Post date: 
Thursday, 13 August 2020
An open book and a cup of tea

If you can't physically travel overseas this summer, why not read something that will transport your mind to somewhere new?  

RNIB's resident book-lovers have chosen - from the RNIB online library - their five favourite reads from different countries. 

1. The Dry by Jane Harper

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions are high. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son. As policeman Aaron Falk probes deeper into the killings secrets from the past are uncovered.

Tracy Pearson in our Reading Services team recommends the book: "I found this to be a really gripping murder mystery which kept me guessing right to the end.  There is a lot going on.  The heat and the drought and the strain this puts the community come across but without slowing down the pace of the story at all."

2. Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls

Charlie is 16 and the kind of boy you don't remember in the school photograph. But Fran Fisher bursts into his life and if Charlie wants to be with Fran, he must accept a challenge that will lose him the respect of his friends and almost require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling: the price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare.

"This takes you right back to the long summer holidays from school when time seemed to stand still and possibilities were endless," says RNIB's Heather Nazmdeh. "It is a lovely read, full of first love, friendships, family - and Romeo and Juliet."

3. When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

Between tending to the whims of her seven-year-old and the demands of her boss, Viv barely gets a moment to herself. It's not quite the life she wanted, but she hasn't run screaming for the hills yet. But then Viv's husband Andy makes his mid-life crisis her problem.

He's having an affair with his (infuriatingly age-appropriate) colleague, a woman who - unlike Viv - doesn't put on weight when she so much as glances at a cream cake. Viv suddenly finds herself single, with zero desire to mingle. Should she be mourning the end of life as she knows it, or could this be the perfect chance to put herself first?

4. Blazing Saddles: The cruel and unusual history of the Tour de France by Matt Rendell

The Tour de France has been running for 104 years and has completed 94 laps of France. The fine spectacle of life-threatening exertion, bare-faced cheating, road-side sabotage, ludicrous clothing, extreme intimate discomfort, and grown men at the absolute end of their tethers has gathered the race an audience of millions. This book looks at the history - the rivalries and controversies, the blind passions and filthy suspicions, the wheeling and the dealing and gives an insight into the race itself.

Joe Mapleston, in our Reading Services team, is a cycling fan: "The author, Matt Rendell, is the voice of ITV’s coverage of the Tour and he brings all of his extensive knowledge and humour to a tour through the rivalries, the cheating, the heroism and the superstars of this ultimate test of human endurance."

5. The Lido by Libby Page

Rosemary, 86, has lived in Brixton all her life. But the library where she used to work has closed, the family fruit and veg shop has become a trendy bar, and her beloved husband George is gone. Kate, 26, is at the bottom rung of her career as a journalist on a local paper. So, when the local lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. And Rosemary knows it is the end of everything for her. Together they are determined to make a stand, to show that the pool is the heart of the community.

It’s a much lighter read than that description makes it sound, reckons RNIB's Andrew Upton: "It is perfect for enjoying on a hot summer’s day."

  • To download these books visit the new RNIB online library. If you are not a member, you will be able to sign up and start downloading books straight away. Or, you can order a summer read from our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.