Reading lists

Books to binge when you’re bored of Netflix

If you've been spending too many evenings sat in front of the TV, soaking up show after show and worrying your brain is turning to mush, why not turn to a wildly satisfying series of stories? As stimulating as they are entertaining, these are the books to binge when you want to switch off, settle down and be sucked into a new world for a while.

image of woman with book

The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella

Need some light relief, a rip-roaring good laugh and a friend who knows all the best shopping spots? Enter Becky Bloomwood, the star of the Shopaholic series and the character you'll want to spend all your time with. Described as "fiction's most famous fashionista", she's clever, creative and just has a tiny bit of a shopping habit that gets her into trouble. But when push comes to shove, her heart and head are in the right place - and she always puts friends and family first. No wonder she's the leading lady for so many book lovers, and has readers begging for sequel after sparkling sequel.

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Sometimes only an epic series will do; something to sweep you off your feet and take you to a faroff land. You may have loved the TV adaptation of Outlander, with its moody skies and rolling Scottish landscape, so why not immerse yourself in the stunning series of books on which it was based? As romantic as it is adventurous, it tells the story of Claire, who goes on honeymoon with her husband only to vanish into 1743, where she falls for another man. Caught between two lives and two loves, it's full of passion, action and suspense, and you'll never want to resurface from her world. We'd vote for the books over the TV series any day.    

Noughts & Crosses series by Malorie Blackman

If you watched the brilliant adaptation on the BBC and have a hankering to revisit the books, delve right back to Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses and follow the family feuds, broken hearts and social injustices that play out through the pages. It's a series full of love and hope as well as important political messages and action-packed scenes, and whilst it was written for young adults, it's as pertinent and entertaining to read as a grown-up. The end of the first book still reduces us to buckets of tears.

Loved Big Little Lies on screen? Itching to read something that captivates you, thrills you and shocks you, all at once? Race your way through Liane Moriarty's backlist, stories that shine with the complexities of families, friendships and the darker side that often entangles them. Who can you trust? Who is a friend? Who's trying to get ahead, and who is keeping secrets? They're glimmering, delicious crime stories with a relateable difference, and you'll want to devour them like chocolates in a box - all at once. They are all standalone novels, so there's no order you need to stick to - just pick whatever takes your fancy and you'll be sucked in from page one.

Riders series by Jilly Cooper

If you've not delved into the Rutshire Chronicles before, now is the prime time. Fun and flirty, they're full of sex, scandal, and show-jumping horse-riders, and are simply the height of page-turning entertainment. Set in the rolling fields of the Cotswold countryside, it follows rivals Jake and Rupert, their romances, and their personal feuds in and out of the show ring. With plenty of books in the series, you can stockpile to your heart's content and lose yourself in a world of glamour, wealth and the best kind of sizzling drama.

The Walsh family series by Marian Keyes

Nothing cheers us up like good ole’ Irish humour, and what better to take your mind off the world than losing yourself in Marian Keyes’ rip-roaringly hilarious Walsh family. From addict Rachel (SHE DOESN’T HAVE A PROBLEM), to dependable Maggie, these tales about five sisters as they navigate their interconnected lives will make you howl, and maybe weep from time to time. Just perfection.

The Aisling series by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

Sped through all the comedies that make your evenings brighter? Looking for something that lifts you spirits and your mood? Look no further than the series that follows everyone's new favourite heroine Aisling, a country girl navigating big city life. Full of laughs and surprises, reading this trilogy is like sinking into a warm bath filled with bubbles - comforting, wonderful and just what you needed.

The Rosie Project series by Graeme Simsion

This is something light, lovely and heart-tickling, all wrapped up in one warm hug of a trilogy. Don is a scientist. He likes order, and tests, and results. So when he devises a test to land himself the perfect wife, it doesn't make sense that he begins to have feelings for Rosie - the most incompatible woman. This is a series that'll fill you with light and laughter, and you won't notice the time as the hours slip by, so immersed are you in this unlikely but wonderful romance between two very different, but similarly unforgettable characters.

Want something deliciously dark to hook you in from the get go? Work your way through the glittering backlist of Lisa Jewell, with all her twisty, turny, crime thrillers packed with brilliantly believable characters. You can read them in any order, so start with whichever one catches your eye first, though we're big fans of Then She Was Gone, if that helps. Original, clever and utterly absorbing, you won't be able to tear your eyes from the pages. Entertainment at its best.

Love these books? Sign up to Page Turners

Be the first to hear about our ebook deals, great prizes and books we think you'll love

By signing up, I confirm that I'm over 16. To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more