Here are some recommended books you should enjoy during the summer break.

During the summer, whether you are a beachgoer, a mountain fan or a countryside aficionado, you can’t miss Blaise Cendrars’ wonderful book entitled L’Or. You’ll read the extraordinary life of General John August Suter, a Swiss adventurer from Basel who, after many adventures, decides to settle in California and buy the area from the Mexicans. He then becomes one of the modern farming pioneers and nearly one of the richest. But one tiny nugget discovered on his land in 1848 will ruin it all…

Let’s stay in the US this summer with the Colour Purple, an epistolary novel by Alice Walker that received the Pulitzer price, one of the highest awards in American literature. The story takes place in the ‘30s in Georgia. A young Black girl in her teens, Celie is separated from her sister Nettie and married to a violent and unfaithful man who steals all the letters Nettie sends Celie. We follow Celie’s life for about 30 years during which she will live through some love failures and social and financial hardships. Will Celie see Nettie again? Once you’ve enjoyed the book, no wonder you’ll love watching its film adaptation starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Mississippi by Hilary Jordan is the story of Laura McAllan, a spinster. One day, a man, Henry comes along and proposes to her. She eventually accepts and marries him. But he has bought a farm in Mississippi without her consent and Laura is made to follow her husband there.  She knows, from the start, that she won’t like it in Mississippi, a hot and harsh place to live in. Despite the presence of her father-in-law, a member of the Ku Klux Klan who is a hateful man, she raises her 2 daughters with dignity until one day, she meets 2 soldiers who are back from the war…

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flag
Meet Evelyn Couch, a slightly-depressed woman who, every week, visits her mother-in-law in her nursing home. During one of her visits, she meets 80-year-old Ninny Threadgoode, who, despite her age, is full of life and humour. Ninny starts telling Evelyn good old stories about the time when she ran the Whistle Stop Café down in Alabama at the time of racism against the Blacks in the ’20 and ‘30s,  and common violence against women but the book is mainly an hymn to life, love and friendship. Fannie Flag’s novel has also been made into a film.

And to finish I highly recommend the following 3 books (historical, fantasy and detective stories) by the Catalan writer Carlos Ruiz Zaphron: l’Ombre du vent (la Sombra del Viento) , le jeu de l’ange (el Juego del Angel)  and Le prisonnier du ciel (El Prisoniero del Cielo). Why wouldn’t you enjoy the reading in Spanish??