Top ten books you need to read this summer

Pic: Pexels/Ata Ebem

You truly cannot beat a good book! A story you can immerse yourself in and get completely lost in, forgetting about the world around you – pure bliss.

Where better to do this than while on holiday, whether you’re headed abroad or sticking close to the Irish shores, there’s a book out there calling your name.

So as you welcome the summer with open arms and make your way to sunnier climes, enjoy a book or two – if they’re Irish that’s even better!

We’ve popped a list together to help you find the perfect book to help you relax this summer

So, without further ado, here are our top ten holiday reads from Irish authors.

1. IDOL by Louise O’Neill

A novel all about following your heart and speaking your truth.

Samantha Miller is exactly who her young fans want her to be. In the eyes of her young fans, she is an oracle telling her young fans how to live their lives, how to be happy and how to find and honour their ‘truth’.

After reaching the top of the bestsellers list, in a bid to promote the new book, Samantha writes an essay about her sexual awakening as a teenager with Lisa, her best friend.

After the essay goes viral, Lisa gets in touch to say her memory of that night is far darker.

Above all else, whose ‘truth’ is really a lie?

A fantastic read that’ll have you hooked from beginning to end.

2. Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

This couple’s story actually begins at the end.

Following the break-up of a five year relationship, a young woman is burdened with a broken heart as she packs a box of her now ex-boyfriend’s things.

Preparing to see him for a final time she begins to wonder where everything went wrong and if it was ever the right relationship for her in the first place.

After calling it quits after five years together and while holding a box of her ex-boyfriends things the young woman begins to wonder how could they spend so long together?

How did they fall in love?

She reflects on both the good times and the bad, finally asking herself… is love really worth it?

This heartbreaking romance is told in reverse with each chapter jumping further into the past, digging through their history for the days, giving us details to help us understand love; how it happens, and why it sometimes falls apart.

3. Twelve Days In May by Niamh Hargan

This heartwarming love story follows Lizzy Munro, a young woman working at Cannes Film Festival. Ciaran Flynn is the man everyone is talking about, heart-throb of the moment and director of the most romantic movie of the year.

What everyone there doesn’t know is that twelve years ago Lizzy and Ciaran were best friends and haven’t spoken since.

When Ciaran’s film runs into trouble, Lizzy is the one person her can turn to, bringing the pair closer and closer.

Is twelve days enough to save not only Ciaran’s film but also the spark he and Lizzy once shared?

A hilariously delightful debut novel from Niamh Hargan that is searing with chemistry from the main characters.

If you like a good rom-com this will be the book for you.

4. Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

Set in a Dublin suburb, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope. Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide.

Yet as the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can’t help but feel that something doesn’t fit.

A chilling murder mystery immersing readers in the victims world, in a thrilling tale with the victim at the centre of it all, will they discover the truth behind what actually happened or will it be ruled a suicide?

5. The Trap by Catherine Howard

Showing us the realities of being  a woman stranded on the side of the road at night, alone this thrilling book is certainly a must read and will have you racing to get to the next chapter.

Stranded on a dark road in the middle of the night, a young woman accepts a lift from a passing stranger. She knows the dangers all too well – but what other choice does she have?

As they drive, she alternates between fear and relief – one moment thinking he is just a good man doing a good thing, the next convinced he’s a monster.

 But when he delivers her safely to her destination, she realises her fears were unfounded. And her heart sinks, because a monster is what she’s looking for. She’ll try again tomorrow night. “

Definitely one to read by the pool in broad daylight!

6. Notes to self by Emilie Pine

In Notes To Self, Emilie Pine speaks on all the events that have marked her life through six deeply personal interlocking essays.

Speaking on topics from grief to infertility, caring for an alcoholic parent, sexual violence as well as female bodies and the pain and taboos behind them.

As described by Emilie herself:  “This is the story of one woman, and of all women. Devastating, poignant, and wise — and joyful against the odds — Notes to Self is an unforgettable exploration of what it feels like to be alive, and a daring act of rebellion against a society that is more comfortable with women’s silence.”

7. 56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

We may have just found the perfect thriller!

Successfully capturing the odd and eerie unreality of Dublin at the beginning of Covid when we are all asked to stay home, this book delves into the dark secrets hidden beneath the surface of our relationships.

Meeting over lunch, Ciara and Oliver are soon living together in his ‘swanky but sterile’ apartment.

When neighbours complain about a bad smell, detectives Lee and Karl are faced with a corpse that blows open an old notorious crime.

It’ll have you hooked from the get go.

8. Joyrider by Angela Scanlon

Best known for shows such as  Angela Scanlon’s Ask Me Anything, the enigmatic presenter now added another notch to her career belt -author.

In this debut part memoir and part self-help guide Angela reflects upon the concept of gratitude and its importance in all of our lives.

She shares the prospect of focusing our attention on small positives in life to completely change it for the better.

This is a lovely light read which is perfect for when relaxing on holidays.

9.  The Distance Between Us by Maggie O’Farrell

From the award winning author of This Must Be The Place, this brand new book follows the haunting story of Stella and the way her family has shaped her life.

On a cold February afternoon, Stella catches sight of a man she hasn’t seen for many years, but instantly recognises, or thinks she does. At the same moment on the other side of the globe, in the middle of a crowd of Chinese New Year revellers, Jake realises that things are becoming dangerous.

They know nothing of one another’s existence, but both Stella and Jake flee their lives: Jake in search of a place so remote it doesn’t appear on any map, and Stella for a destination in Scotland, the significance of which only her sister, Nina, will understand.

A wonderful story that does not stop in its progression, it’s definitely on our list of things to read this summer.

10. The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

A must read novel from Eimear McBride, it’ll challenge your views on relationships and how they are established while adapting to a brand new city.

After her arrival in London, an 18-year-old Irish girl starts fresh as a drama student in the hopes of achieving the fame she’s always dreamed of.

She struggles to fit in—she’s young and unexotic, a naive new girl—but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.

Then she meets an attractive older established actor, and the inevitable clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.



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