The hot list: Our experts take their pick of the season's beach books and party music
From sultry sex to whiny white men, from Scandi-beats to electro anthems...
Compiled by Katy Guest
Maggie & Me
Barr's memoir of growing up bookish and gay in Thatcher's Britain (1980s industrial Lanarkshire) is one of the funniest, saddest books of the year. It is worth buying for the Dirty Dancing scene alone. Read it alongside Alan Johnson's memoir, This Boy (Corgi, £7.99).
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Karen Joy Fowler
Serpent's Tail, £7.99
You must read the latest by the bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club – if only so that those who have can talk about the plot twist without giving the game away. Published in paperback on 19 June, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is about family and difference. But what a family, and what a difference…
Selfish Whining Monkeys
Fourth Estate, £14.99
If you haven't heard quite enough yet this summer about middle-aged, middle-class, straight, white men and how they are so badly done by in Broken Britain, then this is the book for you. The subtitle is: "How we ended up greedy, narcissistic and unhappy." By reading Rod Liddle?
Shot Through the Heart
Pan Macmillan, £7.99
The former Channel 4 culture editor has retired from TV to bring out, to everyone's surprise, a Jennifer Aniston romcom in book form. Hollywood actress Mia is unlucky in love, but then she meets British paparazzo Leo… And will her best friend Billy's secret be revealed? A sultry beach classic.
The Lemon Grove
Tinder Press, £7.99
Published in paperback on 19 June, this is the steamy story of a woman on a sweltering island with her husband, his teenage daughter and her too-hot-by-half boyfriend… Be ready to pass off a blush as sunburn when you read what happens beneath those citrus trees.
Compiled by Hugh Montgomery
This bludgeoning dance single cashes in on the most irritating social phenomenon of our times, incorporating a stream of inane 2014-speak incanted by some sub-Mean Girls caricature. It's also horrifically effective – and we'll all be repeating its refrain "but first let me take a selfie", smart-phones aloft, for the next three months solid.
Do it Again
Robyn & Röyksopp
Ah summer... the sun, the sea, the moment when carefree hedonism threatens to tip over into thoughtless self-destruction. Such is the ambivalent mood evoked by Swedish singer Robyn on her latest dance-pop stormer, bolstered by the pumping beats of fellow Scandis Röyksopp.
Norwegian DJ/producer Terje ain't been dubbed the "king of summer jams" for nothing. This driving disco groove harks back to the summer of '85 via Moroder-esque synths, scratchy funk guitar and an overriding Miami Vice vibe. Just remember to roll up those sleeves.
A song that makes no attempt to do anything other than affirm the Harris "banger" brand featuring his own charmless vocals and a fantasy of a video involving him, Jason Statham, cars and lingerie-clad women. And that track title – really? Refuse to listen to this until at least September on principle.
Let Me Down Gently
Way back in 2009, Ms Elly Jackson, ie La Roux, sewed up summer with two electropop anthems ("In for the Kill" and "Bulletproof"). Five years on, she has repeated the feat with this slow-burning epic, a break-up ballad that slowly reveals its dancefloor pulse, with a climactic sax solo that may cause you to expire from the sun-dappled soulfulness of it all.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
Guardians of the Galaxy review: A superficial and half-hearted Marvel film
Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants revealed: Meet the baker's dozen
R Kelly 'dropped' from Ohio music festival following backlash
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >