You’ve not managed to read an entire book yet this year because, well… kids, work, attempting to learn how to have a social life again, and binge-watching at least three crime dramas have left you without much time on your hands. But summer is here, and even if you’ve not got a Mediterranean beach escape in the diary, you’re determined to take some time out to relax, down tools and pick up a damn great read. So we’ve put together a round-up of some of the best book options out there.
Some of them are brand new releases which will have just landed at your local bookshop (or ahem, branch of big Tesco). Others are absolute favourites of ours that we just couldn’t put down, and think you’ll love just as much as us.
We hope you find something to devour – whether that’s in your back garden with an Aperol Spritz once the kids are in bed, or on a glorious Great British holiday.
Animal by Lisa Taddeo
You’ll likely recognise American author Lisa Taddeo’s name – she was the creative whizz behind 2019’s incredible read Three Woman (which, just FYI, I absolutely gobbled up whilst on holiday and still regularly think about – it’s that good). Her novel Animal has just launched and it focuses on the journey of Joan – a woman who has spent a lifetime enduring the cruel acts of men. The story truly begins when a man shoots himself in front of her in a restaurant. Yep, you’re in for a wild ride.
My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Both me and Gemma adored this book – the gripping debut novel from Oyinkan Braithwaite. It’s set in Lagos in Nigeria, and you’ll find yourself rushing through the pages, desperate to get to the next part in the story to find out what happens and where the story is headed. The title of the book gives away the plot, but surprisngly it’s as funny and light-hearted as it is dark and chilling. An easy one to read if you’re struggling to find something to get properly stuck into.
A Court Of Thorn And Roses by Sarah J. Maas
This fantasy series (there’s five books to get through if you’re up for a challenge) has a huge global fan base, was a New York Times bestseller and is the perfect bit of escapism if you prefer reading fiction that truly removes you from every day life. The first novel was released in 2015, and has similar vibes to The Hunger Games and Game Of Thrones, whilst also being seriously sexy and crammed full of lust-worthy moments at the same time. Fantasy romance at its finest.
Food Isn’t Medicine by Dr Joshua Wolrich
If diet culture and the obsession with losing ‘lockdown weight’ has absolutely messed with your mind recently, then let us introduce you to Dr Joshua Wolrich. The NHS doctor’s debut book is a gamechanger when it comes to unpicking all the hideous fatphobia embedded within our society (and likely your mind, too). Consider it the first piece of essential reading when it comes to learning to loving your sweet, sweet body exactly as it already is.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
Published in 2019, this novel follows the lives of twelve different women in the UK across several decades (and multiple social classes), and has been one of the most talked about reads across social media over the past couple of years – and for good reason. Whilst Gemma raced through it, Hannah’s half way through and the storylines – which celebrate black identity – engulf you and connect you to the characters. An excellent tale of women, for women.
Still Life by Sarah Winman
This stunner of a novel was only released earlier this month but it’s already received plenty of praise and raving reviews. It follows the fictional story of the unlikely friendship between a British soldier and an alleged spy in a wartime Tuscany, and it’s the kind of book that you can almost instantly get lost in. It’s a sweeping, big-hearted read which will undoubtedly hit you right in the feels.
The Mother Project by Sophie Beresiner
Starting life as an award-winning Sunday Times column, The Mother Project chronicles beauty journalist Sophie Beresiner’s complex and courageous journey to motherhood. From a cancer diagnosis that stole her fertility at the age of 30 to failed IVF and the complicated world of surrogacy, The Mother Project bravely shines a light on the fact that the route to motherhood can be long, arduous and filled with injustice. Sophie’s honest writing will make you laugh, cry and, at times, have your jaw on the floor in disbelief.
Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Another bloody brilliant book that’s been doing the Instagram rounds since its launch at the end of 2020. Based partly in New York and mostly in Philadelphia, Kiley Reid’s debut novel tackles race and privilege in an accessible way that leaves the reader desperate to keep on reading. The fictional story follows feminist influencer Alix and her babysitter Emira and the way their lives entwine.
Working Hard, Hardly Working by Grace Beverley
And last but not least, if lockdown’s left you feeling like you need a career swerve or lifestyle overhaul, look no further than Grace Beverley’s bible of a book. Grace is 24 and lives in London and is already a CEO, a Sunday Times Bestseller and has earned a place on the Forbes Under-£30 list. Her book is an easy-to-read self-help fix that’ll help change your work-life mindset.