Why normal people want to take Sally Rooney on holiday: Best-selling author’s latest book Beautiful World, Where Are You tops this summer’s must-read list

  • Sally Rooney’s latest book Beautiful World, Where Are You topped Harry Potter
  • It is the Normal People author’s third novel – after she had BBC dramatisations
  • A poll of 2,000 also revealed that crime thrillers are popular with readers today

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney is the UK’s best selling novel

It quickly became the UK’s best-selling book. So it is no surprise that Sally Rooney’s latest offering has been named the best holiday read.

Beautiful World, Where Are You beat EL James’ raunchy Fifty Shades Of Grey and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter collection to top the list of favoured reads this summer.

Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, and Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, completed the top five.

Beautiful World, Where Are You follows two female friends navigating friendships, relationships and trying to find meaning in their lives.

It is Miss Rooney’s third novel. The BBC dramatised her novel Normal People, which also appears on the list, and Conversations With Friends.

A poll of 2,000 adults revealed crime thrillers were popular, with The Murder Book by Mark Billingham, Over My Dead Body by Jeffrey Archer and Better Off Dead by Lee and Andrew Child making the top 20.

Non-fiction titles by veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and former Love Island contestant-turned-businesswoman Molly-Mae Hague also feature.

The research, commissioned by holiday cottage company Original, also found travellers will get through five books during a typical getaway.

Beautiful World, Where Are You It is Miss Rooney’s third novel. The BBC dramatised her novel Normal People, which also appears on the list, and Conversations With Friends

Despite books adding weight to packing, 60 per cent of adults said they still prefer to read a physical copy when they’re away, rather than on a tablet or Kindle.

The research, commissioned by national holiday cottage company Original Cottages, also found travellers will get through five books during a typical getaway.

And 60 per cent will read more on a week’s holiday than in an average working week.

Nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) prefer to read when away as they can relax and unwind, with 59 per cent believing that buying new books is a key part of the travel prep.

It also emerged romance was considered the top genre to read on a staycation, while others enjoy mystery, historical and literary fiction.

But rather than trying something new, 39 per cent stick to a genre they know they love and read all the time at home.

Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) think reading is a great way to escape and switch off.

However, 37 per cent find it difficult to find the right book to buy when on holiday in the UK.

The ultimate summer holiday reading list

The Harry Potter collection by JK Rowling is second on the summer reads list

Raunchy read Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James is third on the list


Taking the number 11 spot is John Green’s 2012 teen tragic-romance The Fault in Our Stars (left). Clarkson’s Farm and Grand Tour star Jeremy Clarkson was 21st on the list with his book Diddly Squat: A Year on the Farm (right)

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