7 brilliant books to get stuck into over the long weekend

Fancy curling up with a riveting read over the upcoming bank holidays? YOU asked these professional bookworms to reveal their perfect picks…

Judith Murray, literary agent, Greene & Heaton

The One by Maria Realf is one of those perfect Spring reads; just like the dormant daffodil bulbs that have suddenly popped back into our lives, our heroine Lizzie Sparkes finds herself confronted with a former love, Alex – except he manages to turn up right at the very wrong time. Lizzie has to choose if the life she’s built is worth trading for the one she could have had, and it’s heart-clenching to follow along with her through that choice. This is one of those fun, exuberant, warm-hearted and moving romances that really feels right this time of year.’

‘Meanwhile, Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett follows musician Cass Wheeler on an emotional journey told through the songs of her career – covering a richly detailed, intimate tapestry of love and loss. This book takes you into the life of an artist; curl up with a hot tea, put on your favourite vinyl albums, and let yourself be immersed in another world. Laura Barnett writes with a deft hand, and this is a story to savour over a long weekend.’

Cathryn Summerhayes, literary agent, Curtis Brown

‘My recommendation for the perfect Easter weekend read is SAL by Mick Kitson. It makes you feel that despite what the world throws at you, you can find a way through the bad times to hope and joy. Teenager Sal and her half-sister Peppa have run away from an abusive family life to live in the wilderness (just outside Glasgow in the woods). Sal has learnt all you need to know about survival from Wikipedia – she can hunt, fish, build a shelter…even murder a terrible step-father and get away with it. SAL’s debut author is a school teacher and the way he has captured these two young girls’ voices is pitch perfect, heart-breaking – and often incredibly funny.’

Alice Saunders, literary agent, Lucas Alexander Whitley

‘I can’t wait to have four whole days to legitimately curl up with a vat of chocolate and read Simon Toyne’s latest thriller, The Boy Who Saw. I’m a big fan of his writing; I know it will be a real page-turner with some great characters. I’m always interested in stories that are rooted in real life, so I’m particularly interested to see how he will weave the parallels between Nazi Germany and the far right as we know it today. I won’t even mind if it rains, it will just mean more time on the sofa.

‘Then, over the May long weekend, I’ll be able to get my hands on an exciting debut by James Hall. Set against the murky backstage of late Victorian London theatres, The Industry of Human Happiness is about the obsessive characters who dreamed of bringing recorded music to the world.’

Lisa Williamson, award-winning author of The Art of Being Normal and All About Mia

‘I’ve started reading Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls and can’t wait to gobble up the rest over Easter. It explores the experiences of three very different young women during the height of the suffrage movement and, just a few chapters in, I’m already rooting madly for them all. Fresh, funny, thought-provoking and packed with gorgeous period detail, it’s both massively enjoyable and alarmingly relevant.’

Charlotte Ledger, Editorial Director, HarperImpulse – Harper Fiction

Sunshine at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson is my must-have read for the bank holiday. The book equivalent of a warm hug and the comfiest pair of slippers all wrapped up in one, it will take you to the stunning, windswept cliffs of Dorset and invite you into the warm-hearted, slightly crazy (but definitely not boring) community of the Comfort Food Café. Yes, there’s delicious cake; yes, there are one or two gorgeous heroes to whisk you off your feet, but most importantly, there are characters, people like you and me, who have had some of the worst experiences in life – losing a husband or a father, or are dealing with the awful, heart-breaking effects of Alzheimer’s – and they find a home at the café. We all need some comfort reading, and I promise you it’s a joy to escape through Debbie’s gorgeous novels.’