Summer Reads: The books to add to your bedside table this season

Put on your flip-flops and get out the suncream. Margaret Hussey lines up some of the best summer reads. From favourite authors to debut novelists, these are the books to keep you entertained from the long bank holiday right through to hitting the sand this summer.

Our top summer reads…

Bestselling author Adele Parks is back with a perfect summer thriller. One Last Secret revolves around Dora, an escort who is about to turn her back on her old life after one last job. Set in a chateau in the south of France, this has everything – luxury, power, sex, money and revenge. Pop it in your beach bag and be transported. 

One Last Secret by Adele Parks is out on July 7, HQ, £14.99

For any Princess Diana fans, The Lady Di Look Book is a refreshing take on the wardrobe of one of the world’s most photographed women. It’s written by Eloise Moran, whose @ladydirevengelooks Instagram account has almost 120,000 followers. Affectionate and funny, it takes you through all those wonderful outfits, from the sheep jumper to the stunning black halter dress. 

The Lady Di Look Book by Eloise Moran is out on June 21, Mitchell Beazley, £25

A reimagining of the life of Joan of Arc, Joan by Katherine J. Chen fleshes out the character and steeliness of the 15th century icon. It shows how the Maid of Orleans was a feminist, warrior and had a courage beyond her years. Already winning praise from Hilary Mantel, it’s one for all history buffs. 

Joan by Katherine J.Chen is out on July 5, Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99

Growing up in a working class family with an Irish Jehovah’s Witness mother and a Caribbean father, Kit de Waal’s childhood was far from conventional. In her witty and touching memoir Without Warning & Only Sometimes, she reveals how the Bible was the only book on offer at home and how she learnt to navigate her family’s polar opposites.

Without Warning & Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal is out on August 18, Tinder Press, £16.99

Chloe Timms is creating quite a stir in the literary world with her debut novel The Seawomen. Set on Eden’s isle, where women are married off and must conceive a child within twelve months or be sacrificed, it’s a hugely atmospheric book of power and control with the brilliant character of Esta at its centre. A stunning cover too. For fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power.

The Seawomen by Chloe Timms is out on June 14, Hodder Studio, £16.99 

A legend in the music business, writer and PR Barbara Charone has one of the best contacts books in the industry. From her origins in a small suburb of Chicago to working with everyone from Keith Richards to Rod Stewart, Madonna to Mark Ronson, Access All Areas is a must-read memoir for every music lover. 

Access All Areas by Barbara Charone is out on June 23, White Rabbit, £20

It’s been billed as Black Mirror meets Bridesmaids. In So Happy For You a wedding weekend spirals out of control when queer academic and maid of honour Robin has reservations about her best friend’s Ellie’s nuptials. A riotous look at the wedding industry and friendship.

So Happy For You by Celia Laskey is out on August 4, HQ, £14.99

After her mother Brenda died, actress and presenter Emma Kennedy discovered a stash of letters in two leather suitcases in the loft. Helping to peel away the layers of her complex and charismatic mum, Letters from Brenda gives Emma the chance to understand all that her mum was and how her past had determined her life. Beautifully written and compiled. 

Letters from Brenda by Emma Kennedy is out now, Hodder Studio, £16.99 

Father Ted and Death in Paradise star Ardal O’Hanlon turns his deft dark comic touch to his second novel Brouhaha – 24 years since he wrote his first one. Set in a small town on the Irish border during the transition to peace, it’s crime fiction with pace, humour and shows Ardal’s great ear for dialogue. 

Brouhaha by Ardal O’Hanlon is out on May 26, HarperCollins, £16.99

Written by Margaret Hussey

Imagery used with consent courtesy of PR and publishers

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