Bookends Beach Party | David Nicholls, Sheila O’Flanagan and Beth O’Leary share which of their characters they would take on holiday!

Bookends Beach Party | David Nicholls, Sheila O’Flanagan and Beth O’Leary share which of their characters they would take on holiday!

Each week this summer, we’re asking some of our favourite authors to share their summer essentials. This week, David NichollsSheila O’Flanagan and Beth O’Leary tell us which characters from their books they would whisk away for a summer trip…

Beth O’Leary, author of The Flatshare

Ooh, interesting question! I think I’d like Leon to take me to Ireland. We both have Irish roots (though mine are more distant than Leon’s!) and I would love to explore that side of my family with someone who knows Ireland well. Plus I think Leon would be great to travel with: he’d want his own space, he’d be nice and quiet on the plane so you could read your book, and if you, say, sprained your ankle while swimming in the sea, well, he’d be able to carry you to shore…

Sheila O’Flanagan, author of Her Husband’s Mistake

Interesting question! I think Juno, from The Hideaway, is more like me than some of my other characters so we might have fun together. I know she’s a big fan of Spain since she found her summer hideaway in the orange groves of Valencia, so I’d bring her to the beautiful Basque country and the town of San Sebastián which is one of the loveliest places in the world.

David Nicholls, author of Sweet Sorrow

Well, not Douglas from Us – we’re too alike. Probably Emma in One Day. She wouldn’t insist on laying in the midday sun.

Bookends Beach Party | We ask three of our authors what they get up to on their holidays!

Bookends Beach Party | We ask three of our authors what they get up to on their holidays!

Each week we’ll be asking some of our favourite authors to share their summer essentials – from holiday routines to travel bucket lists. Next up, we have Sheila O’FlanaganDavid Nicholls and Beth O’Leary revealing what they normally get up to on their summer holidays…

Sheila O’Flanagan, author of Her Husband’s Mistake

I do a lounging beach holiday every two years and the rest of the time I prefer city breaks. My favourite beach is in Antigua, in the Carribbean and my favourite city (after Dublin of course) is Madrid.

David Nicholls, author of Sweet Sorrow

I’m usually on the beach, furiously wishing I was in a city. It’s really not the best environment for me – after you’re tired of swimming, what are you meant to DO? It’s too bright to read, too hot to sleep. I’d much rather be dodging traffic and peering at a map.

Beth O’Leary, author of The Flatshare

I’m much more of a lounger, myself. Every summer, my family go to stay in the same house in France for a week, and we pretty much do nothing but catch up, read and eat (a LOT). It’s a chance to reboot and reconnect with my siblings, who I love to pieces but don’t get to see as often as I’d like. I can’t wait.

And don’t forget your tickets for our Bookends Girls’ Night In, a summery evening of great books and goodies, in partnership with Prima and Sanctuary Spa!

Haute Covers: beautiful book covers paired with runway looks

Haute Covers: beautiful book covers paired with runway looks

Gorgeous dresses and beautiful book covers — what more could you ask for? One should  never look too matchy-matchy, but we think these books and runway looks  are a match made in fashion heaven:

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen  

Lost Lake  Mc Queen Floral Dress

Dress by Alexander McQueen


A Perfect Heritage  by Penny Vincenzi

A Perfect Heritage  Elie Saab

Dress by Elie Saab


Alice and the Fly  by James Rice  

Alice and the Fly Michael Kors

Look by Michael Kors


The Dress Thief  by Natalie Meg Evans

48347_TheDressThief.indd  Schiaparelli

Dress by Schiaparelli


This is Now  by Ciara Geraghty

TIN  Valentino Dress

Dress by Valentine


Us  by David Nicholls

9780340897010_Us  Us

Look by  Trussardi

Liked this? Take a look at…

Our Indian Summer inspired moodboard for THE SAFFRON TRAIL by Rosanna Ley  

Or have a go at colouring your way to Parisian chic  

The Bookends Round The World Tour

The Bookends Round The World Tour

If you’re like us and have got a serious case of holiday blues and are grappling with the idea of either emigrating or blocking your smug friends sipping margaritas poolside on Facebook, we have come up with a less dramatic solution.

August has arrived and never has the phrase ‘escape with a good book’ been more appropriate. So buckle-up, sit back, make sure your partners and kids are stowed in the overhead lockers and prepare for take-off. Here’s our very bookish list of destinations:

Marrakech in THE SAFFRON TRAIL by Rosanna Ley

Rosanna Ley The Saffron Trail Packshot

After the death of her beloved mother, Nell travels from rural Cornwall to the colour and chaos of Marrakech. With her marriage already on the rocks, she throws herself into exploring all the heady delights that Morocco has to offer. It is there that she meets Amy, a young photographer trying to unravel her family story,  and the two women develop a close friendship and discover a surprising connection between their own pasts that leads them on their very own saffron trail.

The Colorado mountains in SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis

FINAL_Second Chance Summer

Lizzy intends  to sneak back to Cedar Ridge for a quiet summer, but her plans become somewhat more difficult to stick to as she rediscovers the lure of the Colorado mountains and Aidan, the man she has never quite  been able to forget.

Famagusta in THE SUNRISE by Victoria Hislop

The Sunrise Packshot

In Victoria’ s lastest novel, we see the Cypriot town of Famagusta  – the most desirable resort in the Mediterranean – crumble under the Turkish invasion of 1972 in vivid detail. As tens of thousands of families flee, just two remain. This is their story.

Mallorca in THE ROCKS by Peter Nichols

The Rocks_PB

Set on the island of Mallorca, THE ROCKS  is a double love story told in reverse. Opening in 2005 with a dramatic event that seems to seal the mystery of two lives, the story moves backwards in time, unravelling over sixty years, amid the olive groves and bars, the boats and poolside parties, the lives and relationships of two intertwined families within an expat community of endearing and flawed characters.

Cornwall in THE SEA BETWEEN US by Emylia Hall

9781472211972 hi res PB

Not only is this a love story between Jago and Robyn but it is a true love letter to Cornwall. These rocky coves are both the setting for the characters fateful meeting, and the place that may bring them back together after time and circumstance has pulled them apart.

Paris in LOVE FROM PARIS by Alexandra Potter


Where better to get lost in a love story than in the most romantic city in the world . . . Paris? A magical romantic comedy from the bestselling author of ME AND MR DARCY  and THE LOVE DETECTIVE.

Renaissance Italy  in BEATRICE AND BENEDICK  by Marina Fiorato  

Beatrice and Benedick

In a journey that takes us from sunlit Sicily to the glorious Renaissance cities of the north, Marina Fiorato tells a story of intrigue, treachery and betrayal that will shed a new light on Shakespeare’s unforgettable characters.

The French Pyrenees in LAST CHANCE IN THE PYRENESS by Julia Stagg


When tragedy strikes the small mountain village of Fogas in the French Pyrenees, the residents must once more rally round to protect their precious way of life – and this time the stakes are higher than ever.

Puglia in THE OLIVE BRANCH by Jo Thomas

The Olive Branch PB hi res

Come along for the ride as Ruthie Collins buys an old Italian farmhouse in a moment of wild abandon and then realises the tough realities of nurturing an olive grove as well as  a Mediterranean romance.

Europe in US by David Nicholls  


When Douglas Petersen’s wife tells him she’s leaving, he resolves to make their last family holiday into the trip of a lifetime: a grand tour of Europe.  The hotels are booked, the tickets bought, the itinerary planned and printed.  What could possibly go wrong?

A luxury cruise in A PROPER FAMILY ADVENTURE by Chrissie Manby

A Proper Family Adventure packshot

Thanks to an unexpected windfall, the Bensons are treating themselves to a luxury cruise.  Onboard dramas, family upheavals, memories and sunshine . . . Fall in love with the Benson family, and treat yourself to a five-star family cruise, all without leaving your sofa.