Our top picks for summer
Looking for reading material this summer? A new podcast to delve into? We’ve got you.
Summer’s upon us, and as the UK approaches the holidays, most of us can hope for a little bit of time to get away from it all. Rest and relaxation are good for your brain. So we asked the Heights team for their top recommendations for how to while away the long summer days, whether you’re on a sun lounger in Crete, or a back garden in Crewe.
The Tidal Year—Freya Bromley
She has a podcast too, but I recommend the book, which is one of the most beautifully written non-fiction books I’ve read. It’s about a 26 year-old coming to terms with the death of her brother—exploring nature, wild swimming, changing friendships, and discovering how love can eventually help to heal you too (so lots of relatable dating tales). It made me cry SO much but it also was a pleasure to read, and I've kept so many sentences from the book close to me.
—Ruby, Customer Care
In the Heart of the Sea—Nathaniel Philbrick
Everyone knows about Moby Dick, but the events that inspired Herman Melville to write that book are even better. In the Heart of the Sea tells the story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex, and what happened to the crew who survived in the lifeboats. It’s compelling, and really well-written, with plenty of gory details—both horrifying and fascinating at the same time.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
I exclusively read psychological thrillers or fluffy chick flicks, nothing in between. This one is the former. I cannot recommend this enough. A woman violently kills her husband, and it's all about a criminal psychotherapist trying to uncover her motive, all without her saying a word. So twisty and gripping—I think it would make a long-haul flight feel very short.
Acquired—Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal
An amazing business story podcast with two hosts who read entire histories, blog posts, and niche weird details and generally just have the best fun time telling the stories of iconic businesses. I recently listened to episodes on LVMH and Nintendo, both absolutely brilliant!
I’m not always a huge fan of BBC podcasts, but this one was definitely an exception. It’s a short series (all episodes are less than 15 minutes!) about one of the biggest environmental crimes in history—the dumping of more than a million tonnes of illegal waste at a site just outside Derry. With deathbed confessions, Italian priests, and the “waste management business”, it’s like an investigation into the Northern Irish Sopranos.
Inner Monologue—Olivia Neill
I don’t know if it’s too Gen Z for these recommendations, but I’m obsessed with Inner Monologue by Olivia Neill (available on Spotify). There are usually a couple of episodes a week and there’s no real theme, just discussion about her life, or something that a listener’s sent in. She’s so open and honest, and it really feels like you’re just catching up with a friend.
A superfood smoothie
I am loving this recipe, which has been perfect in the heat:
Full-fat milk (so we can get those fat-soluble vitamins)
Kefir (a little goes a long way and it’s really cheap!)
Cinnamon for blood sugar balance
Half a banana for some carbs to fuel my summer walking
One Biotic⁺ capsule for some gut love!!
One large scoop of protein powder—currently using Sun Warrior but it doesn’t taste great.
Berries for that low sugar/high nutrition powerhouse, plus it’s strawberry season in the UK
Just blend them together and it’s a great way to start the morning!
—Charlotte, Customer Care
A quick and easy salad
Caprese salad is always a winner during this heat. Just toss together the best tomatoes you can find, fresh mozzarella, basil, and some extra-virgin olive oil. Anything to not have to cook over the summer.
I wouldn’t normally recommend a TV show for the summer, but with the UK weather, it’s always good to have something ready to go. Undercover’s a Dutch/Belgian series about two undercover agents infiltrating the life of a notorious drug dealer living in a holiday park in the south of the Netherlands. It’s a slow burner, but really gripping, and well acted. Plus, there are two series and a prequel film, so lots to get stuck into.
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