This week is our summer books and films spectacular, full of recommendations of things to read and watch. First, Lilah is joined by literary editors Fred Studemann and Laura Battle to explore the FT's Summer Books special. They suggest a range of light summer reads, sharp non-fiction, deep dives, thrillers and classics to take on your summer holiday, and talk trends in book publishing. Then, deputy arts editor Raphael Abraham recommends the top films to look out for this summer. After watching 24 films in less than a week at the Cannes film festival, he's filtered the new releases down to a must-see list.

Tell us about your own favourite new books and films! We’ll share them alongside the episode on our social platforms. Email us at We’re on Twitter @ftweekendpod, and Lilah is on Instagram and Twitter @lilahrap.

Here’s Laura’s list of the best fiction summer reads: The whole summer books special is at

Books mentioned:

Audiobooks: Bad Actors by Mick Herron and Ulysses by James Joyce

Novels that span centuries: To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara and Sea of Tranquility by Emily St John Mandel

Beach read: You Made a Fool of Death with your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

Fun non-fiction: Circus of Dreams by John Walsh

Empire books:Legacy of Violence by Caroline Elkin and In the Shadow of the Gods by Dominic Lieven

BRussian influence: Putin’s People by Catherine Belton and Butler to the World by Oliver Bullough

AI simulation: The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier

Stories mentioned:

–Marriage in all its divine tedium:

–Edward Luce on whether America is headed for another civil war:

Films to watch this summer, from Raph:



Hit the Road


Three Thousand Years of Longing:



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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco.

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