Calendar Girls August: Best Novel Set in Summer

Well this is very exciting! For the first time ever I’m taking part in a meme…and not just any meme…the Calendar Girls meme!

Calendar Girls was a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile and will now be hosted by Katie at Never Not Reading and Adrienne at Darque Dreamer Reads. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song Calendar Girl.

Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. 


So without further ado, this month’s theme is…



And my pick is…



The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

I suspect that everyone else taking part in the meme might have chosen a nice light summery read so I thought I’d be a bit different and choose a dark psychological thriller!


I absolutely love Patricia Highsmith and I especially love this book. The Talented Mr.Ripley is an incredibly tense novel that keeps you in suspense from beginning to end. Tom Ripley is a con-man who seizes a fortuitous opportunity to get paid to go to Italy to convince one of his well off acquaintances (Dickie Greenleaf) to return home to America. Upon arriving in Italy and properly befriending Dickie he realises that the life of relaxation, painting and pottering about in Italian seaside towns is one that he’d quite like for himself, but the small matter of finance prevents it. If only his life could be more like Dickie’s…or perhaps if only his life could actually become Dickie’s…


I love the glamorous setting of the book and the juxtaposition of the beautiful Italian coastline with the dark, underhand actions of Tom. I mean, just look at how they shot the film version:



The writing is absolutely excellent and the way that Highsmith builds the suspense is incredibly skilful. Despite being a total psychopath, Tom Ripley is clever, devious and dangerous to know – and despite everything you can’t help but be on his side. It’s not an easy read and it’s certainly not a happy summery story but I think that The Talented Mr. Ripley is a brilliant book if you like your sun drenched stories with a darker twist. 

*Just a quick note – the artwork for the Calendar Girls meme and the monthly pick has been shamelessly stolen by me from Katie’s original post advertising the event. I hope that’s ok ☺


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21 thoughts on “Calendar Girls August: Best Novel Set in Summer

  1. I had no idea this was even a book! It seems that psychological thrillers are quite popular summer reads … who knew?? And of course I want you to rip off all my graphics and stuff, I ripped them off from Melanie and Flavia in the first place anyway. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Hey the prompt is “set in summer” not “fluffy and light set in summer” 😉 I think it’s a great choice because it definitely all took place in the summer, and also because the book left quite an impression on me!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the movie adaptation but for some reason never came around to reading the book–and now reading your review I know I’ll enjoy the book as much as I loved the movie. Great review and a great pick!

    Liked by 1 person

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