Illustration: Fleur Beech

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker
The Secret History meets Twin Peaks in this truly un-put-down-able whodunnit, which takes the reader on an epic journey to discover who murdered 15-year-old schoolgirl Nola Kellergan. Set in a coastal New Hampshire town, the book – translated with mastery from the original French – was published last year, winning the unbelievably young debut author many prizes, and selling more than 32 million copies. Warning: it is huge (though totally devourable), so a Kindle version is advised.
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One Day by David Nicholls
If by some peculiar twist of fate, you haven’t already read One Day, be prepared to weep and howl with laughter in alternating fits. Set over 20 years, the book is a love story that starts in Edinburgh in the late Eighties, with the day Emma and Dexter first meet, which is also their last day at university. Catching up with them both over the course of the next two decades, this novel is so funny – and unthinkably moving – that it is impossible to read in public without looking like a crazy person.
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No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
American film director, screenwriter, actor and artist Miranda July turned her hand to prose with a collection of 16 stories. Penned back in 2008, it is as captivating and intriguing as Me and You and Everyone We Know – the film she wrote and starred in, which won the 2005 Caméra d’Or at Cannes. Brimming with existential pondering, it makes for guilt-free beach reading – and you’ll be able to actually finish a story before the kids start begging you for ice-cream.
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The Farm by Tom Rob Smith
Set in part on a suitably-bleak Swedish island, part in London, this incredible tale from the award-winning writer of Child 44, opens with an unforgettable phone-call to Daniel from his father: “Your mother… She’s not well… She’s been imagining things – terrible, terrible things.” Minutes later, the phone rings again: “Daniel, listen to me carefully… I’m sure your father has spoken to you. Everything that man has told you is a lie. I’m not mad. I don’t need a doctor. I need the police. I’m about to board a flight to London. Meet me at Heathrow.” Totally thrilling from page one, it’s your job as a reader to work out who is telling the truth.
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The Island by Victoria Hislop
Arguably the best yarn from Queen of super-addictive, beautifully-imagined historical fiction, The Island is everything a Summer read should be. Compelling, smart, with descriptions that make each page sparkle. The story is set on the now abandoned island of Spinalonga in Greece, part in present day, part in the early 1900s, on what was then a leper colony. A tale of love, survival and family loyalty. We wept and wept.
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Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
Emma Healey’s debut novel Elizabeth is Missing is a vivid portrait of Alzheimer’s disease and the impact on those affected, woven through a brilliant and darkly humorous literary thriller. Following 90-year-old Maud from present day as she struggles to work out her friend Elizabeth’s whereabouts through a series of snatched memories and scrawled notes, back to her own post-war childhood when her sister Sukey went missing. It’s easy to see why so many publishers were scrambling to get their hands on this.
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Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution by Antonella Gambotto-Burke
A riveting look at motherhood in the 21st century, this new book from Australian journalist and mum-of-one Antonella Gambotto-Burke picks apart what it means to raise a child today. Incredibly researched and 
searingly honest, it certainly made us reevaluate our priorities.
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
We were not prepared to be quite so moved by a book about teenage love. More fool us. Centring on the lives of two young cancer patients, the tale of Hazel and Augustus is warm, smart, and profound. (And didn’t translate well to film.) This is one you could easily tear through in a day (given half the chance), making for the perfect beach read. Waterproof mascara recommended.
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Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
This bestselling memoir was adapted for screen last year, starring Reese Witherspoon in all her glory as Cheryl Strayed, who (crudely put) lost her beloved mother when she was 22, dabbled with heroin and destroyed her marriage with a string of affairs. Feeling as if she had nothing else to lose, she upped sticks and spent three months hiking 1100 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail, a stretch of wilderness from Mexico to Canada, alone. An almost unbelievable tale of willpower, hardship and triumph, which will make you appreciate your own week in the sun that little bit more.
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More in Travel

The Lives of Others #6

By , 23rd July 2018
Education, Features, Regulars, Travel
Georgie Higginson moved from the UK to Uganda 14 years ago. After losing their daughter to stillbirth, she and her husband were inspired to build a lodge on the banks of the River Nile, overlooking Murchison Falls National Park - an area once occupied by LRA rebels

Global Village #6

By , 9th July 2018
Design, Features, Regulars, Travel
Designer Kate Pietrasik lived in London, Edinburgh, New York and Byron Bay before moving to a town near Biarritz when her daughter was four years old. She reflects on life as a 'blended family', running her own business, and the joy of being rootless

Global Village #5

By , 21st May 2018
Regulars, Travel
When Rosalind Miller's daughter was born, the medical student was determined having a child wouldn't stop her moving to India to carry out her PhD field work. She reflects on swapping London for a local community in Bangalore with a toddler in tow

Global Village #4

By , 14th May 2018
Education, Regulars, Travel
From Scotland to Costa Rica (via East London, New York and Mexico). Mother-of-four Abigail Pilcher talks multiple relocations, opening – and closing – a guesthouse, and how a holiday to Turkey inspired the move of a lifetime