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The Best Books to Read in the Bath

Choose your next book from our top 100 best books to read in the bath ranking.

Blog
Wednesday 10th November 2021

Preparing the ultimate relaxing bath experience is really important, whether that’s adding bath salts and bubbles or simply getting a new book to delve into. But do you ever struggle to find a new read to take into the bath with you, for some much needed you time? Well, look no further as we have an analysed over 100 books released between 2020-2021 to find out which are the best reads for the bath.

We’ve looked at the number of ratings, the number of reviews, the number of pages as well as if the books are predominantly an eBook, hardback or paperback-- as there’s nothing worse than getting a new book wet! We have also calculated the number of baths needed to finish each book based on reading 10 pages per 20-minute bath. Discover our top 100 list below and find the perfect book for your next bath.

The top 10 books to read in the bath

1. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Coming in first place is Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, with an overall score of 70.74 out of 100. The book tells the story of an unforgettable 24 hours in the life of the Riva family full of secrets and traumas. The historical fiction book is just over 350 pages in length, which means it would take 37 baths to finish the book based on reading 10 pages in a 20-minute bath. The book is a hardback meaning it is better than a paperback in terms of water resistance-- however not as good as an e-book which is fully waterproof. Malibu Rising has seen 24,533 reviews in total so far this year with an average rating of 4.13 out of 5.

2. The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push by Ashley Audrain comes in second place with an overall score of 69.24 out of 100. This thriller novel follows a mother who is concerned that her preschool daughter may be a phyco-killer. Coming in at just over 300 pages, this book is slightly shorter than the first book and would take a total of 31 baths to be able to complete the book, based on reading 10 pages in a 20-minute bath. The thriller is also a hardback, so scores at the mid-point for water resistance. The average rating is 4.13 across all 15,830 reviews.

3. The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

The next book in our analysis is a New York Times bestseller which is also featured in Reader’s Digest top 50 fictions books. Set-in eighteenth-century London, this book follows the lives of a secret network of women seeking legacy and revenge. This is another hard cover book, which means there is some water resistance for your next bathtub read-- but what helps score this book so highly is the length being slightly shorter at just 301 pages, taking 30 baths to complete the whole thing. There have been 14,905 reviews and the average rating is 3.79 out of 5.

4. Luster by Raven Leilani

Noted as ‘a millennial novel for the ages’ by the Guardian, Luster follows a woman in her 20s who becomes involved with a man in his 40s in an open marriage. The literary fiction book has had 7,455 reviews with an average rating of 3.60 and was well received by readers, even winning the 2020 Kirkus Prize for fiction. It would take 27, 20 -minute baths to complete this 227-page book and it is also predominantly a hard cover book.

5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun tells the story of a robot who gets chosen to be the friend of a sweet young girl who is sick.

The story is told from Klara’s (the robot) perspective and falls into the science fiction genre. With over 13,000 (13,245) reviews averaging a rating of 3.82 this book is highly commended by readers. Totalling 303 pages the book would take 30 20-minute baths to complete and is also a hard cover book.

6. The Impossible Truths Of Love by Hannah Beckerman

A woman seeks to unveil the truth behind her father’s deathbed declaration that reveals a long-held secret. This fictional novel was only recently released on 5th October 2021 but has already seen 66 reviews and a very high rating of 4.41 out of 5. What’s more, the book is on Kindle therefore completely waterproof, scoring the highest for this metric. In terms of length, there are a total of 298 pages so it would take 30 20-minute baths to complete this book.

7. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The next hardback book is The Wife Upstairs, which is a modern-day thriller, with lots of twists, secrets and of course forbidden romance. This book has had 10,457 reviews in total with an average rating of 3.77 out of 5. In total there are 290 pages in the book meaning it would take 29 20-minute baths to complete this book.

8. I Know What You've Done by Dorothy Koomson

Named an ‘addictive new thriller’ this book by Dorothy Koomson tells the story of a murder, where a neighbour finds a secret diary on their doorstep and uses it to uncover the truth behind the mysterious murder. Released in July of this year, this book has seen just 65 reviews so far, with a high average rating of 4.16 out of 5. The kindle eBook is 299 pages long, taking 30 20-minute baths in total to finish the whole book.

9. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

This fictional novel looks back through history following a Cuban family that has been subject to brutal events. Told from a mother’s perspective and released in July 2021, the novel has received 2,300 reviews to date averaging a rating of 3.72 out of 5. The hard back has a total of 207 pages, taking 27 20-minute baths to complete.

10. Let Me Tell You What I Mean by Joan Didion

The 10th book brings together twelve pieces from Joan Didion’s early career, from gambling trouble to a WWII veteran reunion. The hardback book has had 646 reviews, averaging a rating of 3.90 out of 5. The shortest book out of the 100 analysed with just 176 pages, you could complete this whole book in just 18 20-minute baths.

If you’re searching for your next good book, take a look at the full top 100 list of books in the table below to discover your next read for the bath: 

Rank

Book title

Author

Overall Score

1

Malibu Rising

Taylor Jenkins Reid

70.74

2

The Push

Ashley Audrain

69.24

3

The Lost Apothecary

Sarah Penner

67.92

4

Luster

Raven Leilani

66.22

5

Klara and the Sun

Kazuo Ishiguro

66.16

6

The Impossible Truths Of Love

Hannah Beckerman

64.90

7

The Wife Upstairs

Rachel Hawkins

64.48

8

I Know What You've Done

Dorothy Koomson

63.35

9

Of Women and Salt

Gabriela Garcia

63.28

10

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

Joan Didion

63.03

11

The Man Who Died Twice

Richard Osman

62.98

12

Silverview

John le Carré

62.68

13

No One Is Talking About This

Patricia Lockwood

62.68

14

Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir

Akwaeke Emezi

62.65

15

Second Place

Rachel Cusk

62.54

16

The Days of Afrekete

Asali Solomon

62.19

17

Summerwater

Sarah Moss

61.25

18

Sunshine Girl: An Unexpected Life

Julianna Margulies

61.10

19

Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future

Elizabeth Kolbert

61.03

20

Right Within: How to Heal From Racial Trauma in the Workplace

Minda Harts

60.72

21

Intimacies

Katie Kitamura

60.29

22

Oh William!

Elizabeth Strou

60.18

23

The Maidens

Alex Michaelides

60.13

24

Exit

Belinda Bauer

59.63

25

Afterparties: Stories

Anthony Veasna So

59.43

26

Nightbitch

Rachel Yoder

59.40

27

The Loneliest Americans

Jay Caspian Kang

59.34

28

The Beauty of Living Twice

Sharon Stone

59.29

29

Matrix

Lauren Groff

58.82

30

The Kindest Lie

Nancy Johnson

57.98

31

Painting Time

Maylis De Kerangal

57.71

32

Life Among the Terranauts

Caitlin Horrocks

57.04

33

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

Cherie Jones

57.04

34

Filthy Animals

Brandon Taylor

56.24

35

Love In Five Acts

Daniela Krien

56.07

36

In the Quick

Kate Hope Day

55.67

37

Unsettled Ground

Claire Fuller

55.43

38

Biography of a Body

Lizz Schumer

55.27

39

Peaces

Helen Oyeyemi

55.22

40

The Removed

Brandon Hobson

55.16

41

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

Rivka Galchen

54.70

42

Fierce Poise

Alexander Nemerov

54.65

43

Infinite Country

Patricia Engel

54.42

44

This Close to Okay

Leesa Cross-Smith

53.28

45

Sankofa

Chibundu Onuzo

53.06

46

A Slow Fire Burning

Paula Hawkins

52.90

47

Harlem Shuffle

Colson Whitehead

52.79

48

The Dark

Emma Haughton

52.41

49

Detransition, Baby

Torrey Peters

52.30

50

Until Next Weekend

Rachel Marks

52.11

51

Aftershocks

Nadia Owusu

52.08

52

Everyone Is Still Alive

Cathy Rentzenbrink

52.05

53

Watch Her Fall

Erin Kelly

51.88

54

With Teeth

Kristen Arnett

51.88

55

Beautiful World, Where Are You?

Sally Rooney

51.10

56

A Crooked Tree

Una Mannion

51.10

57

Songbirds

Christy Lefteri

50.97

58

Good Company

Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

50.85

59

God Spare the Girls

Kelsey Mckinney

50.25

60

Girl A

Abigail Dean

50.14

61

Ruthless Women

Melanie Blake

50.02

62

Hot Stew

Fiona Mozley

49.98

63

No Honour

Awais Khan

49.80

64

Somebody's Daughter: A Memoir

Ashley C. Ford

49.52

65

The Rock Eaters: Stories

Brenda Peynado

48.95

66

Virtue

Hermione Hoby

48.92

67

Libertie

Kaitlyn Greenidge

48.56

68

Libertie

Kaitlyn Greenidge

48.56

69

While Justice Sleeps

Stacey Abrams

48.27

70

All Girls

Emily Layden

48.24

71

Caul Baby

Morgan Jerkins

47.36

72

One Last Stop

Casey Mcquiston

47.17

73

The Copenhagen Trilogy

Tove Ditlevsen

47.09

74

All's Well

Mona Awad

47.00

75

The Husbands

Chandler Baker

46.88

76

Good Behaviour

Molly Keane

46.01

77

Something New Under the Sun

Alexandra Kleeman

45.86

78

The Lost Storyteller

Amanda Block

45.27

79

How Beautiful We Were

Imbolo Mbue

45.13

80

The Turnout

Megan Abbott

44.89

81

The Lamplighters

Emma Stonex

44.85

82

The Fourth Child

Jessica Winter

44.76

83

Midnight In Everwood

M.A. Kuzniar

44.75

84

Circus of Wonders

Elizabeth Macneal

44.74

85

We Are All Birds of Uganda

Hafsa Zayyan

44.64

86

Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Patrick Radden Keefe

44.41

87

The Kitchen Front

Jennifer Ryan

44.13

88

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Marianne Cronin

43.52

89

Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City

Andrea Elliott

43.48

90

All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake

Tiya Miles

42.74

91

The Shape of Darkness

Laura Purcell

42.40

92

Mrs England

Stacey Halls

42.04

93

What Comes After

Joanne Tompkins

41.93

94

While Paris Slept

Ruth Druart

41.68

95

Shiver

Allie Reynolds

41.26

96

Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York 1987–1993

Sarah Schulman

40.95

97

The Lincoln Highway

Amor Towles

40.91

98

Wolf Den

Elodie Harper

40.81

99

Black Widows

Cate Quinn

40.48

100

The Book of Difficult Fruit

Kate Lebo

39.86

If you're looking to upgrade your bath setup at home to create an even more relaxing feel, take a look at our full bath range to find your new comfortable bath to enjoy a book in.

Methodology and sources:

We've analysed over 100 books from seed lists of books released between 2020-2021 and used a series of metrics to create a weighted rank to find which are the best books to read in the bath. Metrics included the rating, the number of pages, the number of reviews and whether the book was predominantly a hardback, paperback, or an eBook. eBooks were scored the highest, hard back scored the mid-range and paper back scored the lowest due to books getting ruined once wet/waterproofness of the book format. The score for each book format was split in thirds paperbacks scoring one third, hardbacks two thirds and eBooks the full amount. We also worked out the number of baths it would take to finish each book looking at reading 10 pages per bath based on 2 minutes per page average read speed and an average bath time of 20 minutes. The least number of baths to finish the book were scored the highest. Data pulled October 2021.