The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project is a genuinely fun read! It is the story of Don, an extremely intelligent geneticist, who decides it’s time to find a wife. He adopts a scientific approach for the task and creates the Wife Project, the story follows the unfolding of the absurd project. It is a glorious cacophony of characters who are complete opposites getting into strange situations. I genuinely laughed aloud while reading, yet was also left in suspense, moved and felt pain on behalf of the characters. This is for when you want to sit in the sun, get caught up in a book and not notice the time past.
Recommended by Anna.
Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker
“Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” is a non-fiction book that tackles our innate entitlement for an excessive life. It sounds intense, but Jen Hatmaker brings her own refreshing experience of the chaos of life that makes this a really fun read! Jen is an American Church leader who sets out on a 7 month challenge to rid her life of excess. Food, clothing, spending, possessions, media, waste and stress are all victim to her radical challenges to fight back against the modern day diseases of greed, materialism and overindulgence. If you want to explore some deep ideas in a way that will make you laugh out loud – this is a great read! (Prior warning though – I took on her 7 challenges 3 years ago. Not easy.)
Recommended by Sarah.
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
‘Fun’ isn’t necessarily the first word that springs to mind when thinking about this book and my experience of it. However, I found it so uplifting, beautiful and extremely refreshing. The book focuses on the real experiences of the author, Amy Liptrot, as she ventures back to Orkney, in her journey towards recovery from her alcohol addiction (which she developed over a decade of living in London). What I love about the book is the way that Amy reconnects with the sea, the land, the birds and her family. For her, recovery is so tightly linked to nature, connection and letting go of the past. There’s also a lot of wild sea swimming which is so enjoyable! (Her writing makes me want to go to Orkney so badly FYI!)
Recommended by Fi.
Running Free: A Runner’s Journey Back to Nature by Richard Askwith
This is a fantastic little book. When I first picked it up in a second-hand book shop in Edinburgh, I didn’t think much of it, but it’s had a powerful impact on my mindset and attitude towards running since I finally decided to read it. Big business has made a fortune out of our innate desire to run, but the author asks the question: how is there a running industry at all? There’s no more need for a running industry than there is for a tree-climbing industry or a hide-and-seek industry, Askwith argues. Despite what adverts and sports companies may lead you to believe, you don’t actually need the latest shoes, kit or watch to run. You can actually just go and run without the consumerism attached. Running is one of the most natural things we humans could do, and that’s something so many of us need reminded of.
Recommended by Curtis.
The 39 Steps by John Buchan
If this book doesn’t grip you by page 10, let me know. The 39 Steps is a quintessential thriller, pulling you from page to page to see whether the main character is going to make it through the latest scrape. If you like the unbelievable action scenes of a James Bond movie and the tension of a great thriller, you’ll love this book. It’s also wonderfully short, meaning that you can finish the roller coaster ride in only an evening or two.
Recommended by Tim H.