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The right read

Posted on 18 July 2008 by

The right read

What makes the perfect holiday book? Is it a steamy romance, a racy thriller, the pulpiest pulp fiction or a scientific study into the origins of the universe (or is it only me who takes Bill Bryson’s ‘The History of Nearly Everything’ for my week in the sun?).


Obviously there’s no right answer to this mighty question, but we can try and point you in the right direction of some of our favourite sunshine reads.


If you like suspenseful page turners with plots that twist and turn at every opportunity take a sneak peak at High Noon, the latest from international best-seller Nora Roberts. We’ve got a sample chapter you can download here and even a TV ad you can tune into.


Richard and Judy have set themselves up as the UK’s answer to Oprah Winfrey when it comes to recommending books (and guaranteeing best sellers) with their Summer Reads collection, but you can also go list crazy with the BBC’s Big Read or this discussion at listverse.


Of course, newspapers have their best-summer-read lists aplenty, with our favourites from the Times and the Telegraph. We particularly liked this round-up for children’s books from the Sunday Times.


Once you’ve chosen the books you want, where should you buy them from? If your own shelves are stacked with books that you’ve read once and never gone back to, why not try a swap site like, which has thousands of books to be swapped with members, so you only pay for the postage.


If you’re spoilt for choice or short of inspiration, then you can join in one of readitswapit’s many forums to find out about the favourite reads of people like you. Other similar sites include NothingButBooks and the great looking BookMooch. If you’re a Facebook fan there is book group after book group on the site, although they don’t have the same depth of community as the specialist sites.


Blogs and forums we like include The Guardian’s Rob Woodard who praises the merits of the classics and this discussion from The Word magazine about the best, worst and guilty pleasure summer reads. The Guardian has rounded up the best book blogs if you want to delve deeper.


For what it’s worth, my favourite holiday read is Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, which makes me laugh over and over. If you could take one book with you, what would it be?

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