What to read this summer – Benedict Cumberbatch edition

Summer is fast approaching which means it’s time for reading lots of books while lying by a pool somewhere beautiful and warm. And with Benedict soon to be appearing in a variety of book adaptations on film and TV it’s an ideal time to catch up on the source material. So here’s our recommendations for Benedict Cumberbatch inspired reading this summer:


How to Stop Time – by Matt Haig – Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz-Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

Benedict has optioned the film rights for How to Stop Time for his production company SunnyMarch and he is set to play Tom Hazard in the film! The book comes out on 6 July 2017.

The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St Aubyn – Benedict will be starring in an adaptation of these novels for Sky Atlantic. The dark but witty The Patrick Melrose Novels charts the life story of the highly dysfunctional, upper-class Patrick Melrose. The kindle edition is a bargain at £8.54. The collection linked contains all 5 novels.

The Child in Time – by Ian McEwan. On a routine trip to the supermarket with his daughter one Saturday morning, Stephen Lewis, a well-known writer of children’s books, turns his back momentarily. When he looks around again, his child is gone. In a single moment, everything is changed. The kidnapping has a devastating effect on Stephen’s life and marriage. Memories and the present become inseparable – as Stephen gets lost in daydreams of the past – and time bends back on itself, dragging Stephen’s own childhood back into the present.

Benedict has just finished filming an adaptation of the novel for BBC 1. He plays Stephen Lewis. You can pick up the kindle edition for £4.99

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household  – An Englishman plans to assassinate the dictator of a European country. But he is foiled at the last moment and falls into the hands of ruthless and inventive torturers. They devise for him an ingenious and diplomatic death but, for once, they bungle the job and he escapes. But England provides no safety from his pursuers – and the Rogue Male must strip away all the trappings of status and civilization as the hunter becomes a hunted animal. (Kindle edition)

Benedict has optioned Rogue Male for his production company SunnyMarch.

The End We Start From by Megan Hunter – In the midst of a mysterious environmental crisis, as London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, the family are forced to leave their home in search of safety. As they move from place to place, shelter to shelter, their journey traces both fear and wonder as Z’s small fists grasp at the things he sees, as he grows and stretches, thriving and content against all the odds.

Benedict has optioned the film rights to The End We Start From for his production company SunnyMarch. You can currently buy a pretty hard cover edition of the book for £6.99 and the kindle version for £6.64. Louise Brealey (Molly in Sherlock) also reads the audio book

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore   Empires of Light by Jill Jonnes

Benedict is soon to be seen on our screens in The Current War which is out this December. It tells of the bitter fight between Westinghouse and Edison to build an empire of electricity.  Either of the above books would be a fascinating background to the film (note The Last Days of Night is the basis for a rival film but covers the same story and is written by the Oscar winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – Benedict is due to star in a motion capture performance as Shere Khan in a version of the film directed by Andy Serkis next year. The film is meant to be much closer to the spirit of the book than the previous Disney versions. You can currently pick up the book in kindle edition for a ridiculously bargainous 0.49p!