The Top 10 Books in the UK Right Now: What to Read and Why

By Maria Bregman

If you are looking for some inspiration for your next read, look no further than the UK bestseller list. The list, which is updated weekly by The Sunday Times, reflects the most popular and acclaimed books in the country, across different genres and formats. Whether you are in the mood for fiction or non-fiction, romance or thriller, biography or history, you will find something to suit your taste and interest.

Here are the top 10 books in the UK right now, according to the latest list published on February 25, 2024, along with a brief summary and review of each book.

1. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

The Midnight Library is a novel that explores the concept of parallel lives and the power of choice. The protagonist, Nora Seed, is a lonely and depressed woman who decides to end her life. However, instead of dying, she finds herself in a mysterious library, where each book represents a different version of her life, based on the decisions she made or didn’t make. She is given the opportunity to try out any of these lives, and see if she can find happiness and meaning in any of them.

The Midnight Library is a captivating and uplifting book that blends fantasy and philosophy. It challenges the reader to reflect on their own regrets, dreams, and possibilities, and to appreciate the value of their own life. It is a book that celebrates the power of imagination, empathy, and hope.

2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club is a mystery novel that follows a group of four elderly residents of a retirement village, who meet every week to discuss unsolved crimes. When a local developer is found dead, they decide to investigate the case themselves, using their skills, contacts, and cunning. Along the way, they encounter more murders, secrets, and surprises, as well as some unexpected friendships.

The Thursday Murder Club is a witty and charming book that combines humour and suspense. It features a cast of quirky and lovable characters, who prove that age is no barrier to adventure and fun. It is a book that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer.

3. A Promised Land by Barack Obama

A Promised Land is the first volume of the memoirs of Barack Obama, the former president of the United States. It covers his early life, his political career, and his first term in the White House, up to the killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011. It reveals his personal and professional challenges, successes, and failures, as well as his insights and opinions on various issues and events.

A Promised Land is a candid and compelling book that offers a unique perspective on the history and politics of the 21st century. It showcases Obama’s eloquence, intelligence, and honesty, as well as his humanity and humour. It is a book that will inspire, inform, and entertain.

4. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is a book that combines illustrations and words to create a simple and profound story. It follows the journey of four unlikely friends, who meet and support each other through life’s joys and sorrows. Along the way, they share their thoughts and feelings on various topics, such as love, friendship, courage, and kindness.

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is a beautiful and heartwarming book that touches the soul. It is a book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, as it offers wisdom and comfort for everyone. It is a book that will make you smile, cry, and hug.

5. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain is a novel that tells the story of a young boy growing up in Glasgow in the 1980s, in the midst of poverty, violence, and addiction. The protagonist, Shuggie, is a sensitive and lonely child, who struggles to fit in and cope with his harsh reality. His only source of love and hope is his mother, Agnes, who is an alcoholic and a dreamer, who tries to escape her misery and despair.

Shuggie Bain is a powerful and moving book that depicts the harsh realities of life for many people in Britain. It is a book that portrays the complex and tragic relationship between a mother and a son, and the resilience and courage of the human spirit. It is a book that will break your heart and stay with you.

6. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds is a historical novel that takes place in the 1930s, during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. The protagonist, Elsa Martinelli, is a farmer’s wife and a mother of two, who faces the challenges of drought, famine, and poverty, in her Texas home. When her husband abandons her, she decides to take her children and head west, in search of a better life and a new start.

The Four Winds is an epic and emotional book that explores the themes of survival, sacrifice, and love. It is a book that captures the spirit and the struggles of a generation of Americans, who endured one of the darkest periods of history. It is a book that will make you feel and think.

7. The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

The Sanatorium is a thriller novel that follows a detective, Elin Warner, who is on a holiday with her boyfriend, in a remote and luxurious hotel in the Swiss Alps. The hotel, which used to be a sanatorium, is isolated and eerie, and soon becomes the scene of a murder. Elin, who is recovering from a traumatic case, decides to investigate the murder, and uncovers a web of secrets, lies, and danger.

The Sanatorium is a gripping and chilling book that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It is a book that combines a stunning setting, a complex plot, and a flawed and relatable protagonist. It is a book that will keep you guessing and gasping.

8. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a novel that follows the journey of a Syrian couple, Nuri and Afra, who flee their war-torn country and seek asylum in the UK. Nuri is a beekeeper, who has lost his hives and his livelihood, and Afra is an artist, who has lost her sight and her son. Together, they face the hardships and dangers of their journey, as well as the memories and grief of their past.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a poignant and powerful book that sheds light on the plight and the resilience of refugees. It is a book that portrays the horrors of war, the beauty of nature, and the strength of love. It is a book that will touch your heart and open your eyes.

9. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half is a novel that explores the themes of identity, race, and family. It tells the story of twin sisters, Stella and Desiree, who grow up in a small and segregated town in Louisiana, where everyone is light-skinned black. At the age of 16, they run away from their home and their community, and take different paths in life. Stella passes as white and marries a wealthy man, while Desiree returns to her hometown and marries a dark-skinned man. Their lives and their daughters’ lives are shaped by their choices and their secrets.

The Vanishing Half is a captivating and thought-provoking book that examines the complexities and consequences of living a lie. It is a book that challenges the notions of race, gender, and class, and the impact they have on individuals and society. It is a book that will make you question and empathize.

10. The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk

The Body Keeps the Score is a non-fiction book that explores the effects of trauma on the mind and the body. The author, Bessel van der Kolk, is a psychiatrist and a trauma expert, who has worked with thousands of patients, from veterans to abuse survivors. He explains how trauma alters the brain, the nervous system, and the emotions, and how it can lead to various symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, and violence. He also offers various methods and therapies to help heal the trauma, such as mindfulness, yoga, neurofeedback, and EMDR.

The Body Keeps the Score is a groundbreaking and enlightening book that offers hope and healing to anyone who has experienced trauma, or knows someone who has. It is a book that combines scientific research, clinical experience, and personal stories, to create a comprehensive and compassionate guide. It is a book that will change your life and your perspective.