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Best holiday reads Best holiday reads

Best books for your holiday

Check out (get it?) these awesome holiday reads.

We've put together a little list of what we think are some of the best books to read on holiday. We've picked books that are themed around travel or where the setting is really important to the story. No dog ears please!

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail | Cheryl Strayed

Are you tempted to do Wild? If a 1,100-mile trek through the American wilderness isn't quite your cup of tea, just read about it instead. This epic memoir tells the true story of Cheryl Strayed and her journey on foot from the Mojave Desert all the way to the state of Washington.

It's a powerfully emotional story of tragedy, recovery and self discovery set against the backdrop of the Pacific Crest Trail. Throughout, the author explores her history of personal loss and addiction as well as the emotional and spiritual realisations she has on her journey.

Into the Wild | Jon Krakauer

A different kind of wild. In this non-fiction account of Christopher McCandless's journey into the Alaskan wilderness, from which he would unfortunately never return.

Seeking adventure and a solitary life in nature, surviving only on game, foraged roots and berries, the book details Christopher's journey and the course of events that led to his death.

Alaskan wilderness.

The Ritual | Adam Nevill

One for the horror fan in your travel group (there's always one!), Adam Nevill's The Ritual follows a group of old university friends on a hiking trip through the Swedish forest.

Blending Norse mythology with terrifying folk horror and even a touch of Blair Witch, it scratches your horror itch and you can take comfort in the fact that your trip probably won't go as wrong as this lads' holiday.

The English Patient | Michael Ondaatje

Set in a northern Italian monastery during World War 2. It explores the memories of the titular 'English' patient as he recovers from severe burns under the care of a nurse. But it's difficult to convey the nuances of the story unless you read it – just trust us when we tell you it's worth it.

It's a moving exploration of love and loss in wartime, with gorgeous settings in the Tuscan countryside as well as the north African desert.

The Island | Victoria Hislop

This excellent novel takes place on the island of Spinalonga off the coast of Crete, which was used as a leper colony in the early 1900s.

Based on historical fact, the novel explores the shocking history of the now-abandoned island through the story of Alexis Fielding as she embarks on a mission to learn about her family's past.


Goodbye to Berlin | Christopher Isherwood

This partially auto-biographic novel inspired the musical Cabaret, and is set in Berlin during the rise of Nazism. It's a thoughtful contrast of the Bohemian, liberal culture that thrived in Berlin compared to what would come after, told from the perspective of the author during his time living in the city.

It also introduced us to the iconic flapper Sally Bowles, who would be played by Liza Minelli in the 1972 film adaption of the musical.

Love with a Chance of Drowning | Torre DeRoche

Part romance, part travel memoir, this is a hilarious tale of a woman who meets the love of her life and agrees to accompany him on a voyage around the world.

The only problem is that she has a crippling phobia of open water. It's a touching story with some harrowing moments, all set against the backdrop of some of the world's most beautiful and remote destinations.

The Lost City of Z | David Grann

This intriguing non-fiction book details the author's mission to uncover a rumoured lost city in the Amazon, following in the footsteps of British explorer Percy Fawcett who disappeared in the jungle while trying to find the city in 1925.

On his journey, Grann uncovers evidence that may explain what happened to Fawcett on his expedition.

Amazon river

Cruising Altitude | Heather Poole

This book, written by travel blogger and flight attendant Heather Poole, tells you everything you could ever want to know about being in the cabin crew.

Learn the truth about difficult passengers, secret affairs with pilots and passengers, and even difficult celebrities.

Akin | Emma Donahue

The glorious French Riviera sets the stage for this intriguing work of fiction about a retired professor and his great nephew who go on a journey to uncover some unsettling truths about their family history.

It's a fascinating look at what people will do for the ones they love, no matter what era they live in.

The Club | Ellery Lloyd

This riveting read will have you on the edge of your sunlounger.

A compelling thriller, it sees a group of obscenely rich and beautiful celebrities spending a weekend on an exclusive private island. But it all kicks off when people start dying.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin | Louis De Benieres

A historical story set on the Greek island of Kefalonia during WWII, it explores the German and Italian occupation and how love can blossom even in the most harrowing circumstances.

It's also a very popular reading at weddings.


Call Me by Your Name | Andre Aciman

This story takes place in 1980s Italy and chronicles the growing relationship between two young men and how they navigate their lives over the course of 20 years.

It's romantic, touching and a bit racy. Everything you could possibly want from a holiday read.