US president Barack Obama has released his official summer reading list, which includes Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train (Doubleday) and H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (Vintage).
Psychological thriller The Girl on Train, was named WH Smith ‘Book of the Year’ in 2015. The story follows alcoholic Rachel, who obsessively observes the lives of those she passes on a train every day, before becoming unexpectedly caught up in their world for real after witnessing a shocking incident.
The book is currently being made into a film by Dreamworks starring Emily Blunt.
H is for Hawk, which won both the Samuel Johnson Prize and the Costa Book of the Year award in 2014, tells the story of the year the authors spent training a hawk after her father’s death.
Also selected were Pulitzer-Prize winning Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair), The Underground Railroad, a novel which tells the story of a slave on a cotton plantation and her bid for freedom by Colson Whitehead (Fleet), and science fiction novel Seveneves by Neal Stephenson (The Borough Press).
This year Hawkins was listed on the world's highest-earning authors list for the first time.