Books to curl up with at home

Whether you want to wrap yourself up in a fluffy love story or challenge yourself with a classic novel you've always meant to read, here's a selection of books to cosy up on the sofa with.

While we're all preparing to spend a lot more time on the sofa in the coming weeks and months, books will always offer us the chance to escape into another world, explore a different culture or immerse ourselves in a beautiful love affair. Whether you want to be transported to another time, finally read the classics you've always meant to or dive into a nail-biting thriller (no nail-biting though!), here's our edit of the best books to curl up with now that we've all got a little more time on our hands.

Colouring in to lose yourself in

Art of Mindfulness

by Emma Farrarons

Book cover for Art of Mindfulness

While away the hours at home with this creative art therapy book to soothe anxiety and stress. Full of beautiful colouring pages, drawings to imitate, patterns to create and lots of guided sketching, Art of Mindfulness is full of mindful activities to help you achieve a sense of calm.

The Little Book of Calm Colouring

by David Sinden

Book cover for The Little Book of Calm Colouring

Soothe stresses away and lose yourself in some creative colouring with this beautifully hand-illustrated colouring book full of stunning anti-stress designs and inspiring quotations.

Uplifting escapism

One Summer in Crete

by Nadia Marks

Book cover for One Summer in Crete

We may all be stuck on the sofa for the time-being, but there’s no reason why you can’t travel with the aid of your next favourite read – and Nadia Marks’ One Summer in Crete is here to provide you with some escapist joy. Set on the beautiful island of Crete, and using the author’s Greek heritage as inspiration, follow Calli as she embarks on a sun-drenched story of love, betrayal and revenge – a story that will change her life forever.

Laura Cassidy’s Walk of Fame

by Alan McMonagle

Book cover for Laura Cassidy’s Walk of Fame

The stars have finally aligned for Laura Cassidy. Hollywood. Starry lights. It’s her destiny. That was always the plan. Now, the new theatre is about to open and there's a part with her name on it. But the road to success isn't always free of obstacles . . .

Channelling the era of Hollywood’s silver screen and told in a voice that blends devil humour, quiet mayhem, and a singled-minded optimism that might just lead to disaster, Laura Cassidy’s Walk of Fame tells the story of a troubled soul desperate to find her place in life.

Mum & Dad

Book cover for Mum & Dad

Full of wit and warmth, Joanna Trollope’s Mum & Dad explores the issues at the heart of the modern family. Twenty-five years ago, Monica and Gus left England to follow their dream of running a vineyard in Spain. Then Gus suffers a stroke and their perfect life is thrown into upheaval. Their three grown-up children in London need to step in to lend a hand, but Sebastian, Katie and Jake have complicated lives of their own . . .

Dear Mrs Bird

by AJ Pearce

Book cover for Dear Mrs Bird

London, 1941. Emmy dreams of being a fearless Lady War Correspondent but instead finds herself working for the formidable agony aunt Henrietta Bird. Mrs Bird refuses to read any letters containing any form of Unpleasantness, and so those from the lovelorn, grief-stricken and morally conflicted go unanswered. Emmy can’t ignore these poor women desperate for help, and she begins to respond to their letters. What harm could possibly be done?

The Girl Who Reads on the Metro

by Christine Féret-Fleury

Book cover for The Girl Who Reads on the Metro

This enchanting story of a young woman finding her purpose in life is guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. Juliette takes the métro every day to her boring office job, and her only escape is in books. One day, she meets the mysterious Soliman, who believes that books have the power to change the course of a life. He offers Juliette a job, to match books to the people who need them most. Leaving her old life behind, Juliette is about to discover the true power a book can hold . . .

The Man Who Didn't Call

by Rosie Walsh

Book cover for The Man Who Didn't Call

This heart-wrenching love story comes with a shocking twist. Sarah and Eddie have just spent seven perfect days together, falling head over heels in love and talking about a future together that Sarah can’t wait to start. But then Eddie goes on holiday and never calls again. Sarah can’t believe that she’s been ghosted and refuses to move on – she is certain that something has happened to him. When Sarah finds out that there is a reason for Eddie’s silence, the truth is more painful than she could have ever imagined.

If you're in need of a good laugh, Emma is here with her recommendations for the best funny books:

For more reading inspiration, don’t miss our edit of the best fiction books of 2020.


Escape into another world

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

Book cover for The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

This hilarious romp through space is the perfect escape from boredom, and even better, there are another four books in the series to keep you entertained at home. This comedy sci-fi classic sees Arthur Dent narrowly escape the destruction of Earth by hitching a ride on a spaceship with his alien best friend Ford Prefect.

Find out everything you need to know with our guide to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Children of Ruin

by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Book cover for Children of Ruin

Following on from Tchaikovsky’s Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel, Children of Time, Children of Ruin finds modern humanity dealing with the consequences of Earth’s ancient empire building. A terraforming program transforms the world of Nod, with unplanned and ominous side effects. Aeons later, an exploration mission finally discovers this part of space. They are hoping to find cousins from old Earth, but realise that something else entirely awaits.

For more intergalactic escapism discover the best science fiction books of 2020.

The Invisible Library

by Genevieve Cogman

Book cover for The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library is the astounding debut fantasy book by Genevieve Cogman, and the first novel in The Invisible Library series. Professional spy Irene works for the mysterious Library, along with her enigmatic assistant Kai. Their mission is to steal a dangerous book from an alternative London. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. And to make things more complicated, this alternative world is infested with chaos, full of supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic.

The Unspoken Name

by A. K. Larkwood

Book cover for The Unspoken Name

Csorwe was raised by a magical death cult. Her destiny? To be sacrificed to their god on her fourteenth birthday. But when a sorcerer, who wants her as his assistant, offers her an escape she jumps at the chance. Csorwe spends her life helping her master track down an artefact that could change their world and others. But the death cult is seeking this artefact too. Can she defeat it once and for all?

Discover more fantastical worlds to get lost in with our edit of the best fantasy books of 2020.

Classics you’ve never got around to reading

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

Book cover for Pride and Prejudice

If you’ve seen the film and TV adaptations but never had the time to commit to Jane Austen’s classic, now’s the time. This witty satire of Regency society is escapism with a bite, and has the happy ending we’re all looking for in these difficult times. If you’ve fallen in love with the world of the Bennet sisters, don’t miss Janice Hadlow’s The Other Bennet Sister.

Find out which Bennet sister you’re most like with our quiz.

Crime and Punishment

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Book cover for Crime and Punishment

If you’ve always been a little too daunted to tackle a novel by this master of Russian literature you’re not alone. But why not take this opportunity to read something different? Crime and Punishment is a compelling story of a double murder and its aftermath, as poverty-stricken Rodion Raskolnikov kills a pawnbroker and her sister and finds himself struggling with the true forces that drove him to murder.

Don’t miss our selection of the classic books you should have on your reading bucket list.

Long books you finally have the time for

The Pillars of the Earth

by Ken Follett

Book cover for The Pillars of the Earth

At 1104 pages, The Pillars of the Earth is an epic tale of ambition, anarchy and absolute power set in twelfth-century England perfect for historical fiction fans who are looking to lose themselves in another world. Tom Builder and Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, come together to achieve their ambition to build the biggest gothic cathedral in the world. But they will face a struggle between good and evil as they try to succeed. Be sure to catch up on the other two novels in the Kingsbridge series before The Evening and the Morning is published in September.


Book cover for Homeland

This gripping epic novel follows the lives of best friends Miren and Bittori as they grow up and raise their families together in a small town in the north of Spain. Their lives are seemingly unaffected by the fraught politics of the region, until Bittori’s husband begins receiving threats from the terrorist organisation ETA, the same group which has recruited Miren’s son Joxe Mari.

If you’re looking for more big books to tackle, don’t miss our selection of the big books worth your time.

Self-care books to bring a sense of calm

Ten to Zen

by Owen O'Kane

Book cover for Ten to Zen

This simple but effective self-help book helps to get you in the right headspace for challenging times in just ten minutes a day. Using four therapeutic models – mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psychotherapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy – you will learn how to settle your mind quickly, retrain your brain to deal with stress and restructure unhelpful patterns of thinking.

The Anxiety Journal

by Corinne Sweet

Book cover for The Anxiety Journal

Many of us are probably feeling a little more anxious than usual right now. The Anxiety Journal encourages you to use CBT techniques and mindfulness exercises to better understand your anxiety and achieve peace and calm. Practical, supportive and uplifting, this is a self-help journal for anyone who struggles with anxiety, whether in the form of phobias, social anxiety, generalized anxiety (GAD) or day-to-day worrying.

Thrillers to immerse yourself in

The Long Call

by Ann Cleeves

Book cover for The Long Call

Fans of Vera and Shetland will love Ann Cleeves’s newest series, the Two Rivers series. Detective Matthew Venn has returned to North Devon where he grew up in, and ultimately turned his back on, a strict evangelical community, losing his family in the process. He’s returned, not only because he is mourning the death of his father, but because he is taking on his first case in the Two Rivers region. A man has been found stabbed to death on the beach, and Venn’s investigation will take him straight to the heart of the community he left behind.

Read an extract from The Long Call here.

Our Dark Secret

by Jenny Quintana

Book cover for Our Dark Secret

As a teenager in the 1970s, Elizabeth was clever and overweight, a perfect target for bullies. Then Rachel and her family moved to town, and everything changed. She was drawn to bright, beautiful Rachel like a moth to a flame. Their friendship wasn’t exactly equal, but Elizabeth would do anything for Rachel. Then the first body was found . . . When, twenty years on, another body is found, Elizabeth is desperate to keep the secrets of her teenage years secret. But she can’t keep running from her past. Can she? This intelligent crime thriller book is a must-read for fans of Jenny Quintana’s The Missing Girl.

You Are Not Alone

by Greer Hendricks

Book cover for You Are Not Alone

Shay Miller has no job, no apartment and no boyfriend. When she witnesses a young woman throw herself in front of a train, she realises she could end up in the same spiral. But soon she meets a group of women who seem to have their lives together, and who invite her to join them, telling her, ‘You are not alone.’ As she is pulled deeper under the spell of the glamorous Moore sisters her life gets better and better, but what price does she have to pay? You are not alone. Is that a promise, or a threat? You Are Not Alone is set to be one of the most unforgettable psychological thrillers of 2020.

Looking for more? Discover the best crime and thriller books of 2020.


Here, Emma shares some of her favourite fast-paced books to beat the boredom while we're all at home: