Some of you may know that I’ve set myself a reading challenge this year (through GoodReads if you would like to join in). I am aiming to read 52 books in 2019, and I’m currently on track having read 33 so far. I have quite varied taste in books – I always have a crime/murder/ghost story book on the go but apart from that I am pretty open to anything.
But a holiday read is a breed of its own. There are some great books I’ve read recently that I would recommend to anyone (e.g. Inferior by Angela Saini) but they’re not quite right for a holiday read, whether that’s lying on the beach, sitting in a European city cafe, or unable to sleep at 30,000 feet. So I’ve picked 10 wonderful books that I think you should slip into your suitcase.
FYI I bought every single book on this list myself (although I was sent some of them afterwards for PR purposes). The links are affiliate – which means I get a small amount of money if you purchase through any of the links below, at no added cost to you. If for some strange reason you don’t want to use my links, just Google the titles!
The Lido by Libby Page – I heard everyone raving about this book last year and am so glad I finally jumped on the bandwagon. This is such a wonderfully enchanting book about friendship, history, change, and standing up for what’s important. The language is beautifully used, the characters are so well written, and the descriptions of everyday London are fantastic. I sobbed at the end of this book and felt utterly bereft to have finished it.
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – I read this in two sittings this past weekend and found myself grinning ear to ear as I read. The basic premise is great: two strangers agree to share a one bedroom flat because they work opposite shifts, agreeing to never meet in real life… Seeing their friendship blossom through notes left in their shared flat was an absolute joy.
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams – If you follow LJW on instagram and love her personality and vibe on there then you will adore this book. Similarly to the above book, this is about near-misses, second (and third, and fourth, and fifth…) chances, and unabashed romantic gestures. I actually found myself more interested in the evolving female friendships in this book – which isn’t surprising as real-life-LJW is a huge cheerleader for filling your life with platonic love.
Are We Nearly There Yet? by Lucy Vine – This book made me snort-laugh, cringe, and cheer throughout. The sections where the main character is attempting to be an #aspirational travel blogger are hilarious (and I wish I could say that some bloggers aren’t like that…)
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – A fictional story about a 1970s rock band, told from the point of view of everyone involved. Drugs, love, fights, death, music… it’s just wonderful. I spent the whole book wishing the band was real so I could listen to the music! Amazon have signed up to make a TV series (with Reese Witherspoon to executive produce) *and* release the soundtrack. I can’t flipping wait.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – This is another book that so many people have recommended to me over the past two years and I wish I’d listened earlier. A story about relationships (with a focus on mothers and daughters) filled with secrets and intertwined layers. This has also been chosen by Reese Witherspoon to turn into a mini-series so this is a good time to read it before that happens!
You Let Me In by Lucy Clarke – This wouldn’t be a book recommendation list from me without something creepy! This is a fast-paced thriller that looks at loneliness, comparison, and the veneer of social media. But perhaps not one for you if you let out your own home on AirBnb…!
Educated by Tara Westover – Another hyped book, but for good reason. I could not stop thinking and talking about this book while I was reading it, it’s just such a fascinating and shocking story. A young girl brought up by abusive survivalists who isolated the family and refused to educate their children, her story is one of strength, determination, and survival. I am not a fan of ‘misery memoirs’ (I think this is what put me off reading at first) but this is truly inspirational.
What Would The Spice Girls Do? by Lauren Bravo – If the former sounds a little bit heavy, this is the perfect antidote. Lauren’s book isn’t just about the Spice Girls, so don’t be put off if you weren’t a mega-fan: it’s nostalgic, funny, warm, and filled with pop culture references that had me nodding and smiling throughout. If you grew up in the time of Spicemania, I think you’ll love this.
The Sisterhood by Daisy Buchanan – Daisy’s ode to her sisters and female friendships is an absolute delight. As someone sandwiched between two sisters, I identified with huge chunks of this book: she perfectly captures the joy, love rage, jealousy, and hilarity of those relationships. It’s incredibly moving in parts – when I finished it I immediately wanted to run back to Yorkshire and hug my sisters!
And that’s your lot! I could have gone on and on but I promised myself I’d stop at 10 books. Every time I mention my reading challenge on instagram, people end up asking me for book recommendations, so let me know if you enjoyed this and if you’d like me to collate more list suggestions.
Also – please leave your favourite holiday read suggestions below so I can add them to my enormous to-be-read pile and so others can be enabled by your recommendations as well!
I used to include book reviews in my Friday Faves, so if you’d like to see what else I’ve recommended in the past take a look HERE.
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