My summer book harvest

3 authors I’ve discovered in lockdown…

For book lovers, I don’t think much can beat the joy of discovering a fantastic author – like each page is slowly unwrapping the best sort of birthday present, or opening up an old chest to find it’s full of treasure. And when you learn that they’ve already written a whole load of other books, that’s even better.

Back in the spring, my books of choice were the paper version of a comfort blanket – old favourites, read many times before, from authors who could immediately whisk me away from the stresses and strains of real life for a while, replacing it with the hope of a happy ever after.

But by the time libraries reopened in July, I was more than ready for some fertile hunting ground, on my endless quest for new authors whose writing I love. When the books are free, I can take risks, step out of my usual genres and try things on a whim. And in the past few weeks I’ve found 3 authors in particular who I’m now looking out for on future library visits.

So, in the interests of spreading the joy, my Fantastic Finds are:

  1.  Stella Newman – The Foodie’s Guide to Falling in Love

Food and romance – two of my favourite things in one book, so I had high hopes for this one, and I wasn’t disappointed. It tells the story of Laura, a secret restaurant critic (I first picked up the book because a food reviewer features in my current work in progress), Adam, a chef, and a horrible restaurant review that causes no end of problems. I absolutely loved the humour – it was genuinely whip-smart funny without being crude or tasteless. But my highlight was the relationship between Laura and Adam – it managed to be tender and sweet while not at all saccharine. I immediately bought two more of Stella Newman’s books, which basically says it all.

2. Lisa Wingate – Dandelion Summer

This book was a genuinely pleasant surprise. It wasn’t that it was more light-hearted than I expected (although at times, it was). More that it felt full of light. The story follows a sixteen year old girl who ends up working as a companion for a depressed widow who worked for NASA during the space race. The unfolding of their relationship is simply beautiful, and I was desperately rooting for them both. But what I loved most was that, despite covering some difficult topics, overall the book was full of all the things I love to read about – warmth, wisdom, hope, and joy amidst the trouble, and learning to love and value yourself enough to reach for the stars. I will definitely be looking out for more books from Lisa Wingate, with the hope they are equally as uplifting.

3. Greg Hurwitz – The Nowhere Man

Okay, so this is a totally different genre – the 2nd in a 4 book thriller series (though skipping the 1st book didn’t matter). It follows the ongoing adventures of Orphan X, who broke out of a government programme of trained assassins (not a million miles away from Jason Bourne) in the previous book,  Easy to read, entertaining throughout, enough emotion to keep me caring – park reality at the front cover and enjoy the ride. (WARNING: I did need to overlook one of the worst ‘male author writing about a beautiful woman admiring her own naked body in a mirror’ scenes that I’ve been unfortunate enough to encounter while not on a themed Twitter thread).

So, that’s my lockdown book harvest – I’d love to hear your favourite author discoveries of the summer!

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