holiday reading

Holiday reading: The best books to pack for summer 2024

10 Jun 2024 | |By Annie Lewis

Wherever you're spending summer this year, delve into these new reads by established and up-and-coming authors

At long last, it’s officially holiday season. You’ve booked the flights and hotel, your out-of-office wardrobe is ready to go and travel miniatures are packed. Now there’s just one thing to take care of before you depart: what you’ll be reading as you bask under the hot sun of some faraway locale. And thankfully there are plenty of books to keep you occupied as you work on that tan. From thrilling debut novels to highly-anticipated releases by award-winning authors, these are the best books to read in summer 2024. 

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Novels by Liane Moriarty and sunbeds are a match made in heaven – trust us. The Australian author is most famous for her 2014 novel Big Little Lies, which was transformed into a TV series three years later, but the rest of the Moriarty collection should not be overlooked. I love Apples Never Fall which follows the tennis-obsessed Delaney family. When matriarch Joy goes missing, stories and secrets between her four children, neighbours, husband and friends form a page-turning whodunit that is a must for any traveller this summer.

£9.99
Buy Now

Ultra-Processed People by Chris van Tulleken

One for those who prefer non-fiction, we’re confident van Tulleken’s deep dive into the ultra-processed food debate will change the way you think about diets forever. Within 416 pages, the food scientist examines the relationship between consumers and food, and how we are being force-fed ‘junk’ without even realising. It’s thought-provoking, witty and packed with information bound to blow your mind. Happy reading!

£10.99
Buy Now

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

A searingly sharp portrait of the OxyContin crisis which devastated southern American states in the early 2000s, Demon Copperhead is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Narrated by witty and charming Demon – who finds refuge with his best friend next door while his addict single-mum struggles to make ends meet – this 560-page retelling of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield follows him throughout different stages of his life, featuring unimaginable low points and soaring highs. This book will make you cry and laugh while you root for Demon to make something of himself despite coming from nothing.

£9.99
Buy Now

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

From the acclaimed author of Babel comes a gripping new thriller focusing on ambition, greed and white privilege. It follows protagonists Athena Liu – an established author – and June Hayward, a lazy but aspiring writer. When Liu dies in a freak accident, her most recent stellar manuscript lands in the hands of Hayward, who decides to publish it under her own name. But as the truth threatens her success, Hayward realises how far she will go to protect her newfound life and buried lies.

£16.99
Buy Now

Isaac and The Egg by Bobby Palmer

Having garnered rave reviews, Isaac and The Egg is Palmer’s debut novel and tells the moving story of a broken man’s transformative journey. On the worst morning of his life, a young man walks into the woods and finds something that will change life as he knows it. But, it isn’t all doom and gloom. The message of the book is hopeful and uplifting, simply stating ‘sometimes, to get out of the woods, you have to go into them’. Trust us, you’ll love this powerful but digestible novel.

£9.99
Buy Now

The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka

Winner of the Booker Prize 2022, The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is a unique depiction of the murderous mayhem of Sri Lanka due to the civil war in Colombo during 1990. When Maali Almeida – war photographer, gambler and closet gay – wakes up, he discovers he’s dead (quite graphically) but he has no idea who killed him. However, his murderer isn’t his biggest problem (it could’ve been any of the death squads or suicide bombers which were consuming the city) because even in the afterlife, time seems to be running out for Maali. He has seven moons to contact those he loves most and try and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka. Ten years after his prize-winning novel Chinaman, which established him as one of Sri Lanka’s literary greats, Karunatilaka returns with an epic which will have you on the edge of your sun lounger.

£9.99
Buy Now

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sally Milz is pretty successful. As a rich TV writer for a legendary late-night TV comedy show, every section of her life seems to be on track – apart from her quest for love. Then Sally meets Noah, a pop star with a reputation for dating models. But would someone like him ever date someone like her? Tipping all expectations of romance on its head, Romantic Comedy is a witty and thoughtful tale of how the heart will follow what it wants. This is Sittenfeld at her best.

£16.99
Buy Now

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry may have been published two summers ago but it remains a best-seller – and one I highly recommend you read. Set in the 1960s, it follows Elizabeth Zott, a talented chemist on a mission to break glass ceilings in the all-male team at Hastings Research Institute, who all take a very unscientific view of equality. Except for Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel-prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with her mind. Tragedy strikes and life is unpredictable, so when Zott finds herself a single mother a few years later, she becomes the reluctant star of a cooking show teaching women at home how to be a lot more than just a good housewife. Warming and funny, Lessons in Chemistry is an emotional rollercoaster we’re sure you will love.

£9.99
Buy Now

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

If you loved Sally Rooney’s Conversation with Friends, you will love Cleopatra and Frankenstein; a humorous but poignant depiction of an impulsive, toxic marriage. When Cleo and Frank meet by chance at a New Year’s Eve party, they embark on a love story which will change their lives, for better or worse. This astounding debut highlights how spontaneous decisions can shape our entire lives and is a unique take on a classic romance novel.

£9.99
Buy Now

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

If you’re looking for a beach read you can really sink your teeth into, they don’t get much better than pretty much anything written by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and recent Amazon Prime series Daisy Jones and The Six, Carrie Soto Is Back is actually based on characters who appeared in Malibu Rising (haven’t read it yet? Chop chop). Carrie Soto is a fierce tennis player, shattering every record and claiming 20 Grand Slam titles. Six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan. So, at 37-years-old, she comes back from retirement to reclaim her record. Can she do it? We recommend you find out.

£9.99
Buy Now

Read more: Inside the palaces and country estates where Netflix’s Bridgerton was filmed