16 books to read this summer, as recommended by mums


Once upon a time I used to take a huge pile of books on holiday with me and read them all. Often I’d get through a book in a day while lounging by the pool or at the beach. I used to be such a book worm… I was in a book club and everything. It’s not so easy to find time to read these days with three young children; I only seem to read children’s books. My kids have made a list of things they want to do this summer, so I thought I’d do the same. Top of the list is to read at least three ‘grown up’ books. But which ones to choose?  

I asked my parent blogger friends for recommendations for good holiday reads and this is what they said. Have you read any of these? Any others you’d recommend?

Let me know in the comments below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page, or you can tweet me on @cardiffmummy  



The Taming of the Queen and The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

“I love Philippa Gregory and her Tudor fiction books. The Taming of the Queen and the Other Boleyn Girl are my favourites. I love her writing style & Henry VIII fascinates me.”

Rhi of Toy Infinity 

“I love Philippa Gregory books. Easy to read but I get totally engrossed! I find the Tudor period fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed reading The Taming of The Queen recently.”

Jo of Cup of Toast

Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“It’s a feel good tale of a grumpy old man and how he touches the lives of others around him. It’s one of the best books I’ve read.”



Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

“I recommend it to everyone. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll look at life so differently, but you’re guaranteed to love it! It’s my absolute favourite.

Laura of Five Little Doves 


No and Me by Delphine de Vigan

“I absolutely love this story, it’s not too long but so unusual in content. It’s adorable. It’s an unusual story about a really smart little girl who struggles with her parents and family life in general. She meets a homeless girl and they become best friends. I found the way it is written really soothing, charming and sweet in its nature.”

Alice of Living With A Jude

The Seven Sisters Series by Lucinda Riley

“I love the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley. It’s so hard to combine her feel for historical fiction with modern day drama, but she does it effortlessly. Each book takes you in a new direction, but ties back to the heart of the tale seamlessly – so compelling. ” 

Siobhan of Pass The Wine Please blog

I See You/ I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh 

Both are fantastic page turners. I couldn’t believe the second book was just as addictive as the first. They’re both ‘thrillers’ but written with such reflection of life. 

Debbie of An Organised Mess

To Kill The President by Sam Bourne / Where I Lost Her by T Greenwood

“I’ve just finished the new Sam Bourne thriller To Kill The President. If you like a really good thriller where you really don’t know how it’s going to end then you’ll love this one. I’m also in the middle of reading Where I Lost Her by T Greenwood. It’s another gripping read which has been keeping me up late at night.”

Mary of Over 40 and a Mum to One

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

“I read this on the beach and kept laughing out loud. It’s so funny, sad and uplifting at the same time.” 

Debbie of My Boys Club

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“This is so absorbing, a brilliant story and has such depth to the characters. I liked it so much I was compelled to read passages out loud to my hubby.”

Awaybies Kids 


The Last Piece of My Heart by Paige Toon

“I’ve just finished the new Paige Toon – The Last Piece of My Heart. It’s a great easy read, perfect for sitting by the pool relaxing.” 

Angela of The Life of Spicers


Memory, Sorrow and Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams

If you are a fan of epic fantasy (think Game of Thrones) then I would recommend Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy.  Start with the Dragonbone Chair.  I love this series and the good news is that he is writing more (the first books came out over 20 years ago). 

Nikki of www.yorkshirewonders.co.uk

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

“I enjoyed this. It’s about three women who know each other from the school gate. Their lives are interconnected and we follow their ups and downs, but we only find out which one of them paid with their life at the end.”

Erica of  Toothbrush Packed  

Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland

“It’s a really girly book all about the struggles of being a single parent and not fitting in with the school mums. By the end I wanted to be bffs with the lead character. A real fun, uplifting book – perfect reading material for lazing in the sun.”

Beth of Twinderelmo

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

“It’s such a grower of a book and utterly heartbreaking. I went into it with a bit of a sceptical mind and was bawling my eyes out by the end. It’s about a teenage girl who wakes up on the same day every morning and has to figure out what’s happening. Along the way she discovers what’s important in life…”

Kelly of Kelly Allen Writer

Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan

“I’ve just finished this. It’s a perfect holiday read. Sarah has a way of writing that makes you want to keep reading and find out what happens next and makes you feel like your part of the storyline. It’s a fab holiday romance.” 

Rebecca of Mum of 3 Boys

The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

“From the first pages I was drawn into the story. It’s an emotional thriller about a woman named Jacks whose marriage she thought was perfect. One day though a police officer arrived at her door to tell her that her husband was killed in a car crash, along with another woman. The other woman’s husband turns up at Jacks’ door one day and together they embark on a journey to discover the truth, but there’s a plot twist, which I wasn’t expecting at all!”

Emily of www.twinmummyanddaddy.com

I let my destination inspire me!

“I love reading books set in the country we’re visiting. On honeymoon I read two books about Cuba – Es Cuba, by Lea Aschkenas, and another that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of! While I was in Italy I read See Naples and Die, by Penelope Green, and I Love Capri, by Lindsay Kelk (she’s written a few books based in different places). I like finding out a bit more about where we are and feel like I can’t put the book into context. You can’t go wrong with some Belinda Jones or Sophie Kinsella if you’re after something easy to read.”

Alana of  Baby Holiday 



If you like the sound of any of these books then perhaps you would consider buying them using the links below.  I am a member of Amazon Associates, an affiliate scheme. If you purchase after using these links I’ll receive a very small fee, which will be used to help maintain this site.

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5 Comments to 16 books to read this summer, as recommended by mums

  1. An Organised Mess

    Oh I love this, it’s a shopping list! This afternoon I was complaining to my husband that I had no books to read – thank you for solving that problem.

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