Sometimes there’s nothing better than kicking back by the pool or on the beach, book in hand. It’s the ultimate relaxation method (if you don’t have screaming kids, anyway). In our first instalment of ‘Oliver’s Book Club‘ we reached out to some of our favourite travel, lifestyle and family bloggers to ask them what they would recommend for our list of good holiday reads. Because – and we could be being dramatic here – there’s nothing worse than taking a bad book on holiday with you…

Lloyd and Yaya | Travel bloggers | @Hand Luggage Only 

Holiday read of choice: The Voyage of the Beagle (Charles Darwin) 

the voyage of the beagle holiday reads

“One of the books that’s always so interesting to read is ‘The Voyage of the Beagle’. It almost feels as though you’re on board the ship that took Charles Darwin across the globe. For us, it’s just a great insight into how historical expeditions were, and the accounts are just so amazing to read. Some of his stops are just utterly amazing to read about. It really is a book that every keen traveller should dip into.” Buy the book.


Becky Moore | Travel blogger | @Global Grasshopper 

Holiday read of choice: Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini) 

A thousand splendid suns holiday reads

“I recently read (and loved) a Thousand Splendid Suns, which is the second novel by the author Khaled Hosseini following his international bestseller ‘The Kite Runner’. It’s beautifully written and takes you on an absorb-able and highly emotional journey; following the story of the main character Mariam, an illegitimate child born in Afghanistan and the abuse and stigma she suffers throughout her life. Although truly heart-breaking in places, it’s also easily one of the most inspirational novels I’ve ever read. Therefore I’d highly recommend it as book to take on your travels. It really shines a light onto the lives of women in Afghanistan, as well as detailing the events that have shaped the country over the last three decades.” Buy the book.


Emily Luxton | Travel blogger |  @Emily Luxton 

Holiday read of choice: The Cruellest Journey (Kira Salak) 

The cruellest journey holiday reads

“This non-fiction account of Kira Salak’s solo journey down the Niger River in Africa in an inflatable kayak is what inspired me to become a solo female travel writer. She kayaked alone through Africa, camping at night on the edge of the river, following the footsteps of the great adventurer Marco Polo. Her personal narrative style and her sense of adventure left a deep impression on me – and it’s a truly inspirational book, especially for any woman who wants to travel solo. ” Buy the book.


Laura Summers | Parenting and lifestyle blogger | @Laura Summers 

Holiday read of choice: Lick (Kylie Scott)

lick holiday reads

“Imagine you got drunk one night in Vegas, and woke up the next morning married to one of the biggest rock stars in the world. The only problem is, you can’t remember any of it. This is the problem Ev faces. A fun, romantic, sexy and endearing book that makes for great poolside reading.” Buy the book.


Fritha Quinn | Lifestyle blogger | @Tiger Lilly Quinn

Holiday read of choice: Truly Madly Guilty (Liane Moriarty)

Truly Madly Guilty holiday reads

“The third book from this author I’ve read now; Moriarty’s books are brilliant holiday reads! I love how she writes about female friendships (and their complexities) but also how each book surprises me with unexpected twists and revelations when you least expect them.” Buy the book.


Rachel Hirst | Lifestyle, parenting and beauty blogger | @U Me and the Kids

Holiday read of choice: Lost girls of Paris (Pan Jenoff) 

The Lost Girls of Paris holiday reads

“My heart was in my mouth whilst reading this intoxicating novel. The book is based on a selection of true events and opened my eyes to the role some women took during the World War.” Buy the book.


Sarah Anguish | Family blogger | @Boo Roo and Tigger Too 
Donna Wishart | Family blogger | @What the Red Head Said 

Holiday read of choice: This Is Going To Hurt (Adam Kay) 

best summer reads this is going to hurt

Sarah: “Having previously worked in the NHS I already had an idea that this book would highlight the highs and lows of hospital work. However, it was so much more. The long hours, the tasks involved and the emotions of life as a junior doctor. It will make you laugh and cry (both happy and sad tears).”

Donna: “This book follows the challenges Adam faced as a junior doctor, mainly in the maternity department. It’s eye opening, heartfelt, blunt and so funny in places. It’s entertaining whilst being poignantly honest and it made me wonder how any doctor can work long-term in such situations. It was easy to read on a sun lounger, and a book I would happily pick up again.” Buy the book.


Susan Mann | Parenting Blogger | @Susan K Mann

Holiday read of choice: Rules of Magic (Alice Hoffman) 

Rules of Magic Alice Hoffman holiday reads 

“It’s the prequel to Practical Magic and is about Gillian and Sally’s Great-Aunts, Frances and Jet. Based in 1950’s New York. It’s a fantastic read and one where you get sucked into the characters lives.” Buy the book.


Sally Whittle | Travel, technology and lifestyle blogger | @Who’s the Mummy?

Holiday read of choice: Tell me a Secret (Jane Fallon)

Jane Fallon Tell me a Secret holiday reads

“I recently finished reading ‘Tell Me a Secret’ by Jane Fallon on holiday in France. It’s a perfect holiday book. It’s not too serious but it’s a really absorbing modern mystery, and just goes to show you should never share your email password with anyone else at work! I finished it in three days, because I couldn’t wait to find out how it ends.” Buy the book.

Lucy Ruthnum | Travel blogger | @Absolutely Lucy

Holiday read of choice: The Maddaddam Trilogy (Margaret Atwood)

maddaddam trilogy margaret atwood holiday reads

“Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Maddaddam make up the dystopian tale of a man struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human. What I really loved was the inventive way all three books run along parallel timelines and give a different insight into this new world. Written so beautifully by one of my favourite authors, these are great books to lose yourself in on your next trip.” Buy the book.

Now that you’re armed with your book list for the summer, you can start thinking about where you want to visit! Our list of summer offers has everything from charming retreats in the heart of the Italian countryside, to secluded spots in Turkey with infinity pools. Now, there’s nothing that sounds more like heaven than an infinity pool, some sunshine and a good holiday read!


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