What we can read on our holidays

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Steve Pitts

39 Days of Gazza

Recommended by Scott Inglis

Poor Kettering thought they’d pulled off a seismic coup when they managed to attract former England international to be their new manager. Sadly what followed were 39 days of absolute mayhem as Gazza’s personal demons hit their peak while at the club.

Dan Brown


Recommended by Paul Cardwell

‘Inferno’ is the latest book from the author of ‘The Da Vinci Code’. It rejoins Robert Langdon as he travels the world trying to solve riddles and puzzles this time to save the world from another terrifying threat. It’s another thrill a minute, page turning, can’t put down read.

Jonas Jonasson

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

Recommended by Paul Cardwell

Allan Karlsson, an old people’s home resident, is about to turn 100 and is waiting for the party he never wanted, so decides to escape. Slowly he climbs out of his bedroom window and begins a crazy journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. A best seller across Europe.

Iain Banks

Walking On Glass

Recommended by Paul McCabe

An apposite choice given the author’s untimely passing this week. In this, one of his earlier books, three different stories are told and slowly begin to intertwine. It’s a great mix of sci-fi and real life with lots of Banks’ trademark black humour and unsettling horror. One of his best.

Danny Baker

Going To Sea In A Sieve: The Autobiography

Recommended by Paul McCabe

The memoirs of the writer, journalist and DJ and TV presenter. From his early days as the co-creator of legendary punk fanzine ‘Sniffin’ Glue’, to working for the NME, before finding himself on TV, this book, like the man himself, is fascinating, insightful, articulate and very, very funny.

Amy Waldham


Recommended by Allan Crow

The best post 9-11 book so far tells the story of a competition to create a peace garden where the Twin Towers once stood. All entries are anonymous, and the judging panel unites around one - only to discover the architect is a Muslim. The news leaks, a political firestorm is whipped up and lives are changed forever.

Chad Harbach

The Art Of Fielding

Recommended by Allan Crow

A book about baseball with requires no knowledge of America’s sport of glorified rounders.

In truth it’s about relationships - the star protege and his coach, the university principal and a young lover, and a broken marriage all on one campus with the fall-out impacting on many lives as well as the team riding high in the leagues.

John Lancaster


Recommedned by Allan Crow

Lancaster’s stunning novel is set in a London street where the only link to each house is the card pushed through the doors stating ‘‘we want what you have.’’

A prank or something more sinister? Each chapter tells the reaction of a different resident and how it impacts on their lives.

Some characters are linked, but most simply share the same street. A fascinating glimpse of human life ...

Marina Lewycka

Two Caravans

Recommended by Jerzy Morkis

Lewycka’s second novel focuses on the comradeship – and chaos – of a small group of strawberry pickers in Kent.

Poles, Chinese, Ukranians and a Malawian, not forgetting a Russian gangster, combine in an absurd but highly perceptive and touching adventure.

And it will probably put you off eating battery-reared chicken for life.

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan

Recommended by Brendan McHugh

The book that ended the career of 4-Star General Stanley McChrystal who was the US Commander in Afghanistan when it was published. Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings was granted full access to the General and unlike many in the press pack that follow US forces abroad, Hastings reported on everything he witnessed, warts and all.

Simon Spence

The Stone Roses:War and Peace

Recommended by Brendan McHugh

This hugely impressive book was all but complete when the band announced their shock reunion. Based on 400 hours of interviews with those closest to the notoriously media-shy band, this is the definitive account of how four working class lads from Manchester formed a group that appeared at one point to have the world at their feet.

Pete Townshend

Who Am I

Recommended by Neil Henderson

Fifty years ago his band sang ‘I hope I die before I get old’ and now The Who’s guitarist is old ... and still with us. Pete attempts to bare his soul in a frank and incredibly in-depth account of his life, loves, and breakdowns while being the leader of arguably the greatest rock & roll band in the world.

Rod Stewart

Rod: The Autobiography

Recommended by Debbie Clarke

I found the Scottish rocker’s autobiography a fascinating read. As well as being witty and humorous in places I also found the part about his love for current wife Penny and his large family to be very touching.

Patricia Dishon

The Delaneys of Edinburgh

Recommended by Mike Delaney

Okay, a bit of nepotism here, as the author is my big sister, but, leaving that aside, this is a rattling good historical novel based on the true story of three children (my great uncle and aunts) who were abducted by a Victorian ‘philanthropist’ and hidden in Canada.

Their Dad (my great-grandfather) embarks on an epic legal battle to have them returned. Does he succeed? - get the book and find out, but I warn you that most people who have read it have cried...

Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

Recommended by Tanya Scoon

One of the best thrillers I have read in a long time with a real tense build up that means you just won’t be able to put it down.

When a man’s wife goes missing on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary he is desperate to find her. But the investigation reveals a marriage which wasn’t quite as it seemed...

Peter May

The Chessmen

Recommended by Tanya Scoon

Fin McLeod is out of the police force and has been appointed head of security on a private estate on Lewis, appointed with the task of investigating a spate of illegal hunting. He is reunited with an old school friend, but things take a sinister turn when the past comes back to haunt them.

This is the third in the Lewis trilogy by May, and possibly the best.

Dawn French

Oh dear, Silvia

Recommended by Lori Cormack

In her second work of fiction, we learn about Silvia through the people who visit her bedside, from the ex-husband who hates her to the off-her-head sister.

But was it just an accidental fall? Or could there be a darker reason why she plunged from her balcony?

Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go

Recommended by Lori Cormack

Perhaps not your classic summer holiday read, but I promise this will have you rooted to the sun lounger all day.

Follow the lives of Ruth, Tommy and Kathy, from their early days at their seemingly normal boarding school ‘Hailsham’ protected by the ‘guardians’ to The Cottages in Norfolk, and finally, their time to ‘donate’. A beautiful story of everything normal in love and friendship, set against a very abnormal background.

Dr Coleman C. Hatfield

The Feuding Hatfields and McCoys

Recommended by Gordon Holmes

A riveting account of one of America’s most famous family feuds which lasted more than 20 years in the latter part of the 19th century. As well as the first hand accounts of the incidents which sparked the conflict, what makes this particularly fascinating is the large collection of photographs which give a face to those involved. Recommended for all those interested in American history.

Christopher Brookmyre

Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks

Recommended by Gordon Holmes

A blistering attack on the world of false psychics and spiritual hoaxers that appeals to my healthy cynical nature. In part an old fashioned murder mystery with a great central character in world-weary journalist (is there any other kind?) Jack Parlabane, it is also a damning comment on belief and false idols that really hits its mark. Brookmyre isn’t for everyone but those with open minds will certainly be entertained.

Michael Morpurgo

War Horse

Recommended by Kevin McRoberts

A book I borrowed from my son, it’s a First World War story with a difference which was turned into a movie last year. It tells the story of a remarkable friendship between a horse Joey and a young boy Albert. They are forcefully parted when Joey is “called up” by the British cavalry and is shipped to France where he gets caught up in enemy fire and ends up serving both sides.

Mary Roach


Recommended by Maggie Millar

The journalist and bestselling author of Stiff writes in her trademark ‘gutsy’ style in this laugh-out-loud exploration of the alimentary canal. Did Elvis really die of constipation? What do laundry detergent and saliva have in common? Note: read before coming down with Delhi-belly abroad...

Thomas Berger


Recommended by Ralph Mellon

This corrosive black comedy tells of mild-mannered suburbanite Earl Keese, whose quiet life is shaken up by the arrival next door of bizarre, destructive and lunatic neighbours. A great read made into a rather disappointing movie.

Duncan Hamilton

Provided You Don’t Kiss Me

Recommended by Scott Inglis

This book didn’t pick up the William Hill award for no reason. Offering an eye-opening insight into one of the most charismatic football managers of all time, it charts, in intimate detail, the many high and lows of the legendary Brian Clough.

The Golf Omnibus

Recommended by Jerzy Morkis

Visit the clubhouse and the world of golf in the company of ‘The Oldest Member’.

A huge collection of warm and silly tales where the path of true love never run straight... and neither do your drives and iron shots.

Wodehouse is immensely readable and the world he creates is one of the nicest you could possible wish to escape to – even if you don’t know the difference between a spoon and a mashie niblick.

Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle

The Secret Race

Recommended by Neil Henderson

The award-winning and utterly mind-boggling story of Tyler Hamilton, who takes us deep inside the secret world of professional cycling and his years as seven times Tour De France winner - Lance Armstrong’s team mate. Hamilton and Coyle lift the lid on one of sports biggest ever scandals and in doing so provided me with a book I just couldn’t put down.

Dawn French

Dear Fatty

Recommended by Debbie Clarke

Dawn French is one of the greatest comedy actresses of our time with a career that has spanned nearly three decades. This book takes us through her career from the beginning - the highs and the lows. If you are looking for a giggle this summer Dawn French is guaranteed to provide lots of laughs. Her autobiography is warm and very well written - I couldn’t put this one down.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Team Of Rivals

Recommended by Mike Delaney

The book that inspired the hit Steven Speilberg movie, ‘Lincoln’, is sub-titled ‘The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln’ and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. Marvel at how the man in the stove pipe hat kept his friends close and his enemies closer as he helped preserve the United States of America from falling apart.

Ronald Reng

A Life too Short:The Tragedy of Robert Enke

Recommended by Kevin McRoberts

A biography about Hannover 96 captain and Germany goalie Robert Enke, who committed suicide in November 2009, the book particularly focused on Enke’s terrible struggle with depression. The 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, it’s eloquent and sensitive story and an excellent and moving piece of writing.

Philip Norman

Mick Jagger

Recommended by Maggie Millar

This serious tome from respected biographer Philip Norman is an exhaustive chronicle of Jagger’s life and extraordinary career with the Stones - but a gossipy, quick read too. Despite his hell-raising image, Jagger was a canny operator except, perhaps, in his high-profile relationships with Marianne, Bianca, Jerry et al.

Michael Hartmann

Game For Vultures

Recommended by Ralph Mellon

A rattling good adventure yarn set in the former Rhodesia, blending black freedom fighters, white smugglers, guerilla warfare, and sanction-defying deals to acquire 50 ex-army helicopters, which could be the difference between brutal victory and bloody defeat. Plenty of action amid the glimpses into Africa’s colonial past, and the setting gives it a dark, nasty edge. Stick with the book and avoid the appalling film version with Richard Harris.