This year our suitcases will be packed with the hottest books, including gripping thrillers, entrancing memoirs and books to help you explore the world. Head off on your holidays with a Penguin-endorsed read.
Ready Player One
Now a major motion picture by Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One follows teenager Wade Watts as he navigates a world ravaged by climate change and over-population. Society has turned to virtual reality to escape their daily life, and Wade must venture into this simulated world to find the key to unlock a brighter future for the human race. This novel is gripping and fun, with a sci-fi premise that will sometimes feel uncomfortably close to reality...
The President is Missing
President Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Combining James Patterson's characteristically tense writing with the kind of insider details only a former president could possibly know, The President is Missing will have you gripped from beginning to end. Taking place over an action-packed three days, this thriller imagines the impossible, but all too plausible: the disappearance of the most observed man on the planet. Shocking and often unnerving, this is the perfect read to accompany you on holiday.
America is a playground of contradictions: a young democracy with an outsize of amount of global power; a nation of immigrants that fiercely protects its borders; a world leader in engineering and science with an addiction to superstition and fantasy. In Fantasyland, Kurt Andersen looks at how the USA's renegade founding has led to the modern nation we now recognise, and how the contemporary phenomenon of fake news, conspiracy and Trumpism is nothing new, but in fact something baked deep into the country's inception.
From the author of A Man Called Ove comes this chilling and beautiful psychological thriller. In a small, isolated Swedish town being consumed by the forest that surrounds it, a chance arrives to break free from the darkness and make connections with the wider world. Tensions rise as the hopes of a whole community rest on a few shoulders, and the price of achieving big dreams starts to look too high to pay.
A Legacy of Spies
John le Carré
The Circus is back in town as le Carré returns with a new novel. Decades after the Cold War, the old guard are called back to London to answer for crimes and misdemenaours past at the hands of new MI6 blood. A writer who has mastered the art of the double-, triple- and quadruple-bluff runs rings around the reader as his characters revisit the past with recollections coloured by age and distance. This is a le Carré tale that stands easily alongside the author's most loved books.
Kings of the Yukon
Everyone dreams of escaping for the summer, and there's no more dramatic way to do it than hopping in a boat and heading down an Alaskan river. Adam Weymouth's lyrical journey down the Yukon captures 2,000 miles of incredible landscape and the people who depend on it to live. With salmon numbers down and the climate change dramatically altering conditions, this is a fascinating and beautiful look at how our modern world is changing the way we live.
Automation is one of the great concerns of the twenty first century. With the advent of driverless cars, automated warfare, and the loss of manufacturing jobs, the world is looking for solutions and in Life 3.0, Max Tegmark examines some of the pitfalls and opportunities of the growing role of artificial intelligence in our lives.
A lyrical coming-of-age memoir dripping with fear, ferocity and empowerment, Yrsa Daley-Ward describes growing up in the North West of England in a wholly original voice whilst somehow still managing to spark recognition in the heart of every reader. Confronting themes of addiction, sexuality, childhood, loss and identity, you’ll struggle to look away.
The Order of Time
Carlo Rovelli, read by Benedict Cumberbatch
From the bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons in Physics comes this enchanting journey to discover the meaning of time. In his inimitable style, Carlo Rovelli guides his readers through the physics of this elusive topic, whilst also looking at what time means to us a species. As he looks out to the wider universe, Rovelli also encourages us to look inwards to better understand this mysterious phenomenon.
How To Be Famous
Caitlin Moran, read by Louise Brealey
Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman was the introduction to feminism for many readers. Her humour, working class background and incredibly frank wit made her an unusual and very accessible channel for young women to work out their position in a patriarchal system. In How To Be Famous, Moran turns to her fictional alter-ego Johanna Morrigan to explore the strange world of fame. When she moves to London in the 90s to be a journalist, Johanna finds herself brushing up against power and notoriety and wondering whether, as a woman, she has what it takes to navigate a macho world that has torn down so many before her.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
This unforgettable novel starts with our hero, Cameron, thrown into emotional turmoil. Her parents have died suddenly, and a trauma that would sink most teenagers may be the key to her freedom as she embarks upon a sexual awakening. Unfortunately fate lands her with a conservative aunt in small-town Montana who's determined to 'fix' her niece's attraction to girls. A long-awaited film adaptation of this heartbreaking book is due out later this summer, so take your chance to read it before it hits the big screen.
The Lying Game
Ruth Ware's signature atmospheric style takes us to a cliffside town by the English Channel in The Lying Game. Four friends are reunited near to their old boarding school after the discovery of a body and a message that they all feared but hoped never to receive. As teenagers they would play 'the lying game', constructing tall tales to fool their teachers, but now they find themselves reckoning with their past, and the possibility that the game may have gone too far...