It’s the heart of summer now here in England, and we’re in the midst of a protracted heatwave. Sunshine always makes me want sit in the shade and get lost in a good book.

Life is as busy as ever in the Lab Lit nerve center. But after recovering from a flurry of literary engagements, including Fiction Lab’s Ten-Year Anniversary event at London’s Royal Institution, I’ve had the chance to do a bit of beach reading myself – including a guilty pleasure which I’ll review in due course for the main site. In the meantime, if you’re wondering what to bring on holiday, I recommend a number of recent lab lit novels in an interview on Living Lab Radio with the fine folks at WCAI National Public Radio, in what’s becoming a semi-regular geeky spot. Take a listen.

I’ve also got a new novel out myself: Cat Zero, which has everything you need for a great escapist read with science at its heart. But don’t just take my word for it: Matthew Reisz, writing for The Times Higher, deemed it “highly entertaining” and said that “it shines light on the backbiting and tensions of lab life as an unlikely team of scientists work to save the cats of Kent from a mysterious virus”. He also wonders, “who could stop themselves reading to the end to discover how it turns out?”.

Who indeed? Go on, you know you want to.