We’ve made it! It’s that time of the year where the sun is shining, the grass is green and school’s out. You just might finally have time to pick up a book that wasn’t picked for you by your kids’ school’s homework! Here’s our Top 10 of must-read books to take on holiday. And if you need some inspiration on where to go, take a look at our top family destinations for 2018.
1. When Life Gives you Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
The second sequel to the hugely successful The Devil Wears Prada focus its story on Emily Charlton, former assistant to big-shot editor Miranda and now a successful image consultant to the stars. But there’s a problem – Emily’s clients are leaving in droves, and she’s paranoid that she’s destined for a life in the Connecticut suburbs.
Weisberger’s latest novel is as acerbic as ever, shedding light on a glamorous, over-the-top world.
2. Tip of the Iceberg: My 3,000-Mile Journey Around Wild Alaska, The Last Great American Frontier by Mark Adams
Set in one of the most remote places on Earth, Adams heads to Alaska to retrace the 1899 expedition of American railroad executive Edward Henry ‘Ned’ Harriman, an enterprising character who converted a steamship and headed to this vast US state on a ‘floating university’ packed with scientists and writers.
Adams retraces Harriman’s steps, comparing his observations with those of 100 years ago – and also looks at the impact of the oil industry and climate change. A fascinating glimpse into a little-seen part of the world.
3. The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Written with the help of former US president Clinton, James Patterson’s political thriller sees fictitious commander-in-chief and – war hero Jonathan Lincoln Duncan trying to thwart a deadly cyberterrorist attack, with various groups all under suspicion.
Clinton brings the requisite political gravitas, as well as shedding light on some of Washington’s biggest secrets. For example, did you know that The White House has its own bowling alley in the basement?
4. Calypso by David Sedaris
Despite the dark subject matter, Sedaris’ latest work, Calypso, is a piece of comedy, with numerous laugh-out-loud moments. The American humorist, who now lives in West Sussex, covers autobiographical stories involving his alcoholic mother, his sister’s suicide, and his struggle to face mortality.
Don’t be put off by the bleak subject matter – this is a warm, at-times hilarious book from a writer who can bring light to the darkest of life’s moments.
5. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara
Gripping crime story based on the real-life events that took place in the 1970s and 1980s in California, where a journalist investigating a serial killer died while investigating the case, which was only solved in April 2018.
The book was released posthumously and is a fascinating look at a case which has baffled detectives for decades. A great choice for fans of hard-hitting crime books.
6. Feel Free by Zadie Smith
White Teeth author Smith has released a collection of essays, as well as some well-known works such as Joy and Find Your Beach which are included in the collection.
Smith has, through her career, tackled everything from pop culture to social change and political debate, and in Feel Free, which is arranged into five sections – In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free, she gives her well-informed, forthright views on topics including social media, the environment and hip-hop star Jay-Z.
7. Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game by Karl Ove Knausgaard & Fredrik Ekelund
A great book for sports lovers, this recalls that amazing night in the summer of 2014 when Germany knocked Brazil out of their own World Cup, defeating them 7-1.
Home And Away also looks at the back story to this fascinating match, covering the history of the teams and the political backdrop to the game, as well as the action on the pitch. A must-read for all football fans, and timely given that the 2018 World Cup is currently in full swing in Russia.
8. Dead Men’s Trousers by Irvine Welsh
Our favourite Edinburgh trainspotters. Renton is now a successful jet-setter, the psychotic Begbie seems to have mellowed with middle age, and Sick Boy and Spud are still fighting old demons, but a chance encounter reunites the quartet.
The shocking stories of excess are present and correct, but it’s the dynamic between the four characters that makes this book so compelling. We won’t give away too much, suffice too say that one of the four’s days are numbered – we’ll let you decide which one it could be…
9. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Penned by the author of The English Patient, Ondaatje’s latest novel is set in 1940s’ London just after the Blitz. Nathaniel is a 14-year-old boy who has been abandoned with his sister Rachel by their Singapore-bound parents, and left in the care of an enigmatic, possibly criminal figure called the Moth.
Things take an unexpected twist when their mother returns – on her own – without so much of an explanation, never mind an apology. A fascinating tale of adolescent reflection.
10. Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky
Using fact and fiction, Schalansky takes us on a deeply personal journey of 50 of the world’s most remote islands, sharing their secrets and stories that bring them to life.
Beautifully illustrated, this pocket-sized atlas is a fitting read for a holiday, feeding your appetite for travel and adventure.
We hope our selection has got you eagerly creating a wish list of holiday books. And if you want some holiday inspiration, too, take a look at our top deals