Booked some time off round the bank holiday? Now you just need a good book to keep you busy… Whatever you’ve got planned for your hard-earned break, we’ve got the perfect read to throw in the suitcase:

Lazing by the pool:

Bad Things Happen Here – Rebecca Barrow

The summer’s hottest thriller and the perfect read while sipping something cool next to the pool. One to get the heart racing even while you relax. Rebecca Barrow’s gripping YA murder mystery keeps you guessing with dark truths, scandalous secrets and slow-burn romance amidst an idyllic island setting. Paradise can be deadly…. So enjoy it from the safety of your sun-lounger.

Spending time with the family:

Love and Other Dramas – Ronali Collings

Following Tania, her widowed mother Helen, and best friend Priya – a trio of women at life’s crossroads; this is a novel of reinvention, friendship, complicated family dynamics, and keeping your cards close to your chest in a culture where Auntie knows best. A wise debut with a liberal sprinkling of heart-warming humour, and one to dip into with the rhythms of family life lapping around you.

Keeping active:

Ultimate Football Hero: Kirby – Charlotte Browne

Celebrate England’s history-making European Championship winners, with this illustrated biography of star striker Fran Kirby: Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer and the “mini Messi” with the world at her feet. A fan-favourite instalment in the Ultimate Football Heroes series sure to inspire the next generation. Sneak in some chapters between kicking a ball about with the kids and keepy-uppies on the beach.

Hitting up the museum:

Five Eyes – Richard Kerbaj

Spending those summer days seeking out blue plaques and the shady corridors of the museum? Pack the fascinating untold story of the Five Eyes from the BAFTA-winning filmmaker and investigative journalist Richard Kerbaj. Shining a light on the shadowy international spy network – and featuring interviews with its key players – this is a book for history buffs and Bond fanatics alike.

Romantic weekender:

You Had Me at Halloumi – Ginger Jones

When it comes to love, it’s feta late than never. Sparks fly in the Cyprian sun as chef Freya finds herself head-to-head with absolute dish Xanthos in a prestigious cookery competition. Ginger Jones’ debut is a mouth-watering, pun-tastic holiday romance that delivers some serious spice. One scandalous passage in particular has taken over BookTok… Trust us: you’ll never look at a cheesecake in the same way again…

Taking some time for yourself:

I Wish I Knew – Donna Ashworth

Sometimes all we need from our days off is the precious opportunity to relax, get reacquainted with the sofa, and recharge in our own way. If you’re seeking company for those all-important moments, then reach for Donna Ashworth’s I Wish I Knew. Her collection of poems to soothe the soul and strengthen the spirit has captured the imagination of all ages – shining a light on body image, self-esteem, depression, pressures, and relationships. Her latest trio of work – Life, Love, and Loss – arrives in October.


Maps – Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski

Ticked off every page of your Lonely Planet? Grab Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski’s Maps – a stunning compendium of 66 countries across six continents, brought to life with beautiful illustration. Hop from the fjords of Norway to the Congolese jungle, and dance the rumba in Cuba on-route. This will keep even the most inquisitive of young sightseers satisfied, and provide plenty of inspiration for your next big trip.

Festival vibes:

Pandamonium! – Simon Williams

A book probably isn’t the first thing you’d stick in your rucksack on-route to a music festival, but Simon Williams’ rollicking, highly affecting memoir will get you in the mood for the headline act. The journalist and Fierce Panda Records founder recalls the heyday of NME and breaking bands at the height of indie. Featuring guest appearances from Coldplay, Nick Cave, and shady ‘representatives’ of the Krays; Pandamonium! is the perfect title to grab at when hungover in your tent, recharging ahead of another hard day of singing your heart out.

Doing some long-awaited DIY:

More is More Décor – Siobhan Murphy

Dedicating your time off to home improvement? Take some inspiration from the BBC Interior Design Masters finalist Siobhan Murphy – Queen of Maximalism and a one-woman riot of eye-popping colour – whose More is More Décor will make sure you banish the beige, ditch the drab, and chuck the design rulebook out the window. A book that will make you the talk of B&Q and the envy of your neighbours…