Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Stuck for something to read? The top 10 summer books, as recommended by the experts at Penguin

MaryPortas_ShopGirl.jpg

Despite the occasional attempts of the weather to persuade us otherwise, summer's not quite over yet. And many of us are still looking forward to our well-earned breaks, be they in some far-flung corner of the world, making the most of the UK or simply a gloriously work-free staycation in the comfort of our own homes.

Wherever the destination, it's likely there's a chunk of downtime requiring a new book (or three) to lose oneself in, not to mention those who've already taken holidays and need their commute fare topping up. To that end, we have asked the experts at Penguin to recommend 10 summer reads especially for Stylist.co.uk readers.

If that's not enough to satiate your literary appetite, you might be interested in the publisher's newest digital venture which delves into their archives to provide free access to new content daily, including deleted scenes and author interviews, as well as extracts from books not even released yet.

The collaboration with Transport for London and Virgin Media is part of Penguin's 80th birthday celebrations and until 28 August, tube customers can visit summerofpenguin.com and read and listen to stories and ideas from the likes of Harper Lee, Terry Pratchett, John Cleese, The Hemsley Sisters and Stephen Fry.

Take a look through the below recommendations to find fiction and non-fiction, old and new, and see what takes your fancy. Happy reading!


daftweestories

Daft Wee Stories, by Limmy

£14.99

Digital Publisher Dan Franklin says: “Building on his status as a much-loved television and multimedia comic writer, Limmy’s debut book is a story collection that showcases his outrageous, subversive and delightfully skewed view of the world and proves that he can excel in whatever medium he chooses.”

@DigitalDanHouse


Her

A Book For Her, by Bridget Christie

£14.99

Consumer and Digital Development Executive Rose Poole says: “Ferociously clever and seriously funny, Bridget Christie is THE most exciting voice in comedy today. Christie brought feminism to the front line of UK stand-up and this part-memoir, part-rant, explores everything from UK politics to FGM. In a landscape dominated by all-male panel shows and flippant sexism, Christie is an incredibly important figure. I implore everyone to read this book immediately.”

@RosieDora


watchman

Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee

£18.99

Director of Publicity & Media Relations, Charlotte Bush, says: “Go Set a Watchman tells the story of Scout Finch’s return to Maycomb, and we join her on a journey that is both heart-wrenching and painful, yet at times also humorous.  By travelling with her we rediscover many of the characters from Mockingbird, but the book also explores issues that are as relevant today as they were in the mid-1950's when Harper Lee wrote the book.”

@CharlotteBush2


island

Notes from a Small Island, by Bill Bryson

£8.99

Head of Digital Marketing Ruth Spencer says: “If you're planning on taking a staycation this summer, be sure to pack a copy of Notes from a Small Island. Following American Bill Bryson’s 1995 tour around his adopted country, reading this book will make you remember how much there is to love about the UK - even the rain.”

@Spence79


girlonthetrain

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins

£12.99

Senior Digital Marketing Manager Lynsey Dalladay says: “If you haven’t read Paula Hawkins’ compelling crime novel yet then you’re in for a treat. Twisting and suspenseful, it creeps up on you like rising damp and is impossible to shake off. Relatable for anyone who’s ever stared out of a train window, its complex plot provides the perfect read for all amateur sleuths. And if you have read it, read it again!”

@LynseyDalladay


Itakeyou

I Take You, by Eliza Kennedy

£12.99

Digital Marketing Executive Indira Birnie says: “I Take You is the best debut novel I’ve read in ages – as well as a brilliantly written protagonist, it’s whip-smart, pacy, and truly hilarious. The Bridget Jones’ Diary for our times, you’ll probably read it in one sitting because that’s how good it is.”

@IndiraBirnie


shop

Shop Girl, by Mary Portas

£16.99

Harriet Horobin, Assistant Editor (Digital), says: “The Queen of Shops might surprise you with this book. It is as much a vivid and charming evocation of a 1960’s childhood in Watford as a heartfelt memoir about overcoming grief and difficult circumstances. Portas shares her stories of stealing lemonade and getting in trouble for giggling during church services, the effect of the sudden death of her mother, and her struggle for self-actualisation as she starts a job window-dressing in Harrods. A very entertaining read!”

@HarrietHW


funny

Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby

£7.99

Content Assistant Rhiannon Griffiths says: “Nick Hornby has done it again – I thought Funny Girl was wonderful. The characters shine in this tale of ambition, creativity and humanity. Touching and packed with dry humour, it had me captivated from the very beginning.”

@RhiGriffiths


woman

The Woman Who Stole My Life, by Marian Keyes

£7.99

Head of Social Media Bee Barker says: “You don’t need to travel any further than your sofa for Marian to sweep you off from rural Ireland to the glitzy New York skyline! There’s love, lust, tragedy, travel and all the LOLs in this perfect summer read. You’ll really miss living life alongside Stella Sweeney once it’s over!”

@hellobee


modern

Modern Romance: An Investigation by Aziz Ansari

£16.99

Digital Marketing Executive Samantha Book says: “If you’re looking for a book to help you navigate the confusing world of dating, and laugh at the ridiculousness of some of our modern courtship rituals, then Parks and Recreation's Aziz Ansari's part memoir, part sociological study is for you.”

@Sam_book 


Related

books.jpg

The Man Booker Dozen: how many have you read?

tlp676151.jpg

The big idea: authors reveal the secrets of their bestselling books

Exterior-1000-web.jpg

Enid Blyton’s old thatched cottage is up for sale

atonement.jpg

The best 20 novels of the past 20 years revealed

zadie smith.jpg

Female authors who nailed their biggest bestseller under the age of 30

rexfeatures_950188a.jpg

The best new book releases of 2015

Comments

More

Handmaid’s Tale fans, here’s what really happens to Ofglen in the book

As it's confirmed Alexis Bledel’s character will be returning for the second series

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Jun 2017

Four of the best books so far this year, as chosen by Amazon and us

If you read nothing else, make sure you give these titles a whirl

by Anna Brech
22 Jun 2017

Emma Watson really, really wants you to read these 10 feminist books

She’s curated her very own “essential feminist bookshelf”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jun 2017

We need to talk about Offred’s secret weapon in The Handmaid’s Tale

This is the most important thing we can take from episode four

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

Little girl crashes stranger’s wedding for a seriously cute reason

And the photos are just perfect

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jun 2017

JK Rowling flies to the rescue after Trump blocks Stephen King

This is getting ‘riddikulus’ now...

by Kayleigh Dray
14 Jun 2017

Bailey’s Prize winner Naomi Alderman on the importance of feminism

“If my novel is a dystopia, then we are living in a dystopia right now”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
08 Jun 2017

Boys ‘find it very hard’ to read a book starring a girl hero

Gender equality is still a problem for children's books, says leading author

by Anna Brech
08 Jun 2017

Dustbin man rescues books to create free community library

He's saved 20,000 books so far

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Jun 2017

Who is Arundhati Roy? The controversial author with an army of fans

The bestselling author’s much-anticipated second novel is out now.

by Moya Crockett
06 Jun 2017