Summer Holiday Reading


Summer Holiday Reading

Whether you’re travelling near or far, it’s often difficult to choose what to read on holiday. If you’re wanting something different than your normal beach read, this is a list for you.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

“Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live…

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life.

Except, sometimes, everything…”


Thirty-year-old Eleanor Oliphant is a creature of habit and a bit of a loner. She struggles socially, partly because of her appearance and also because of her tendency to speak exactly what she’s thinking. Then, a couple of fateful encounters take her out of her small, enclosed world and give her a glimpse into what it feels like to really connect with others. Gradually Eleanor begins to change her life and makes a few friends.

This uplifting and moving debut would appeal to fans of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and A Man Called Ove.


The Power by Naomi Alderman

“It doesn’t matter that she shouldn’t, that she never would. What matters is that she could, if she wanted. The power to hurt is a kind of wealth”

In this remarkable novel, young women start to develop a great physical power that can cause pain and death. Soon after women become the stronger sex and, as a result, the world changes.

A clever and thought provoking book that explores gender, power and corruption through multiple points of view. It’s easy to see why it recently won The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

  • Trigger warning: Rape –


The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Four friends, estranged for seventeen years, come together when they all receive the same mysterious text “I need you”. Bound by secrets and lies they must figure out their next actions as the past endangers the lives they have created for themselves.

Ruth Ware explores friendship and deceit in this psychological thriller. Perfect for Pretty Little Liars fans.


Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

“This is a memoir of (my) body because, more often than not, stories of bodies like mine are ignored or dismissed or derided. People see bodies like mine and make their assumptions. They think they know the why of my body. They do not. This is not a story of triumph, but this is a story that demands to be told and deserves to be heard”


From the best-selling author of Bad Feminist comes this honest and incredibly powerful memoir of food, weight, self-image and learning how to feed your hunger while taking care of yourself. Raw and uncensored, this important memoir is a must read.

  • Trigger warnings: Rape, Eating Disorders –


See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41” 

Sarah Schmidt’s debut novel is a fictionalisation of the infamous Lizzie Borden Murders of 1892. Telling the story of the dysfunctional family behind the real-life crime story; it’s rich, overlapping narrative is uncomfortable to read in places and often an assault on the senses (not for those who cannot handle gory and disturbing scenes).

This haunting and intriguing novel is ultimately about the ugly things people do and say to each other and the impossibility of truly knowing what your loved ones are capable of.


What We Lose by Zizi Clemmon

Thandi is both South African and American, but doesn’t feel like she is either. When her mother dies after a lengthy painful illness, she loses herself in despair of grief. What follows is an intimate depiction of Thandi’s struggle to find her place in the world.

Told through short vignettes this is a powerfully moving debut reads like a memoir; reflecting on family, love, loss, race, womanhood and the places we feel home. Highly recommended for readers of both fiction and memoir.

By Bethan Palmer

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