Summer is approaching and although we won't be sitting on our sofas with a blanket, it is the time we go to the park or sit on benches in the sun. And because this is best enjoyed with a good book, I thought it was about time I shared my favourites with you.

The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis

I have never been fond of short stories, always grabbing the thickest book in the book shop to plunge into its narrative head first. However reading has somewhat been neglected recently, with my job and blog taking up most of my time.  So when I picked up ‘The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis’ last year, I had no idea what I got myself into. It is hard to describe how this book made me feel, however let me tell you this: I’m converted! Even reading a story that only spans over half a page left me feeling sad, happy or thoughtful. Davis’ use of language is so different to anything I have ever come across before; rather than carefully constructing a set and gradually introducing the reader to her characters, she drops them right into the thick of it. Anyone that has limited time and is willing to have a literary adventure should give this book a try. The New Yorker has also published a great review of it here

Anita Shreve - Fortune's Rocks

Anita Shreve can be described as the complete opposite of Lydia Davis - her stories are carefully planned out, scenes are described elaborately and the reader gets to know her characters very well. I first read this story when I was about fifteen years old, and it has since held a special place in my heart. I won't spoil the plot line for you, but let me tell you this much: It's a beautifully written story that will give you heart aches.

Daphne du Maurier - Rebecca

Now, most of you will have heard of Daphne du Maurier. She was an incredible writer who managed to haunt her readers with her poignant words. Her best seller Rebecca has sometimes been misunderstood as a romance - however there is so much more to this book. It is her masterpiece; the story of a woman whose marriage is overshadowed by the presence of her husband's former wife. 
When I first read this book a year ago, I couldn't put it down. It consumed me completely and I had to finish it within days. I'm a converted du Maurier fan and am already looking forward to reread the book in a year or so.

Kate Mosse - Labyrinth

Kate Mosse's Labyrinth is set both in the past - the beginning of the 13th century to be precise - and the present and takes place in Carcassonne. The book's plot is thick and, like its name, reveals hidden paths and dead ends; is bridges old French history and fiction so well, Mosse has me believing her characters did in fact exist. Thankfully she didn't leave it at just one book and has published more stories about the Cathars - a people I had previously not known about and have since been very much interested in. If you're looking for a story that makes history come alive, then I insist you read this book.

Lilly Wolf