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The Bookends Summer Staycation 2021 | What is your ultimate summer reading set-up?

It’s that time again! We’re kicking off this week’s Bookends Summer Staycation blog posts by asking a few of Hodder’s, Headline’s and Quercus’ hottest authors what their ultimate summer reading set-up is (drinks, food, place, weather). Check out what they had to say below…


Kate Sawyer, author of The Stranding

I love the sun and warm weather. But I am particularly fond of lying on the beach in the late afternoon as the sun starts to lose its heat so you can lie in it without shade and you can have a drink and read your book and maybe a little snooze. The most memorable places I’ve experience that dreamy feeling are Greece, Croatia, Brazil and Mexico. But I think Mexico, Tulum particularly, pips it and that’s because of the food. Margaritas and tacos with the sun going down over and the warmth of it still on your salty skin? Heaven.


Jill Mansell, author of And Now You’re Back

I’m quite finicky and easily distracted, so insects are my mortal enemies. The great thing about cruises is that you can read outside and be unbothered by flies, ants, wasps and mosquitos – it’s a real joy. I’d like an ice-cold lager, please, a bottomless bag of unflavoured crisps (no, not even salt,) a really comfortable sun lounger and a giant sunshade. Failing that, my bed.


Rosanna Ley, author of The Orange Grove

A glass of chilled dry white wine and a glass of sparkling water, a handful of almonds, a comfortable (back-rest) rock near to the sea, sunshine, warmth, quiet and tranquillity. The place would be a deserted cove – with no sunbeds – in Italy.


Harriet Walker, author of The Wedding Night

My perfect holiday looks a lot like the one in The Wedding Night, but with fewer plot twists: beautiful French farmhouse, a pool, fresh croissants, cheese, Pernod and dazzling sunlight – and a parasol for me to hide under!


Ruth Druart, author of While Paris Slept

Crisp white wine, calamari, on the beach, lying on the sand in the sun at the end of the day.