To me, books have always been a source of pleasure, happiness and yes, escapism. Losing yourself in a good book is one of the most exquisite pleasures we can encounter as human beings.

The point of that statement being that in order to escape, you don’t always have to travel outwards. Instead, by selecting the right book, you can travel inwards, via literary escapism.

In case you’re struggling for a good read or just fancy a little literary inspiration, I thought I’d share some of my most recent reads.

This list is entirely fiction because an inability to read and enjoy factual novels is one of my biggest failings. I’ll get around to working on it at some point but for the time being, fiction is what you’ll be getting recommendations for.

Anyway, list as follows:

1. Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends

An outstanding debut from Sally Rooney, this is some of the most elegant writing I’ve experienced in a very long time.

conversations with friends

2. Joanna Briscoe’s Sleep With Me

This novel is one of the best demonstrations of the nuances of human behaviour, and the complex workings of the heart.

sleep with me

3. Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls

A literary classic which documents the dark side of fame, and the landslides of the human psyche that can occur with the highest levels of devotion to the cause of fame.

valley of the dolls

4. Elizabeth Day’s The Party

With a decidedly Brideshead feel to it, this is a modern take on the same complexities of unrequited love and the damage that the intensity of love can cause to those involved.

the party

5. Sarah Winman’s Tin Man

If you want bucolic escapism on a massive scale, think slow-build plot lines and dramatic twists of the heart, then this is for you.

tin man

All very different and all well worth your time, each one talks about love and the things which people will do to obtain it.

Literary escapism at its finest so go on, wander off the beaten track and go lose yourself in some literature.

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