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Sylvia Warren graduated from Oxford in biology, after diversions in precious metals, parasites, and archaeology. She now works for Blackwell’s as their University of Oxford Liaison.

Page Turner

Sylvia Warren

Summer holidays at last! The options seem endless; you may be planning a chic city break, an adventurous road trip, a lazy couple of weeks on a beach, or even a more homegrown form of holiday within the British Isles. One of the pure, unadulterated joys of a holiday is the chance to unwind with a book without guilt or time pressure, so I have curated a small selection for all of your travelling needs. I’m nice like that.

The Chic City Break

You have rented a stunning apartment in a capital city. There is coffee to be drunk in cafés, museums to visit, and clothes to purchase at exclusive boutiques. You need a new book that murmurs your sophistication to passersby, and makes everyone want to know you. Strange Heart Beating, the debut novel from Eli Goldstone, is a darkly witty examination of how well we know the people we love. The twists are arch, tongue firmly placed in cheek from the manner of the wife’s death to the descriptions of the widower husband. One of my favourite new books in several years.

The Road Trip

There is something to be said for going back to basics and picking up some Kerouac, but there is so much to the spirit of travel beyond the classics. With the great expanse of the open road, backwater diners, and a red sports car (because if you’re not going to do it properly then why do it at all?), The Girls (Emma Cline) is freshly out in paperback and will give you some free-wheeling excitement with a background of menace that is sun-drenched and gorgeous. Febrile and dark, it’s a pacy novel that delves into cults and their allure. You will be sucked in and one of ‘The Girls’ in no time.

Lazing on a Beach

Beach reads often can reach 1000 pages. Stretch out on a towel with some sun cream, and you have around five hours of pure bliss per day. I’ve taken the gorgeous Peter Frankopan’s The Silk Roads on holiday, but if world history written by a dapper prince isn’t your style, you could always pick up Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, which is currently being shown on Amazon Prime as a new series. The book is a new take on old stories, and is as full of sex, death, and intrigue as you could possibly want.

The Staycation

Why? Why are you doing this to yourself? I am, of course, assuming that you are camping in some damp tent in the middle of a field, not lounging in an exclusive spa (see: The Chic City Break). However, to cheer you up, there is the gloriously named Party Girls Die in Pearls, by Plum Sykes, a mystery with Pimm’s, punting, and ball gowns. It is more high drama and fashion than you will encounter with a sheep, so indulge yourself. And next time book a trip to the Bahamas.

- Sylvia Warren