It's June (how did that happen?!) which means it's time to get your Kindle loaded up with great books and then spend the rest of summer lazing the days away bookworming your way through them all on a tropical beach (or if you're not travelling further than your local park this year, curled up on a sun-dappled picnic blanket).
Lucky for you lot, we've spent the past few months speed-reading through a whole host of literary lovelies - some old, some new - and have geekily compiled a list of our favs for your summer reading pleasure. Downloading fingers at the ready...
Man At The Helm - Nina Stibbe
We raved about Nina Stibbe's, Love Nina, back in October and have been dying to read her debut novel, Man at the Helm, ever since. Set in a rural village in the 70s, Man at the Helm is told through the eyes of nine year old Lizzie who, after her father runs off with a male colleague from work, sets about trying to find her pretty, bohemian mother a new husband and a new man at the helm for their family. Sharp and funny with all the charm of Love Nina and some great one-liners.
How To Lose A Girl In 10 Ways - Sean Smithson
This little gem popped up on our Kindle suggested reads list and had such good Amazon reviews that we decided to give it a go. A compilation of true tales about a hapless twenty-something and his hilariously awful attempts to womanise his way around London. Toecurlingly entertaining.
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
This pacy pageturner is guaranteed to have you gripped from the very first page. When an Elvis & Audrey fancy dress School quiz night descends into murder, secrets come spilling out and every tribe at the school gate has their take on what happened but who killed who and why...?
The Two of Us - Andy Jones
Sweet, funny and heartbreaking, The Two of Us is an offbeat romance about a couple who meet, fall for each other and mistakenly end up pressing the fast forward button straight to sprogged-up, well-worn domesticity before they've even said 'I love you'.
The Wrong Knickers - Bryony Gordon
A book that starts with a one night stand that ends in a pair of someone else's knickers being thrown at them by a particularly ungallant man, was always going to be a favourite. Bryony Gordon takes us on a romp through her chaotic, vodka-soaked twenties via a string of wholly unsuitable men and cover-your-eyes-awkward anecdotes - read it and feel a little less shamed about your own less than perfect start to adult life.
Bittersweet - Miranda Beverly-Whitmore
We raced through this addictive tale of ordinary Mabel Dagmar caught in the glamorous web of her blue-blooded college roommate, Genevra Winslow. Mabel is saved from a drab summer of drudgery to spend long, languorous days at the Winslow estate where sun-soaked sailing trips and moonlit picnics shimmer mirage-like in front of a tangled seething mass of dark secrets.
The Day We Disappeared - Lucy Robinson
We're not sure we've read a romantic mystery before, but this is fantastically good and compulsively readable. Chock full of ballsy girls and knee-weakeningly good looking men, the Day We Disappeared has a twisty turny plot that'll keep you guessing until the end.
Not That Kind of Girl - Lena Dunham
This collection of essays by Girls' writer/director/star has been on our must read list since it came out to rave reviews last autumn. Candid, hilarious, cringeworthy and empowering all at once - this is brilliant, unsettling stuff.
Confessions of a Fashionista - Angela Clarke
This book had us at the subtitle - the good, the bad and the botox... A behind the scenes peek into the crazy-ridiculous world of fashion where everyone calls everyone Darling and miniature dogs fly first class. Perfect beach fluff.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves - Karen Joy Fisher
Short-listed for the Manbooker Prize, this novel tells the story of Rosemary and her dysfunctional family all trying to overcome the trauma of the disappearance of Rosemary's sister Fern. A quirky, bright read that'll have you thinking on it long after you close the back cover.
The Girl On The Train - Paula Hawkins
Pretty much every review we've read about this book has proclaimed it 'this year's Gone Girl'. Which really just means it's a dark thriller with a light sprinkling of murder that will keep you up into the small hours trying to work out what the hell happened. For fear of spoiling it, we're not saying anything more than it's better than Gone Girl and should be top of your beach reading list (but don't expect to sleep til you've finished it).
Never Mind - Edward St Aubyn
Beautiful, lyrical and deeply disturbing, Never Mind isn't even vaguely like anything else on this book list, but it might just be our favourite. This is the first in a series of books that revolve around the central character who, throughout the summer's afternoon documented in Never Mind is a five year old boy. Wry comic portraits of English upper class stereotypes sit nonchalantly beside harrowing blackness.