Our authors' summer holiday essentials

 We asked some of our favourite authors to share the items, and books, they won't be leaving home without this year.

Holidays are a joy; packing (for 99% of us), is not. To help make your holiday prep go as smoothly as possible, we asked some of our favourite authors to share their summer packing essentials and the holiday reads they're taking with them this year.

For more summer reading inspiration, discover our edit of this years best holiday reads.

Jane Green 

My holiday packing essential:

High sunblock, and a hat (I’m taking two). As a former sun-worshipper, post-melanoma girl, I now go to great pains to stay out of the sun.

My holiday read:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest

by J. Ryan Stradal

Book cover for Kitchens of the Great Midwest

My summer reading essential is The Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, which is a gorgeous, lush, escapist read, and my favourite book of the year thus far.

Lucinda Riley

My holiday packing essential:

Wax earplugs for noisy neighbours and swimming.

My holiday read:

Amy Snow

by Tracy Rees

Book cover for Amy Snow

My recommended read is Amy Snow by Tracy Rees.

Diana Rosie 

My holiday packing essential:

A torch. I like holidays with a touch of adventure - Tibet, Mongolia and Bolivia are among my favourite destinations. But adventure comes with the risk of power cuts and outside toilets so a torch has come in handy on many occasions.

My holiday read:

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Book cover for The Book Thief

If I were choosing a book to take on holiday, I'd pick The Book Thief for its perfect blend of writing that should be savoured, and page-turning storytelling. 

Diane Chamberlain

My holiday packing essential:

The one thing I never go on a summer holiday without is my mini spritzer fan. When I’m on the beach or hiking, I can spray a light mist of cool water on my face and forget about the heat for a while.
My holiday read:

The Weekenders

by Mary Kay

Book cover for The Weekenders

My holiday read this summer is Mary Kay Andrews’ The Weekenders. Mary Kay always keeps me laughing. 

Elaine Everest

My holiday packing essential:

I often holiday in the UK with my dog and husband so an essential packing item for me is an umbrella so that I'm able to enjoy my day and stay dry.

My holiday read:

Secrets of the Sewing Bee

by Kate Thompson

Book cover for Secrets of the Sewing Bee

My recommended book would be The Secrets of the Sewing Bee by Kate Thompson as there is an interesting blend of history and fiction within the covers.

Joanna Rees

My holiday packing essential:

I’d like to say it was some kind of posh factor fifty face cream, or a floaty designer kimono, but actually my one packing holiday essential is a box of teabags. Nothing fancy. We’re talking normal builders tea.  Seriously. I can’t leave home without them. It’s that extra brewed cuppa in the morning that gets me going and those weak little paper sachets on strings don’t cut it.

My holiday read:

I love reading on holiday – the only time I ever get to read in the day. I love a psychological thriller – of which there are many brilliant ones around. I’ve just finished Renee Knight’s Disclaimer. My favourite book of last summer was easily The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt which I couldn’t put down. I also like reading cookery books whilst I’m swinging in a hammock contemplating making a long delicious lunch.  I’m taking Spring, Skye Gyngell’s new book with me on holiday this summer.