Summer Book Recommendations (Fiction and Non-Fiction)

Summer reading in the sunshine, ideally on the beach please (kids occupied/sleeping and no one shouting, ‘Mum’) is my kind of a holiday.

Last summer, I barely got a minute to read more than the back of a sunscreen bottle thanks to my third child, Florence, being well, a baby (she was 9 months then) but the last few months have seen me prioritise reading over scrolling in bed, once the rabble are asleep, and I’m determined to continue.

Having a third child has meant sacrificing many things (primarily my body) but reading is something that’s pained me even more than a little extra padding so it’s back on the agenda (as is power walking btw)!

Next up, fingers crossed, I’ll resume my first love of painting. Any day now (*fingers crossed and paintbrush emojis).

So in order of the pretty book spine line up below (right to left) I’ve shared a short blurb on each must-buy book you need on your bookshelf and in your beach bag.



Confessions of a Forty Something-F##k up by Alexandra Potter

A breath of fresh air when it comes to fiction for women of all ages, not just 40 somethings, this novel is for anyone and everyone coming to terms with the fact their life isn’t quite how they’d imagined it. When Nell’s engagement is called off and her business is binned out in California, she has to move back to Blighty with her tail between her legs and start all over again. With most of her mates settled down with kids, she find firm friendship in the wonderful and wise widower Cricket who helps her rediscover who she is and what matters in (mid) life. Painfully true, brilliantly funny and utterly uplifting.


The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers by Bobby Seagull

The book I wish I’d read as a teen who struggled to find Maths bearable let alone exciting, teacher, broadcaster and all-round genius Bobby Seagull reframes this often loathed subject, providing its history, purpose and allure changing my mind and no doubt many others’.

I loved Bobby’s affable tone and his many anecdotes of how Maths inspired him as a young boy from collecting football cards (with surprising facts throughout such as quite how much you’ll spend to fill a football book) and learning magic tricks based on maths which started a life-long love of numbers. One word: inspiring. For you, for your kids, for every Maths teacher out there who has a duty to be as brilliant as Bobby, read it and learn.


The Motherload by Katy Cox

Blogger, author and professional musician, Katy Cox is a comedy hero in my eyes, and her second unmissable novel-cum-sequel (which FYI can be read alone or out of sequence) after the orginal and funny M is For Mummy, continues to follow Lucy’s family life and the pulls of freelance work with juggling the demands of an autistic husband, and son as he starts school, where collectively, they search to find their tribe and understand one another. Relatable, loveable characters, this is candid and laugh out loud funny.  Perfect for everyone (like me) who cried when Motherland finished. I’m honured to be quoted on the back of both books. Thanks Katy!


Thanks for Sharing by Eleanor Tucker

A motivating read on how to borrow, share and hire everything from surplus food to designer clothes, cars, driveways (yes really) and even furniture and garden tools, with honest reviews on the wealth of apps and sites available at our fingertips, Tucker’s book will help change your mind on easy ways to save money, time, and importantly the planet. Surprisingly funny, I adore Eleanor’s endless witty observations and jokes, and found myself laughing out loud throughout.  You can read my interview with Eleanor Tucker here.


Raising Boys Who Do Better by Uju Asika

The first friend I made as a blogger, my beloved Uju Asika has written her third bestselling book Raising Boys Who Do Better: A Hopeful Guide For A New Generation , a must read for parents of both boys and girls who want a fairer society.

On interviewing Uju, she said of writing this book, ‘I’m the mother of two teenage boys and a stepson in his 20s so this is obviously a very personal subject for me. I’ve been writing about my boys for years on my blog Babes About Town. They also feature quite prominently in my first book Bringing Up Race which is about raising kind kids in a prejudiced world. I had thought about writing a book on bringing up boys and it’s something that several of my friends and readers had been urging me to do. However, the idea really started bubbling up again around March 2021 after the murder of Sarah Everard and the anger it stirred up among women across the nation. So many of us were asking, how do we educate our sons to do better? In October that year, I was featured in a cover story for The Observer New Review and the feedback on my interview really galvanised me to get cracking on a book proposal’. I’m so glad she did.

This book is required reading and should be on the school curriculum. Empowering, full of practical advice from Uju and other thought-leaders on raising boys, this is a cohesive guide on how to understand, appreciate and inspire a generation of boys.  Read the rest of the interview here.


More Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up by Alexandra Potter

The follow-up and much-needed catch-up to Nell and her elderly bestie Cricket ( and now the basis for the major TV series, Not Dead Yet) presents us once more with our modern day Bridget Jones who once more is questioning her life choices and trying to navigate the mess life throws at us all. Alexandra is a masterful storyteller who understands the human condition and brings warmth and humour to every page. Even more excitingly, she’s a fellow Yorkshire lass to boot! Read it.


Mum of a Boy by Heidi Lee Cross

Because you can’t see the spine of book Mum of a Boy above by Heidi Lee Cross, I’ve included the cover below.

A searingly honest, relatable and movingly collection of short poems on parenthood which will ensure you feel seen, heard and understood by Heidi’s experiences and observations as a new or seasoned parent alike. You will catch yourself nodding and tearing up at her recollection of first birthdays, sleep deprivation and toddler meltdowns when it comes to raising boys (and girls) and will feel less alone thanks to it. Heidi is a copywriter and mum with a background in media production. A wonderful read and gift for a new parent.


Happy summer reading!


A mix of gifted and bought books. All words are honest, as always.

Summer Book Recommendations (Fiction and Non-Fiction)


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