Summer reading: The books we’re taking on holiday

Summer holidays – sandy beaches, the whiff of chlorine in the air, ice creams, sangria and… books. If you’re anything like the This Girl Is On Fire team, part of getting away includes getting stuck into a good book.

With this in mind, we asked the team to share their favourite ever holiday books to inspire your beach-side choices this year.

Inheritance by Jenny Éclair

“My book to read this summer is different to anything I’ve read for MONTHS. I’ve been so focused on personal growth, learning, developing and improving myself that I need a break from it all.

I am going back to a good old novel, by one of my favourite women in the world, Jenny Eclair. It’s called Inheritance and is a family saga. Just what Doctor Sunshine ordered!”

Andrea McLean

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Katie Byron

“A self-help book might not be exactly what you had in mind for your summer reading. Personally, I usually bring a pile of trashy fiction with me and then never pick it up because the sun is in my eyes, but I highly recommend the audiobook version of Byron Katie’s Loving What Is.

This audiobook does more than outline Katie’s simple process for letting go of negative thoughts. It includes real coaching sessions where she works through the process with actual audience members, sessions that will make you laugh, reassure you that you’re normal and show you how to use this process to shift your own beliefs.

I’ve not found anything more powerful than the Judge Your Neighbour worksheet for letting go of the past and embracing the present. You’ll come back from holiday not only rested and topped up with Vitamin D but feeling lighter and more optimistic about life”.

Blaire Palmer, founder of A Brilliant Gamble

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

“I am obsessed with thrillers and any books about crime. My bedside table is full of them, so when I go on holiday, just like I’ll like to leave everyday life behind, I also like to leave my slightly unhealthy fascination with the world of crime behind! I don’t really do chick lit though – I think that’s just one step too far – but I do love funny and quirky.

One book that fits the bill well is The Cactus. It’s about Susan Green, who at 45, has her life just as she likes it. Following the loss of her mother, life becomes somewhat messy but while it throws her into a whole world of uneasiness, it also helps her bloom into the woman she was always meant to be.

It’s a book that makes you realise that it’s never too late to find yourself, and that the journey we take may not always go the way we want it to. It’s one of those books I’m always recommending now. An uplifting, funny tale that’s just what we need among the doom and gloom of ever day life.”

Jayne, Head of Content, TGIOF

Red magazine

“Reading and writing are something I do for a living, so when it comes to novels my attention span is unfortunately zero. If I’m heading away on holiday, I love picking up a copy of Red magazine at the airport.

It feels totally digestible but also a little bit like a remedy for a stressed and overworked mind. Its focus on strong, positive women, mental health and accessible fashion mean I can dip into it when I please. I just need to learn not to hoard copies. I can never bear to throw them away when finished!”

Rebecca Martin, Writer and TGIOF contributor

Travels by Michael Crichton

“OK, so this doesn’t scream summer. Or chick lit. Or steamy holiday romp. All damn good things that I LOVE in a holiday read. But this is the book that taught this Yorkshire lass that there was more to life than Leeds – who knew? And also, the very bright lights of Lincoln, where I went to uni.

I first read Travels straight after graduation in the summer of 2001, at a time when I was completely confused about life, the future, the world. Everything actually. But then I read this book and wanderlust whacked me in the face! There was no way I wouldn’t travel, by whatever means. If you want a book that might just catapult you out of that comfort zone, this could be right up your street!

The autobiography by the late Michael Crichton – of Jurassic Park fame – takes you on a trip of self-discovery. His quest for spiritual satisfaction and making sense of life starts with his years as a medical student. His fascinating insights into the power of the mind when it comes to health and recovery propel him into insanely intrepid pursuits. Climbing Kilimanjaro and Mayan pyramids in the Yucatan, trekking across a landslide in Pakistan, swimming with sharks in Tahiti and meditating in the dessert for days.

Hopefully this book doesn’t sound like an annoyingly upper class ‘gap yah’ account – far from it, honestly! It’s an anthology of tales from the most curious of minds. He’s a scientist on a quest for answers and alternative states of mind. And he pushes himself to limits he never knew possible.

Steamy summer romp, Travels is not. But bucket list book, hell yes!”

Emma, Social Media Manager, TGIOF

Got a must-read summer book? Don’t forget to share it below in the comments!

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