Spring has arrived and summer is well on its way, which means it is time to start preparing for your next holiday. Passport, check. Swimming costume, you bet. Flights and hotels? Check out our great value deals. Now there is only one thing missing for the perfect holiday: a good book. Whether you want to escape the real world, need something to inspire your travel adventures, or are looking for a good scare, here are our best books to read on holiday in 2019.
Due for release in April 2019, You’d Be Mine is one of the best books to read if you like young adult romance and enjoyed 2018’s movie hit A Star Is Born. Despite her reluctance to enter the country music scene following her parents’ own foray into the darker side of the industry, Annie’s talent is too great and she quickly joins forces with bad boy Clay Coolidge. This witty and charming, but sometimes tense, novel is full of interesting characters with fleshed-out back stories and two star-crossed lovers on the road to inspire your own journey.
President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden might not occupy the Oval Office anymore, but they have won hearts and minds around the world as the ultimate bromance! If you fancy some silly, refuses-to-take-itself-seriously, laugh-out-loud humour this holiday, try Hope Never Dies, Andrew Shaffer’s first (that’s right, there will be more) Obama-Biden mystery thriller. This funny take on the noir genre follows Biden and Obama as they travel across the state of Delaware, looking to uncover the mystery behind the death of Joe’s favourite railroad conductor…because why not?
Last year’s winner of one of the most prestigious literary prizes, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Milkman might seem like an odd choice for a list of best books to read on holiday, but is wholly deserving of its prestige. Set during the Troubles in Ireland, Milkman avoids the temptation to explore the violence itself, but rather the consequences of living amongst the threat of paramilitaries and large, hyper-religious families. Consequently, the unnamed protagonist takes you on a psycho-political journey through the tribalism and intra-community pressures of an 18-year-old girl trying to keep her head down in a dark and dangerous world.
If you prefer to read about real people, look no further than the international best seller, Becoming, by Michelle Obama (the second Obama to appear on this list). Becoming is literally one of the best books to read. It was the best-selling book in the USA in 2018, selling 1.4 million copies in its first week. And the rave reviews continue to heap praise on this honest and personal account by the former First Lady. From her childhood in Chicago to her life as a mother, icon, and confidant in the White House, this must-read biography will inspire you on your holiday and have you ready to reach for the stars on your return home.
This reimagining of the Arthurian legend is told from the perspective of the titular knight, Lancelot. The novel begins at pace before settling in to explore Lancelot’s early years, his loves, rivalries, and losses, and his early relationships with Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and a whole host of other characters. Later, the character’s motivations and history tie into some of the more famous events from the popular legends. Kristian’s post-Roman Britain is visceral, beautiful, enticing, and tragic, while the storytelling is emotive and engaging. Lancelot is a fun and thrilling adventure with memorable and engaging, if not always entirely likeable, characters.
On the Come Up is a story about a young girl attempting to escape her poor, working-class neighbourhood as she attempts to realise her dream of becoming a famous rapper. Despite the classic underdog nature of this tale, the novel has a surprising amount of nuance. It explores contemporary themes of homelessness, food banks, and the struggle to escape poverty. Angie Thomas expertly demonstrates that “young adult” fiction is for anyone of any age. Despite some darker moments, this feel-good novel is the perfect beach read.
Stephen King is best known for horror, but he is successful, best-selling thriller writer, too. The Outsider merges the two. The horrific crime around which the main events are set are similar to King’s recent novels. Meanwhile, the small-town-in-middle-America setting and the supernatural undertones are more reminiscent of the horror master’s ‘80s and ‘90s classics. The book is most definitely for older readers by nature of some rather gruesome events. However, for adults who enjoy thrillers, is the best type of holiday read: an exciting and engaging page turner. If you bring The Outsider with you on holiday, you may want to bring a second book, too. You’ll finish before you even arrive at your hotel.
They say travelling is about finding yourself and discovering new places and people. Well, while this is true, we often struggle to articulate our insights with others. For help putting into words the answers to some of mankind’s most difficult questions, one of the best books to read is psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. This witty but informative book examines science, human nature, faith, spirituality, and politics as he attempts to divine…you guessed it…12 rules for a more serene and care-free life.