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Golden Boy Author Abigail Tarttelin’s Recommended Beach Reads


There’s nothing quite like going on holiday, and then once you’re there, escaping even further into a great book. So, in build up to this holiday season, we asked Golden Boy author Abigail Tarttelin for her recommended books for the beach this year. 

Without wanting to jinx anything, it seems like summer has finally hit England. For me, that means weekend breaks to the coast with minimal luggage, because I hate carrying bags and I love being smug about how little I’ve packed.

In my backpack are my shades, a bikini or two, a TOTM box, and my one caveat to minimalism: a stack of books. It’s strange to say, but as an author I don’t get much time to read, as I’m usually re-reading my next book to fix typos and plot holes! Holidays are my time to relax and get into a good book, and summer 2017 promises quite a few…



A Manual For Heartache by Cathy Rentzenbrink (Picador)

Tear-your-heart-apart reading from the author of The Last Act of Love. Rentzenbrink shares her experiences of suffering a tragic personal loss and offers ultimately uplifting advice on the journey of grief.



Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (Penguin)

The newest novel from Australian legend Liane Moriarty, whose Big Little Lies was recently made into a must-watch TV adaptation by HBO. A suburban barbecue turns deadly. Compulsive reading.



The Debutante and Other Stories by Leonora Carrington (Silver Press)

From new feminist publisher Silver Press comes this first complete edition of the extraordinary Carrington’s short stories. In The Debutante, said deb releases a hyena from the zoo to take her place at her coming-out ball.



Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan (Sceptre)

Yumi, 16, formerly of Tokyo, lives on her own in 1960s New York. Fifty years later, her son will confront his mother, who abandoned him as a child. This intelligent and beautifully written novel was recommended to me by indie bookshop Pages of Hackney.



The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (Walker Books)

A teenage girl is witness to the shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by police. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a political and important novel that is nevertheless accessible for YA readers.



Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster Children’s, UK)

Vengeance, faeries, and warriors abound in this follow up to Clare’s bestselling Lady Midnight. I’m not a fantasy nut, but I know many of you out there are. The Shadowhunters series (pitched towards a YA audience) is getting so much buzz at this point it is bee-hive-like.



The Dressing Up Dad by Maudie Smith and Paul Howard (Oxford University Press)

Danny and his Dad love to dress up, but when Danny asks his Dad to be normal for a day, he realizes how great it is to have a weird, fun-loving Dad. A beautiful and entertaining meditation on what it is to be different.


If you read any of these darlings, let me know what you think! I’m on all the usual social media, including Instagram @civilizedanimal and Twitter @abigailsbrain



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