Get ready for your holidays with these 5 essential books: they won’t take up too much room in your suitcase and will have you engrossed for hours.

Where the Crawdads Sing

This Delia Owens bestseller, the movie adaptation of which is set to be released in July, is a must read for this summer. The novel follows its protagonist Kya, who grows up alone in a marsh and is rejected by her local community, but soon becomes embroiled in scandal. You can watch the trailer, starring Daisy Edgar Jones and featuring music by Taylor Swift, here.

The Thursday Murder Club

A heartwarming, hilarious romp, Richard Osman’s story follows a group of elderly people in an old people’s home trying to solve a murder. The casual crime solvers run rings around the inept police officers in their quiet country town. If you can’t get enough of this (and I’m sure you won’t be able to) try the next two books in the series: The Man Who Died Twice and The Bullet That Missed.

Strange Flowers

Moll Gladney disappears suddenly from her rural Irish town, returning five years later with a husband in a move that shocks the locals. Donal Ryan paints a beautiful picture of love and self acceptance in the perfect summer afternoon read.

Klara and the Sun

Kasuo Ishiguro’s latest hit, Klara and the Sun, follows Klara, a robot waiting to be chosen as the perfect companion for a young girl. When she is transported away from her life in her shop, she comes to terms with the complexities of the human heart and the fundamental struggles of love and loss.


Circe is a retelling of the story of the goddess, from her banishment from the world of the gods to her encounters with Odysseus and his crew. You’ll find this one difficult to put down- Madeleine Miller’s retelling of classic Greek myths is a wonderful picture of family rivalry, love, loss and female strength. The book is also currently being adapted into a HBO show.