Top 10 Summer Reads for 2023

Like bread and butter, rhythm and blues, and shoes and socks, summer and books are perfect partners. So, if you’re looking for easy holiday reads … look no further. Here’s a selection of Folio fiction and non-fiction favourites that will take you on literary journeys while you bask in the sun.  

And, if you haven’t taken a Folio book to the beach before, don’t worry. Keep it tucked in your bag while you’re not reading and take it out to enjoy the ultimate holiday reading experience. From road trips and boat trips to dragons and demon barbers, there’s a summer read for everyone.  


The Wind in the Willows  




Spend your summer messing about on the river with Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger in this nostalgic ode to nature and carefree travel. Masterfully illustrated by Charles van Sandwyk, it’s one of our all-time bestsellers. 


Illustration by Charles Van Sandwyk



American Gods  



Illustration by Dave McKean


An award-winning fantasy from the master of the imagination, this story of Egyptian deities who run funeral parlours, and gods who drive cabs, will be a surefire holiday highlight.  



Japanese Tales 




With exquisite illustrations by Yuko Shimizu – who was part of the judging panel for the FBIA 2022 – this collection of 170 tales is a fascinating window into a long-vanished culture.  

Illustration by Dave McKean 



The Color Purple 



Illustration by Lela Harris


Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is beautiful, heartbreaking and utterly essential. The perfect way to catch up on the classics this summer.  



Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas  




Join Hunter S. Thompson on a psychedelic road trip to discover the dark side of the American dream in a landmark edition that features all of Ralph Steadman’s original illustrations, newly coloured. 

Illustration by Ralph Steadman



A Walk in the Woods 



Illustration by James Weston Lewis


Let Bill Bryson do the hard work while you sit back and relax. Funny and fascinating in equal measure, this is travel writing at its best. 



The Innocents Abroad  




The beauty of the Old World and the eccentricities of Mark Twain’s fellow travellers get equal attention, while his sharp wit leaps off every page.  

Illustration by James Albon



The Great Gatsby 



Illustration by Sam Wolfe Connelly


A compact classic that is the perfect choice for beach bags. Immerse yourself in the sultry summer of 1922, amidst the spectacular parties and sordid secrets of Long Island.  



Faceless Killers 




Go back to the beginning of the smash-hit Wallander series with the book that launched Scandi Noir – it's the ultimate holiday page-turner. 

Illustration by Morgan Schweitzer



The Neverending Story  



Illustration by Marie-Alice Harel


Published to celebrate Folio’s 75th anniversary, this beautiful edition is the ultimate way to rediscover the greatest of all books-about-a-book.  



Your books at the beach ...