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It's time to pick up a good book

It’s the summer holidays, time to relax and pick up a good book.


If you’d like some ideas about great books to read for English learners, check out the resources page on my website.


If you want to know what I’ll be reading this summer, read on.


The first book is The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I decided to read this after watching a BBC documentary, Imagine, featuring the author. Listening to his explanation of the main themes of his books, the idea of an underclass having such limited choices was really intriguing, particularly as his books are set in such different times and places.


Another book I’ll be reading is Mrs Caliban by Rachel Ingalls, the choice for the upcoming Kreis 6 English book club. I picked it up the other day from the bookshop, Never Stop Reading, and was instantly hooked. It's got a lovely green cover and the quotes on it captured my attention. Anything that's called a perfect novel by The New Yorker must be worth reading. It's also just over 100 pages so a perfect length!


I've also got a book, Di schöni Fanny by Pedro Lenz, written in Swiss German which is keeping me really busy. I’m fairly sure I'll still be reading it next summer because it's so difficult for me to understand the Bern dialect. In fact, I can only read one or two pages at a time. However, it is helping me to learn Swiss German so I need to persevere with it. It's like a puzzle. As I'm reading it, I'm trying to notice all the different patterns characteristic of Berner Deutsch, the absence of the letter L, the extra vowels and which words rhyme with each other. I also keep asking my Swiss friends and colleagues to explain a few words so I'm making progress albeit quite slow.


Otherwise I don't know which book is going to come next, possibly something more by Kazuo Ishiguro or I might try something lighter such as The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I heard about this book after listening to a fascinating episode of Desert Island Discs featuring the author and television producer. He explained that the book is a crime story set in a peaceful retirement village, much like the one where his mother lives!


Most of the books I read are recommendations from friends, suggestions for the book club, or things that I read about in The Guardian. I’ve also started watching book club programmes from the BBC and from SRF so I have a few more ideas. One book I’m really looking forward to is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, in fact I might add ask my sister to get it for me for my birthday.


What about you? What will you be reading this summer?