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books ready to be packed in a bag

Top 6 books to read on the coach

Heading off somewhere by coach? Make the most of not having to drive – pack a brilliant book to keep you entertained on the way. Whether you scroll through it on an e-reader or flick through page by page, a book is a brilliant way to escape when you’ve got a bit of time to kill. In the spirit of World Book Day, we’ve rounded up some of the best books for 2022 that are perfect to read on your next coach journey. Just don’t get so engrossed that you miss your stop…

1. The Staycation, Cressida McLaughlin
If you can’t resist a rom-com, you’re going to love The Staycation by Cressida McLaughlin. The plot follows travel agent Hester Monday, whose newest client, Jake, finds himself stuck in London and unable to fly home to New York. He tasks Hester with the job of taking him on a virtual tour of the world from the comfort of his swanky hotel room, which requires a fair bit of creativity seeing as Hester hasn’t actually travelled anywhere in years thanks to a crippling fear of flying. The title and subject are very apt after the past couple of years, and this book is packed with loads of travel inspiration and some much-needed sunshine. You’ll be smiling all the way to your destination.

2. Her Perfect Twin, Sarah Bonner
If a thriller’s more your thing, put Sarah Bonner’s new page-turner in your luggage. Her Perfect Twin is one of many brilliant titles to come out of lockdown, and this one is Bonner’s debut. The main character, Megan, confronts her estranged identical twin sister Leah – AKA her perfect twin – when she finds photos of Leah on her husband's phone. Their argument leads to Megan murdering Leah, and having to step into her sister’s shoes to cover it up. Leading two lives gets even more difficult when lockdown hits, and things soon get rather complicated. As far as gripping psychological thrillers go, this is a winner.

3. The Midnight Library, Matt Haig
This bestselling book may not be new for 2022, but it’s been optioned for film and it’s rumoured that 2022 will be when it’s released. In a nutshell, now’s the time to read it before you see it on the big screen. The book is all about Nora, a thirty-something who – in the depths of depression – gets a last-chance look at the different paths her life could have taken. It’s a poignant but ultimately life-affirming read that continues to rack up readers years after its release. Plus, it’s been made into an audiobook read by Carey Mulligan, so you can listen to it on your headphones without lifting a finger.

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4. Pandora, Susan Stokes-Chapman
Step back in time with this Sunday Times bestseller, which is set in London in 1799. Dora Blake lives with her uncle in what was once her parents' illustrious antiques shop. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, she hopes it will help to restore the shop to its former grandeur – but her uncle has other ideas. Part romance, part mystery – with a large dose of ancient Greek mythology woven in – this is a gloriously written book set against a backdrop of Georgian London. Perfect if you’re taking a coach to the capital and fancy something to read on the way.

5. The Maid, Nita Prose
Love a good whodunnit? Then The Maid should be on your reading list. Protagonist Molly Gray, the unassuming maid at a plush five-star hotel, becomes the prime suspect in a murder. But it’s neurodivergent Molly herself who proves to be the most interesting part of the story, thanks to a quirky charm that’s had many comparing her to Eleanor Oliphant. This book was hotly anticipated ahead of its release in January 2022, and certainly lives up to the hype. An easy read that’s great for a coach journey, it's well worth adding to your list.

6. True Story: What Reality TV Says About Us, Danielle J Lindemann
If you’re a reality TV binge-watcher forever having to defend your TV choices, this is the non-fiction book for you. Billed as ‘A sociological study of reality TV that explores its rise as a culture-dominating medium’, it’s a fascinating look into reality TV and why we just can’t stop watching. The author uses well-known programmes to delve into the issues of gender, race, class, and sexuality, so you’ll never be left without a good reason to binge-watch your favourite guilty pleasure again.

Inspired to book a trip so you can sink into one of these titles? Why not take a look at some of our city guides.