8 Of M2’s Favourite Summer Books
This article originally appeared in the January issue of M2 Magazine. Subscribe now!
Everyone loves good books. Whether you’re lounging on the couch, wine in hand or using the book to block the sun while you tan on the beach, reading in the summer months is one of life’s greatest things.
We heartily agree with this, and as such decided to ask around the office for some of the best novels to sink your teeth into. Here we go!
Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler
As I’m a big Clive Cussler fan, this is going to be a biased review, however, this one took me a couple of weeks to read, and I’m not going to waste my time on bad books. Cussler is the grand master of adventure and this novel is a another example of his great work. Odessa Sea is the 24th Dirk Pitt novel since the series began 43 years ago in 1973. Set in the Black Sea, with visits to London and Washington, this global nautical adventure sees Pitt and his sidekick Giordino tracking down the bad guys, escaping close calls above and below the water. I won’t give away the plot, but I will say it is a gripping read that kept me coming back.
A quintessential New Zealand story about an accidental wine industry leader. Written from the heart, this is an extremely honest tale about the incredibly complex world of wine making. Scott planted some of the Marlborough region’s most famous vineyards, including the very first, and has worked on all of his Allan Scott vintages. As well as talking about his own label, Allan Scott Family Vineyards, he talks honestly about working for Montana and later Corbans, which led him to launch his own vineyard and brand. A raw and honest account of how he got to where he is today and all the high and lows along the way. The book is a nice insight into the joy of family business and how the Scotts have managed to remain just that. A must-read for any wine enthusiast, brilliantly entertaining and well written.
The Next 100
The Next 100 is a perfect coffee table book, ideal for lovers of cars, art and escapism alike. With 100 years of experience to draw on, this centenary ‘collector’s’ book offers ideas, views and visions of tomorrows world according to automotive giant BMW. As well as delving into the brand’s history and heritage, it showcases epic architecture and landmarks plus bold inventions and futuristic modes of transport. Beautifully bound and presented, this is a substantial pictorial read that will sustain interest for a long, long time.
Life of Pi
One of the best summers of recent memory was highlighted by spending those lovely, quiet days between that particular Christmas and New Years: drinking red wine, eating bread and dip from Nosh and reading The Life of Pi. Sitting in the late December sun with a novel about a young Indian boy surviving as a castaway on the endless Pacific and sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker – I couldn’t recommend that experience more.
I am Pilgrim
This is the kind of book that takes only a few pages to draw you in with a twist at every page turn. It is a tale of two men – a secret American special agent and a terrorist. Both are defined by their formative years and the battles with their demons. It is a thrilling read, and it needs to be, to keep you interested for 700 pages.
For sci-fi fans wanting a little escapism this summer, go for a classic like Neuromancer, a novel from 1984 that’s a keystone for defining cyberpunk as we imagine it today. The Matrix, for example, first appears in this book as a side element. It’s a bizarre read, almost as if you’re reading a dream in some segments, but the trip is worth it if you can handle it.
Stephen E Ambrose
From the author who wrote Band of Brothers (which was consequently turned into a mini-series by HBO) comes the first-hand accounts of the men who went through D-Day and came out the other side to tell the tale. It’s exhaustively detailed in its coverage of the day, with stories coming from every possible angle. It’ll bring you a little closer to understanding the horror and also the odds of survival of everyone involved.
Since the stories are anecdotal, they’re easily read, but Ambrose treads nimbly on the line between boots on the ground humanising of the event, as well as making sure you understand the broader implications D-Day had for the Allies.
In this gripping thriller, the challenge goes out… Can science make a leap of faith? A wealthy businessman issues a global challenge to all biotechnology corporations: clone Jesus Christ. As precious artefacts go missing from churches and private collections around the world, three scientific groups start their top-secret experiments.