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Summer Reading 2022 • #122

Whether you’re soaking up Nutcrackers on Rockaway beach like Kate’s book-reviewing heroine Molly Young, throwing down a picnic rug in your garden or the local park, fighting your way through airport chaos with the promise of a trip abroad or cosying up with a warm blanket in the Southern Hemisphere, we’ve got the Summer Reading show for you. It’s packed full of recommendations including our own favourite beach reads and tips from booksellers, authors and other friends of the pod.

So if you’re curious what show-regular Phil Chaffee is diving into this summer, what Emily Rhodes of Emily’s Walking Book Club is planning on reading, what Nadia Odunayo of book recommendations app The Storygraph thinks you should try, what onetime journalist now bookseller Tom Rowley is planning on reading when he gets a second off setting up his new bookshop, Backstory, and finally what one of our favourite authors, Ed Caesar, thinks might be the perfect page-turner for you, keep listening.

So whether you’re inclined towards the hottest new releases or the tried and tested classics (including several our guests love so much they return to them again and again), grab a notepad and listen in.

How about you? What’s your tip for the perfect summer read? Let us know in the comments.

Book recommendations

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

The Field by Robert Seethaler

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

Lessons in Chamistry by Bonnie Garmus

You Made a Fool of Death with your Beauty by Akwake Emezi

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin

A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

News of the Dead by James Robertson

Free by Lea Ypi

Serious Money by Caroline Knowles

The Lymond Chronicles by Dorothy Dunnett

The House of Niccolo sequence by Dorothy Dunnet

We Don’t Know Ourselves by Fintan O’Toole

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Clockers by Richard Price

Virtue by Hermione Hobie

Neon in Daylight by Hermione Hoby

Essex Dogs by Dan Jones (published 15 September 2022)


[coming soon]


What’s a great summer read that you love?



  • Andrew
    July 17, 2022 at 10:29 pm  - Reply

    100% support the recommendation of A Month in the Country, my all-time favourite book, having read it some years ago, and reread it half a dozen times since. My book group read it a couple of years ago, and voted it as favourite book to date earlier this year. My suggestion for a summer read is The Feast by Margaret Kennedy. Dark, sharp and very entertaining – and very much of the summer!
    My summer reading will largely consist of catching up on some of the recommendations here, especially: Michel the Giant (I’d already chosen this for Togo in a Reading Around the Challenge I’m doing, but you nailed it there!), Great Circle, O Caledonia, The Heart is A Lonely Hunter. My Irish choice for that challenge is Ulysses, given it’s 100th anniversary, and again that episode on the Literary Almanac (which I now have) sealed my fate! So, it might be that the others don’t actually get read for a while!

    • Kate
      July 18, 2022 at 9:10 pm  - Reply

      I read it many years ago but don’t remember much about it. Would be nice to reread. In what feels like the same vein I have a copy of The Go-Between, recommended by Ella Berthoud as a good Summer read, waiting for me. I also have a copy of The Feast I found in my Little Free Library. I hope you enjoy O’Caledonia which immediately became one of my all-time favourite reads. And good luck with Ulysses – feels like there’s so much rich material around right now for enhancing the experience thanks to the anniversary. Andy in my book club read it and enjoyed the experience. He recommended the RTE companion podcast series.

  • Andrew
    August 2, 2022 at 10:41 pm  - Reply

    Thanks for the link. Just finished O Caledonia. Superb writing. Really appreciated it, but not sure if actually enjoyed it: opening just cast too much of a pall over the rest of the book for me. Very glad to have read it though, and totally see why regarded by some as a classic.

    • Kate
      August 8, 2022 at 9:31 am  - Reply

      It’s a very dark book, that’s for sure. But as you say, the writing? Pure joy. Glad you’ve experienced it.

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