The three best books to read on holidays and weekends that will completely captivate you.

There’s nothing better than flipping open that first page of a brand new book and falling head first into an unknown world packed with captivating characters.

However, life is way too short to waste your time on a bad book, so it’s always better to pick a winner up front and save yourself the heartache.

Here are the three books you must ensure to pack in your overnight bag the next time you head off on holidays. Or to devour this weekend.

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Terry Hayes is an Australian screenwriter known for the Mad Max films and Dead Calm.

He has turned his hand to international spy fiction in a grippingly good novel that spans the US, Europe, Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East. It is long and fast – you won’t be able to put it down and it will still last you at least a whole week, which saves on packing.

Listen: Best-selling author Marian Keyes speaks about her relationship, writing fiction, and a battle with depression that rocked her to her core. (Post continues…)

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

2017 was all about Margaret Atwood, with the lauded adaptations of both The Handmaid’s Tale and Alias Grace.

But this novel, set in the past rather than Atwood’s reproductive dystopian future, is a stand out. It follows sisters Laura and Iris, using the “story within a story” device and busting genres wide open.

Like a holiday on a holiday.


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Not only did this get shortlisted for pretty much every award going last year, Obama selected it as one of his favourites.

It is a character-driven family drama: Jojo, his mother, and the ghosts that haunt them as they road trip across America. Important and serious writing, and therefore easier to manage if there is a hopeful view in sight.

This list was complied by Philippa Donovan, a book scout for several film amd TV producers in Los Angeles, and is the founder of the Smart Quill consultancy for writers:

What's your favourite book to read on the weekend?