Holiday reads 2024: the best books for summer

From sun-soaked romances to the most gripping crime and thriller books, here are the very best 2024 holiday reads across every genre.

Whether summer 2024 is about jetting off to a far-flung destination, day trips with the family, or long lazy days in the garden with friends, we’ve carefully curated our edit of the best books to get lost in this holiday season. From immersive literary reads to fantasy novels that will take you to another world, chilling thrillers to feel-good stories of friendship and romance, here are the best holiday reads of 2024 to add to your packing list.

If you like your summer reads with a feel-good factor or a large helping of romance, try one of these new novels.

The Lost Lover

by Karen Swan

Flora MacQueen has a dream – to leave St Kilda, the small Scottish island she has grown up on, and find adventure. When she meets wealthy businessman James Callaghan and the pair begin a whirlwind romance, Flora feels like her dream might just come true. However, tragedy strikes, and she must put her family first. Will Flora ever make it to her new life, and will her sacrifice be worth it? A tale of new starts, first loves, and second chances that is sure to sweep you away this summer.

More Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up

by Alexandra Potter

Nell’s back. Her life still isn’t going to plan. And she’s still asking the big questions and getting none of the answers. Like, for example: why is falling in love so easy, but staying in love so hard? What do you do when your friendships are put to the ultimate test? In this hilarious, un-put-downable follow-up to the bestselling Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up, now the basis for the major TV series, Not Dead Yet, there are laugh-out-loud lessons to be learned, truths to be told, adventures to go on and joys to discover. But first, Nell has some more confessions . . .

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Cross the Line

by Simone Soltani

Formula 1 driver Dev Anderson faces a career crisis after a social media scandal angers his team and threatens his sponsorships. Then, he encounters Willow Williams at a Monaco party, the one person who could mend his shattered image. However, she's not just any assistant — she's his best friend's sister, and the person Dev has been unable to forget since they shared a kiss. Willow and Dev are determined to keep things strictly professional, regardless of old feelings and the blazing chemistry between them, but in the glittering and high-stakes world of Formula 1, some lines are meant to be crossed. 

The Greek Holiday

by Maeve Haran

University friends Dora, Penny, Nell, and Moira venture back to a Greek island they once explored years ago, seeking sun, sand, and sea. Yet they are hoping for more than just a nostalgic trip – they're also all looking for something to help them through difficult times in their lives. However, what unfolds in Kyri is far greater than anticipated: an opportunity to reinvent themselves, to contribute meaningfully to a community, to find joy, and perhaps even love. But crucially, they discover the most valuable lesson of all — understanding the true importance of female friendship.

The Love of My Life

by Rosie Walsh

The Love of My Life is a tale of love, deception, and hidden pasts from Rosie Walsh, author of The Man Who Didn't Call. Emma adores her husband Leo and their daughter Ruby. Yet, beneath their seemingly idyllic life, Emma has spun a web of lies. When Emma falls seriously ill, Leo, an obituary writer, uncovers the truth. As he peels back the layers, he discovers that Emma's entire existence is a sham, including her very name. Emma must confront her darkest secrets and prove to Leo that she's the woman he's always believed her to be, all while unravelling the love from her mysterious past life.

A winning combination of big emotions and didn't-see-that-coming twist.
Good Housekeeping on The Love of My Life

I'll Look For You, Everywhere

by Cameron Capello

As childhood neighbours Theo and Magdalen reunite for a summer wedding in the tiny Italian village they grew up in, neither can deny the connection they feel for each other even after years apart. As the pair reminisce and get to know each other all over again, long-buried secrets threaten to stop their love from blossoming for good. Perfect for the beach, the garden or your sofa, I’ll Look for You, Everywhere is a feel-good romantic novel set in sun-kissed Italy. 

How (Not) to Have an Arranged Marriage

by Amir Khan

The golden child of his strict Pakistani parents, Yousef has his life planned out for him — medical degree, wife chosen by his family. . . then Yousef meets Jess. A fellow medical student, Jess presents a complication to the plan. Suddenly, Yousef finds himself torn between two worlds — keeping each a secret from the other. Then, as graduation looms, Yousef’s mother informs him that she’s started looking for his wife. How (Not) To Have an Arranged Marriage is a timely, heartfelt novel which looks at all aspects of modern arranged marriages.

The Kamogawa Food Detectives

by Hisashi Kashiwai

Nestled in a quiet backstreet of Kyoto, the Kamogawa Diner, managed by Koishi Kamogawa and her father Nagare, offers more than just extravagant meals. They've gained fame as 'food detectives,' able to recreate lost dishes from customers' memories, dishes linked to key moments and emotions. Here, a widower seeks a noodle dish reminiscent of his wife's cooking, a tangible memory of love. Others search for flavors of first loves, the stew that once warmed their hearts. The Kamogawa Food Detectives is a celebration of good company and the power of a delicious meal, perfect for fans of the Before the Coffee Gets Cold series.

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt

by Lucinda Riley

Paris, 1928. A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family, but he refuses to speak of who he truly is. As he grows into a young man, evil is rising across Europe and he knows me must soon flee again. The Aegean, 2008. Seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly. To their surprise, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. Co-authored by her son, Harry Whittaker, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt draws the Seven Sisters series, Lucinda Riley's multimillion copy sensation, to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion.

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Single Bald Female

by Laura Price

At the point of turning thirty, Jessica Jackson has everything in place: a job, a great boyfriend and a snug London flat they share with their cat. Then a sudden diagnosis of breast cancer causes Jess's world to implode. As friends move forward with baby scans and weddings, Jess feels alone and left behind. And then she meets Annabel, a mysterious young woman with incurable cancer. Annabel may not have long left to live, but she wants to show Jess how it's possible to make every day meaningful.

Never Too Late

by Danielle Steel

After relocating from San Francisco to Manhattan after her husband's death, Kezia is watching the 4 July firework display from her terrace, when she sees smoke and flames pouring from famous landmarks across New York City. Her neighbour, the famous movie star Sam Stewart, is also watching in horror as the terrifying drama unfolds. Determined to offer their assistance, Kezia and Sam hasten to the site and swiftly become involved in the rescue effort. Shocked and traumatized by the events they experience, Kezia and Sam bond in the days and weeks that follow one of the worst nights the country has ever known.

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by J.F. Murray

Kate is the ultimate planner, including for her upcoming wedding and a Las Vegas hen party with her best girlfriends. Even running into her DJ ex, Trevor Rush, won’t ruin Kate’s vision for the perfect girls’ trip. But when an alcohol-fuelled night out leaves Kate and Trevor accidentally hitched, her plans are officially out the window. To make matters worse, Trevor has decided he wants Kate back, and won’t sign the annulment papers until she agrees to go on three last dates with him. In the scorching heat of Sin City, is it time for her to tear up the rule book, and finally take a gamble on love?

If I Let You Go

by Charlotte Levin

When her heroic events in a horrifying train crash propel her to celebrity status, Janet Brown seizes the chance to escape her lonely existence cleaning offices. However, as the news spreads and more hear of her actions, her secret threatens to reveal itself, and Janet has to face the reality of her tragic past. A gripping story of consequences and the impact of coercive control, If I Let You Go is a moving and gripping novel you won’t be able to put down this summer. 

Escape into a gripping new thriller or crime novel this summer. Here are the books that are sure to keep you on the edge of your deck chair.

Sharp Glass

by Sarah Hilary

Waking up in a room that she can’t escape from, in a house she had been hired to pack up ready for the owner to move, one woman must fight to convince her captor to let her live. As she learns more about the man who is keeping her hostage, she realises she has a decision to make which will decide who lives and who dies. A suspenseful tale of cat and mouse with a deadly secret at its heart, Sharp Glass is the perfect thriller to pack for your summer holiday. 

Bright Young Women

by Jessica Knoll

In 1970s Tallahassee, sorority president Pamela Schumacher encounters a scene of brutal violence. Thus begins her involvement in a crime that grips the nation for decades. Meanwhile, in Seattle, Tina Cannon seeks answers to her best friend Ruth's sudden disappearance. Connecting Ruth's case to the Tallahassee tragedy, Tina journeys to Florida. Inspired by real events, Bright Young Women is a page-turning thriller that gives voice to the victims of America's first celebrity serial killer.

Dark Matter

by Blake Crouch

Now an Apple TV+ series starring Jennifer Connelly and Joel Egerton, Dark Matter is a mind-bending thriller about the choices we make, and the paths we don't take. Knocked unconscious by an anonymous attacker, Jason Dessen comes round in a new life. He has a different wife. No son. And he's not a college professor, but a renowned genius who has just achieved the impossible. Is it this world or the other that's the dream? And if his memories of his old life are real, how can he get back to it?

The 6:20 Man

by David Baldacci

Set in the fast-paced world of high finance, The 6:20 Man is a heart-racing thriller by David Baldacci. As Travis Devine swaps fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda for New York's financial district, he is soon embroiled in the greed, power and jealousy that pervades the cut-throat world of investment banking. Every day, Devine puts on his suit and boards the 6.20 a.m. commuter train to Manhattan. But his routine is quickly shattered by an anonymous email declaring that Sarah Ewes, his colleague and friend, has been found dead – and she is just the first victim. Soon, Devine must question who he can trust and who he must fight.

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by Jane Harper

Jane Harper’s thrillers are true page turners, and her new novel, Exiles, is no exception. When investigator Aaron Falk searches for missing woman Kim Gillespie, who vanished without a trace on a busy summer night, he soon realises that the case is not as simple as it may seem. Uncovering secrets that her community doesn’t want to be revealed, Falk has his work cut out to find Gillespie and discover the truth at the heart of the case. 

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Darling Girls

by Sally Hepworth

Jessica, Norah, and Alicia are foster sisters. Rescued from their own family tragedies and raised on a picturesque farming estate, they have always been deemed fortunate for their second shot at family life. But beneath their idyllic childhood lies a darker tale. The unexpected discovery of a body under their childhood home thrusts the sisters into an unexpected whirlpool of investigation, not as innocent victims, but as potential murder suspects. With their return to the estate as adults, they must face the haunting skeletons of their past. Full of dark humour and tantalising plot twists, Darling Girls is an unputdownable page-turner.

One of the Good Guys

by Araminta Hall

Cole, considered the 'perfect husband,' is left shocked when his wife, Mel, decides to leave him. Seeking isolation, he moves to the coast and befriends Lennie, an artist leading a similar solitary existence in a precarious cliff-edge cottage. However, their lives are upended when two young women vanish nearby while on a protest walk on the coast. Now at the center of a police investigation and media storm, it becomes clear that Cole and Lennie may not know each other as well as they thought. Full of suspense, mystery and twists, this feminist thriller tells the story of what happens when women have had enough.

The Club

by Ellery Lloyd

The grand opening of Island Home – a forgotten island transformed into the height of luxury – is set to be the celebrity event of the decade. But as the first guests arrive, the weekend soon proves deadly – because it turns out that even the most beautiful people can keep the ugliest secrets and, in a world where reputation is everything, they'll do anything to keep it. The Club is an exhilarating, addictive read, telling a story of ambition, excess, and what happens when people who have everything – or nothing – to lose are pushed to their limit.

The Raging Storm

by Ann Cleeves

The Raging Storm is the latest book from thriller aficionado, Ann Cleeves. When enigmatic sailor Jem Rosco arrives in Greystone, Devon, the town are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. But when he disappears and is later found dead during a storm, DI Matthew Venn faces an uncomfortable case. Having left the Barum Brethren community in Greystone, Venn's judgment is clouded by superstitions and rumors as another body is discovered in Scully Cove. Isolated by the storm, Venn and his team embark on a perilous investigation, unaware that their own lives may be at risk. 

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Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies

by Catherine Mack

Ten days. Eight suspects. Six cities. Five authors. Three bodies. One trip to die for. Protagonist Eleanor Dash, famous for penning the Vacation Mysteries series, suddenly becomes the chief investigator in a real-life murder mystery during her book tour in the serene Amalfi Coast. With her ex-boyfriend's death, a string of literary rivals come under suspicion, creating an atmosphere thick with uncertainty and dread. Part The White Lotus, part Only Murders in the Building, Catherine Mack's first book in this new series provides a suspenseful adventure that you won’t be able to put down.

All Of Us Are Broken

by Fiona Cummins

Thirteen-year-old Galen has wanted to see the wild dolphins at Scotland’s Chanonry Point for as long as she can remember, and lone mother Christine is determined she gets her wish. But their trip is interrupted when DC Saul Anguish is called to investigate the shooting of an ex-police officer – the first of a string of killings by Missy and Fox, a damaged young couple hell-bent on infamy, their love story etched in blood. In pursuit, Saul follows their trail north. Meanwhile, the paths of the Hardwickes' and the deadly couple are about to collide . . . 

The Family Experiment

by John Marrs

The world's population is soaring, creating overcrowded cities and an economic crisis. A growing number of people can no longer afford to start or raise a family. But for those desperate to experience parenthood, there is an alternative: a monthly subscription fee whereby clients can create a virtual child. To launch this new initiative, the company behind Virtual Children has created a reality TV show. The prize: the right to keep their virtual child or risk it all for the chance of a real baby. This much-anticipated novel from John Marrs is a dark and twisted thriller about the ultimate 'tamagotchi'.

Death on the Lusitania

by R. L. Graham

Set on the RMS Lusitania's final journey in 1915, Patrick Gallagher, a government civil servant, escorts a British diplomat back to England. But after a passenger, secluded in a locked cabin, is believed to have killed himself with a missing firearm, Gallagher is requested to investigate. Was it suicide or a meticulously planned murder? Gallagher believes one of the passengers is a deadly killer who could strike again to protect their true reasons for being on board. And all the while, the ship sails on towards Europe, where deadly submarines patrol dark waters.

Red Queen

by Juan Gómez-Jurado

The novel that inspired the new Amazon Prime Original series, Red Queen is the first book in the internationally bestselling thriller series starring Antonia Scott. A Lisbeth Salandar-esque heroine who takes the law into her own hands, Scott’s private existence is disturbed when she hears visitors outside her Madrid apartment. Soon, she realises that she is in more danger than she ever feared. With its sunny Spanish setting and unputdownable plot, Red Queen will transport you, whether you’re travelling or staying at home this summer. 

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Holidays are the perfect time to become engrossed in a long book or to allow yourself to be transported to a different time and place by an immersive novel. These literary books will certainly fit the bill.

Long Island

by Colm Tóibín

What actually happened when Eilis returned to New York? Long Island is the long-awaited sequel to Colm Tóibín's prize-winning, bestselling novel Brooklyn. Eilis and Tony have built a secure, happy life; twenty years married and with two children looking towards a good future. But then a man with an Irish accent knocks on their door, and everything changes. Did Eilis make the wrong choice marrying Tony all those years ago? Is it too late now to take a different path? 

You don't have to have read Brooklyn to enjoy the many pleasures of Long Island. It is a masterful novel full of longing and regret. A tale of lovers reconnecting, of compromise, and the settling that can come later in life. Intensely moving and yet full of restraint, I was sad to turn the final page.
Douglas Stuart on Long Island

Anyone's Ghost

by August Thompson

Theron’s life changed forever the day he met Jake. Infatuated by his older, cooler, bolder new friend, Theron spends the next two decades chasing Jake’s highs and experiencing his lows. Charting the pair’s lives as they drift apart and come together until one fateful day, a car crash threatens to pull them apart for good. Anyone’s Ghost is a modern love story about the people who shape us and the lies we tell ourselves about those we love that will stay with you long after summer is over.

Western Lane

by Chetna Maroo

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2023

Short books can be just as profound and moving as a tome, as Chetna Maroo's Booker-winning debut proves. Exploring themes of grief and sisterhood, this debut coming-of-age story packs all the feels into just 176 pages. Eleven-year-old Gopi has been playing squash for as long as she can remember. When her mother dies, her father enlists her in a brutal training regimen and soon, the game has become her entire world, causing a rift between Gopi and her sisters. But on the court, governed by the rhythms of the sport, she feels alive; the serve, the volley, the drive, the shot and its echo. This novel beautifully captures the ordinary as we follow a young athlete's struggle to transcend herself. 

Everything's Fine

by Cecilia Rabess

This stunning debut is a whip-smart exploration of an age-old question: what have you got to lose when you fall in love? When Jess first meets Josh at their Ivy League college she dislikes him immediately: an entitled guy in chinos, ready to take over the world. Meanwhile, Jess is almost always the only Black woman in their class. And Josh can’t accept that life might be easier for him because he’s white. But when they end up working for the same investment bank, their tempestuous friendship soon turns into an electrifying romance, forcing Jess to question who she is and what she's willing to compromise for love. 

The book of the moment . . . It’s so good — funny, sexy, unafraid, brilliantly nuanced, completely unputdownable.
100 Best Books of the Summer 2023, The Times

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and celebrated as ‘the great gay novel’, Hanya Yanagihara’s immensely powerful story of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance has had a visceral impact on many a reader. Willem, Jude, Malcolm and JB meet at college in Massachusetts and form a firm friendship, moving to New York upon graduation. Over the years their friendships deepen and darken as they celebrate successes and face failures, but their greatest challenge is Jude himself – an increasingly broken man scarred by an unspeakable childhood. This is a book that will stay with you long after the last page.

Young Mungo

by Douglas Stuart

The extraordinary, powerful second novel from the Booker prize-winning author of Shuggie BainYoung Mungo is both a vivid portrayal of working-class life and the deeply moving story of the dangerous first love of two young men: Mungo and James. Young Mungo is a gripping and revealing story about the meaning of masculinity, the push and pull of family, the violence faced by so many queer people, and the dangers of loving someone too much.


by Hernan Diaz

Everyone in 1920s New York knows of Benjamin and Helen Rask, the Wall Street tycoon and the daughter of bohemian aristocrats. They live in a sphere of untold wealth, but what is the true cost of their fortune? This mystery sits at the heart of Bonds, a bestselling 1938 novel that all of New York has read. But, like all stories, there are different perspectives, and Hernan Diaz puts these different narratives into conversation with each other, in a novel that tracks across a century and documents the truth-bending power of money, with provocative revelations at each turn. 

Brilliant . . . Destined to be known as one of the great puzzle-box novels, it’s the cleverest of conceits, wrapped up in a page-turner.


by Percival Everett

In Percival Everett's latest novel, he lays out a precise and painful depiction of the Antebellum South. The novel is told from the perspective of James (formerly ‘Jim’), the affable companion of Huckleberry Finn in Mark Twain’s eponymous novel. Crucially in Everett’s re-telling, James is resurrected from the graveyard of racist archetypes (in this case, the docile, obedient, noble slave who values his master’s life over his own), and is given multiple dimensions and a character arc of his own: when James embarks on a quest to secure his wife and daughter’s freedom, Huck tags along for the ride.

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Whale Fall

by Elizabeth O'Connor

1938. For Manod, a young woman living on a remote island off the coast of Wales, the world looks ready to end just as she is trying to imagine a future for herself. The ominous appearance of a beached whale on the island's shore have villagers steeling themselves for what’s to come. When two anthropologists from the mainland arrive, Manod sees in them a rare moment of opportunity to leave the island and discover the life she has been searching for. But, as she guides them across the island’s cliffs, she becomes entangled in their relationship, and her imagined future begins to seem desperately out of reach.

The Exhibitionist

by Charlotte Mendelson

Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2022, in The Exhibitionist we meet the Hanrahan family. They are gathering for a momentous weekend as famous artist and notorious egoist Ray Hanrahan prepares for a new exhibition of his art. His three children will be there: beautiful Leah, sensitive Patrick, and insecure Jess. And what of Lucia, Ray’s steadfast and selfless wife? She is an artist too, but has always had to put her roles as wife and mother first. But Lucia is hiding secrets of her own, and as the weekend unfolds and the exhibition approaches, she must finally make a choice. 

Other Women

by Emma Flint

For Londoners Beatrice Cade and Kate Ryan life could not be more different. Beatrice is a young, unmarried woman who, like millions like her, struggles to find her way after the war rips the heart out of her city and life. With her perfect husband and daughter, Kate has the life most women envy, until a chance meeting threatens to rip the façade she’s been living to pieces. A moving and mesmerising novel about the women whose lives were forever shaped by the Great War, Other Women’s twisty plot and story of obsession will have you hooked this summer. 

Roman Stories

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Inspired by the city she’s lived in for the past two decades, Jhumpa Lahiri's new work turns her gaze towards those who call Rome home. Weaving each character’s story around a set of steps they encounter daily, and examining how the city is constantly evolving and changing, Lahiri masterfully illuminates the joys and tragedies of daily life. From a man mourning the person he once was to a couple coming to terms with loss and a family trying to make a new city home, the rich characters she has created will stay with you long after you finish reading.

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Travel back in time, from Victorian London to the Blitz, with riveting historical fiction which is sure to keep you spellbound whether at home or away.  

The Burial Plot

by Elizabeth Macneal

From the bestselling author of The Doll Factory, now a major TV series, this is an unstoppable historical thriller about murder, manipulation, and a young woman trying to wrestle power from the hands of a dangerous man. London, 1839. Where the cemeteries are full and there is money to be made in death, Bonnie and Crawford lead a life of trickery, surviving off ill-gotten coin and nefarious schemes. But one hot evening, their luck runs out. 


by Kate Morton

When she gets a call to say that her elderly grandmother is unwell, journalist Jess takes the first flight from London, her home of twenty years, back to her native Australia to be by her side. Combing through her childhood home as she waits for news, Jess unearths a family secret that leads her to examine everything she knows about herself, her grandmother, and her future. Homecoming, the new novel by international bestseller Kate Morton, has all the hallmarks of a future classic. 

The Women

by Kristin Hannah

Frankie McGrath, a nursing student in 1965 California, has her world transformed when she's told "women can be heroes, too." Joining the Army Nurses Corps to follow her brother to Vietnam, Frankie faces the harsh realities of war and its aftermath. Amidst chaos and heartbreak, she finds strength in female friendship and learns the value of sacrifice and commitment. This emotionally charged novel illuminates the often-forgotten stories of women who bravely served their country. With a memorable heroine, searing insights, and lyrical beauty, The Women is a poignant tale of courage from Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale

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Learned by Heart

by Emma Donoghue

In 1805, at a boarding school in York, two fourteen-year-old girls meet. Eliza Raine is an orphan with Indian heritage who tired of being picked on for being different. Anne Lister is a rebellious spirit who defies societal norms and is determined to conquer the world. As their love story blossoms, they create a profound bond that transcends time and shapes their lives forever. Learned By Heart is the heartbreaking story of the love of two women – Anne Lister, the real-life inspiration behind Gentleman Jack, and her first love, Eliza Raine – from the bestselling author of Room and The Wonder.

Stone Blind

by Natalie Haynes

As the sole mortal in a family of gods, Medusa begins to realize that she is the only one who experiences change, the only one who can be hurt, and the only one who lives with an urgency that her family will never know. Then, when the sea god Poseidon commits an unforgivable act in the temple of Athene, the goddess takes her revenge where she can – and Medusa is changed forever. Writhing snakes replace her hair, and her gaze now turns any living creature to stone. Unable to control her new power, she is condemned to a life of shadows and darkness. Until Perseus embarks upon a quest. At last, Medusa's story is told.

The Square of Sevens

by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

A historical fiction novel packed with fortune-telling, travels and mystery is the perfect book to escape reality with this summer. A girl known only as Red, the daughter of a Cornish fortune-teller, travels with her father making a living predicting fortunes using the ancient method: the Square of Sevens. When her father suddenly dies, Red becomes the ward of a gentleman scholar. But soon, she can't ignore the burning questions about her family. The pursuit of these mysteries takes her across the country in an epic tale of intrigue, heartbreak and audacious twists. 

One of the best pieces of historical fiction I have ever read.


by James Hynes

This vivid coming of age story set at the end of the Roman Empire, follows Sparrow – a boy of no known origin living in a brothel. He spends his days listening to stories told by his beloved ‘mother’ Euterpe, running errands for her lover the cook, and dodging the blows of their brutal overseer. But a hard fate awaits him – one that involves suffering, murder and mayhem. To cope he will create his own identity – Sparrow – who sings without reason and can fly from trouble. This is a book with one of the most powerfully affecting and memorable characters of recent fiction, brought to life through James Hynes meticulous research and bold imagination. 

The Armour of Light

by Ken Follett

In 1792, England hungers for supremacy while France witnesses Napoleon's ascent. Meanwhile, Kingsbridge, a once-tranquil town, stands on the brink. Industrial innovation sweeps the land, shattering the lives of workers and tearing families apart. In the face of encroaching tyranny, a small but resolute group from Kingsbridge emerges. Their intertwined stories encapsulate a generation's struggle for enlightenment, as they rally against oppression and fight passionately for a future free from the shackles of an oppressive regime. The Armour of Light is the latest instalment in Ken Follett's Kingsbridge series.  

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The Maiden

by Kate Foster

Arrested in Edinburgh in October 1679 for the murder of her lover, Lady Christian is jailed, scandalised in the press and branded an adulteress. A taught and twisty historical thriller set in Restoration era Scotland, in The Maiden, Kate Foster weaves a tale of one woman’s quest to prove the truth and clear her name. Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and inspired by a real-life case in seventeenth-century Scotland, The Maiden gives a voice to a woman silenced by history. Until now. 

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

Soon to be a major motion picture, The Nightingale is a multi-million copy bestseller across the world. It is a heart-breakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the endurance of women. This story is about what it was like to be a woman during World War II when women’s stories were all too often forgotten or overlooked . . . Vianne and Isabelle Mauriac are two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals and passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path towards survival, love and freedom in war-torn France.

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If you can't get away from it all in a literal sense, make your escape in the form of some fantasy and sci-fi reading.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time. This opportunity is not without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . . Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful novel has stolen the hearts of readers the world over. Through it, we meet four visitors to the café and ask: what would you change if you could travel back in time?

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Alien Clay

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Professor Arton Daghdev is exiled to an extrasolar labour camp on Kiln due to his political activism. There, he’s condemned to work under an alien sky until he dies. Kiln boasts a ravenous, chaotic ecosystem like nothing seen on Earth. The monstrous alien life interacts in surprising ways with the human body, so Arton will risk death daily. Yet, amidst it all, the ruins of an alien civilization are a beacon of hope. On Kiln, history's greatest space discovery awaits - an alien species vanished, leaving behind a secret that could redefine life and intelligence, and potentially, liberate Arton. Alien Clay is a thrilling far-future adventure. 

Can't Spell Treason Without Tea

by Rebecca Thorne

Reyna, the private guard to the queen, and Kianthe, the most powerful mage in existence, have one wish, and that’s to open a cosy little bookshop where folk can drink tea before an open fire, surrounded by plants and company while reading their favourite books. However, furious monarchs, magical creatures, and the citizens of Tawney all have other ideas. Combining high stakes with cosy fantasy, this hugely anticipated read wraps sapphic representation, healthy relationships, powerful women and comfortable fireside chats into a warm hug of a story. With dragons. Don’t forget the dragons.

A Tempest of Tea

by Hafsah Faizal

The only thing better than a swoon-worthy romance for your summer holiday, is a swoon-worthy romance with vampires. In A Tempest of Tea we meet Arthie Casimir, a criminal mastermind and collector of secrets in the city of White Roaring. By day she runs a tearoom, but by night this transforms into an illegal bloodhouse for the city's vampires. When her establishment is threatened she is forced to call on society's outcasts to infiltrate the vampire society known as the Athereum. But not everyone in her ragtag crew is on her side, and as the truth behind the heist unfolds, Arthie finds herself in the midst of a conspiracy.

Song of the Huntress

by Lucy Holland

Song of the Huntress recasts the folklore behind the Wild Hunt into a dark, feminist fantasy set amidst the legends and beauty of ancient Britain. Threatened by the prospect of the Romans defeating her lover and the land she loves so much, Herla makes a deadly pact with the Otherworld King, who transforms her into the Lord of the Hunt. Over the next centuries she rides, stealing souls, until she meets a woman who will change her forever. From the bestselling author of Sistersong, Song of the Huntress is an impeccably researched and beautifully written story of history, fantasy and folklore.

The Serpent and the Wings of Night

by Carissa Broadbent

In Carissa Broadbent's series opener, a human-vampire survival game akin to The Hunger Games, unfolds. Oraya, an adopted human daughter of the Nightborn vampire king, battles for more than mere survival in the Kejari, a legendary contest run by the goddess of death. To win, Oraya must ally with perilous Raihn, a deadly vampire and fierce competitor. Despite being an enemy to her father's reign, Oraya is irresistibly drawn to Raihn. In the merciless Kejari, compassion is scarce, and love could prove fatal.

The Atlas Six

by Olivie Blake

Few magicians are invited to join the prestigious and secretive Alexandrian Society, and those who are gain a lifetime of privilege and prestige amongst the magic order. When six candidates are asked to compete to guard the ancient knowledge the society harbours, they travel to London to prove their mettle. As they learn about the challenges they face, the six realise that the stakes are higher than they could have ever imagined . . . 

A TikTok sensation, The Atlas Six is a must-read novel for fans of all things fantasy. 

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A Restless Truth

by Freya Marske

When Maud Blyth is asked to accompany an elderly acquaintance on an ocean liner voyage, she jumps at her chance to see the world. But when the old lady is found murdered the day after they set sail, Maud finds herself searching for the killer alongside a mysterious fellow passenger, magician Violet Debenham. Racing against the clock to make sure they don’t become the killer’s next victims, Maud and Violet realise they need to team up to crack the case. A magical locked room mystery for fans of Knives Out, A Restless Truth has all the ingredients a holiday read needs.

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Here we list some non-fiction books to ground you on those long summer holiday days.

The Psychology of Money

by Morgan Housel

Book cover for The Psychology of Money

“The best book about money ever written,” according to Diary of a CEO’s Steven Bartlett, and who are we to argue? This global sensation was published in 2020 and has gone on to sell over four million copies. It’s easy to see why: Housel is a consummate story-teller, and these are stories that will change how you think about wealth, greed and happiness forever. Far from being mere cash, money is perhaps the ultimate human construct – and conundrum – that we face.

Sociopath: A Memoir

by Patric Gagne

For as long as she can remember, Patric Gagne knew that she wasn’t like other people. Unbothered by how her actions affected those around her, by the time she reached her teenage years, her textbook childhood “bad behaviour” had escalated into petty theft, stalking and worse. In Sociopath, her searingly honest new memoir, Gange explores what it means to be a sociopath, shares her own story of redemption and asks: is there a way for sociopaths to successfully integrate into society? 


by Mo Gawdat

Unstressable applies Mo Gawdat's brilliant engineering mind and Alice Law's psychology and stress-management expertise to the 'stress pandemic'. Mo explains how he made it through the most acutely stressful times in his own life, and the book touches on the idea of post-traumatic growth – both on a personal level and in response to huge events that affected all of us, such as the COVID pandemic and subsequent economic turmoil. Practical exercises will help you build up the skills to manage stress no matter your circumstances, backed up by neuroscience and accessible psychology.

Things No One Taught Us About Love

by Vex King

The hope and expectation that romantic love can and will be the solution to all our problems can put real strain on our relationships. Learn how to strengthen them, and uncover the true nature of love – a force within us, rather than an external power – with Vex King. By deconstructing the myths and misconceptions surrounding love and relationships, this book will help you to understand yourself, create and maintain healthy habits, set boundaries and heal.

The Kindness Method

by Shahroo Izadi

In these difficult times, we could all benefit from showing ourselves a little kindness. If you want to use this time to make a change, Behavioural Change Specialist Shahroo Izadi believes there’s only one way to make change last, and that’s to be kind to yourself. The Kindness Method was developed through a combination of professional training and personal experience and will leave you feeling empowered, positive and ready to make a change, whether it’s weight loss, cutting down on alcohol or improving your relationships.

Think Faster, Talk Smarter

by Matt Abrahams

A prospective client asking unexpected questions during a sales pitch, a teacher singling you out for an answer during a class, a high-pressure meeting with senior executives at work, or even a heartwarming toast to deliver on the spot. Matt Abrahams, Stanford University lecturer and creator of the hit podcast, Think Fast, Talk Smart, reveals the secrets to finding the right words when it counts. This invaluable books provides a six-point methodology that will enable you to cut through the anxiety arising from stressful, impromptu circumstances to create and deliver crisp, compelling and calm communication.

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