With the warmer weather, thoughts turn to summer holidays.
And if , like me, your holiday wouldn’t be complete without a pile of paperbacks, you might want to read on.
I’ve put together a selection of books that I think sit well with a sun lounger and a cheeky cocktail – or two.
First off the bookshelf is ‘Bad Mothers United’ by Kate Long.
For all those who read and thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Bad Mother’s Handbook’, this is the follow-up you’ve been waiting for.
Hundreds of thousands of readers lived a life in the year of Charlotte, Karen and Nan as they struggled with becoming mothers for the first time.
And now, 10 years on, they are back – certainly older, probably not wiser but definitely as hilariously catastrophic as before.
(Published by Simon and Schuster, £7.99).
If you’re looking for the perfect summer escape, try the new novel from Jill Mansell.
Jill is one of this country’s top-selling female fiction authors having sold five million copies of her books worldwide.
In ‘Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’, Dexter Yates loves his fun, carefree London life but everything changes when his sister dies leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter, Delphi.
How will he cope leaving his hedonistic life behind for a new start in the Cotswolds?
Comic strip artist Molly Hayes lives in Briarwood, the village that Dexter moves to and – in the time-honoured tradition of all the best chick-lit novels – they make a connection.
(Published by Headline Review, £7.99).
The most touching and original book I’ve read for a while is ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce.
When Harold nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other.
He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking – to save someone else’s life.
Erica Wagner from The Times newspaper echoed my sentiments entirely when she wrote, “From the moment I met Harold Fry, I didn’t want to leave him. Impossible to put down.’
(Published by Black Swan, £7.99).
‘The Game’ by Tom Wood is a book I haven’t read myself but it comes highly recommended by the husband.
Perfect for fans of Lee Child and the Bourne novels, it’s set in sweltering Algiers where ultra-efficient hitman Victor executes a fellow assassin.
But when the CIA comes calling, Victor must pose as his victim to identify the dead man’s next mark – a mission that takes him across Europe to the bloody streets of Rome.
Full of white-hot tension and edge-of-the-seat action, ‘The Game’ is the thrilling follow-up to Wood’s ‘The Hunter’ and ‘The Enemy’.
For the final book in my list, ‘Watch your step. Keep your wits about you; you will need them . . .’
So begins ‘The Crimson Petal and the White’ by Michel Faber, and an irresistible voyage into the dark side of Victorian London.
I read this rather thick tome at the start of a holiday on the Greek island of Santorini a couple of years ago.
Both the holiday and the book continue to hold fond memories.
Amongst an unforgettable cast of low-lifes, physicians, businessmen and prostitutes, you’ll meet heroine Sugar, a young woman trying to drag herself up from the gutter any way she can.
Be prepared for a mesmerising tale of passion, intrigue, ambition and revenge.
And after you’ve read the book, you can get the DVD as it was made into a BBC drama staring Romola Garai, Chris O’Dowd, Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Shirley Henderson and Mark Gatiss.
(Published by Canongate, £9.99).
Happy holidays and happy reading!