Summer Reads 2018

A woman reads a book on a beach
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With summer break fast approaching, you have probably been frequenting the bookstores in search of that perfect companion to quench your thirst for escapism. If that’s the case, then look no further! From gripping adventure and blood-curdling thrillers to sweeping romance, these juicy summer reads will lure you into different parts of the world turning any vacation into an exotic getaway.

Crimson Sails by Alexander Grin

Image credit: Scribner

Set in a fishing village of Kaperna, this rich tapestry of metaphors and vivid imagery follows a young maiden, Assol, who has been ostracised for her peculiar dreams. For many years, despite being ridiculed for her feeble mind, Assol has never stopped believing in a mysterious vessel with crimson sails, until one serendipitous encounter brings her closer to her destiny. A symbol of a new beginning, this fantasy tale inspired the most spectacular festival in Russia, gathering thousands of school graduates along the Neva river on their prom night. 

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The Beach by Alex Garland

Image credit: Penguin

Rumours of a Thai utopia, the secret location of which can only be disclosed to a chosen few, have been circulating among backpackers for decades. In search of his slice of paradise, a young English traveller Richard joins forces with two fellow explorers to venture into unchartered waters of East Asia. Soon they discover a breathtaking island that seems to offer infinite freedom and a chance of a fresh start. However, when isolation, social anxiety and hallucinations take the better of Richard, his newly found Shangri-La turns into a trap more terrifying than he could possibly have foreseen. 

This delightful summer read promises to be as satisfying as the feeling of sand between your toes. 

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Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Image credit: Center Point Publishing

A luxury cruise along the Nile welcomes the crème de la crème of Western society to explore the oriental allure of Egypt. Honeymoon for some, revenge vehicle for others, for an unsuspecting Hercule Poirot this seemingly idyllic voyage has a chance to turn into a working holiday. While passengers follow in the footsteps of pharaohs soaking up the Byzantine culture, evil penetrates each corner of the boat executing a monstrous plan. Despite being disguised as an ancient curse, the perfect murder conspiracy soon begins to crumble under the weight of the famous sleuth and his “little grey cells”. 

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Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Image credit: Penguin

Escape to the land of eternal sunshine in this critically-acclaimed tale of a desperate gasp for freedom. For 25-year-old Sofia, who is hoping to find a cure for her mother’s mysterious illness, a trip to Spain turns into a life-changing affair. As nursing for her overbearing parent takes its toll, Sofia struggles to define her own identity in a strained mother-daughter relationship. Soon the sense of duty gives a way to frustration as the toxic bond begins to rob Sofia of her independence and no knight in shining armour would be able to save her from herself now. Unsettling and delirious at times, this incredibly insightful novel covers everything from love and control to confusion against the backdrop of deserted Iberian coast. 

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Lies that Bind Us by Andrew Hart

Image credit: Lake Union Publishing

Plunge into the sea of deception with the most intriguing summer thriller that will make you question everything you know about your past life. 

When Jan arrives at the Greek island of Crete, little does she know that she is about to take a wrong turn down a memory lane. For a pathological lier, who sabotages every aspect of her life, a friends reunion might be her only chance for redemption. By a twist of fate, Jan finds herself in a small cell being chained to a wall with no recollection of how she got there. As her mind begins a frantic search for some missing links, Jan learns the shuttering truth about her past that has the power to alter her future. Gripping and fast-paced, this vortex of fear, contempt and anguish will pull you into the heart of darkness and keep you a prisoner until the last page. 

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Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Image credit: Conner Smyth Design

First published in 1719, Daniel Defoe’s classic adventure has been a popular summer read for many generations of readers of all ages. For Robinson Crusoe, a mariner on a quest to bring slaves from Africa, the ship’s collision with a raging storm marked the beginning of his spiritual journey. Having been washed up on the shore by shipwreck, the lonely castaway struggles against deprivation, hardship and miseries on a small deserted island near Trinidad. Following a few years of solitude, Crusoe discovers yet another sinister secret, lurking behind the world of exotic beaches and glinting blue waters, that might jeopardise his hopes of being rescued. Presented as a fictional autobiography, Defoe offers a unique glimpse into the soul of an exile in his fight for survival, where courage and ingenuity triumph over adversity. 

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The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan

Image credit: Dial Books

Summertime occupies a special place in the heart of every young adult. For some, it’s a perfect time to fall in love, make new friends and explore new horizons. But for Briggs, a senior year student who’s just landed a new job on the beach of Lake Michigan, summer turns into a once-in-a-lifetime experience that alters his mind and soul forever. Poignant and charming, this tongue-in-cheek summer romance serves as a potent cocktail of hope, compassion and self-discovery so delicious you will enjoy every drop of it. 

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The Sun also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Image credit: Simon & Schuster

Blood, lust and tears all blend into a poignant tale of “Lost Generation”, depicting American expatriates enjoying their decadent lifestyle in Europe. The story unfolds when Brett Ashley, a promiscuous English divorcée, travels with a group of friends to a bullfighting Festival in Pamplona. One by one, the flighty siren lures her male companions to their destruction with her irresistible charms and manners. Her effortless game of seduction is executed with precision of a bloodthirsty matador, who taunts his bull to a point of rage. Sexually liberated and confident, the femme fatale exploits vulnerability of her countless suitors, leaving behind a trail of false hopes and heartbreaks. Revered for his exceptionally-crafted dialogues and unadorned prose, Hemingway serves a boozy menu of jealousy, love and loss that will satisfy even the fussiest readers.

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Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

Image credit: Wolsley Theatre

The intention behind this book was to provide a travel guide for those who wished to take a boat trip up the river Thames. However, the humour with which Jerome K. Jerome chose to ridicule his fellow travellers resonated with readers, making the novel a sensation overnight. A much anticipated two-week vacation does not go as planned, when the gentlemen struggle to survive in the wilderness. In the face of various obstacles, the characters display the worst personal traits turning into seedy hypochondriacs and hypocrites.

This book will make you laugh until your stomach hurts!

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Mare

Image credit: Gallery Scout Press

For Laura Blacklock, a journalist who has recently survived a home invasion, things are finally looking up again. Having received an assignment from a luxury travel magazine, she is hoping to spend a week aboard an exclusive yacht and let the sea breeze work its magic. A honeypot for rich and famous with just a handful of cabins, the cruise offers a sneak peak into the lives of the privileged, where neither champagne no conversation ever goes dry. But everything changes when one night Lo witnesses something that was not intended for her prying eyes. Being trapped on the boat with a killer on the loose soon triggers a monstrous panic that feeds on her fear of the unknown.

One of the most gripping psychological thrillers, this heart-pounding story will make you look over your shoulder every time you venture into the sea.


Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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