Put these 12 exciting books on your summer holiday reading list right now

The Indie Book Awards has just revealed its 2022 shortlist and the best paperbacks of the summer include titles from Kazuo Ishiguro, Pat Barker and Matt Haig.

Let’s be honest: as the pace of modern life gets faster, most of us want to cut down our screen time and spend more quality time with a good book. The only problem is, taking an enthusiastic endorsement from a work colleague or buying the bestseller that keeps popping up on your Instagram feed is never a guarantee that a paperback will result in a blissful few hours of reading.

What is incredibly helpful, though, is tuning in to what’s being picked up in independent bookshops around the country. On these lovingly curated shelves, inspiration can always be found – and you can breathe easy in the knowledge that the recommended titles are always a result of what booksellers have seen resonating with their customers and wider community.

If you’re in search of a compelling book, you’re in the right place, because the Indie Book Awards has just unveiled its 2022 shortlist. 

Entirely curated by independent booksellers across the UK, the annual award highlight the best paperbacks for summer as part of Independent Bookshop Week, an annual campaign celebrating indie bookshops from the Booksellers Association which runs from 18-25 June.

Needless to say, the shortlist is jam-packed with inspiration for summer holiday reading. 

Fiction titles include the lockdown debut sensation Emma Stonex (The Lamplighters), Nobel-prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro (Klara And The Sun) and previous Indie Book Award winner Pat Barker (The Women Of Troy).

Non-fiction titles, meanwhile, include Korean-American indie rockstar and author Michelle Zauner (Crying In H Mart) and number one New York Times bestselling author Matt Haig (The Comfort Book). Take a look at the shortlist for both categories below:


Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden
Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 
The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex
Still Life by Sarah Winman
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
The Women Of Troy by Pat Barker


The Comfort Book by Matt Haig
The Book Of Trespass by Nick Hayes
Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauner 
How We Met by Huma Qureshi
Scoff: A History Of Food And Class In Britain by Pen Vogler
House Of Music – Raising The Kanneh-Masons by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

A judging panel of independent booksellers will decide on the four winners, to be announced on 24 June 2022, the penultimate day of Independent Bookshop Week. 

“I’ve always kept in my mind an ever-evolving map of Britain made up of my favourite indie bookshops,” said Kazuo Ishiguro in a statement.

“Some are quiet sanctuaries; others are eccentric, obsessive, surreally eclectic. They’ve all of them inspired me down the years, nudging me into unexpected areas of interest, into fresh territories for my reading and my writing. I’m delighted Klara has made it onto the Indie Book Awards shortlist.”

Matt Haig added: “Indie bookshops are the beating pulse of the book industry. They are what keeps it truly alive and dynamic and interesting and where the intersection between writers, readers and the industry is the most vibrant. And so it’s an absolute honour to be included in the Indie Book Awards shortlist.”

Images: courtesy of publishers

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