10 Feel Good Books That Need To Be On Your Summer Reading List

In partnership with the Guille-Allès Library

Summer is the time to read all those books that you've been meaning to get round to but, for lots of different reasons, you simply haven't started yet. Now is the time. Grab your book or tablet and get stuck into a good book on a perfect beach day.

If you're not sure what to read we've got some ideas from our friends at the library to help you enjoy some me-time in the sunshine and escape with a great read.



1.  The Moonlight Gardening Club, by Rosie Hannigan 

'The word "uplifting" was invented for this tender and poignant story” - Bestselling author Judy Leigh.

Though they come from the same small Irish village, lonely widow Ruby and struggling single mother Frankie couldn't be more different. Then they discover the Moonlight Gardening Club, founded to remind its members that even on the darkest of nights, beauty and light can still be found. As they plant flowers chosen specially to be enjoyed under a carpet of stars in the gentle glow of moonlight, an unexpected friendship starts to bloom - and it might be just what each of them needs. But when shocking secrets from the past are revealed, both their worlds are turned upside down. If their friendship is going to survive, each of them must face what they've been running from...

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2.  Cat Lady, by Dawn O’Porter 

The much-loved author of So Lucky and The Cows spins the effortlessly witty and feelgood tale of the eponymous feline fan and the unseen depths that lurk beyond her much-mocked exterior. Single - independent - aloof - cunning - agile - cannot be tamed. We've all known a cat lady - and we've probably all judged her too. But behind the label - the one that only sticks to women - what if there's a story worth nine lives? 

Told with Guernsey girl Dawn's trademark warmth, wit and irreverence, Cat Lady is a story about defying labels and forging friendships. It's for the cat lady in all of us - because a woman always lands on her feet...

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3.  The Vintage Shop of Second Chances by Libby Page

The bestselling author of The Lido spins another irresistible tale of community and second chances as a trio of women find themselves connected by a vintage clothing boutique. Among the cobbled streets of the Somerset town of Frome, Lou is embarking on the start of something new. After the death of her beloved mother, she takes a deep breath into the unknown and is opening her own vintage clothes shop.

In upstate New York, Donna has just found out some news about her family which has called into question her whole upbringing. The only clue she has to unlock her past is a picture of a yellow dress, and the fact it is currently on display in a shop in England. For Maggy, she is facing life as a 70-something divorcee and while she got the house, she's not sure what to fill it with now her family have moved out. The new vintage shop in town sparks memories of her past and reignites a passion she's been missing. Together, can these three women find the answers they are searching for and unlock a second chance at a new life? It's never too late to start again.



4.  Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey 

From the Schitt’s Creek screenwriter, and new electric voice in fiction. I feel like when you get a divorce everyone's wondering how you ruined it all, what made you so unbearable to be with. If your husband dies, at least people feel bad for you. Maggie's marriage has ended just 608 days after it started, but she's fine - she's doing really good, actually. Sure, she's alone for the first time in her life, can't afford her rent and her obscure PhD is going nowhere... but at the age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new status as a Surprisingly Young Divorcee ™.

Soon she's taking up 'sadness hobbies' and getting back out there, sex-wise, oversharing in the group chat and drinking with her high-intensity new divorced friend Amy. As Maggie throws herself headlong into the chaos of her first year of divorce, she finds herself questioning everything, including: Why do we still get married? Did I fail before I even got started? How many Night Burgers until I'm happy?



5.  The Garnett Girls by Georgina Moore 

Beautifully evocative of the golden beaches of the Isle of Wight, Moore's page-turning novel of family secrets, betrayal and the bonds of sisterhood is a sweeping, escapist read. Forbidden, passionate and all-encompassing, Margo and Richard's love affair was the stuff of legend--but, ultimately, doomed. When Richard walked out, Margo locked herself away, leaving her three daughters, Rachel, Imogen, and Sasha, to run wild.

Years later, charismatic Margo entertains lovers and friends in her cottage on the Isle of Wight, refusing to ever speak of Richard and her painful past. But her silence is keeping each of the Garnett girls from finding true happiness. Rachel is desperate to return to London but is held hostage by responsibility for Sandcove, their beloved but crumbling family home. Dreamy Imogen feels the pressure to marry her kind, considerate fiancé, even when life is taking an unexpected turn. Wild, passionate Sasha, trapped between her fractured family and controlling husband, is weighed down by a secret that could shake the family to its core.

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6.  Becoming Ted by Matt Cain

'This novel is just a bucket of joy' Glamour

Ted Ainsworth has always worked at his family's ice-cream business in the quiet Lancashire town of St Luke's-on-Sea. But the truth is, he's never wanted to work for the family firm - he doesn't even like ice-cream, though he's never told his parents that. When Ted's husband suddenly leaves him, the bottom falls out of his world. However, what if from is heartbreak could come an opportunity for Ted to build something new? And to finally put what he wants first.

Because Ted has always had another dream. A secret dream. Since childhood he has always wanted to be a Drag Queen. As he starts on his path of self-discovery, he will soon be faced with a choice. Will he take on the responsibilities that others have laid out for him, or will he choose to pursue his lifelong dream?



7.  Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

New York Times bestseller and BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick.

When Tova Sullivan's husband died two years ago, she talked her way into a job mopping floors at Sowell Bay Aquarium. Keeping busy helps her cope, which she's been doing since her 18-year-old son, Erik, mysteriously vanished. 30 and headlining for washed-up band Moth Sausage, Cameron Cassmore has some serious growing up to do. 

Then the discovery of an old class ring sends him on a mission to Sowell Bay to track down the father he's never known. Marcellus, a 'prisoner' at the Aquarium, wouldn't lift one of his eight tentacles for his human captors until he forms a friendship with the cleaning lady. Keenly observant, but with time running out, Marcellus deduces that Cameron is a missing key to what happened the fateful night of Erik's disappearance. Now Marcellus must use every trick his old, invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for Tova before it's too late.



8.  Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn & Shonda Rhymes

Inspired by the original Netflix series and Bridgerton.

September 1761. Within hours of meeting, a King and Queen were married. Born a German Princess, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was beautiful, headstrong, and fiercely intelligent - not precisely the attributes the British Court had been seeking in a spouse for the young King George III. But her fire and independence were exactly what she needed, because George had secrets. 

Thrust into her new role as a royal, Charlotte must learn to navigate the intricate politics of the court - all the while guarding her heart, because she is falling in love with the King, even as he pushes her away. Above all she must learn to rule, and to understand that she has been given the power to remake society. She must fight - for herself, for her husband, and for all her new subjects who look to her for guidance and grace. For she will never be just Charlotte again. She must instead fulfil her destiny - as Queen.



9.  Happy Place by Emily Henry 

'Emily Henry never fails to deliver great banter and a romance to swoon over' - Taylor Jenkins Reid

Harriet and Wyn are the perfect couple - they go together like bread and butter, gin and tonic, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. Every year for the past decade, they have run away from their lives to drink far too much wine and soak up the sea air with their favourite people in the world. Except this year, they are lying through their teeth. Harriet and Wyn broke up six months ago. And they still haven't told anyone. 

But this is the last time they'll all be together here. The cottage is for sale, and since they can't bear to break their best friends' hearts, they'll fake it for one more week. But how can you pretend to be in love in front of the people who know you best?



10.  Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

New York Times bestseller and author or Daisy Jones & The Six

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular.

By the time Carrie retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Slam titles. And if you ask her, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning, British player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked the 'Battle-Axe' anyway. Even if her body doesn't move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

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