Britain’s top authors reveal their summer holiday book recommendations

No beach Discount Holidays © holiday is complete without a good book to pass those lazy hours on the sun lounger. But if you re struggling to decide what to pack in your suitcase this summer, expert help is at hand. Some of the nation s most popular authors have shared some of their personal favourites. They are backing Oxfam1 s Scorching Summer Reads campaign, which promotes the charity s huge range of second-hand books.

The novelists choices range from old classics to modern page-turners, so there s sure to be something here to delight all readers.

Paula Hawkins2 – Author of the Girl On The Train

Britain's Top Authors Reveal Their Summer <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Book Recommendations Paula Hawkins is one of the must-read authors of the moment

Anyone who s anyone was reading Paula s Girl On The Train last year and the thriller quickly soared up the bestseller charts. But when she wants to relax, the author likes a mix of old and new and she enjoys nothing more than a true romantic classic. She says: I think you need a good mix of books on holiday, so I would pack…

“A romantic comedy The Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin is perfect warm, witty, drenched in California sunshine and twenty-something angst.

Britain's Top Authors Reveal Their Summer <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Book Recommendations Warm and witty

An engrossing mystery In the Woods by Tana French is dark, disturbing and immersive, the perfect read for long journeys or bad weather. And a classic A Room with a View by EM Forster.

It s the perfect travel companion, to Florence or anywhere else.

Michael Morpurgo3 – Author of War Horse

Michael loves a classic too, but his one standout Discount Holidays © holiday read is The Fortnight in September by RC Sheriff, which tells the story about a family from Dulwich taking a seaside Discount Holidays © holiday in Britain. He says: Nothing happens in this wonderful book, except ordinary things which make it extraordinary.

Then The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, because it s a heartbreaking story set in the wilderness of the Everglades of Florida and just riveting. Then Great Expectations by Charles Dickens4 OK, so you ve read it. Read it again. It gets better every time.

Jeffrey Archer5 – Author of Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less

This former politician is one of today s most popular thriller authors, with titles including The Clifton Chronicles. And true to his own work, he enjoys nothing more than a twist in the tale. He recommends That Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson an intense tale of a murder plot between two strangers. He says: It s a thriller that demands you turn the page because of its unexpected twists and turns.

I d also recommend psychological thriller Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. It kept me hooked from beginning to end, with not one, but two huge twists in it that will knock you for six.

Nick Hornby6 – Author of Fever Pitch and About A Boy

Getty Britain's Top Authors Reveal Their Summer <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Book Recommendations Nick Hornby loves Anne Tyler’s writing

Having had several of his novels adapted for films, Nick knows what makes a good page-turner. He s obsessed with Pulitzer Prize finalist Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler. It follows the lives of three siblings and their mother after their father leaves the family.

He says: It s beautiful, funny, real, absorbing Anne Tyler is the writer who made me want to write.

Britain's Top Authors Reveal Their Summer <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Book Recommendations Pulitzer Prize finalist – funny and real

He also loves David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. He says: If you had Dickens ruined for you at school, you should give him another go.

Now is the time! He was a comic genius, he had real soul and his characters so many of them, and all so memorable are a tribute to his endless invention.

“Then there s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, which is one of my favourite novels of the last 20 years. This wonderful, rich book is about comics, of the Marvel variety; it s also about friendship and popular culture in the 20th Century. It s moving, ambitious and gripping.

Barbara Taylor Bradford7 – Author of A Woman of Substance

Multi-million selling novelist Barbara has just published her latest novel The Cavendon Luck. No one knows better than Barbara about what people want from a good book. Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, published in 1979, has sold over 30 million copies worldwide and she now has 30 novels under her belt. She s planning to take The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore away with her on Discount Holidays © holiday this year. This hefty historical biography tells the story of the Russian family s ruthless force of personality.

Britain's Top Authors Reveal Their Summer <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Book Recommendations Hefty historical intrigue

Barbara laughs: I ll have to pack it in the suitcase because it is rather heavy! But it s fascinating and it s not heavy in the literary sense at all.

It s like reading a thriller, it s full of murders and all sorts! I know it s not a typical summer read but I like to read what I like to read!

I m also currently reading an actual thriller, Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben. When I m writing I don t let myself read fiction in case I accidentally pick something it up and use it in my work. But for holidays I allow it!

David Nicholls8 – Author of One Day and Us

PA Britain's Top Authors Reveal Their Summer <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Book Recommendations David Nicholls likes doomed romances

As we know from David s heart-rending novel One Day, he likes a doomed romance and re-reads F Scott Fitzgerald9 s classic Tender is the Night every year. He says: It s his best book I think, and I return to it year after year.

It s a melancholy, bittersweet book, so perhaps not an obvious beach read , but the story of this doomed couple s trip across Europe never fails to move me. Meanwhile Stoner by John Williams is a fine book but his Western novel Butcher s Crossing is even better. The story of a doomed hunting expedition is visceral, violent and chilling.

Mark Haddon10 – Author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark recommends Sarah Moss s Signs for Lost Children. But he says the classics by the likes of Dickens and Virginia Woolf11 are hard to beat.

He urges: If you have not read Bleak House, Middlemarch, To The Lighthouse or The Woman in White, get yourself to a bookshop right now!


  1. ^ Oxfam (
  2. ^ Paula Hawkins (
  3. ^ Michael Morpurgo (
  4. ^ Charles Dickens (
  5. ^ Jeffrey Archer (
  6. ^ Nick Hornby (
  7. ^ Barbara Taylor Bradford (
  8. ^ David Nicholls (
  9. ^ F Scott Fitzgerald (
  10. ^ Mark Haddon (
  11. ^ Virginia Woolf (

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