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Summer Time Reading

A selection of books for the beach by our feature editor, Jo Simms

One of the biggest luxuries we treat ourselves to during the summer holidays is time. Time to ourselves; the kind of time when you don’t have to keep an anxious eye on the clock.

And if you enjoy filling some of that time with the time to enjoy a good book, here are some ideas to load up your kindle, iPad or even walk into a bookshop and buy.

And remember there can never be enough time spent reading to your kids.


The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch.

The sixth in the incredible PC Peter Grant series. Been out for a while but arrives in paperback this summer. Magic is real, so of course the Met has a division to police magical crimes, in these gritty tales set in modern London. This compelling series begins with Rivers of London. Start at the beginning and be spellbound.


Blue: A Memoir, John Sutherland

More police drama but of the real kind: John Sutherland joined the Met in 1992 and fulfilled his teenage ambition, won awards and rose to become a highly respected senior officer.

But he suffered a major breakdown and battled with crippling depression. This book shows the best and worst of humanity; with searing honesty and humour it is a personal insight into what it is to be a police officer today.


How Not to Disappear, Clare Furniss 

Anyone who wrote press releases for Mayor of London Ken Livingstone is going to write one hell of a book. Fear not it isn’t a name-dropping political memoir but young adult fiction and already on  short and along lists for prizes. A pregnant teen and her gin-swilling great aunt in early stages of dementia go on a journey. Very funny, very sad, very readable.


Jane Austen at Home, Lucy Worsley

One of the nation’s best-loved authors in the hands of one of our favourite historians, so what’s not to like?

Lucy Worsley shows us a ‘behind the scenes’ in Austen’s home and life, examining the rooms and her possessions and the way home is used in her novels as a place of both pleasure and prison, revealing that Jane Austen was a passionate woman who fought for her freedom.


Peter’s Railway, Chris Vine

And finally for big kids of all ages with a special shout out to all the little girls who have never thought that they might like to grow up and be engineers. . . . .

We have featured before The Peter’s Railway series of books by local author Chris Vine, lovingly illustrated by John Wardle. These thrilling railway tales also have how-it-works sections woven into them.

There are five hardbacks, 12 paperbacks and an activity book to choose from, some of them especially written for the younger children. Visit