A summer reading list is so, so … so personal. Gathering one into a tidy bundle and offering it up to others is fraught.
The most unlikely people will be into Sci-Fi and Fantasy, light readers will suddenly be entranced by a worthy memoir, and, when the sun comes out and the days grow longer, the usual literary suspects will get a touch of sunstroke and eschew their preferred genre for an easy, no-think page turner.
Bookish people can be so crazy.
This summer instead of genres we've decided to select books based on what you need most at the end of the year. A year you may feel you kicked some goals, or you lost your way. This year, we're giving you books that might lead you back to, well, you. Books that remind us of our shared humanity, our belonging, our frailty and our strength.
Our book list is not self-help, it's not about diets and life plans, it's about human stories, both memoir and fiction. Stories of loss and love, of death and living, evil and goodness that touch something inside. Humanity in all its messy and marvellous forms.
Here are 9 summer reads (all recent releases - no classics, that's a whole other story) that will help reconnect you with what it is to be human.
1. Do No Harm: Stories of life, death and brain surgery.
This memoir by retired neurosugeon, Henry Marsh, delves into the questions of life and death, the marvel of the human brain, and mistakes made by people who hold someone's life in their hands - every day. It is tough on the health system and tender on the patients and family who have to use it. The Telegraph called it, "Expert, humble and profoundly human".