Trying to find that perfect book to take on holiday with you? Then look no further. Here are some of my favourite books that are easy to read page-turners from genres far and wide. Lay by the pool or curl up by the fire and let your troubles melt away with twelve of the best books to read on holiday.
You, written by Caroline Kepnes and published in 2014 is a thrilling novel written in first-person perspective from the mind of the main character and serial killer, Joe Goldberg. You will find yourself submerged in Joe’s thoughts when he meets and stalks a girl who walks into his book store and despite being a serial killer, there is something oddly charming about Joe that has had the whole of the internet in debate about how likable he is. Don’t worry if you simply can’t get enough, not only is there a follow-up book, Hidden Bodies, there is also the hit Netflix series starring Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail.
2. I Heart… Series
I Heart New York, written by Lindsey Kelk and published in 2009 is the first of eight “I Heart…” rom-com novels, perfect for any Sex and the City fans. I Heart New York follows Angela Clark and starts with her as the bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding. When she catches her fiance cheating on her during the reception, she freaks out, breaks the groom’s hand, and runs away to New York where she starts fresh, albeit with a bumpy start. Hilarious and heartwarming, you will find yourself finishing this book in no time and in the mood for adventure and romance.
3. Gone Girl
Now an Oscar-nominated film, Gone Girl was written by Gillian Flynn and published in 2012. Each year, Amy Dunne sets up an elaborate treasure hunt for her husband, Nick, on their wedding anniversary and each year it does not end well. On their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick comes home to find that Amy is missing. Gone Girl alternates perspectives, following Nick through the hunt for his wife and Amy’s diary entries. Exciting and full of twists, if this book wasn’t on your reading list, it is now!
4. The Mortal Instruments
Already adapted to the big screen and the silver screen, The Mortal Instruments Series started with City of Bones in 2007, written by Cassandra Clare. We start on Clary Fray’s sixteenth birthday, to celebrate her and her best friend, Simon, sneak into a nightclub where she gets more than she bargained for as she is harshly introduced to the world of Shadowhunters and Demons. The next day her mother is kidnapped and she must befriend the Shadowhunters if she wishes to see her mother again. The Mortal Instruments franchise has expanded massively since the release of City of Bones, leading to The Shadowhunter Chronicles.
5. Kiss Me, Judas
Neo-noir novel, Kiss Me, Judas, was written by Will Christopher Baer in 1998 as the first book from the Phineas Poe collection. Ex-detective, Phineas Poe, is released from a mental institution following the death of his wife and finds himself in a hotel bar where he picks up a lady of the night named Jude. The next morning he wakes up in a bathtub of ice to find his kidney has been stolen, he has no recollection of the night before and a note that says “If you want to live call 9-1-1”.
6. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller
First published in 1979 in Italian and later published in English in 1981, If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller written by Italian author Italo Calvino is a post-modern classic. Each chapter is split into two, starting in the second person as the reader reading the next chapter of a book called If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller and then the second part is about a new book the reader has discovered. If it is a satisfying ending you’re after, then this may not be for you. This book can be confusing if it’s not fresh in the mind so it may not be for everyone but I believe that everyone should at least try to read it at some point.
7. The Graduate
A classic if there ever was one, The Graduate by Charles Webb was first published in 1963 and has since seen a number of adaptations. This raunchy novel of forbidden love captures the spirit of rebellion in the ’60s and is written with dead-pan humour. Benjamin Braddock has just graduated college and has a clear future ahead, but everything changes when a family friend, Mrs. Robinson, strips in front of him, starting the complicated affair.
A fantastic dark fantasy that has been adapted to film, Horns was published in 2010 and written by Joe Hill, better known as Joseph King, son of world-renowned horror author Stephan King’s son. With such big expectations to live up to, Joe Hill does not fail to deliver. Ig Perrish wakes up the morning after a drunken night of destroying his girlfriend’s memorial at the scene of where she died some months before and discovers he has grown horns that no one else can see. Not only can he now hear their thoughts, when people talk to him they confess their darkest thoughts and secrets. Packed full of biblical references, this clever thriller will have you desperate for more.
9. Looking For Alaska
Looking For Alaska was published in 2005 and was the first novel written by John Green, who went on to write The Fault In Our Stars. Looking For Alaska is a tragic, coming-of-age novel of American teen love. Typical of John Green, our main character, Miles Halter is a quiet teenager with little friends. He leaves his hometown high school in junior year to switch to a boarding school where he makes friends and falls for a beautiful and reckless girl, Alaska.
10. The Five People You Meet In Heaven
Among the best books to read on holiday is definitely this one. The Five People You Meet In Heaven, written by Mitch Albom and published in 2003 saw huge success when first published and was given a made-for-television movie in 2004. This bittersweet novel starts on the day our main, Eddie, dies on his 83rd birthday. He awakens to find that he feels young again and that he is in Heaven. He learns from The Blue Man that there are five levels of Heaven, and on each level, you meet someone who has made a significant impact on your life in each level and ultimately teaches Eddie a different lesson about life.
11. The Silver Linings Playbook
Another amazing book that has been turned into a movie, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Matthew Quick’s hilarious and heartbreaking debut novel was written in 2008. It follows the life of Pat Peoples, who at the start of the book is just being released from a mental institution following his breakdown after catching his wife cheating on him. At a small “welcome home” dinner party at his brother’s house, he meets Tiffany. She agrees that if he will be her dance partner in an upcoming competition, she will pass letters between Pat and his wife.
12. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
The final book of the list, and the final book turned film is my personal favourite, Stephan Chbosky’s 1999 The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. A coming-of-age novel written in the form of main character Charlie’s letters to an unknown “friend”. Set in the early 90’s, the letters describe Charlie’s rocky navigation through freshman year at high school, his friendship with older outcasts and step-siblings, Patrick and Sam, who Charlie quickly falls for. With references to his unstable past and an unsure hope for the future, Charlie is a sweet and lovable character who you just can’t help but root for.