Breadcrumb navigation

Ten summer reads from Auckland Libraries

Published: 26 February 2020

Looking for reading inspiration this summer?

Check out the lists of top picks from Auckland Libraries’ collections, hand-picked by our librarians.

We’ve selected ten of our favourite reads for summer; perfect for kicking back and relaxing.

1) The Rosie Result by Graeme Simison

In the final instalment of Graeme Simison’s popular trilogy, Don and Rosie Tillman are back in Melbourne after a decade in New York and they’re about to face their most important project yet. Their son, Hudson, is struggling at school, with his teachers saying he doesn’t fit in. Don is convinced that he’s the best man to help his son, given his own lifetime of experience trying to fit in. He’ll have to consult friends, old and new, to guide Hudson, but it will also raise some questions about Don’s own identity.

2) The Ex by Nicola Moriarty

It’s a tale as old as time. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy’s ex is willing to do anything to get rid of girl. For Georgia, Luke is the one, the one who makes her feel loved and safe. His ex-girlfriend, Cadence, has other ideas. She texts Luke constantly and leaves aggressive notes on Georgia’s car. Then, Georgia confronts Cadence and things escalate. This thriller from Nicola Moriarty is gripping, posing the question: How well do you really know someone?

3) Upheaval: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change by Jared Diamond

With the third book in his trilogy of global history, Jared Diamond compares how six countries have survived a recent upheaval. With examples like the Soviet Union’s 1939 attack on Finland (also known as the Winter War), the post-World War II transformations of Germany and Austria, and a coup in Chile – to name just a few – Diamond creates an in-depth history of the 20th Century and the trauma that helped define it.

4) Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

In Maid, Stephanie Land tells her story of life as a maid and a single mother in the United States. The book tells the stories of the overworked and underpaid, telling stories of living on food stamps, of government housing, of government employees who told her she was “lucky” to receive assistance when she definitely didn’t feel lucky at all. This book explores an underbelly of upper-middle-class America and what it’s like to be in service to them. It gives a voice to the “servant” workers who fight daily to scrape together the cash needed to survive in America.

5) Untitled: The Real Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anna Pasternak

Wallis Simpson is one of British history’s most infamous women – an American who dared to fall in love with a prince. That prince, momentarily, became King of Great Britain. Nobody thought the relationship would last.  So, it rocked the British establishment when the new king announced that he intended to marry the one woman they didn’t want him to – Wallis, an American divorcee. He chose to abdicate, giving the throne to his stammering brother and forcing himself and Wallis to live a life in exile in France – all for “the woman I love”, as he put it. In Anna Pasternak’s timely biography, she tells of a different Wallis; a Wallis who was the victim of the abdication crisis, not its villain.

6) Blackbird by Sam Humphries

Los Angeles is the epicentre of magic and mystery in this neo-noir fantasy graphic novel. Nina Rodriguez knows that a magical world run by ruthless cabals exists in the underbelly of the city. Nobody believes her though and, when her sister is kidnapped by a giant magic beast, Nina is forced to confront her past.

7) The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

With the first in her new Two Rivers series, Ann Cleeves is back. Set in North Devon, where two rivers converge and run off to the sea, Detective Matthew Venn is at the funeral of his father in the evangelical community he left long ago. As he leaves, he receives a call – a body has been found on a nearby beach and Matthew must investigate. Finding the culprit is Venn’s only focus and the investigation will take him into a community he left and the deadly secrets lurking within it.

8) The Most Difficult Thing by Charlotte Philby

In theory, Anna Witherall is the perfect woman – a good job working for a magazine, married to her university boyfriend, stunning home, gorgeous twin daughters. Every box is ticked. Except, beneath this polished veneer, Anna is hiding a dark secret and it’s threatening to unravel everything she’s worked for as she’s drawn into a world of spies.

9) A Mistake by Carl Shuker

Elizabeth is a gifted surgeon but while operating on a young woman in a critical condition, something goes horribly wrong. The hospital she works for is trialling a new transparency scheme where surgeons’ performances are publicly reported. Her colleagues are closing ranks as Elizabeth’s life is thrown into complete disarray. She’s succeeded and survived in an intensely competitive field, but can Elizabeth survive this one mistake?

10) The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

Katherine has almost always known she was different, and her parents are not who they seem to be. When she becomes a mathematician, she’s faced the most human of problems – who is she? As she quests to solve the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem, she turns to a theorem which may hold the key to her identity. Katherine must rethink everything she knows about herself if she wants to take her place in the world of higher mathematics.

Read more: Libraries Summer


Call for submissions for ‘COVID-19 - A Snapshot in Time Archive’

Be a part of history and submit your writing, photographs, drawings, videos and sounds from lockdown.

Bark Cloth Art Workshop

Create designs from around the Pacific, using different techniques including stencilling, rubbing, printing and painting.

Libraries reach out to support kaumātua Māori

During lockdown, a group of Māori specialist staff from Auckland Council Libraries identified an opportunity to establish a service to engage with kaumātua Māori in these unprecedented times.