Whether you’re lazing on the beach, relaxing by the pool…or dangling your feet in the paddling pool in your garden because…covid, a book and a nice cold drink are the best companions.

We thought we’d share five great books that are absolutely perfect summer reads…

Malibu Rising (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of the Riva family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them, and what they will leave behind.

One of the most hyped books around, but nevertheless I raced through it and loved it. It’s not quite Evelyn Hugo (which is one of my all-time favourite books) but I think Taylor Jenkins Reid manages to create some of the most immersive, visual stories I’ve ever read and this was no exception. I loved the little references to previous books – although I’ll be honest, I was hoping Evelyn Hugo would make an appearance at the party!

I particularly loved Nina and Kit, I loved the development and growth of their characters. TJR will transport you to the beautiful beaches of Malibu, take you to the glamour (and chaos) of the Riva party and leave you feeling like you were there yourself.

The Lucky Escape (Laura Jane Williams)

When the day finally comes for Annie to marry Alexander, the last thing she expects is to be left standing at the altar. She was so sure he was Mr Right. Now, she has no idea how she could have got it so wrong.

After a chance meeting with Patrick, an old friend who reminds her of who she used to be, Annie takes a vow of her own: she’ll say yes to every opportunity that comes her way from now on.

Could a spontaneous trip with Patrick be the way to mend Annie’s heart? She’s about to find out as she embarks on her honeymoon – with a man who’s not her husband…

This book is pure escapism. It’s sweet and light-hearted, but with enough depth to keep my attention. It made me desperate to go on holiday, I loved the luxurious descriptions of the hotels and beaches they visit on the honeymoon and ohhh my gosh did I wish I was reading the book while lying by a pool sipping a cocktail!

There was one point where I thought the story was going to go a different way, I was kind of hoping it would, but I wasn’t surprised when it didn’t! I really liked Annie and her sister Freddie, I thought she was a great character, and I loved their relationship.

I found this a really enjoyable read – it’s easy and charming and will absolutely make you want to go on holiday!

You and Me on Vacation (Emily Henry)

12 summers ago: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.

11 summers ago: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.

2 summers ago: It all goes wrong.

This summer: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.

Ahhh this is wonderful beachy escapism. It’s an easy, heart-warming read with loveable characters and such amazing descriptions of the places visited that you’ll easily be able to transport yourself to Palm Springs, New Orleans, Tuscany and more…

Last Tang Standing (Lauren Ho)

Like all good Chinese children, Andrea Tang is doing her best to fulfil all her mother’s plans for her life: she’s on track to become partner at a top law firm in Singapore, she has a beautiful apartment in the right postcode and a perfect boyfriend who is practically made of husband material.

Except that those plans are unravelling fast: there’s an unfairly attractive new lawyer out to steal her promotion, she has credit-card debt up to her eyeballs, her perfect boyfriend is now her perfect ex-boyfriend and the last single cousin in her family just got engaged, leaving her exposed to romantic meddling on all sides…

Our June Book Club read takes you to Singapore to follow Andrea as she navigates her thirties. Told through Andrea’s diary entries, this was a really fun, enjoyable read. I won’t share all my thoughts on it here as I’m eagerly awaiting our Book Club discussion on it (June 27th at 10am!)

The Lido (Libby Page)

Rosemary is 86 and has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

26-year-old Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her.

So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.

This was a Book Club pick last year, but I had to include it. This book is beautiful, heartwarming and so full of joy, I raced through it and loved every second. I used to live down the road from Brockwell Lido and used to swim there during the summer, and spent a lot of time in Brixton, so the book felt very real and vivid to me. I adored Rosemary, I thought her story was absolutely wonderful.

It’s the perfect summer read, there’s just enough depth in the story, and the friendship that develops between Rosemary and Kate is perfectly done, it’s not cheesy or forced, it feels completely natural.