Books to read in May

With summer just around the corner, Emma Hughes picks five British books that are perfect for reading outside in the sunshine

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

A newly qualified vet moves to the Yorkshire village of Darrowby in search of a quiet life. But the locals (including Nugent the pig, one of fiction’s greats) have other ideas…

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

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Charabancs, gallons of scrumpy and that encounter under the haywagon. Summers aren’t what they used to be.

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The Perfect Summer: Dancing into the Shadow in 1911 by Juliet Nicolson

The opulent, hazy days before the First World War broke out are brought vividly to life by Nicolson. A window onto a vanished world.

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

It’s July of 1962, and a pair of timid young newlyweds prepare to embark on a life together as they travel to the Dorset coast for their honeymoon. Inevitably, things go heartbrakingly awry. A deeply moving little book that gets under your skin.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

The Durrell family arrive on Corfu ‘like a troupe of medieval tumblers’, and chaos ensues. Worth it for the euphoniously named Bootle-Bumtrinket alone.

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