Our pic of the poolside pageturners to keep the whole family happy
Time Out Bahrain staff
It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to holidays and, whether you’re taking a break here on the island or heading off to visit home or pastures new, let’s hope that means long hours chilling by the pool, on the beach or even in the shade with the air-con going full blast. We’ve come up with some of the hottest summer reads to while away those long, languorous hours, all now available in Bahrain.
Tiny Sunbirds Far Away Christie Watson Winner of the Costa 2011 First Novel Award Set in the Niger Delta, this book introduces the world of 12-year-old Blessing and her family. ‘Everything changed after Mama found Father lying on top of another woman’ is probably not the best start.
Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves them for another woman.
Their mother is fired from her job at the Royal Imperial Hotel – only married women can work there – and soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a compound in the Niger Delta. Adapting to poor countryside family life is a shock beyond measure after their privileged upbringing in Lagos. Told in Blessing’s own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget. Publisher: Quercus
An Idiot Abroad The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington: Adventurer. Philosopher. Idiot. Accompanying the massively popular TV series from Ricky Gervaise and Stephen Marchant, this is sure to have you chuckling into your mocktail.
KP is not keen on travelling. Given the choice, he’ll go on holiday to Devon or Wales or, at a push, eat English food on a package holiday in Majorca. Which isn’t exactly Michael Palin is it?
So what happens when the orange-headed one is convinced by Gervaise and Marchant to travel the world and discovers its wonders… Travel broadens the mind, right?
You’d think so…
“He is a moron. A completely round, empty-headed, part-chimp Manc.” Gervaise. “He’d have been happier in medieval times in a village where you didn’t travel beyond the local community.” Marchant. Publisher: Faber
Burned Thomas Enger Billed as ‘the gripping, terrifying, edge-of-your-seat debut thriller of the year’.
The latest addition to the booming Scandinavian Noir genre, if you like Harlan Coben and Jo Nesbo, then give Enger a try.
A solitary tent in the wilds is found to contain the body of a half-buried woman. She’s been stoned to death. There are lash marks across her back. One of her hands has been cut off.
Two years earlier internet reporter Henning Juul lost his son, Jonas, in a domestic fire. As he returns to work, physically and emotionally scarred, Henning struggles to escape this past and to be taken seriously again as a reporter - by his colleagues, his ex-wife and the police.
Told to cover the story of the woman in the tent, he finds an increasingly dangerous trail and, despite an early arrest, he is convinced that the story is more complex than the police think.
According the the UK’s Independent ‘Enger is one of the most unusual and intense talents in the field’ so if blood, guts and a darn good mystery are your thing, look no further. Publisher: Faber
A Dance with Dragons George RR Martin One for both teens and parents, the fifth volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, the ‘greatest fantasy epic of the modern age’.
Game of Thrones is now a major TV winner from HBO, with the second series which just started.
The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.
In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies.
To the north lies the great wall of ice and stone.
Eddard Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow, has been elected the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but he has enemies both in the watch and beyond the wall, where the wildling armies are massing for an assault.
On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.
All sounds like gobbledegook to us but it’s bound to be a biggie. Publisher: HarperCollins
Gillespie and I Jane Harris The acclaimed follow-up to The Observations is now out in paperback, perfect for packing.
As she sits in her Bloomsbury home, with her two birds for company, elderly Harriet Baxter sets out to relate the story of her acquaintance, nearly four decades previously, with Ned Gillespie, a talented artist who never achieved the fame she maintains he deserved.
Back in 1888, the young, art-loving Harriet arrives in Glasgow at the time of the International Exhibition. After a chance encounter she befriends the Gillespie family and soon becomes a fixture in all of their lives. But when tragedy strikes - leading to a notorious criminal trial - the promise and certainties of this world all too rapidly disintegrate into mystery and deception...
‘In Gillespie and I, Harris has pulled off the only too rare double whammy - a Booker-worthy novel that I want to read again,’ according to Daisy Goodwin of the UK’s Sunday Times. Publisher: Faber
Gold Chris Cleave Particularly relevant as we head up to the Olympics, Cleave tackles the thorny topics of rivalry between friends and emotional entanglements at break-neck speed in this tale of competitive cycling.
It’s about the limits of human endurance, both physical and emotional. It’s about what drives us to succeed – and what we choose to sacrifice for success. It’s about the struggles we face every day; the conflict between winning on others’ terms and triumphing on our own. It will make you count your blessings.
British cyclists Zoe Castle and Kate Meadows are the world’s top two sprint cyclists. Which of the pair is number one, however, is a matter that history hasn’t quite settled. Having competed against each other since they were 19, they’re now, at age 32, both facing their last chance for Olympic gold. Zoe’s by far the fiercer competitor, not above playing head games with Kate, who’s the more naturally talented cyclist, though sometimes fatally soft. It doesn’t matter that Kate and Zoe are the world’s fastest. Only one of them is going to get to compete. But who? Publisher: Sceptre
Theodore Boone: The Accused John Grisham Another crossover, this is the third in the Theo Boone series which have proved popular with teens and adults alike.
Theodore Boone is the 13-year-old who knows more about the law than most adult lawyers. But now he’s a victim himself.
First his bike is vandaliswed, he’s attacked doing his homework and, worst of all, framed for robbery.
When stolen computer equipment turns up in Theo’s school locker, the police start to lean on him hard and, in a race against time, aided by his renegade uncle, Ike, he must uncover the real villain.
This will keep the teens quiet for a while and you can grab it afterwards, always a bonus. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Tuesday’s Gone Nicci French Hot off the presses at the beginning of this month this is the second in the French duo’s Freida Klein series (we’d highly recommend Blue Monday, it’s a one-sitting, all-night sizzler).
A body is discovered in the apartment of a mentally unstable woman with no way of knowing who he is or how he got there. The circuitous and treacherous way Freida, a psychotherapist, figures it out and still manages to fight the problems rising out of her past is the crux of Tuesday’s Gone.
The husband and wife team who make up Nicci French have come up with another blinder, see the August issue for our review. Publisher: Penguin
Not Dead Yet Peter James Detective Roy Grace is back.
For LA producer Larry Brooker, this is the movie that could bring the fortune that has eluded him for so long...
For rock superstar, Gaia, who is desperate to be taken seriously as an actress, this is the role that could get her an Oscar nomination...
And for the cty of Brighton and Hove, the publicity value of a major Hollywood movie being filmed on location about the city’s greatest love story, George IV and Maria Fitzherbert, would be a major boost.
But for Det Supt Roy Grace of Sussex CID, finally happy in his home life, it is a nightmare unfolding before his eyes. An obsessed stalker wants to see Gaia dead. One attempt on her life is made days before she leaves her Bel Air home to fly to Brighton. Now, the stalker is in Brighton waiting for their moment.
Beautifully written with a slew of twists and turns, it needs concentration but it’s a gripping yarn. Publisher: Macmillan
My Beautiful Bahrain Edited by Robin Barratt Launched a couple of months ago and flying off the shelves, this is a collection of Bahrain stories, reminiscences and tips with 50 contributions from 40 writers from 15 different countries.
It’s a chance to get to know the real Bahrain a little better from the point of view of people who live here and have experiences to share. You’ll find stories of the old days and more recent times. Tips for visitors and much more. Some of it even we didn’t know.
A delightful book which sold out its first print run. Price: BD5