All the best poolside reads for your 2020 summer holiday

The December holidays are looking a little different in 2020. While the South African summer is in full swing, many of us will have to go forgo beach visits considering the tightened-up holiday regulations and that COVID-19 is still very much part of the picture.

Instead of hitting the beach with your book bag, head for the poolside if you are lucky enough to have one.

Holiday reading while lazing by the pool

The South African has come up with the perfect reading list to keep you company on those hot days next to the pool.

Whether you are a non-fiction junkie or a die-hard thriller fan, our list has something for every reader and is guaranteed to keep you entertained all summer.

‘Rodham’ by Curtis Sittenfeld

This book is perfect for non-fiction lovers and politics fanatics. It is described by The Guardian as “a reimagining of the life of Hillary Rodham Clinton and it’s a [wild] ride”.

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Random House

In our reality, Hillary Rodham met Bill Clinton as a law student at Yale and eventually married him after repeatedly refusing his proposals. She followed her husband to the White House and into politics.

But what if she hadn’t? In this gripping tale that interweaves real history with the imagined, we see an alternate future for Hillary – one both with and without Bill. A lot of the characters are familiar, but the paths they follow couldn’t be more different.

‘Dark Tides’ by Philippa Gregory

From the bestselling author of The Other Boleyn Girl comes a new historical novel about the rise of the Tidelands family in 17th century Europe. Perfect for romance and historical-fiction readers, this book will grip you from the first page.

Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted 21 years before. James Avery has everything to offer and believes the warehouse’s poor owner, Alinor, has the one thing money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow who claims to be Alinor’s daughter-in-law. She claims her husband, Alinor’s son, has drowned in the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned in New England, where he is trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the native Americans. Alinor tells him she knows her son is alive and the widow an imposter.

Set amid the poverty and glamour of London, the golden streets of Venice and the tensely contested frontier of the US, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, wealth, a child and for home.

‘Open House’ by Katie Sise

From the mind of bestselling author of We Were Mothers comes this summer’s hottest psychological thriller, Open House.

A young woman has been missing for 10 years and her community are still held in the grip of this unsolved mystery.

Art student Emma McCullough walked into the woods and was never seen again, leaving her quiet university town and her family, especially her sister Haley, devastated.

But now, finally, a crucial piece of evidence is found: Emma’s bracelet, lodged in a frozen piece of earth at the bottom of a gorge. For Emma’s three best friends, for a beloved former teacher and for Haley, the trinket is more than a clue in a resurrected cold case — it’s a trigger.

Then a woman is attacked and connections between the two crimes, 10 winters apart, begin to surface.

‘The Last Days of John Lennon’ by James Patterson

Patterson brings to life a story of friendship, love, tragedy and the power of music.

With the Beatles, John Lennon surpassed his youthful dreams by achieving superstardom.

“There was nobody to touch us,” he’d say. Nobody, that is, except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbours grudges against them. Convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace, Chapman’s not staying away any longer. 
 
By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years. He can’t wait to show the world what he will do. Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and flies to New York with a handgun and bullets in his luggage. 
 
The greatest true-crime story in music history is told as only Patterson can. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history.

‘Layla’ by Colleen Hoover

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Credit – Sultry Sirens Book Club

The New York Times bestselling author presents readers with a novel exploring life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love.

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with.

To put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the B&B where they first met, where Layla’s behaviour takes a bizarre turn.

Leeds finds solace in Willow—a B&B guest with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. His decision to help Willow find answers is in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds must make a choice, but the wrong one could be detrimental for all of them.

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