, you will come away from this book knowing a little more.

The Best of Great Trail Vol. 2 Goose Lane / PNG

The Best of the Great Trail Volume 2

By Michael Haynes

Hiking guru Haynes once again delivers a comprehensive and user-friendly guidebook for hikers who want to spend time on the Trans Canada Trail. This second volume moves the reader from Vancouver Island to the shores of Lake Superior. Psst, you don’t even have to hike to enjoy this book. I loved just looking at the maps and the lists.

dgee@postmedia.com

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