20 Books to Read These Summer Holidays

As everyone starts to wind down for the Christmas break and the weather warms up, there's no better time to dive into a good book.

Whether you're lounging by the pool, chilling at the beach, or enjoying the comfort of your air-conditioned living room, we've compiled a list of twenty must-read books to add to your summer break reading list. From gripping mysteries to heartwarming tales, there’s guaranteed to be something for everyone.

A Little Life | Hanya Yanagihara

This is the kind of book nothing will prepare you for. A profound exploration of friendship and love in the 21st century, the book follows four college friends in New York as they navigate life's challenges, including addiction, success, and the haunting effects of a traumatic past. We have to warn you though, once you read this book, you’ll never be the same.

4AM: Answers To The Conundrums That Keep You Up At Night | Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews

If you’re a fan of the Shameless podcast, then this is the book for you! This read is all about insights on dating, friendships, and self-improvement with compassionate and witty guidance for life's tricky situations. Offering laughs and lessons in equal measure, it’s a great summer read.

Fair Play | Eve Rodsky

Inspired by the her own personal experience with the overwhelming 'invisible' workload in her family, Eve Rodsky explores home life and the issue of different household responsibilities between partners and while it may sound boring, we have a feeling a few families can relate to this! Plus, you know it’s a goodie when it’s a Reese’s Book Club recommendation.

Maybe In Another Life | Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid brought us a DUET office favourite in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo so we had a feeling this would be just as good! This captivating novel follows a young woman's journey as she encounters a past love. The story unfolds with two possible scenarios in alternating chapters, each leading to remarkably different outcomes.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? | Dr Julie Smith

A book aimed to strengthen mental health, this practical guide by Dr Julie Smith is filled with effective coping strategies and expert advice. Covering a range of topics like anxiety, depression, self-confidence, and resilience, it provides accessible, bite-sized insights for everyday mental well-being, and will really have you asking yourself ‘why has nobody told me this before?’ as you read it.

Glossy: Ambition, Beauty, and the Inside Story of Emily Weiss's Glossier | Maris Meltzer

Who doesn’t love a success story? "Glossy" delves into the captivating world of Glossier, a groundbreaking beauty startup, and its visionary founder Emily Weiss. This book explores how Emily Weiss built a billion-dollar empire by revolutionising influencer marketing and connecting with Millennial and Gen Z consumers.

Darling Girls | Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth has done it again! A book that’s equally hard to put down as it is easy to read, Darling Girls is a gripping story about three seemingly ordinary women with deep-seated issues stemming from their past. Gripping, moving and shocking, you’ll love this book if you love a book that’s packed with twists and turns.

The Paper Palace | Miranda Cowley Heller

This book unfolds over a single day and follows Elle, as she grapples with the aftermath of a fateful night where she betrays her beloved husband with her childhood love, Jonas. Delving into her past and present, the book examines the complexities of love, loyalty, and the lasting impacts of abuse, ultimately leading to her profound decision between two paths of life.

Yellowface | Rebecca Kuang

A plot all about plagiarism, this is a novel that centres on June Hayward, a relative unknown, who steals and publishes a manuscript from a deceased literary star. The story unfolds as June's deceitful success becomes threatened, leading her to extreme lengths to maintain her ill-gotten gains. This one is both irresistibly funny and captivating, leaving you eager to see how its tumultuous story unfolds.

Shrines of Gaiety | Kate Atkinson

Taking place during the roaring 20s in a post-Great War London, this book follows a determined matriarch who ambitiously seeks a better future for her family, especially her war-scarred eldest son. With 15 key characters, the book weaves together a myriad of plotlines perfectly, keeping you engaged the whole time.

Seeing Other People | Diana Reid

This read is a humorous tale of two sisters who are navigating life's restart after lockdowns. Eleanor, fresh from a breakup, and Charlie, reigniting her acting career, grapple with defining their dreams in relationships, careers, and family. An easy read, if you’re a fan of author Sally Rooney then you’ll be a fan of this one too.

Lola In The Mirror | Trent Dalton

Lola In The Mirror follows the journey of a nameless girl and her mother, who have been evading the law and a dark past for sixteen years, finding refuge in an old van by the Brisbane River. From the same author who brought us Boy Swallows Universe, this book is a heartwarming yet gritty tale exploring themes of love, destiny, and self-discovery, set against a backdrop of humour and violence.

The Seven | Chris Hammer

If you love a good crime or thriller, you’ll love this page turner! In this gripping narrative, homicide detectives investigate a mysterious murder within elite founding families who have dominated their region for a century. While grappling with the dangerous secrets these powerful families are desperate to hide, Chris Hammer’s skillful storytelling weaves a tale of intrigue and suspense.

Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone | Benjamin Stevenson

This story kicks off with the narrator reluctantly heading to a secluded Australian ski resort, for a much-dreaded family reunion and setting the stage for a tale where both mystery and family history intertwine.

Centred around a family with each member having committed murder, this book is engaging, entertaining and charming. It’s a must-read for mystery enthusiasts!

Lessons In Chemistry | Bonnie Garmus

This humour-filled and insightful novel features the unique Elizabeth Zott, a chemist in the 1960s, who challenges the notion of an "average woman" and faces gender biases in her all-male research team. Witty and wonderful, this story explores serious societal issues of the time and will engage you from the very first page.

Doll’s Eye | Leah Kaminsky

Doll’s Eye is a tale of love and resilience. Set against the turmoil of war and displacement, the story follows a young woman entangled in a Nazi spy ring, who escapes Germany in 1933 with her cherished dolls, ending up in a remote Australian outback town. Brimming with intrigue, this is a book so captivating that it’ll be hard to put down.

Surrounded By Idiots | Thomas Erikson

In this non-fiction book, Thomas Erikson introduces a concept of four primary behaviour types that shape our interactions and perceptions of others. Filled with enlightening and relatable moments, this book is the ultimate tool for better understanding and interacting with people around you, whether it’s family, friends or colleagues.

The Mystery Guest | Nita Prose

This book centres around Molly Gray, the unique and meticulous Head Maid at a prestigious hotel as she finds her world upended when a famed mystery writer dies suddenly in the hotel. Quirky, charming and captivating, if you loved Nita Prose’s previous novel The Maid, you’ll love this one too!

The Year Of The Locust | Terry Hayes

The highly-anticipated follow-up to global bestseller I Am Pilgrim, centres around Kane, a CIA Denied Access Area spy who operates beyond conventional boundaries. Packed with action yet still emotional, this story perfectly combines a spy novel, and a thriller novel while mixing in a little dystopian thriller too. Don't be put off by the novel's thickness; you'll be surprised at how quickly you'll breeze through its captivating pages.

The Half Moon | Mary Beth Keane

This heart-wrenching and genuine tale follows the story of an ambitious bartender facing financial struggles and seeking success, while his wife, a dedicated lawyer, grapples with the possibility of never becoming a mother. Set over a tumultuous week, the book explores midlife crises, forgiveness, and the complexities of family and small-town dynamics.

With these twenty books, your summer reading is set!

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