Top reads for the summer brought to you by Literary Life

Top Summer Reads 2021 Literary Life

Make your summer bookshelf utterly dreamy with the help of Literary Life - Credit: Square Peg/Penguin Life/William Collins/Thames & Hudson/DK

There’s nothing like the feeling of opening a fresh book. Stretching out on the grass, drink in hand, as you get settled in for a journey. Closing it and having that satisfaction of being blissfully lost for a little while. But with so many amazing authors and wonderful words out there, how do you choose the right book to fall for? Enter Literary Life – your new luxury library that’s just a click away…

This brand-new website, part of Great British Life, is an online bookshop carefully curated by our editorial teams. They have put together an exceptional selection of charming books just for you, so all you need to do is relax and indulge in a truly special read. 

With the summer sun imminently glowing and the greenery steadily growing, it is only fitting that our first collection showcases the great outdoors. Be encouraged to embrace and enjoy gorgeous gardening inspiration, outdoor dining, picturesque country walks and a spectacular view into what makes Britain so great. 

If the idea of being mesmerized by a marvellous book sounds dreamy to you, sit back and have a look at these top summer reads. Have a flick through, find the one that is calling you and add it to your bookshelf: 

The Complete Gardener by Monty Don
Even great gardeners like Monty Don are always learning and always experimenting, and this handbook brings you right up to date on how Monty gardens today. This extensively revised new edition covers what Monty believes are the most important aspects of gardening today. It is a go-to guide for anyone seeking Monty's gardening advice and the perfect gift for any gardener, regardless of their experience or budget.

Countryfile A Picture of Britain by John Craven & Matt Baker
The Countryfile Calendar has brought nature into our homes for nearly three decades, and now this comprehensive collection captures the essence of each season, bringing together viewers' photographs of the British countryside throughout the year. Illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, this book brings the beauty of the countryside to you – whether you are at the southern tip of the Scilly Isles or in the far north of the Shetland Islands, and everywhere in between.

Lift Your Vibe by Richie Norton
For many of us, work, socialising and keeping fit are more challenging than ever and we are feeling disconnected from and unsure of the world around us. In Lift Your Vibe Richie shares his transformative, simple-to-follow daily rituals that fit into even the busiest schedule. Whether it's a one-minute triangle breath exercise, a five-minute wake-up flow, or a delicious 30-minute recipe, this guide contains accessible practices that anyone can build into their day to create new, healthier habits.

The Green Barbecue by Rukmini Iyer
This recipe book is the only vegetarian and vegan cookbook you need in 2021. With summer on the horizon, it's time to make the most of the sunny days by sticking on the grill and getting some great food on the barbecue. If prepping a meat-free BBQ seems a challenge, think again: this collection of 75 flavour-packed and mouth-watering recipes is completely meat-free. Whether you're entertaining for vegetarian guests or you're preparing a flexitarian feast, these recipes are quick and easy to make, great for all the family and completely fuss-free.

Spring Cannot be Cancelled by David Hockney & Martin Gayford
On turning 80, David Hockney sought out rustic tranquillity for the first time. So when Covid-19 and lockdown struck, it made little difference to life at La Grande Cour, the centuries-old Normandy farmhouse where Hockney set up a studio a year before, in time to paint the arrival of spring. In fact, he relished the enforced isolation as an opportunity for even greater devotion to his art. Spring Cannot be Cancelled is an uplifting manifesto that affirms art's capacity to divert and inspire.

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