• Books

    “You’re mad. Bonkers. Off your head...
    but I’ll tell you a secret...
    all of the best people are.”

Sara Recommends

I usually start building up a pile of books to take on my summer holiday sometime in March, so it’s a simple job to compile my summer hot list in July.


Paula McLain’s Love & Ruin  is perfect if you are looking for a jolly good read. Based on a true story, this novel explores Martha Gelhorn’s life as one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century and her passionate relationship with the legendary writer Ernest Hemmingway. As Ernest’s fame increases Martha finds her own successes too often eclipsed and ignored. Ultimately, Martha must decide between her own career as a journalist and her demanding personal and domestic life with Hemingway. I have been a longstanding fan of Gelhorn and reports of her fearlessness, courage and desire to describe the personal, often heart breaking stories behind every war are well documented in this touching account of her work.

Fans of Anne Tyler will also enjoy her latest novel,   Clock Dance, about one woman’s mundane, everyday life and the possibility of new paths with second chances. Other recommendations include two books I have already reviewed over the past few months: So Much Life Left Over by Louis Berniere  and The Valley at the Centre of the World by Malachy Tallack , recently featured in Book at Bedtime on Radio 4.

I hope you enjoy your summer books, whatever you decide to read. Looking ahead there are a number of great titles due out later this year. Kate Atkinson’s Transcription, William Boyd’s Love is BlindandParis Echo by Sebastian Faulks are all published in September. These titles (and more) will be reviewed in our next newsletter.

Madhatter Bookshop
122 High Street, Burford
OX18 4QJ