Summer reads 2016: Best ebooks to download

Want to read all latest releases this summer but don't have room in your suitcase? Here are the best hardback books to download onto your ereaders

See also our list of perfectly packable paperbacks for your summer holidays

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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld and Austen are as wonderful a match as Elizabeth and Mr Darcy... A sharp, lively, modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in suburban America, written by a contemporary novelist who has taken this legendary story and made it entirely and wittily her own. An arch and very funny take on the reality TV-obsessed, sexually liberated twenty-first century.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

You’d be hard-pushed to find a list of what to read in 2016 that doesn’t feature Chris Cleave’s latest. Set in London during the Blitz and Malta under siege, Cleave draws on real-life stories of his grandparents to create an authentic, harrowing and beautiful story of three characters thrown together by war.

The Girls by Emma Cline

This debut novel by Emma Cline is one of the most hyped books of the summer, and for good reason. Inspired by the Manson family cult, The Girls is an entrancing and insightful read about youth, power and the high cost of decisions we make in our life.

Black Water by Louise Doughty

Louise Doughty's last novel, Apple Tree Yard, was undoubtedly the most loved MN Book of the Month in 2014. Her latest once again successfully blends a gripping thriller with social and moral issues, this time moving between Europe during the cold war, California and the Civil Rights struggle, and Indonesia during the massacres of 1965.

My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

In her brilliant debut, Kit De Waal draws on her own experiences working with foster carers and children to write the story of Leon, whose mother is no longer capable of caring for him and his baby brother. Touching and thought-provoking, this novel will tug on your heart strings - and put a wry smile on the faces of those raised in the '80s.

"It is fabulous. I'm about halfway through - a couple of chapters have made me cry, which is good! And it has also made me laugh."

This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

Maggie O'Farrell's engaging and insightful novel is an intimate, warts-and-all portrait of a marriage, painted in epic scale with multiple narrators and countries, in different timescales and mediums. As always, O'Farrell unpicks emotions and relationships with a practised and observant eye.

Enchanted by The Miniaturist? Jessie Burton returns with an equally captivating second novel, fusing the narratives of two women entwined by the mystery of a painting. Set in 1960s London and 1930s Spain, in The Muse Burton paints a picture of subterfuge, passion and ambition.

The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain's latest novel is further proof of her brilliance and sheer versatility as a novelist. Set in wartime Switzerland, this is a story of friendship, love, betrayal and loyalty. A book to devour in one sitting.

Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

Both painfully honest and wonderfully funny - if you've followed Bryony Gordon's columns in The Telegraph, you'll recognise her open, self-mocking style. A very readable book about very real struggles.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

A beautifully nuanced novel about faith and science in late nineteenth-century England that follows the recently widowed Cora Seaborne, who moves to the small Essex village of Aldwinter. There, she hears tales of a mysterious sea creature that terrorized the village in medieval times, and that is rumoured to have returned. Over the course of a year, Cora and Aldwinter will discover friendship, love, and the truth.

"I read it and now wonder why I have never been to Orkney."

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

The best memoirs contain a raw honesty that punches in the gut; the best nature writing evokes a wildness that makes your spirit soar. Amy Liptrot combines both in her beautifully written account of a year spent as a recovering alcoholic on a tiny island in Orkney, immersed in wild weather, corncrakes and the Northern Lights. Uplifting and highly evocative - expect to find yourself booking a flight there next summer, despite the lack of sunloungers...

The Fever by Megan Abbott

Inspired by a real-life case of apparent mass hysteria among teenage girls in 2012, The Fever explores what happens when an outbreak of unexplained seizures sweeps through a small community. Abbott looks at the fault lines of secrecy, guilt and longing within one family, and paints a picture of small-town life as revealing and unnerving as The Crucible.

The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest

Poet, playwright and spoken word performer, Kate Tempest burst onto the poetry scene only a few years ago. Her debut novel announces itself with descriptions of people, places, love and south London so vivid and so engulfing that you'll forget you're not watching a film. When you put it down you'll wish every book was written like this. Incredibly powerful writing.

I'm Not With the Band by Sylvia Patterson

Music journalist Sylvia Patterson takes us on a journey through three decades - from her arrival in London in the 80s, through the crazy days of 90s Britpop and noughties hip hop, to the sad decline of music journalism today. Sylvia's hilarious encounters with music greats including Bros (remember Craig?), Prince, Oasis and Johnny Cash make this book a perfect summer read for the Smash Hits generation.

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Adaptations are all the rage this year. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Tyler, 'the greatest novelist writing in English' according to Nick Hornby, retells The Taming of the Shrew in a vivid, fresh style. 'Shrewish' Kate is now a frustrated, forthright primary school teacher who is forced to join her scientist father and his assistant in a madcap plan. A smart, snappy way to celebrate Shakespeare's 400th anniversary.

"The author writes with lucidity in her investigation into one of the 19th century's greatest murder mysteries with a thirteen-year-old boy at its heart. What an amazing book and an amazing ending."

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

From the award-winning author of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher comes The Wicked Boy, the gripping true story of a horrifying Victorian murder case: a 13-year-old boy on trial for killing his own mother. Entertaining as well as immensely informative, this non-fiction triumph is as compelling as any novel. 

Paradise Lodge by Nina Stibbe

A new Nina Stibbe book is about as summer-holiday-perfect as you can get. It's the 1970s and Lizzie Vogel (the nine-year-old from Man at the Helm) is now a 17-year-old working at a chaotic but rather charming old people's home. When the future of the place comes under threat, Lizzie helps to save the day. Entertaining, funny and packed with Stibbe's characteristic deadpan delivery.

What Happened Miss Simone? by Alan Light

Alan Light is one of the world's foremost music journalists, and here he turns his eye on the life and career of soul singer and Black Power icon Nina Simone. Using sources as diverse as private journals, archival film, and interviews with Simone's family and friends, Light constructs a fascinating and moving portrait of the woman whose life would take her from childhood in the Jim Crow-governed South to international stardom.

End of Watch by Stephen King

Legions of SK fans on Mumsnet have been eagerly awaiting the terrifying finale to the Hodges Trilogy. If you've yet to read the first two parts, download the whole lot and turn the summer into a gripping King-fest.

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams

Alice Adam's debut novel follows four friends finding their feet in a world beyond Bristol University. Invincible Summer is a warm and absorbing tale of young adulthood, aspirations and the hard road to the realisation that life rarely turns out as expected.

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