The Books I Read (And Bought) This Summer

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Throughout the entirety of my A Levels, I never got chance to read a book unless it was something for my courses, or to potentially put on a personal statement. So, this summer marked the first time in a long time that I could decide exactly what I wanted to read for fun. I haven't managed to read tons, but the books I have read have stood out to me so much that I wanted to share them on the blog. There's a mix of everything - from historical, autobiographical to fiction.


Unusually for me, most of the books I have read have actually been read on my iPad rather than a physical copy of the book. Some of these are on the Kindle app - you can get free or very cheap copies of so many classic novels - I downloaded many and only got round to reading one! The other app I use regularly is BorrowBox, an app that links to your local county library where you can reserve, borrow, renew and return books like you would at a library, but at the ease of an app. It has got me reading a lot more when huge best sellers are available for free.

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz - Heather Morris

The first book I read was a true story, retold very much in the format of a novel, about the experience of a Holocaust suvivor, Lale, a Slovakian Jew. I was really caught up in this book and had to find out his fate so I read it in two days flat - typical for me, I don't read for months and suddenly it is all I do! Although I'd heard a lot of praise for the book before I read it, afterwards I read criticisms about the style of the writing - it was originally meant to be a film script, so there isn't lots of fancy description. But considering the topic of the book, I think this is perfect, to allow the reader to focus truly on the hardships experienced. The author had written a second book about another survivor mentioned in this book, published in October which I can't wait to read.

The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

I had always wanted to read this modern classic - I saw so many people studying it for A Level and I am so sad my college didn't do it! It isn't too long so it is the perfect summer read, easily finished in a couple of days, set in 1920s New York which of course is the reason why I wanted to read it so much. It really focuses on the darker side of the glitzy 20s and being published in the heart of the era itself it reveals so much about the true setting. I watched the film afterwards and as much as I liked it, it certainly didn't live up to my version in my head as I was reading the book!

Becoming - Michelle Obama

I've been really excited to read Michelle Obama's autobiography since it came out and it certainly didn't disappoint. It's a long one, so it felt like it was taking a while to read but it was so worth the read. Of course, I was most looking forward to reading about her experience living in the White House, how that huge change affected her and her family life, but I equally enjoyed reading about her childhood and her story of 'becoming' herself. Her story reveals the huge inequalities faced in US society in the past few decades and even today, something that is really emphasised in the book as it is a huge part of her life. There were parts that had me on the verge of tears and many that made me laugh too so it was a really enjoyable read, one I wholeheartedly recommend. 

Fall and Rise: The Story Of 9/11 - Mitchell Zuckoff

This book, my most recent read, compiling stories of both the survivors and victims of 9/11 was harrowing and heartbreaking, a difficult one to put down. Zuckoff tells the tale of the devastating day in three parts - the air, the ground, and the aftermath, which gives you a real insight into not only the devastation and destruction caused but also the incredible acts of heroism.
He has conducted such in-depth interviews with survivors and the victims' families that make the book as captivating as it is hard to read. For me, only 10 months old at the time, 9/11 is part of history so it really gave me a deeper understanding of how it affected people on a very personal level.


Paris Echo - Sebastian Faulks

The first two books I bought recently were part of a Waterstones Buy One Get One Half Price offer, which was really good value. Often I have a look in Waterstones as I like to look at physical copies of books, then order them cheaper online but this time it was actually better value in Waterstones which is great.

The first of the two is called Paris Echo, a novel which when I read the description really captivated me and persuaded me to get it. It is about two teenagers set in Paris, and it seems one has a connection to the occupation in WW2, and the other to the Algerian war. These are both periods we learnt about a lot in French last year so I really wanted to expand my knowledge in the context of a novel - I can't wait to give it a read!

A History Of The World In 21 Women - Jenni Murray

I saw this a few months ago and thought it looked so interesting. When deliberating which book I would buy as my second choice, I spotted the paperback version of it and instantly grabbed it and took it to the till. Women are often overlooked in history so I love the idea of telling the stories of 21 women who have made a huge difference. The author covers a huge time period as well, there are women featured in there from a thousand years ago, to modern figures such as Madonna! It definitely looks like the sort of book I will find really interesting.

Expectation - Anna Hope

I actually decided to purchase this one because of a recommendation by Eleanor Claudie, I searched it up and it sounded exactly like something I wanted to read. Surprisingly it is a novel not based on history at all, which makes a real change to my current bookshelf! It is a story about three women who are unhappy with how their lives turned out, compared to the lives they envisaged for themselves as teenagers. As a very ambitious young person beginning university, it felt like the perfect book to read at this time.

I read some great books this summer and I can't wait to read my three new ones. I will let you know my thoughts when I have read them! Let me know what books you have really enjoyed this summer, I will have to check them out!

EG x


  1. I quite like the 'books I bought' section included in to this post! Expectation sounds like an interesting read. I can't wait to see the next one of these posts for an update
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

  2. I really want to read The Tattooist of Auschwitz, my Mum said it was amazing!

    Lucy | Forever September

    1. My Mum said it was too which is why I read it, and she wasn't wrong! x

  3. I absolutely loved Becoming and The Tattoosit of Auschwitz! Using my local library has meant I've read so much more than usual without spending a penny, which is a huge bonus

    Emily x |

    1. Me too! Libraries are so good aren't they, and I feel like they're really forgotten about these days! x