Summer Reading Group

I always tell people that if they want to know about the history of a country, do not go to the history books, go to the fiction. Fiction is not fiction. It is the substance and heartbeat of a people’s life, here, now, and in the past.
– Chenjerai Hove (1956-2015)

Another Way To Travel This Summer!

Since the summer of 2005, Nicola has been organising a Summer Reading Group during July and August. It offers readers a selection of recently published books from around the world either to take on holidays with you or else to allow you an alternative way to travel the world through stories!

Nicola proposes a selection of 4 books by both men and women writers from the different continents to read over a period of two months. At the end of the summer, the group meets to discuss the selection of books and to vote for the Best Summer Read. Nicola also chooses one as her Coup de Cœur! Here are some of the favourite summer books so far:

  • “Desertion” by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Tanzania)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2005
  • “Harmony Silk Factory” by Tash Aw (Malaysia)
    Best Summer Read 2006
  • “Hummingbird’s Daughter” by Luis Alberto Urrea (Mexico)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2006
  • “The Dream Life of Sukhanov” by Olga Grushin (Russia)
    Best Summer Read 2007
  • “Dreams of Speaking” by Gail Jones (Australia)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2007
  • “De Niro’s Game” by Rawi Hage (Lebanon)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2008
  • “Broken Glass” by Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
    Best Summer Read 2009
  • “Havana Fever” by Leonardo Padura (Cuba)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2009
  • “I Do Not Come to You by Chance” by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (Nigeria)
    Best Summer Read 2010
  • “The Last Bachelor” by Jay McInerney (U.S.)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2010
  • “The Rest is Silence” by Carla Guelfenbein (Chile)
    Best Summer Read 2011 & Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2011

  • “Open City” by Teju Cole (Nigeria)
    “Please Look After Mother” by Kyung-Sook Shin (S. Korea)
    Best Summer Reads 2012
  • “Irma Voth” by Miriam Toews (Canada)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2012
  • “The Devil I Know” by Claire Kilroy (Ireland)
    Best Summer Read 2013
  • “Expo 58” by Jonathan Coe (U.K.) 
    Best Summer Read 2014
  • “We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2014
  • “Parade” by Shuichi Yoshida (Japan) 
    Best Summer Read 2015
  • “Sleeping on Jupiter” by Anuradha Roy (India)
    Best Summer Read 2016
  • “Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo)
    SRG’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2016
  • “The Golden Legend” by Nadeem Aslam (Pakistan)
    Best Summer Read 2017
  • “The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak (Poland)
    SRG’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2017

SRG2018 group pic

  • “The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa (Japan)
    “Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje (Canada)
    Best Summer Reads 2018
  • “Welcome to Lagos” by Chibundu Onuzo (Nigeria)
    SRG’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2018
  • “Sadness is a White Bird” by Moriel Rothman-Zecher (Israel)
    Best Summer Read 2019
  • “The Old Drift” by Namwali Serpell (Zambia)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2019
  • “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo (U.K.)
    Best Summer Read 2020
  • “She Would be King” by Wayétu Moore (Liberia)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2020
  • “Afterlife” by Julia Alvarez (Dominican Republic)
    Best Summer Read 2021
  • “Low” by Jeet Thayil (India)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2021

SRG2022-Best Summer Read-The Promise

  • “The Promise” by Damon Galgut (South Africa)
    Best Summer Read 2022
  • “Mrs Death Misses Death” by Salena Godden (U.K.)
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2022