Holiday reads for 2023: The best books for the summer break

Holiday reads for 2023: The best books for the summer break
Add these to your reading list for the holiday break or while you're hitting the beach.

With the approach of the holidays, along with trying to get your schedule organised and belongings packed and ready, you might be thinking about picking a new book.

Summer is the time of year when we have the rare luxury of time, and many bookworms make the most of it. That means diving into those novels we’ve been mentally noting throughout the year, especially best-sellers or those picking up notable reviews.

Then there are those that have taken out major prizes, like the annual Booker Prize, a good indication they’ll be hard to put down.

So what should you be buying, adding to your e-reader or requesting from the library?  We pick some of the books getting buzz right now.

Good Material by Dolly Alderton

After a breakup,  Andy takes stock of the fact his life, career and relationship have not ended up where he thought they might. From the bestselling author of Ghosts and Everything I Know About Love this is a sharply funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely relatable story of heartbreak and friendship, and how to survive both.

Lola in the Mirror by Trent Dalton

An unnamed girl has been on the run all her life and lives in a Brisbane scrapyard, but dreams of a life as an artist of international acclaim. From the author of Boy Swallows Universe and All Our Shimmering Skies, Dalton delivers a big, moving, blackly funny, violent, heartbreaking and beautiful novel of love, fate, life and death and all the things we see when we look in the mirror: all our past, all our present, and all our possible futures.

My Name Is Barbra by Barbara Streisand

The long-awaited memoir by the superstar of stage, screen, recordings, and television, Barbara Streisand reveals the untold story of her career in a frank, funny and opinionated way.

The Secret by Lee Child and Andrew Child

Jack Reacher is back in a gripping new read from Lee and Andrew Child that looks at a string of deaths across the US that are seemingly unconnected until a fatal fall from a high-floor window attracts some unexpected attention. Reacher races to discover the link between them and who is responsible.

The Twat Files by Dawn French


For anyone who spends nights awake going over the mistakes they’ve made. A hugely relatable, funny, honest and inspirational ‘memoir of sorts’ in which comedian French reveals “all the times I’ve been a total and utter twat. The moments where I’ve misunderstood stuff and messed up. My hope is that these stories might fire up yer engines to remind you of just what a massive twat you also are.”

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

Shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, The Bee Sting tells the story of a rural Irish family in crisis. The darkly funny page turner follows failing car salesman Dickie, his frustrated wife Imelda, teenage Cass who dreams of life beyond small-town Ireland, and tween PJ who, like the rest of the family, is nurturing a secret.

The Year Of The Locust by Terry Hayes

CIA operative Kane is charged with the impossible: extract a vital informant from a secretive terrorist group deep in their heartland – without getting caught. The  highly anticipated second novel from Terry Hayes, author of the internationally bestselling I am Pilgrim.

The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman

For those looking for a new series to get into, this is the fourth in a series where, in a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent by Judi Dench

Judi Dench opens up about every Shakespearean role she has played throughout her seven-decade career. In a series of conversations she guides us through Shakespeare’s plays with incisive clarity, revealing the secrets behind her rehearsal process and vignettes of her creative partnerships.


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