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A Year of Books: The Best Reads for the Four Seasons

By Konstantopoulou, Ana Cecilia Matute, Megan Cradock, Zalak Shah and Caroline Dowse

A new calendar year marks the beginning of a new year of books. Whether it’s a cosy, fall-themed romance novel that goes hand in hand with a warm cup of hot cocoa, or a beach read that keeps you company while you soak in the sun, we believe that there is a perfect book for every season.

Spring: Discover something new…

Autonauts of the Cosmoroute by Julio Cortázar and Carol Dunlop (translated by Anne McLean)

In May 1982, Cortázar, one of the most famous Latin American writers, decided, along with his wife Carol Dunlop, that they wanted to rediscover a highway – specifically the one between Paris and Marseille. They planned to stop at every parking spot with the mission of slowing down the pace and reflecting on what lies behind the highway people use every day.

This incredible travelogue is filled with images and notes that will transport you to the 80s and inspire you to slow down, immersing yourself in a new way of being in the world and exploring creativity. Live your Spring with Cortázar and Carol Dunlop and enjoy it in a different way; more creatively.

Summer: Forbidden romance under the sun…

Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar (translated from Marathi by Jerry Pinto)

A subtle and heartbreaking story of a brother and a sister who fall in love with the same person, Cobalt Blue looks into the lives of siblings Tanay and Anuja when a mysterious paying guest enters their lives and turns it upside down. Written from the perspective of both Tanay, who is dealing with the love of his life eloping with his sister, and Anuja, who has returned home after the man she eloped with has abandoned her, the book traverses through the different emotions they go through. 

Cobalt Blue is a deeply emotional and thought-provoking story of love, betrayal, homosexuality and rejection that will make for an extremely fascinating summer afternoon read.

Autumn: As the leaves fall, I find a book to hold…

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Under the title November 9, Colleen’s contemporary romance tells the tale of two young adults brought together by the unforeseen strings of fate. Fallon, a young woman with newly made plans to move across the country, has had a life full of ups-and-downs; her complex relationship with her father, her half-broken acting dreams scattered around her and the marks on her skin all leave her restless in mind and soul. When she encounters Ben, a man who shares an artistic side as an aspiring novelist, at a most unfortunate time, they form a pact where they promise to meet annually on the same day – with that day being none other than November 9. Fire-spitting truths shine bright, perhaps too bright, and who can guarantee that the twists and turns their respective lives end up taking will not prove fatal for their relationship, causing their once shared path to crumble to pieces, along with their career dreams? 

Winter: Curl up and be cosy…

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

In Winter, there's little better than a wholesome, magical read. The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is the perfect book to lose yourself in as the days grow colder and snow begins to fall.

Peter Augustus Duchane's life changes when he asks a single question to a fortune-teller. She tells him that his younger sister, always presumed to be dead, is actually alive and that somehow, impossibly, finding her will involve an elephant. Peter assumes this to be a ridiculous lie – until an elephant unexpectedly appears in a magic show, surprising even the magician responsible for conjuring it.

Although this is a children's book, its themes of truth and hope are beautiful and universal. The Magician's Elephant is a book that shows readers that you're never too old or too busy to dream or to ask yourself “What if?,” and that a home isn't so much a place as it is the people you share it with.

All year round: Whatever the weather, reach for a book…

The Minders by John Marrs

If you are looking for a gripping novel to pass the dark winter nights or to read on holiday by the pool, then The Minders by John Marrs could be for you. After solving an online puzzle, four people are given the opportunity to start afresh in new locations, with new names. The catch is that they must agree to have a chip containing all the government’s darkest secrets implanted into their brains.

After a few months of training, the four, known as Minders, are ready to start their new lives. Gradually, they become aware that someone is tracking them down one-by-one, threatening both the secrets they are tasked with protecting and their own survival.  

This is an exciting read that questions the morality of people in power and how they keep us safe, stoking fears about the influence of technology. It really is a book for all seasons.


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