10 books to get you through a rainy summer weekend, picked by Claudia Winkleman

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Hollie Richardson
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Claudia Winkleman

Looking for some reading inspiration this weekend? Claudia Winkleman just share her 10 favourite books, and they’re perfect for curling up on the sofa with while is drizzles outside.

It’s raining, it’s pouring and by the weekend we’re all going to be snoring. Yes, the heatwave has well and truly passed, with rain forecast for at least a week. But instead of cursing the weather gods for ruining our outdoor plans, let’s try and make the most of some indoors time by spending the weekend on the sofa with a pile of great books

From new memoirs to the book everybody is talking about this summer and old classics that still make us emotional, there’s a lot to get stuck into – and that can make it hard to know where to start. You can check out Stylist’s Literary Festival this month, which will provide some serious inspiration. Or, check out Claudia Winkleman’s favourite books, which she has just shared with

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As well as being a national broadcasting icon, Winkleman is also a best-selling author. In her 2020 memoir, Quite, she shares her observations on topics such as the importance of melted cheese (which she also once wrote about for Stylist), why black coats are vital, how it’s never okay to have sex with someone who has an opinion on your date outfit, and how nurses are our most precious national treasure.

On 7 July, Winkleman will be discussing the book in an online event with Emma Freud for To celebrate, she has shared her top 10 books. “I absolutely adore books and reading and love going to my local independent bookshop,” she says. “Some of the books I’ve picked for emotional reasons (the Dahl was the first book I truly fell in love with, the Hardy made me want to stand on a moor in a mood and the John Boyne was my favourite book in lockdown) and others are just the books I’ve handed out to friends and read again and again.”

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She added: “They’re the books which have stayed with me the most and I’m sorry so many are obvious choices. I could easily write down 500 more and there’s no doubt my list would look different if I was asked tomorrow. Read these or pick your own favourite from a different list and let’s all support our local bookshops. It’s so important after 2020 that we look after the amazing indies.”

Let’s take a look at her book recommendations.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl.

1. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

2. Tess And The D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

4. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

6. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

7. We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

8. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carré

9. Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow by Peter Hoeg

10. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

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If you’d like to get your hands on one of Winkleman’s picks, or any other books you’ve had an eye on for a while, supports independent booksellers with each sale. You’ll also find curated book lists by Elena Ferrante, Malorie Blackman, Nikesh Shukla, Emma Gannon, Marian Keyes on the website. 

All that’s left to do is stick the kettle on, curl up on the sofa and get lost in the pages.

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Images: Getty, Penguin, Little Brown


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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…