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!

Summer 2020

The 4 shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group are:

For Brussels-based readers, buy your copy of one or all four titles at Sterling Books and receive a 10% discount when you mention Nicola’s Book Club.

Read them over the summer months, either taking them on holidays with you or else allowing them to offer you an alternative way to travel the world through stories.

At the end of the summer, join Nicola and other readers to discuss the stories and their styles, and to vote for Best Summer Read 2020. The meeting will take place ONLINE on

* Thursday, 3rd September from 19:30-21:30 (CEST)

Admission is €5. When you reserve your spot, you will also have the possibility to make a donation in memory of George Floyd. May his death and the death of all the other Black Lives ring the end of systemic racism in our societies. 

All proceeds (admission and donation) will be transferred to the MRAX which fights against racism, anti-semitism and xenophobia in Belgium.

Places are limited so get your ticket in advance. The link to the online meeting room will be sent to attendees at the end of August.

* * * * * * *

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) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2005
  • “Harmony Silk Factory” by Tash Aw (Malaysia) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2006
  • “Hummingbird’s Daughter” by Luis Alberto Urrea (Mexico) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2006
  • “The Dream Life of Sukhanov” by Olga Grushin (Russia) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2007
  • “Dreams of Speaking” by Gail Jones (Australia) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2007
  • “De Niro’s Game” by Rawi Hage (Lebanon) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2008
  • “Broken Glass” by Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2009
  • “Havana Fever” by Leonardo Padura (Cuba) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2009
  • “I Do Not Come to You by Chance” by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani (Nigeria) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2010
  • “The Last Bachelor” by Jay McInerney (U.S.) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2010
  • “The Rest is Silence” by Carla Guelfenbein (Chile) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2011 & Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2011
  • “Open City” by Teju Cole (Nigeria) – Read More
    “Please Look After Mother” by Kyung-Sook Shin (S. Korea) – Read More
    Best Summer Reads 2012

  • “Irma Voth” by Miriam Toews (Canada) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2012
  • “The Devil I Know” by Claire Kilroy (Ireland) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2013
  • “Expo 58” by Jonathan Coe (U.K.) Read More
    Best Summer Read 2014
  • “We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2014
  • “Parade” by Shuichi Yoshida (Japan) Read More
    Best Summer Read 2015
  • “Sleeping on Jupiter” by Anuradha Roy (India) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2016
  • “Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo) – Read More
    SRG’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2016
  • “The Golden Legend” by Nadeem Aslam (Pakistan) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2017
  • “The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak (Poland) – Read More
    SRG’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2017
  • “The Travelling Cat Chronicles” by Hiro Arikawa (Japan) – Read More
    “Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje (Canada) – Read More
    Best Summer Reads 2018
  • “Welcome to Lagos” by Chibundu Onuzo (Nigeria) – Read More
    SRG’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2018
  • “Sadness is a White Bird” by Moriel Rothman-Zecher (Israel) – Read More
    Best Summer Read 2019
  • “The Old Drift” by Namwali Serpell (Zambia) – Read More
    Nicola’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2019