Culture, Lifestyle, Travel

6 Books To Take With You On Holiday This Year

Unless you want to get stuck choosing between Tom Clancy’s ‘Gruff Soldiers 6: Death By Bullet’ and John Grisham’s latest legal jargon compendium, it might be worth buying your holiday book before you’re in the duty free this year. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the best things to read this summer, from bite sized books to devour on a quick weekend away to epics that will take you from one side of your trip-of-a-lifetime to the other. 

The White Album, Joan Didion
Perfect for: people going to California
Although this collection of short essays covers everything from the Manson family to Scientology, The White Album’s overall effect is to draw a detailed picture of what it was like in post-Woodstock California in the late-60’s early-70s. If you’re finding yourself on the west coast and want to get a feel for its history, this is the perfect place to start.

Power Of The Dog, Don Winslow
Perfect for: anyone that enjoyed Narcos/people with a lot of time on their hands
A crime epic (both in size and scope), Don Winslow’s Power Of The Dog explores the DEA’s War On Drugs by looking at it through the eyes of government agents, drug dealers, prostitutes and priests. Painstakingly researched by the author over a period of five years, this novel is a brilliant and sprawling book that sucks you in from page one and won’t let go. It’s bloody long though so don’t bother taking it with you on a weekend away.    

Pulphead, John Jeremiah Sullivan
Perfect for: Louis Theroux fanboys
A collection of journalism by the American writer and editor John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead is an engaging collection of essays on subjects as far reaching as Axl Rose and reality television. Sullivan writes with clarity and insight, getting right to the heart of every topic he touches. Great at the beach, by the pool, in a city, wherever.

Uncommon Danger, Eric Ambler
Perfect for: anyone after an alternative to Clancy/Ludlum/Childs
Eric Ambler is credited with creating the modern suspense novel but the realism of his plots and fast pace of his stories means they still hold up today. Uncommon Danger, his second novel, is a thrilling adventure across Europe with sadistic villains, two-faced spies and shady industrialists all conspiring to kill the journalist at the center of the plot. An easy read that never drops below exhilarating, Uncommon Danger is the perfect poolside book.

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, William Finnegan
Perfect for: wannabe Kelly Slaters
A Pulitzer Prize winning book by a staff writer at the New Yorker, Barbarian Days probably has the best pedigree of any surfing book that will ever be written. Partly a biopic about the writer’s own experiences as a surfer, partly a book about why people surf, it’s the ideal companion for anyone looking to make the most of their time away – you can’t read about Finnegan’s adventures without wanting to have a few of your own.

The End Of The World, Paul Tremblay
Perfect for: Stephen King fans

If you’d like to spend your summer in constant dread and fear, then give Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin At The End Of The World a read, as the previous winner of the Bram Stoker Award and author of the chilling A Head Full Of Ghosts and the mind-bending Devil’s Rock is back with another horrific novel.

The story centres around even-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, who are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbours are more than two miles in either direction along a dishevelled dirt road. One afternoon, as Wen playss in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. “None of what’s going to happen is your fault” he says. Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”


Even king of horror Stephen King says it’s an absolute banger, calling it “thought-provoking and terrifying, with tension that winds up like a chain.”

Released June 26th

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