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20 best books to read on holiday: Top reads for summer 2022

The summer reads at the top of our wishlist...

Whether you’re packing for your next sunshine holiday, planning a relaxing staycation or enjoying the heatwave in the garden, you need a great book for the summer. 

RELATED: 10 Best audiobooks to listen to on your sun lounger this summer

There’s nothing better than finding a page-turner that you can’t put down, which is why we’ve searched high and low for the best books to read this summer, from gripping thrillers to heartwarming rom-coms, thought-provoking non-fiction books and more.

Best books for a holiday

Best-selling books for summer 2022

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, £5, Amazon


Everyone is still talking about Where the Crawdads Sing - and with the film adaptation hitting the cinemas, now is the time to get reading if you haven’t already. You’ll be hooked from the first chapter, and will be left guessing until the very end.


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How to Kill your Family by Bella Mackie, £4.49, Amazon


For a funny yet twisted holiday read, this Sunday Times Bestseller and debut novel from Bella Mackine is a fascinating antiheroine story described by critics as ‘addictive’. Once you start reading, be prepared to be hooked.


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The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller, £14.99, Amazon


A top pick from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, the star described the novel as “A deeply emotional love story that follows one day in the life of Elle Bishop as she navigates the unravelling of secrets, lies and a very complex love triangle”.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, £7, Amazon


From the author of the TikTok famous The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Malibu Rising has been described as a "full on escapist delight". Set in the 1980s, The Sunday Times bestseller is a fun beach read about one unforgettable party for a famous family. 

Romantic comedy books for summer 

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary, £7.49, Amazon


From the author of the best-selling novel The Flat Share, The No Show is a funny, uplifting novel surrounding three women, three dates and one missing man. If it's anything like Beth O’Leary’s other novels, you won’t be putting it down until it’s finished.

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Book Lovers by Emily Henry, £4.50, Amazon


Described as “Magical, delightful and one of a kind”, Emily Henry’s latest novel takes a modern twist on the classic romance novel for a funny, heartfelt book that will leave you craving more. 

Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald, £8.22, Amazon


For an ultimate feel-good book and a relaxing sun lounger read, snap up Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald. It's being compared to Sophie Kinsella’s novels - and the romantic comedy is uplifting, funny and just the perfect easy read for your next girls trip.

The Italian Escape, Catherine Mangan, £7.99, Amazon 


For a feel-good holiday read, we loved The Italian Escape by Catherine Mangan. After breaking up with her boyfriend and boss, Niamh agrees to a spontaneous trip to Italy with her sister Grace, bringing a joyful and romantic novel to escape in.

Time After Time by Louise Pentland, £11.75, Amazon


The newly released novel from parenting vlogger Louise Pentland, Time After Time is a warm, witty novel about love and friendship with a fun time-travel twist.


Thriller books for summer 

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Alice Feeney, £7.99, Amazon


If you’re looking for a compelling, Gone Girl-style thriller with unexpected twists, this is the summer read for you. Rock, Paper Scissors is a New York Times bestseller and a TikTok sensation - and we can see why.


The Vacation by John Marrs, £6.29, Amazon


Full of twists and turns, this thrilling novel from John Marrs is set in Los Angeles, where eight strangers meet at a hostel to discover there is more going on than just a holiday. 

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The Interview by C.M.Ewan, £7.91, Amazon


The Interview is will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish in this tense, cat-and-mouse thriller.

One of the Girls by Lucy Clarke, £11.52, Amazon


Described as gripping and "utterly addictive", One of the Girls is a crime-thriller set in Greece bringing the perfect balance of escapism and mystery needed from a holiday read.


Non-fiction books for summer 

Love, Wine, and Other Highs by Lauren Rae, £4.99, Amazon


If you’re looking for an easy read that gives off Sex and the City vibes, this funny memoir by Lauren Rae is the book that everyone is talking about right now. Filled with dating and career anecdotes and advice, it's described to be “filled with nostalgia” - and will make for a fun poolside read.


The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness by Meghan O’Rourke, £13.90, Amazon


Documenting years of research from doctors, patients and researchers as well as drawing on her own experiences, Meghan O’Rourke explores the complex struggle of chronic illness in America. It’s fascinating, complex and empathetic. 


The Unexpected Joy of Being Single: Locating Unattached Happiness by Catherine Grey, £6.50, Amazon


Described as “Brave, witty and brilliantly written”, Catherine Gray gives a refreshing take on what it means to be single - and it’s the perfect empowering read for the summer.

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Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, £6.99, Amazon


For a factual read that will keep you interested with its complexities, this International Bestseller by psychologist Daniel Kahneman is a must. Exploring how we make decisions and offering a fresh take on how the human mind works, it’s an intriguing read that encourages new perspectives.


Fantasy books for summer 

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, £12.59, Amazon


One of many of Matt Haig's must-read novels, The Midnight Library is a touching fantasy novel about life and death, which The Sunday Times labelled as: "A beguiling read, filled with warmth and humour, and a vibrant celebration of the power of books to change lives".

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Sci-Fi books for summer 

The Immortal King Rao by Vauhini Vara, £16.33, Amazon


A debut novel by former Wall Street Journal reporter Vauhini Vara, the thought-provoking sci-fi touches on memory, capitalism and climate change. 


The City Inside by Samit Basu, £20.83, Amazon


This dystopian sci-fi tells a story of a near-future reality, described by critics as "funny, relatable, supremely clever and deeply political". It will get you thinking about how far from our current reality the story really is. 

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