Our Summer Reading Recommendations


Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb (2019)

William Morrow Paperbacks

This book had me at the cover. Its aesthetic and content are far superior to the average holiday romance novel. You would benefit from some passing interest in the 1950s and Grace Kelly story although that is definitely not the core of the novel. The fictional story is adjacent to the real 1956 royal wedding in which the Hollywood princess became the wife of Rainier III as the world’s press descended on the microstate on the French Riviera.

It follows British photographer and single father James Henderson and struggling French perfumer Sophie Duval as they meet and sparks fly. However the course of true love never did run smooth and the couple encounter a few twists along the way. In that regard, this book implements both classic ‘rom-com’ tropes as well as some grounded more so in reality.

The pacing is faultless for a travel book or one you are happy to read in a public space such as a beach, park or café and a marked change in tone and pace is earnt and, importantly, in keeping with the subject matter.

Pick this one up, it might surprise you!

By Susanna Robertson-Sheath


Book Lovers by Emily Henry (2022)

Via Penguin

As far as summer book recommendations go, if you’re looking for a romcom you can’t go wrong with Emily Henry’s steamy novel following the holiday romance between two co-workers. Having failed in all of her past relationships, Nora simply believes she is not destined for the type of love that she reads about in the books she edits but when she bumps into her work nemesis Charlie whilst on holiday with her sister her opinion might be swayed. Henry has two other fantastic romcoms out at the moment, You and Me on Vacation (2021) and Beach Read (2020), as well as one on the way this year entitled Happy Place. This book is packed to brim full of humour, snark and passion and whilst I could have easily recommended any of Henry’s books (so if you have time this summer read them all!) what makes this one such a stellar read is the subplots. Whilst Nora and Charlie’s story will leave you captivated, the growth and journey of Nora and her sister Libby as they navigated their own tangled lives in terms of family, grief and the world of work as well as how hard it is to be a woman in our world is what solidified this book as a five star read for me. This book will leave you somehow crying and smiling simultaneously as each of our characters find their own version of a happy ending.

By Holly Allwright


The Lido by Libby Page (2018)

Via Orion

For me, summer is all about swimming! There’s nothing I enjoy more than floating around a pool underneath the hot sun, and if I can’t do that, then I at least like to imagine I’m floating around a pool.

Initially, I was attracted to the front cover of Libby Page’s debut novel, which shows the beautiful blue ripples of the lido in which the novel is set. Our protagonist, Kate, is struggling through her twenties with her job and her mental health. She’s introduced to the Brixton based lido in order to interview 86-year-old Rosemary, who is protesting the closing down of the community pool. The pair become absolute besties as they campaign to keep the lido open, but for the both of them, the lido is so much more than a pool! It holds memories, friendship, and a new life.

This is such a joyous book to read and it’s so hard to put down! The characters are so realistic and you’re constantly rooting for them to find happiness and hope. It’s the perfect book to read by the pool on sunny days, or to imagine you’re by the pool on rainy days!

By Amy Scott-Munden


About Author

Deputy Editor and third year history student. Interested in all sorts but particularly film & TV history, lost media, fashion and literature.

Culture Editor 23/24

Editor in Chief 22/23 & Fundraising, Events, and Publicity Officer 21/22, and occasional Deputy Editor :)

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