ELLE's summer reads

Want to know which books ELLE editors are packing for summer holidays? Read on for the full list...

MOST POPULAR

Alice Wignall, Features Director
I loved Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel. Like its prequel, Wolf Hall, it's a historical novel on a whole new level: intelligent, witty and totally engrossing. But, telling the story of the rapid fall from grace and eventual execution of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, it's even more fast-paced and—even though I knew the ending!—thrilling.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Natasha Pearlman, Deputy Editor
I am reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis. It's the true story of the banking crisis, which sounds really dull, but he is such a great writer that it's like reading a Raymond Chandler detective novel – the characters ooze glamour and recklessness. And apparently Brad Pitt has bought rights to the film.
MOST POPULAR

Hannah Swerling, Commissioning Editor
Don't be fooled by the girly cover—this isn't chick lit. It's not War and Peace either but The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice is one of my favourite books and an annual summer read. Set in post-war England in the 1950s, the story is about a young girl, Penelope Wallace, and the cast of eccentric and charming characters who populate her life. I won't tell you anything else other than that you must read it. It's a total delight.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Susie Wong, Deputy Chief Sub-Editor
I've just picked up The Chrysalids by John Wyndham after listening to the first half of a Radio 4 dramatisation. I read Wyndham's earlier book The Day of the Triffids and really enjoyed it and this tale of telepathic children in a post-apocalyptic world where genetic mutation is rife has got me hooked.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Emily Cronin, News Editor
I’m easily diverted by buzzed-about new books, but this summer, I’m committed to clearing my stack of longstanding mean-to-reads. Right now I’m onto two titles that couldn’t be more different: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which still sizzles with Truman Capote’s observations of a Holly Golightly who is so much more than the creature under Audrey Hepburn’s tiara; and Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class, Owen Jones’s exploration of a specific form of British social contempt.

Seamus Duff, Entertainment Editor
I re-read On the Road by Jack Kerouac in anticipation of the big-screen adaptation coming out this autumn starring Kristen Stewart, Garret Hedlund and Kirsten Dunst. I discovered a new appreciation for Kerouac's writing (I'd read it previously under duress for school) and he is a master of creating narrative that is easy to read yet incredibly layered. He does present a dreamy version of a forgotten America and I can't wait to watch the film.
MOST POPULAR

Andrew Falconer, Managing Editor
Despite being only halfway through the Collected Stories of Carol Shields, I am already completely smitten with her writing. Her low-key tales of everyday lives are tender, clever and often funny but all come with a subtle bite.

Laura Davies, Sub-Editor
This summer, I am determined to read Out of the Vinyl Deeps, which is a collection of rock critic Ellen Willis' columns for The New Yorker. Considered by many as the first iconic female music journalist, Willis was a groundbreaking free-thinker who wrote about Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Lou Reed, among many other musical legends. I hope to be inspired by her.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Georgia Collins, Deputy Beauty Editor
After re-reading The Great Gatsby in readiness for the film later this year, I was inspired to read more F Scott Fitzgerald. I've started with The Beautiful and Damned and have Tender is the Night lined up next. I love the Jazz Age era his books conjure up, they're full of the glamour, decadence and nostalgia of the time. Perfect summertime escapism.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Sara D’Souza, Travel Assistant
After getting through the frankly unputdownable Fifty Shades of Grey at record speed, I’m now going to be turning my attention to a few re-reads this summer. First up the wonderful On the Road by Jack Kerouac, which leaves me plotting out an American road trip every time I read it. Secondly, it’ll be Anna Karenina, and finally F.Scott Fitzgerald’s wonderful Great Gatsby. All three are coming out as films over the coming year—I can’t wait. Then that leaves next year to keep guessing who will play Anastasia and Christian in the film version of Fifty Shades. Perfect.

Natalie Wansbrough-Jones, Senior Fashion Editor
Both autobiographies of Issy Blow—one by her husband and the other by her former assistant. I loved reading about a moment of fashion which I think is gone now, when it was pure extravagance and revolution, less controlled by budgets and fear of recession. These books also reminded me what a visionary Issy Blow was, especially for cultivating pure talent. And the two very different viewpoints in the books were interesting too.

Suzanne Scott, Beauty Writer
I'm reading the second book in the Game of Thrones series: A Clash of Kings. It's totally addictive. I was initially reluctant to start with the series, thinking it was something along the lines of Lord of The Rings (so not my kind of thing) but after hearing so many amazing reviews I started out watching the TV series. I was totally lost in the story and the books are (if possible) even more compelling. These are huge books mind, definitely not light holiday reading.

Alice Parfrement, Acting Editorial Assistant
If you want a book that completely envelops you to the extent that you can vividly see and hear the characters as you’re reading the printed words on the page, The Secret History by Donna Tartt is that kind of book. It’s dark, it’s mysterious, it’s romantic. Perfection versus harsh reality—my all-time favourite book, it’s falling apart!
MOST POPULAR

Julia Shutenko, Fashion Intern
I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey now (who doesn't), but would love to recommend A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke. I read it in one go recently and enjoyed every page! A very well-written funny take on Paris and all things French! The title says it all…

See the team on the What ELLE Wears blog

Read Next: