Everyone’s got their own ideas about what constitutes an entertaining read, for me I can swing from French existentialist literature to some Swedish crime fiction at the drop of a hat. A good holiday book has to be worth its weight (literally if you’re worried about baggage allowance).
It’s like baking a cake, you’ve got to have the right ingredients otherwise you’ll end up disappointed; excitement, good writing, intrigue and a compelling storyline.
Whether you like to escape on holiday and dive head first into a veritable feast of chic lit or prefer to challenge yourself with something a little more difficult we’ve put our heads together to bring you our top ten holiday books to get your teeth into.
We’ve tried to include something for everyone!
The Fever – Megan Abbott
Hysteria, mystery and a touch of black magic, The Fever is based in a suburb of New York where several of the local high school students have developed tics and seizures. Based on the true story of 18 girls in the town of Le Roy who developed Tourette’s-like tics The Fever perfectly captures the suppression and boredom of small town living and it’s gripping narrative will have you hooked from the beginning.
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
If you’re looking for a classic to get through on your vacation then Evelyn Waugh’s iconic Brideshead Revisited is a beautifully written tale of nostalgia and the golden days before the disruption of the Great War. It follows the story of Charles Ryder and his infatuation with the aristocratic Marchmain family and their fast-disappearing world of privilege.
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
Gone Girl was easily one of the most talked about books of last year and with the upcoming release of the film adaptation we recommend giving it a read before seeing it at the cinema. The book is divided into two separate narratives from a husband and from the diaries of his missing wife. The wild twists in plot will have you turning the pages until there are no more.
Kinder Than Solitude – Yiyun Li
A few months after the Tiananmen Square protests four young girls are involved in an incident that leaves one of them brain damaged. The story picks up twenty-one years later when the girl finally dies and the three girls are left to face the consequences of their actions. Kinder than Solitute is a mesmerising and provocative page turner that looks at the impact of personality and personal history.
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Potentially a tad depressing but this impressive tome is the tale of unrequited love, obsession and disease. This book may be sumptuously heart-breaking but the writing Garcia Marquez’ highly visual writing and the amazing depth of characters makes this one of the most evocative novels of its time.
Meatspace – Nikesh Shukla
Kitab Balasubramanyam lost his job, his girlfriend left him and he’s burning through his inheritance like there’s no tomorrow, he spends all his time indoors planning funny Tumblrs and amusing Tweets. Meatspace is a hilatious and somewhat troubling analysis of life in the 21st century when our online personas become more interesting that us in real life.
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games isn’t new but it’s still well worth the read, if you love an addictive page turner then we advising getting the entire trilogy as they can easily be read in a matter of days. The story is set in a dystopian future where members of neighbouring districts are pitched against each other in a fight to the death and a young heroin unwittingly becomes the symbol of uprising throughout the nation.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things – Alice Hoffman
Described as mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman’s The Museum of Extraordinary things is the story of unlikely love set against the backdrop of a Coney Island boardwalk freak show this novel has a myriad vibrant and colourful characters who will have you enchanted from the off.
The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
Another one that teeters on the more depressing side of things this beautifully written book is so subtle and nuanced that you’ll be unable to put it down. The Virgin Suicides is the tender and haunting tale of the five Lisbon sisters’ brief lives from the perspective of the boys who lived across the road and worshiped them from afar.
Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
If you’re into your classic English Literature then this will be a treat; this spellbinding and exotic book is inspired by Jane Eyre. Written as a prequel to Jane Eyre it follows the tale of Antoinette Cosway a spirited Creole heiress who marries a young Englishman who forces her to conform to his ridged Victorian ideals.