It's time to pack your holiday reading. While you want to keep the suitcase light you might not want your reading to be lightweight. As well as biographies of Paul McCartney and Prince to keep music fans happy, there is also an unsettling and minutely detailed dissection of Hitler by Volker Ullrich to get your teeth into.
And there are notable thrillers, including the eerie Try Not To Breathe, plus a
fascinating history of genetics. We've gone through books by the yard so that you don't have to - so read on for IBTimes UK's pick of the best summer reads.
An epic novel centred upon north America's forests and ranging over three centuries of family history
Proulx follows the family trees of two French immigrants from the end of the 17th century almost to the present day. Her epic novel foregrounds mankind's relationship with north America's forests and at its heart is a warning about our despoilation of nature. Proulx does not exert enough grip over her sprawling cast, but the results will please her fans.
This is the definitive biography of a mysterious performer who had some dubious habits
Thorne offers a minutely detailed account of his diminutive subject. Fortunately, the author is not star-struck. He tells us which songs to avoid and doesn't shirk from informing us about the musician's more dubious habits. If Prince ultimately remains enigmatic and out of reach, Thorne approaches him more closely than other biographers.
Genetics is a relatively new science but already there have been many gripping breakthroughs
Mukherjee's highlights include, naturally, Crick and Watson's discovery of the structure of DNA. More moving is the story of hippy scientist Herb Boyer and his unlikely partnership with unemployed banker Robert Swanson. Their biotech business produced synthetic insulin and saved millions of lives. Mukherjee offers a series of absorbing tales from this nascent discipline.
The Victorian era and rural myth collide in this ambitious literary novel set in the Essex marshes
Perry's eerie story is set in the Essex marshland during the 19th century. Cora Seaborne travels to the fictional village of Aldwinter where she becomes intrigued by the vicar, William Ransome. And soon she becomes aware that the village is the hunting ground of a monster. Perry interleaves fable and history in this ambitious literary novel.
What would have happened if one of our most famous thriller writers turned to crime?
Patricia Highsmith was one of the great thriller writers. She was also caustic, alcoholic and eccentric. Dawson imagines Highsmith hiding away from a stalker in Suffolk and then sliding into crime herself. Dawson's plot manages to be both entertaining and disturbing, and her portrait of Highsmith is strikingly convincing.
We cannot console ourselves by thinking Hitler was nothing like us, because he was all too human
Hitler could be charming, he enjoyed a conventional romantic life with Eva Braun and he had a sense of humour. So the horrible truth is that the evil architect of mass destruction and genocide was not so different from the rest of us. Over 1,000 painstaking pages, Ullrich uncovers the human being behind the myths.
In this gripping thriller an alcoholic journalist investigates why a woman has been brutally attacked
Amy Stevenson has been in a coma for 15 years after being attacked by an unknown assailant. Journalist Alex Dale wants to investigate but she has her own problems, not least alcoholism. Seddon's debut novel aims to be the sequel to Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train. They are hard acts to follow, but Seddon's thriller grips hard.
Cryogenics and immortality are the poignant subject matter for this classic slice of late DeLillo
Mortality features heavily in DeLillo's latest novel – perhaps unsurprisingly, given that the US literary giant is 79-years-old. The narrative concerns itself with cryogenics, as pursued by a religious cult called The Convergence. Zero K has an engaging intimacy lacking in DeLillo's recent works and may restore the fall-off in his reputation.
A mammoth account of the diplomatic Beatle's life before and after the band above all other bands
Of the two acts of McCartney's life - before the Beatles and after - the first will always dominate. Fortunately, that's around half this mammoth volume. There are novel revelations, notably McCartney's liking for having his leg hair combed after gigs. If there's scant analysis of the music, we can sit back and enjoy this tale of truly exceptional social mobility.
This story about the friendship between two Neopolitan women continues to gain new fans
Praise for Ferrante's quartet of Neapolitan novels continues to grow. They are: My Brilliant Friend; The Story of a New Name; Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay; and The Story Of The Lost Child. Together they comprise an extended narrative about two women which becomes a riveting exploration of the complexities of female friendship. With a TV adaptation en route, now is a great time to take the plunge into all things Ferrante if you haven't already discovered her.