The sweetest moment for any book-lover heading abroad is surely that moment when you load up your Kindle with a handful of fresh new reads at the airport.
And hand-in-hand with that comes the inevitable let-down when you discover that said books don’t live up to the hype.
Granted, it’s a first world problem but no-one wants to spend three hours of their precious time off wading through a novel that’s supposed to be good, only to give up on it entirely.
Read more: 10 ways to face the fear, by Ed Stafford
To make a holiday truly sing, you want something addictive and brilliant: the kind of compulsive page-turner that will keep you absorbed through a five-hour stopover in Dubai airport, or a story to reel you in on a never-ending bus trip across the foothills of Guatemala.
Everyone’s taste is different but below we’ve listed three best-selling books that you are almost guaranteed to gallop through in the space of a single day. Smooth as a mango lassi to read and mouth-wateringly moreish, they’re exactly what you need to set your next adventure alight:
The gritty memoir
Hilarious and horrifying, Adam Kay’s graphic account of his career as a junior doctor on the front-line of NHS gynaecology is not for the fainthearted. With mishaps gushing forth like the bodily fluids Kay so candidly evokes, this is the kind of addictive read you both can’t put down and wish that you could.
Expect to laugh, cry and possibly vomit as much as the poor women on the labour ward in a compulsive story that lays bare the true force of human nature and – in more serious moments – the critical challenges faced by a beleaguered NHS.
The unlikely rom com
Gail Honeymoon’s smash-hit debut novel is a love story of an entirely unexpected ilk. Eleanor Oliphant, the pedantic and old-fashioned protagonist, lives a humdrum life – disliked by her colleagues and largely isolated. Then a chance encounter shared with the bumbling Ray, the IT guy, changes everything.
Sparks don’t fly, romance doesn’t blossom: this is about an unlocking of love in a far wider context and what happens when someone is coaxed to reach beyond their physical and mental scars. It’s brought to life by a moving, laugh-out-loud dialogue that is nothing short of riveting.
The heart-wrenching drama
If you love epic, sweeping sagas, look no further than the latest offering from master storyteller Chris Cleave. Set in London and Malta during World War II, this is no whimsical drama. Each new chapter is packed with raw, blistering narrative that drives home the true horror of conflict in unsentimental terms.
Prepare for a rollercoaster ride as you follow a cast of beautifully imagined characters to their destinies, via friendship, betrayal and random acts of devastation. We defy you not to romp through the pages of this one late into the night, as you’re left sobbing into your Kindle.