5 books to discover this year

There’s nothing better than relaxing with a good book. Whether you’re a bedtime reader, tucked under the covers, someone who enjoys curling up, book in hand on the sofa, or even stretched out in the bath, it’s the perfect fix for frazzled minds.

Reading is a great way to add a healthy balance to your daily activities too. From creating an alternative to screen time and boosting your bedtime routine, to calming the mind. Figures point to 1 in 4 suffering from mental health problems in the UK. So, it’s important to recognise that taking care of our body and mind are not mutually exclusive. Activities like walks and meditation can help, but so can reading.

Finding the right book for you is all it takes. And on that note, let’s delve into the must-read books for this year, and see where your reading journey could take you.

The Foundling – Stacey Halls

Set in the mid-18th century, this gripping read follows mother, Bess Bright, as she tracks her lost, illegitimate daughter. Leaving her daughter in care as an infant, she returns to bring her home years later, only to discover someone has already taken her.

Full of twists and turns, this enthralling read is from the bestselling author of The Familiars. With an imaginative, well-researched backdrop and captivating characters, it’s sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Here We Are – Graham Swift

Magician Ronnie and his assistant Evie are pulling in huge crowds every night in this comic yet revealing study on the human condition. Set in 1959 in Brighton, the lives of both characters collide over one summer with compere, Jack.

An intimately drawn character study packed with surprises, this is one read that will take you through a journey of intrigue, thrills and laughter. And all to the brilliantly drawn 1950’s Brighton setting.

Topics of Conversations – Miranda Popkey

If you like something a little more controversial to spice up your reading set, try this risqué book by Miranda Popkey. Subjects hop from shame to infidelity as women reveal their innermost fears, regrets and desire to an unnamed narrator.

Written as conversations between women, this only adds to an intimate feel of the subjects being discussed. And nothing is off-limits. From self-sabotage to motherhood, it lifts the curtain on the realities of being a woman in a modern age.

My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell

When it comes to thrillers shot through with dark undertones and complex subject matters, My Dark by Kate Elizabeth Russell delivers big. The author’s debut runs through the questionable lines between consent and sexual abuse to see just how our minds can distort the facts over time.

In it, the main character, Vanessa, mentally walks through a love affair she had with her teacher at aged 15. Now accused by another student of historical sexual abuse, she is faced with the reality that her experience may not have been one of innocent love. This sense of confusion and complexity makes for a compelling read.

Grown Ups – Marian Keyes

We can always expect good things from bestselling author Marian Keyes. In her 2020 novel, Grown Ups, we explore the intricacies of the Casey family. A melting pot of beautiful people, extended family politics and superficial happiness, this has all the classic intrigue of a Keyes’ novel.

Despite a happy front, each family member has their secrets. And when Cara Casey experiences a head injury an unfortunate side effect is that she reveals her innermost thoughts. It’s this that leads to each family member questioning the reality of their seemingly happy existence.