We started last month’s Get in Our Good Books by complaining about the weather so couldn’t possibly do that again…! This month’s picks are not exactly your normal easy beach reads but then not many of us are laying on a sandy beach so the books fit both the mood and weather. So we are taking you on a thrilling and suspense filled trip, to a sun drenched villa, 1970s East Germany and then back a bit too close to home again. For the kids, books about creatures of both the natural and supernatural world, or if you need something a little lighter there is still time for them to join the Summer Reading Challenge.


Top non-fiction – autofiction actually, chosen by Elizabeth: Motherland: A Novel, by Joanna McMillan

This is an example of ‘Autofiction’, a form of fictionalised autobiography.  So its not really non-fiction but its not really fiction either!

It’s 1978 and Jess is the daughter of the only Communist in a sleepy town in The Midlands. Who could resist that blurb? Jess’s mother Eleanor is a dreamer; but she doesn’t dream about a Hollywood Wives’ lifestyle, she is dreaming of life on the other side of the Iron Curtain. And her dream comes true when she is offered the chance to spend the summer teaching in East Germany with a disgruntled Jess in tow. What follows is a revelation to Jess (and to me). Jess is an excellent narrator and the gentle humour in her observations counters what could feel like hopelessness and helplessness.

Find the Pbook here

Find the audio book here


Top fiction, chosen by Enid: Skin and Bones by Tom Bale

Tom Bale is a name you can trust for a grisly thriller.  Skin and Bones has lots and lots of violent action told in enthusiastic detail and an agreeably extreme body count!

We are transported to a sleepy, middle class village in Sussex when all hell is let loose! Bale’s pace is perfect, ending paragraphs and chapters at just the right moment to keep you on the edge of your seat. The tension  is almost intolerable.

All is not as it seems (of course) and survivor Julia thinks there is more to the story, what she finds are all the elements of a crackling thriller: greed, envy, corruption, revenge, ties to the grey hinterland where business mixes uneasily with crime, and dark family secrets.

Perfect for a Saturday afternoon read with a nice cup of tea and a slice of good cake.

Skin and Bones is the latest East Sussex Bookclub pick.  This book is available on Libby/Overdrive, until the end of September, with no waits and no holds.

Read the Ebook here


Top audio book, chosen by Michelle: The Holiday by T.M. Logan

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

Four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine. But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends.

This was a proper summer holiday beach read. four college friends share a holiday in France with their families. Only it’s not the happy carefree reunion it promised to be. Secrets and tensions threaten the status quo. you think you have the plot all worked out, then every time you are side-lined. Uncomfortable and brilliant.

Let’s just hope your own holiday doesn’t end quite like this one!

Find the Pbook here

Read the Ebook here

Listen to the E-audio here


Top children’s fiction, chosen by Scott: Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones

A fiendishly pacy mystery-adventure story, set in the seamy, smoggy underworld of Victorian London. A boy covered in hair, raised as a monster, condemned to life in a travelling freak show. A boy with an extraordinary power of observation and detection. A boy accused of murder; on the run; hungry for the truth.

Mixing mystery with action, adventure, history, the creepy backdrop of the fairground and lashings of gothic gore!

Find the Pbook here

Read the Ebook here

Find the audio book here


 Top children’s non-fiction, chosen by Ann: On the Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva

‘A long, long time ago, before humans even existed, the living world looked very different from how it looks today.’

The first ever picture-book retelling of Charles Darwin’s On The Origin of Species. With thoughtful text and gorgeous pictures together tell the story of On The Origin of Species, and of Evolution itself, with clarity, humour and great charm. This is an entrancing picture-book retelling of Darwin’s on the Origin of Species … filled with informative, beautifully designed diagrams and maps.

Find the Pbook here

Read the Ebook here


Have you read any of the books featured this month? If so we’d love to hear what you thought! Leave your reviews in the comments below. Missed July’s book reviews? Catch up on them here.

You can find out more about libraries in East Sussex by visiting the East Sussex County Council website.