Holiday Reads: Our Top 5

Summer reads, beach reads, holiday reads… there are more books sold in the summer than during any other season. To celebrate Book Lovers Day on the 9th August, we share our current top five.

An American Marriage, Tayari Jones 2019

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart when Roy is convicted of a rape he didn’t commit, sentenced to 12 years in jail. A man, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We follow Roy and Celestial who struggles on the outside to remain in love, taking comfort in the couple’s close friend Andre. When Roy's conviction is overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together…

Shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction, this is a moving portrayal of a marriage wrecked by circumstances outside of their control.

Everything I Know About Love, Dolly Alderton 2018

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, author, journalist and broadcaster Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In this memoir she vividly recounts her 20s - falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out.

Sharon Horgan advised people to “buy it for your teenage daughter and then put in a drawer for a few years and then hand it over like you might a set of life encyclopaedias”. Enough said.

My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite 2019

When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This'll be the third boyfriend Ayoola's dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away.

Longlisted for the Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and winner of the LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller, this Lagos-set novel about sibling loyalty is dark and funny. I read it in one sitting.

Old Baggage, Lissa Evans 2018

Matilda (Mattie) Simpkin, was a proudly militant Suffragette. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill. Fast forward to 1928, the world has moved on and Mattie, now in middle age, is bored and looking for something to pour her energies into… something thrilling and exciting to offset her uneventful present. So she sets up a club for young women, hoping to encourage them to be feminists.

Mattie is brilliant, a formidable spinster who lives with her friend The Flea, she tramps around Hampstead Heath with a wooden club – to exercise and to clear her head.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris 2018

In 1942, Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. This is his story, told to Morris before he died in 2006.

It has been reported that there are numerous errors and inconsistencies in this novel. But it is just one man’s story, how he fell in love with a woman he tattooed at the camp and his fight for their survival. Love and friendship in the face of horror. It is excellent and we can’t wait for Morris’ sequel, out in October.

Lead image @rosielondoner