I’ve been a bookworm since my Dad used to take me to the library every Saturday morning. Whether it was a Jacqueline Wilson making me feel like such an adult or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban (because we all know that one’s the best), as a teen I was never far from a good book.
Whilst my reading choices may have changed slightly (hello mystery thrillers) my love of getting lost in a good book hasn't. So I’ve compiled the list to end all lists of book ideas, whether you’re after something to devour in one sitting, an easy read to dip in and out of or even a little bit of self-help.
The Harry Potter Series (JK Rowling)
Alright so the author might have some very questionable opinions but that doesn’t need to stop us loving the wizarding world. The ultimate cosy autumn reads, either settle down and read them from start to finish or pick up your favourite book and enter the world of Quidditch, Butterbeer and potions.
The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)
Enjoy the fantasy world of the night circus, a circus that appears without warning and is open from nightfall until dawn. Follow a magician's daughter and a sorcerer's apprentice as they are trained for the ultimate battle of magic with the enthralling night circus as their backdrop.
One Day (David Nicholls)
Dexter and Emma are best friends. Every year on 15th July they meet up and share their dreams, achievements and failures. The book spans 18 years, starting at their college graduation and documenting their lives as they navigate adulthood, relationships and love.
From Notting Hill with Love...Actually (Ali McNamara)
Scarlett loves all the romcoms, Love Actually, Bridget Jones, Notting Hill. She just wishes her life was a bit more like the movies she loves. When she gets the chance to house sit in Notting Hill she ends up with her very own plotline...starting with who to choose as her leading man.
The Secret (Rhonda Byrne)
The Secret has become a bit of a cult classic and with good reason. Explaining the concept of the law of attraction in the most basic of terms, it’s a good place to start if you’re looking for inspiration on altering your mindset and attracting positivity.
Queenie (Candice Carty-Williams)
Queenie is a coming of age novel that explores black female identity and sexual politics in contemporary Britain. It’s hilarious and witty and will leave you nodding in solidarity and rooting for the unforgettable character of Queenie every step of the way.
The Flat Share (Beth O’Leary)
Tiffy and Leon share an apartment, they share a bed but they’ve never met. One lives in the flat during the day and the other is there at night. Slowly through the medium of scrawled notes left for each other in the flat they start to realise they have more in common than either of them realised...
Me Before You (Jojo Moyes)
Before it was the tear-jerking film it was an equally tear-jerking book. Me Before You tells the story of Louisa who takes on the job of looking after parlaysed Will. A tale of love, loss and an unbreakable bond, you’ll need tissues from page one.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz (Heather Morris)
A heart wrenching story of Slovakian Jew Lale Sokolov, imprisoned at Auschwitz and given the job of tattooing numbers onto all of the inmates. As he falls in love with another prisoner, Lale must fight for survival to keep his dreams alive.
My Sister the Serial Killer (Oyinkan Braithwaite)
This is short, sharp, dark and funny as Nigerian Korede deals with her younger sister who has a tendency to kill her boyfriends. Satire meets slasher movie as sibling loyalty is well and truly put to the test. You’ll be hooked from chapter one.
Billy and Me (Giovanna Fletcher)
A sweet romcom, Billy and Me features Sophie who’s quite content with her simple life before a celebrity comes to town and ends up sweeping her off her feet. Dating a celebrity comes at a price though and Sophie must decide if she’s willing to give up a life of obscurity for the spotlight.
Her Name Was Rose (Claire Allan)
The definition of a psychological thriller, lead character Emily finds herself filling the shoes of a dead woman in more ways than one. First she gets her old job, then she grows close to her widow but Emily soon realises that Rose’s life may not have been as perfect as she thought and maybe her death wasn’t an accident after all.
An Unwanted Guest (Shari Lapena)
Shari Lapena has fast become one of my favourite authors and this book is the one that cemented her there. An Unwanted Guest is the ultimate classic murder mystery, when a group of guests find themselves stranded in an old hotel, one of them turns to murder leaving the others to figure out who amongst them is the killer.
Twenties Girl (Sophie Kinsella)
Lara lives a normal life and she definitely doesn’t believe in ghosts, that is until her great aunt Sadie pays her a visit. Her dead great aunt Sadie that is. Sadie is a 1920’s flapper girl and sends Lara off on a mission surrounding an old dragonfly necklace that ends up being a journey of love, loss and friendship...oh and one or two embarrassing moments.
Then She Was Gone (Lisa Jewell)
Ellie Mack went missing in 2005 aged 15. Told from Ellie’s point of view in 2005 and her Mum, Laurel’s, in 2015. When Laurel meets a man who sweeps her off her feet she can’t quite believe how much his nine year old daughter looks like Ellie. As Laurel searches for the truth, she discovers that after all this time Ellie might have been closer than she realised.
The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins)
The OG thriller, if you haven’t heard of The Girl on the Train then where have you been? Full of mystery and suspense that will mean you end up racing through in one go, the book focuses on Rachel, an alcoholic divorcee who idolises the couple she sees from the train every morning. When one of them goes missing though Rachel finds herself dragged into the investigation. Did she really have something to do with it?!
The Kind Worth Killing (Peter Swanson)
The Kind Worth Killing proves that you should never talk to strangers. When Ted meets Lily by chance in an airport he ends up offloading all of his marital woes to her. Her suggestion? They kill his wife. Ted soon realises Lily is no ordinary woman and that he just might have got himself wrapped up in a tangled web of lies, deceit and murder.
Stacey Dooley: On the Frontline with the Women who Fight Back (Stacey Dooley)
Stacey Dooley’s documentaries often focus on unbelievable women from around the world who have to fight every day just to survive. This book tells the stories of some of the remarkable women she’s met on her travels from sex workers in Russia to victims of domestic violence in Honduras. You’ll laugh with them, cry for them and be in awe of them.
Becoming (Michelle Obama)
Michelle Obama is a powerhouse and so is her autobiography. She writes candidly about growing up in Chicago and life in the Whitehouse. It’s funny and raw and she truthfully discusses juggling being a woman of colour, a wife, a mother and having a career and identity of her own. This is one to really absorb and then read again and again.