10 books you need to read this summer and INTRODUCING THE FEMME BOOK CLUB

The top ten books in a line

These books will have you hooked from Chapter 1

During lockdown, we read about a million and one books to keep ourselves busy. From romance, to thrillers we covered them all. And now that we’re allowed to travel, we’re going to need some more books to read by the pool! (Yes, we’re poets now too) 

If you’re in the same position as us, then here’s a list of 10 books that we LOVED and we know you will too.

Normal People – Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins. 

Normal People is a story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find they can’t. 

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat.
Tiffy and Leon share a bed.
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. 

Huda Beauty

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window. 

Grown Ups – Marian Keyes

They’re a glamorous family, the Caseys. 

Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful, talented wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together – birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, weekends away. And they’re a happy family. Johnny’s wife, Jessie – who has the most money – insists on it. 

Under the surface, though, conditions are murkier. While some people clash, other people like each other far too much…

Everything stays under control until Ed’s wife, Cara, gets concussion and can’t keep her thoughts to herself. One careless remark at Johnny’s birthday party, with the entire family present, starts Cara spilling out all their secrets.

In the subsequent unravelling, every one of the adults finds themselves wondering if it’s time – finally – to grow up?

Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie Jenkins can’t cut a break. Well, apart from one from her long-term boyfriend, Tom. That’s definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break-up. Stuck between a boss who doesn’t seem to see her, a family who don’t seem to listen (if it’s not Jesus or water rates, they’re not interested), and trying to fit in two worlds that don’t really understand her, it’s no wonder she’s struggling. 

She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life? 

A darkly comic and unflinching raw depiction of a young woman trying to navigate her way in the world. 

Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

This one was our fave!

Award-winning journalist Dolly Alderton survived her twenties (just about) and in Everything I Know About Love, she gives an unflinching account of the bad dates and squalid flat shares, the heartaches and humiliations, and most importantly, the unbreakable female friendships that helped her to hold it all together. Glittering with wit, heart and humour, this is a book to press into the hands of every woman who has ever been there or is about to find themselves taking that first step towards the rest of their lives.

Pretending – Holly Bourne

He said he was looking for a ‘partner in crime’ which everyone knows is shorthand for ‘a woman who isn’t real’.

April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.

If only April could be more like Gretel. 

Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems. 

The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her. 

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua. 

Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her won feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?  

So Lucky – Dawn O’Porter

IS ANYONE’S LIFE

Beth shows that women really can have it all.
Ruby lives life by her own rules. 
And then there’s
Lauren, living the dream. 

AS PERFECT AS IT LOOKS?

Beth hasn’t had sex in a year. 
Ruby feels like she’s failing. 
Lauren’s happiness is fake news. 

And it just takes one shocking event to make the truth come tumbling out…

Fearless, frank and for anyone who’s ever doubted themselves, SO LUCKY is the straight-talking new novel from the Sunday Times bestseller. 

Actually you’re pretty F****** lucky to be you. 

If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane

If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance
(They set the rules via email)
Everyone can see they’re head over heels
(They staged the photos)
This must be true love 
(They’re faking it)

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together. So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet…

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

This is Britain as you’ve never seen it. 

This is Britain as it has never been told. 

From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the brith of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl Woman Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through the country and the last hundred years. They’re each looking for something – a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope. 

Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

For years, rumours of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspected Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens. 

BOOK CLUB

Here at The Femme we love a good book, and we thought maybe you would too. So, we’re Launching The Femme Book Club

Each month we’ll announce our read for the next 30 days over on our Instagram stories (@thefemmeuk). 

At the end of each month, we’ll give you a 5-star review and share our thoughts and opinions. You’ll also be able to share yours too! 

This month’s pick is one from the list above. 

Grown Ups – Marian Keyes

It’s quite a chunky book so will hopefully keep us busy all month. Grab your copies and get reading – and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

If you’re looking for a place to read your new book, have a look at our Top Five City Break Destinations You Need To See

Tags: book club, books, entertainment, the femme book club

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