Rhythmic crashes of gentle waves are the soothing soundtrack to a day spent lounging poolside, soaking up the sizzling sun on a summer cruise. Ice-cold cocktails are on hand to keep you cool and you deserve to enjoy a guilt-free day drinking them, after spending the morning at a spinning class. Tonight there may be dancing, but right now you want to get completely lost in another world – you are on a cruise after all. With so many holiday reads out there it can be tricky to pick out which fantasy to transport yourself into. Here are some suggestions, both old and new, to consider before hitting the bookshops…

The hotly anticipated read

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones needs no introduction as Helen Fielding brings our favourite self-deprecating and hilarious heroine back for a third installment. Now a widow with two children, there will be laughter and tears for fans catching up on Bridget’s latest diary entries on life after Mr Darcy.

The chick-lit favourite

Rachel’s Holiday, Marian Keyes

Rachel is on holiday, but not the same luxury type that you’re on. This is a story about 27-year-old Rachel Walsh who finds herself being checked into a Dublin rehab clinic – where she believes a life of glamour and celebrities await. But will she find it?

With a love interest to boot, Keyes’ honest, humorous and bestselling story-telling is at its best.

The soon-to-be Hollywood film

The Fault in Our Stars, John Green

Perfect if you want a weepy one; The Fault in Our Stars is a multi-million bestseller that’s made its way onto the big screens this year. Before you go and see it (if you haven’t already) back on dry land, read the emotional story of terminally-ill teenager Hazel who meets a cancer survivor that changes her world.

The autobiography

Hard Choices, Hilary Clinton

If non-fiction is more your thing, then get seriously motivated with Hilary Clinton’s autobiography. Clinton talks about her crises, choices and challenges faced during the years spent as America’s 67th Secretary of State, the epitome of girl (or woman) power.

The romantic one

One Lavender Ribbon, Heather Burch

Lose yourself in lust with this tale of divorcee Adrienne Carter, who throws herself into the restoration of an old beach house in sunny southern Florida, and finds a stack of wartime love letters in a tin box hidden in the attic. Carter soon finds herself not wanting to give up on love, and so will you.

The classic

With so much time to relax, why not finally read that classic you’ve always liked the sound of? Dig out the dusty copy that is no doubt lying on your bookshelf and bring it on-board. From Jane Austen to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Robert Louis Stevenson, read about great romances or seafaring to really get you into the spirit of life on the ocean waves.

Cruises create perfect opportunities to fully unwind and rejuvenate the mind. With electronic tablets and Kindles being used as more practical alternatives to books, reading is the perfect way to complete your cruise experience. Just be sure to top up your suntan lotion before turning to the next chapter. There are even some ships with book clubs, so you can chat about great literary works with likeminded travellers.

What books are you taking away this summer? Tell us about them in the comments!

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