Sunday 9th August is National Book Lovers' Day, so to mark the occasion, we've put together a short reading list of some must-pack books for your summer holiday. Whether you're venturing overseas or opting for a UK staycation, you'll be in good company with these funny, exciting and heartwarming reads.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
What summer 2020 reading list is complete without Sally Rooney’s Normal People? Even if you didn’t watch the novel’s massively successful BBC adaptation, you’ve probably already heard a lot about it. Set in the Republic of Ireland, the story follows the on-again, off-again relationship between Connell and Marianne from their school days, all the way through their time at Trinity University in Dublin.
Although a seemingly straightforward book, the pair’s relationship makes for compelling reading as it tackles issues of class, vulnerability, and of course, first love. If you’re looking for a story that will tug on your heart strings yet keep you ploughing through the pages, make sure to pack a copy of Normal People for your hols.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Queenie is Candacy Carty-Williams’ debut novel, and the South Londoner certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s a critically-acclaimed story which follows the life of Queenie Jenkins, a young black British woman who is struggling to negotiate the pitfalls of her family, her race, her career and her relationship, with comical and often moving results.
The novel addresses topics such as class, culture and mental health in an honest, authentic way, and is a very refreshing, appropriate read given the current tumultuous climate.
How to Disappear by Gillian McAllister
Best-selling author Gillian McAllister’s latest novel is another psychological thriller, plunging you deep into suspense from page one. Its protagonist, Lauren, is forced to leave her entire life behind (including her husband) with no warning, in order to protect her daughter Zara who has become a target since witnessing a terrible crime.
A tense and twisting read, How to Disappear will certainly stop you from dozing off by the pool.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
American Dirt follows Lydia, a Mexican bookshop owner and mother, as she flees north to the USA with her son, Luca, to escape a local drug cartel which has taken over her city.
This is a fast-paced, gripping thriller, which follows a desperate mother as she confronts the notoriously dangerous Mexico-US border, a journey which millions of migrants attempt to make each year. Covering themes of love, loss and parenthood, this Sunday Times top 10 best-seller is guaranteed to be a real page turner.
Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls
From the best-selling author of One Day and Starter for Ten, Sweet Sorrow is a terribly sad and hilariously funny coming-of-age story, all folded into one summer. Charlie Lewis is an unambitious teenage boy, living with his depressed father, when he suddenly falls head-over-heels with Fran. Even though it means facing his own living hell and the scorn of his friends, Charlie joins Fran’s amateur dramatics group to impress her.
Written with Nicholls' trademark wit and richness, Sweet Sorrow brilliantly captures teenage feelings of awkwardness and infatuation, and is heartbreaking and comical in equal measure. It’s a novel that’s sure to happily get you through many a lazy day on the beach or by the pool.
Now take some time to lie back, pick up a cocktail and one of these wonderful books, and really make the most of your relaxing down time!