Personally recommended novels for the holidays

Creative and cultural connoisseurs reveal the novels they couldn’t put down

A selection of thought-provoking holiday reads
A selection of thought-provoking holiday reads

Daniel Hopwood, interior designer The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild made an impression on me. It’s about a Watteau painting that talks, and this young lady discovers it and other people try to get hold of it – the book takes you through the low life and the high life of London. penguinrandomhouse.com.

Victoria Siddall likes Some Prefer Nettles, a portrait of 1920s Japan
Victoria Siddall likes Some Prefer Nettles, a portrait of 1920s Japan | Image: Rick Pushinsky

Victoria Siddall, director of Frieze art fairs I really like the short novel Some Prefer Nettles by Junichiro Tanizaki. It is a fascinating glimpse into 1920s Japan, but also a very intimate and moving account of a marriage and a family. penguin.co.uk.

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Suzy Hoodless, interior designer Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh is a brilliant novel about Kenya. She captures the landscape and light of the country so well that you feel you are there. penguin.co.uk.

Janek Deleskiewicz’s choice is Body and Soul, about a child prodigy
Janek Deleskiewicz’s choice is Body and Soul, about a child prodigy | Image: Léo-Paul Ridet

Tarang Arora, creative director of Amrapali Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is really worth reading. It’s about an Australian bank robber who escapes from prison and ends up in Bombay, where he becomes one of the locals. It’s a quirky story about his life in India and I found it very moving – his love for the country and what it gave him in return. littlebrown.co.uk.

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Sara Prentice, creative director of Garrard I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a great read. It’s about a stalker on the London Underground, following people who commute along the same route every day. In our business you have to be very careful to secrete priceless jewellery away, and mix up your routes, which I think is why I related to it. littlebrown.co.uk.

Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, founder of FlowerBx I recently read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It’s about the lives of four friends in New York – it was disturbing and harrowing but also compelling and beautifully written. Because my reality is so intense, anything that takes me to another place is wonderful. panmacmillan.com.

Janek Deleskiewicz, creative director of Jaeger-LeCoultre I loved Body and Soul by Frank Conroy. I found it really personal; it’s about a child prodigy whose musical genius pulled him out of squalor. penguinrandomhouse.com.

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