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If you’re looking for the perfect summer reads whilst soaking up the sun, then have a scroll through our 12 recommended titles for this summer.

Including some brand new titles for this year, with a few Batsford classics thrown in, this list of beautiful books will transport you to a sunny paradise. Everything from drawing and painting, to poetry and folklore, find a title or two that will inspire your imagination at home or on holiday..


Lido – A dip into outdoor swimming pools: the history, design and people behind them

Christopher Beanland, £20.00

Few experiences can beat diving into a pool in the fresh air, swimming with blue skies above you. Whether it’s a dip into a busy and bustling city pool on a sweltering summer day, or taking the plunge in icy waters, the lido provides a place of peace in a frenetic world. This book is a celebration of outdoor swimming – looking at the history, design and architecture of pools, as well as the social aspect. Architectural historian and travel writer Christopher Beanland leaps into pools around the world and finds out why it is that people love to swim outdoors.


Forever Flowers – Growing and arranging dried flowers

Ann Lindsay, £14.99

Perfect for arranging the beautiful summer flowers from your garden – learn how to grow and dry flowers, plants and herbs to create dried floral arrangements that will breathe fresh life and style into your home without breaking the bank! Suitable for both experienced professionals and hopeful newcomers to the art of drying flowers, the information in the book is an invaluable resource for all to reference and return to. Anyone can create everlasting arrangements for friends, home or occasions that can be cherished for years to come.


Lockdown Secrets – Postcards from the pandemic

Eleanor Tattersfield, £12.99

No poolside holiday is complete without a hint of scandal – Lockdown Secrets is a compelling collection of anonymous postcards sent during lockdown, revealing hilarious, salacious, relatable and sometimes heartbreaking secret confessions.

In the thick of the 2021 coronavirus lockdown, designer and shopowner Eleanor Tattersfield put out a call on Instagram: ‘I’ll send you a postcard, you send me a secret’. Lockdown Secrets is an astonishing record of what happened next. Postcards poured in. This beautiful book brings together the best of what Eleanor received, and all human life is here: furtive infidelities, bad behaviour in the local bakery, sneaking off for baths during a busy homeschooling schedule, rediscovered marital bliss, and, occasionally, poignant moments of sadness and despair.

We’ve all been through the lockdown experience, and every reader will find something to relate to in this fascinating collection, a perfect snapshot of an extraordinary time.


Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland, Pocket Edition

Millie Marotta, £4.99

Travelling with small children? Tired of entertaining them on a four-hour flight? Millie Marotta brings her bestselling colouring books to you in travel size! Escape to your very own tropical wonderland with this beautiful colouring book that can be enjoyed by all the family. Lose yourself in a riot of colouring in and drawing as you bring the exotic creatures and plants in Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland to life. Whether it’s to add to the fine lines on trees or add a splash of colour to the feathers of a tropical parrot, explore the rainforest further and you will find extraordinary flowers, birds, butterflies and reptiles, including a rainbow boa with shiny scales crying out for a touch of colour.


Bedside Companion for Gardeners

Jane McMorland Hunter, £20,00

If you love to spend your summer cultivating your garden in the sunshine, then Bedside Companion for Gardeners is the title for you. A treasure trove of green-fingered inspiration, full of practical advice that blends seamlessly with poetry and prose from intrepid gardeners past and present. Dip in and out of this collection with an entry for every night of the year that draws on writing through the ages and from across the globe.


New Ideas in Botanical Painting

Carolyn Jenkins and Helen Birch, £19.99

Renowned botanical artist and professional gardener, Carolyn Jenkins combines her love of art and gardening to create stunning compositions with vibrant colours that leap from the page. For the artist and botanist, this beautiful book is the perfectly relaxing way to spend your summer. Spanning from chapters on time well-spent in the garden and traditional botanical painting to contemporary ideas with photography, this practical guide contains all the techniques an practice you need to create beautiful botanical art.

Check out Carolyn’s award-winning art on her instagram page here to get inspired..


Sunlight and Shadows in Watercolour – painting light from interiors to landscapes

Lucy Willis, £19.99

Published in 2015, this beautiful watercolour book is a fabulous addition to any summer art collection. Focusing on the effects of light – bright sunlight, shadows, dappled light and night-time scenes, bestselling artist Lucy Willis shares her professional tips and painting secrets on painting sunlight and shadows. The themes and subjects covered are Landscape, Water, Gardens, Architecture, Interiors, Still Life, Portraits and the importance of keeping a sketchbook handy; particularly on holiday!

Lucy Willis encourages all watercolourists, whatever their level, to exploit the versatile effects of watercolour and produce exciting, atmospheric work of their own.


City Sketching Reimagined

Jeanette Barnes and Paul Brandford, £16.99

Brand new and published earlier this year, this exciting and inspirational title is a charming guide to sketching in towns and cities from world-acclaimed artists Jeanette Barnes and Paul Brandford. If you would love to capture the bustling city that you have travelled to, the traffic from the safety of the pavement, or the elderly couple drinking their morning coffee on the table next to yours at that tiny cafe on the corner, then this book is the perfect title to teach you. With easily digested bite-size entries, it introduces many types of art materials, their uses and a number of insights and exercises to build confidence in a range of approaches to drawing.

Mercurial, inspirational, practical and charming, this guide covers everything from architecture to accidental paintings, cocktails to clouds, smudges to skyscrapers and will inspire you to take your sketchbook with you all summer!

Check out Jeanette’s instagram page here and Paul’s here to get yourself started..


Textures from Nature in Textile Art

Marian Jazmik, £22.95

Summer is all about appreciating the beauty of nature, so harness the beauty of the natural world to create unique textile art pieces. Acclaimed textile artist Marian Jazmik shows how to use unusual recycled and repurposed materials combined with traditional fabric and thread. Exploring nature as a constant source of inspiration, she shows how to turn a chance spotting of lichen on a tree trunk or a scattering of autumn leaves into glorious textile or mixed-media art. Packed with practical tips, inspiration and illustrated throughout with glorious examples of Marian’s work, this book will provide you with endless imaginative ideas for distilling the wonders of nature into your own textile art.


A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year

Jane McMorland Hunter, £18.99

This beautiful anthology brings you 365 poems celebrating nature and the changing seasons. For a contemplative moment in the sun, this is the perfect poolside companion for any nature or poetry fan, featuring famous odes from big-name poets alongside unsung poems from less-well-known writers. Featuring the works of Wordsworth, Dickinson, Keats, Blake and many many more, whisk yourself away to a veritable garden of eden for a few hours in the afternoon.


Goblin Market – An Illustrated Poem

Christina Rossetti, Kirsty Gunn, Georgie McAusland, £12.99

If it’s a story that you want, then Christina Rossetti’s classic poem, Goblin Market reads like a picture storybook. Originally written by Christina Rossetti in 1862, the poem tells the story of Lizzie and Laura, who are tempted by the fruit sold by the goblin merchants. In this fully illustrated and beautiful volume, illustrator Georgie McAusland brings the words and story to life. Recently shortlisted for V&A illustration awards, as well as longlisted for the World Illustration Awards, this is 2022’s hidden gem and a stunning addition to any bookshelf.


Faeries, Elves and Goblins – The Old Stories and fairy tales

Rosalind Kerven, £11.99

Continuing the fairytales and folklore theme; Faeries, Elves and Goblins are 25 stories drawing on folklore from the rich narrative heritage of Britain and Ireland.

Marvel over ancient spells to summon faeries to your house, tremble at the shapeshifting powers of dangerous faery queens, lose yourself amongst the illusions of Faeryland and learn how to protect family members from the terrors of faery abduction. Interspersed with facts on faery folklore, these tales cover faery morals, elvish misdemeanours, the spells cast by goblins and the sightings of the creatures, as well as their dealings with mortals.

With charming illustrations from favourite illustrators throughout, whisk yourself away to your very own neverland this summer with this beautiful little book.