10 Books to Read This Summer
Pick up these page-turners during the warmer months and you won’t be able to put them down. As a part of our Ultimate Summer Preview Issue, here are the summer’s 10 biggest reads.
Most Edifying Epic: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (June 7)
In her astonishing story, Gyasi follows the descendants of half sisters Effia and Esi, born in 18th-century Ghana, and creates a page-turning 300-year sweep of American and Ghanaian history.
Best '60s Flashback: The Girls by Emma Cline (June 14)
This breathtaking novel — about a young woman entangled in a Mansonesque cult — is so accomplished that it’s hard to believe it’s a debut. Cline’s powerful characters linger long after the final page.
Nonfiction Heavyweight: We Are Not Such Things by Justine Van Der Leun (June 28)
In investigating the 1993 murder of a Fulbright scholar outside of Cape Town, van der Leun paints a picture of contemporary South Africa while delving into big themes: justice, privilege, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
True-Crime Tingler: The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale (July 12)
It’s as engrossing as a novel, but this is the real-life story of a 13-year-old boy who stabbed his mother to death in 1895 London.
Inside-the-Beltway Winner: The Hopefuls by Jennifer Close (July 19)
Ambition, political power, and charisma take center stage in Close’s riveting page-turner about two couples who meet in D.C. — and the toll one pair’s success takes on the other.
Best Beach Bet: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (July 26)
Sex, marriage, deceit, friendship: Moriarty blends her usual ingredients into a fizzy, smart tale of three families whose lives suddenly intertwine.
Creepiest Psychological Thriller: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (July 26)
The author of Dare Me and The Fever returns to the subject she always captures so intensely: the private desires of teenage girls. Her latest follows a group of elite gymnasts and their families after a shocking death shakes their tight-knit community.
Best Big-Canvas Family Drama: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (August 23)
In this ambitious novel, the stock-market crash and the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 upend the lives of two families — that of a banking executive and that of the Cameroonian immigrant scratching out a living as his chauffeur.
Wildest Debut: The Nix by Nathan Hill (August 30)
This sprawling, politically charged, full-of-heart tale tracks an Elfquest-playing professor suddenly reunited with the mother who abandoned him decades ago.
Most Specatacular Sequel: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (August 30)
The sequel to An Ember in the Ashes — an acclaimed fantasy inspired by ancient Roman history — follows Elias and Laia as they try to save Laia’s brother while being relentlessly hunted by their enemies.