Post updated: 08/03/2019

From avid readers to part-time page-turners, we all love a good book. And a cruise offers the perfect time to sit back, relax and delve into the latest novel.

Whether you enjoy the classics or the comedies, there’s a book for everyone to enjoy during their holiday – here is our selection of must-reads.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman


Winner of the British Book Awards ‘Book of the Year’ 2018, longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 and Waterstone’s Book of the Month Feburary 2018, this fictional debut of Gail Honeyman’s has been widely praised since its launch in 2017.

The story focuses on the importance of friendship and everyday courage in a lonely world, challenging the societal conformity we face in day-to-day life. It centres on how a life can be transformed by small acts of kindness, complete with laugh-out-loud observations and deeply poignant themes.

‘Honeyman has created a narrative full of quiet warmth and deep and unspoken sadness, yet with a wonderful, joyful message: it is never to late, for any of us.’ – The Guardian

‘An unexpectedly funny and lucid novel, memorable for its heroine’s detached take on social norms’ – The Sunday Times

You Don’t Know Me – Imran Mahmood


Written from the depths of his own professional career as a criminal barrister, Imran Mahmood depicts a narrative which follows the tale of a young man accused of murder. Explore the dynamics of a court room and uncover the secrets of a dark and violent world as this novel takes you on a journey of justice and drama.

Chosen for BBC Radio 2’s Book Club and voted The Telegraph’s ‘Best Crime Novel of the Year’, this debut book by Mahmood showcases his experience in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal fantastically.

‘You Don’t Know Me is a brave debut by a barrister . . . an impressively original courtroom drama’ – The Times 

‘This is an exciting first novel. To start with, it is highly original; what’s more, it is cleverly plotted and convincingly written in a voice obviously not the author’s own … I was left admiring this novel.’ – Literary Review 

Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams – Matthew Walker


Winner of the Waterstones’ Non-Fiction Book of the Month January 2018, this book is the first of its kind to be written by a scientific expert. With twenty years of research behind him, neuroscientist Professor Matthew Walker takes a deeper look in the aspects of our sleeping lives.

Walker is a Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology and the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Using major human studies and looking at the animal kingdom as a whole, he offers insight into sleeping patterns. REM sleep and how our lives are affected by sleep deficiency.

‘Passionate, urgent, convincing … it had a powerful effect on me.’ – Rachel Cooke, Observer

‘A top sleep scientist argues that sleep is more important for our health than diet or exercise.’ – The Times

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar – Chris Packham


Voted Britain’s favourite piece of nature writing by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Chris Packham’s memoir offers an honest and powerful account of the relationship between human and nature. From his childhood stories to his coming-of-age adventures, it offers an immersive voyage of discovery for Packham as a young boy. One which you can uncover alongside him.

‘Fingers in the Sparkle Jar is like nothing else I know – a flickering vat of life itself. A brilliant and remarkable book.’ – Robert Macfarlane

‘It’s bold and beautiful, both raw and lyrical, and a rather special book.’ – Matt Haig, The Independent

Bee Quest – Dave Goulson


On a hunt for the world’s most elusive bees, Dave Goulson travels across continents from Poland to Patagonia in search for bees. Enjoy following him on his exploratory expedition including tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or chasing orchid bees in the Ecuadorian jungle.

Alongside his natural storytelling and humour, Goulson also highlights the environmental impact these little insects have and their importance in the animal kingdom.

‘Dave Goulson… has perfected the art of turning the entomologist’s technical expertise into easy-reading everyman’s prose. He also laces his stories with rich helpings of wit and humour.’ – Mark Cocker, The Spectator

‘In this delightful book [Goulson] tells us of the discoveries he has made during his `bee travels’… a humorous, beautifully written tribute to these insects, and hope-filled examples of nature’s resilience.’ – Outdoor Photography

Are some of these on your reading list? Which books are you taking on-board with you? Let us know in the comments below!

Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over two years. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises and is looking to get something in diary for 2021! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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