The weeksÂ are heating up and Memorial Dayâs come and gone, which means thereâs finally time to take a vacation and settle down with a good book.
We rounded up over a dozen of the books sure to be on everyoneâs mind this summer and listed them below alongsideÂ their publishersâ description. Youâll see some of the biggest names in thrillers, new releases by favorite authors, and exciting debuts in these popularÂ reads âÂ a little something for everyone!
The Girl on the TrainÂ by Paula Hawkins
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. Sheâs even started to feel like she knows them. âJess and Jason,â she calls them. Their lifeÂ âÂ as she sees itÂ âÂ is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. Itâs only a minute until the train moves on, but itâs enough. Now everythingâs changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesnât believe that the Nazis will invade Franceâ¦ but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianneâs home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianneâs sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets GÃ¤etan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can â¦ completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the womenâs war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn Franceâa heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Spare and unsparing, God Help the ChildÂ â the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current momentÂ âÂ weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult.
At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Brideâs mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that âwhat you do to children matters. And they might never forget.â
A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough
On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.
Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?
David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, tells the surprising, profoundly American story of Wilbur and Orville Wright.
Far more than a couple of unschooled Dayton bicycle mechanics who happened to hit on success, they were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing. The house they lived in had no electricity or indoor plumbing, but there were books aplenty, supplied mainly by their preacher father, and they never stopped reading.
When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education, little money and no contacts in high places, never stopped them in their âmissionâ to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off in one of their contrivances, they risked being killed.
In this thrilling book, master historian David McCullough draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence to tell the human side of the Wright Brothersâ story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Lydia is dead. But they donât know this yetâ¦Â So begins theÂ story of this exquisite debut novel, about a ChineseÂ American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio.Â Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee;Â their middle daughter, a girl who inherited herÂ motherâs bright blue eyes and her fatherâs jet-blackÂ hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia willÂ fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursueÂ âÂ inÂ Marilynâs case that her daughter become a doctorÂ rather than a homemaker, in Jamesâs case that LydiaÂ be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life andÂ the center of every party.
When Lydiaâs body is found in the local lake, theÂ delicate balancing act that has been keeping the LeeÂ family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them toÂ confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowlyÂ pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, setsÂ out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage.Â Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined toÂ find a responsible party, no matter what the cost.Â Lydiaâs older brother, Nathan, is certain that theÂ neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved.Â But itâs the youngest of the familyÂ âÂ HannahÂ âÂ whoÂ observes far more than anyone realizes and whoÂ may be the only one who knows the truth aboutÂ what happened.
A profoundly moving story of family, history,Â and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told YouÂ is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive familyÂ portrait, exploring the divisions between culturesÂ and the rifts within a family, and uncovering theÂ ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers andÂ sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives,Â to understand one another.
Finders KeepersÂ by Stephen King
âWake up, genius.â So begins Kingâs instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasnât published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when heâs released from prison after thirty-five years.
Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders KeepersÂ is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a lifeâfor good, for bad, forever.
Memory ManÂ by David Baldacci
The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect â he can never forget anything.
The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare â his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.
His family destroyed, their killerâs identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.
But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Â In the Unlikely EventÂ by Judy Blume
Â In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling.
Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and placeÂ âÂ Nat King Cole singing âUnforgettable,â Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
In the Unlikely Event is vintage Judy Blume, with all the hallmarks of Judy Blumeâs unparalleled storytelling, and full of memorable characters who cope with loss, remember the good times and, finally, wonder at the joy that keeps them going.
At the Waterâs EdgeÂ by Sara Gruen
After disgracing themselves at a high society New Yearâs Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his sonâs inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonelâs favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failedÂ âÂ by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monsterÂ âÂ Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of lifeâs beauty and surprising possibilities.
The StrangerÂ by Harlan Coben
The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.
Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.
Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinneâs deception, and realizes that if he doesnât make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy heâs stumbled into will not only ruin livesÂ âÂ it will end them.
Modern RomanceÂ by Aziz Ansari
At some point, every one of us embarks on aÂ journey to find love. We meet people, date, getÂ into and out of relationships, all with the hopeÂ of finding someone with whom we share a deepÂ connection. This seems standard now, but itâsÂ wildly different from what people did even justÂ decades ago. Single people today have moreÂ romantic options than at any point in humanÂ history. With technology, our abilities to connectÂ with and sort through these options are staggering.Â So why are so many people frustrated?
Some of our problems are unique to our time.Â âWhy did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?âÂ âShould I go out with this girl even though sheÂ listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods?Â Combos?!â âMy girlfriend just got a message fromÂ some dude named Nathan. Whoâs Nathan? Did heÂ just send her a photo of his penis? Should I checkÂ just to be sure?â
But the transformation of our romantic livesÂ canât be explained by technology alone. In a shortÂ period of time, the whole culture of finding loveÂ has changed dramatically. A few decades ago,Â people would find a decent person who lived inÂ their neighborhood. Their families would meetÂ and, after deciding neither party seemed like aÂ murderer, they would get married and soon haveÂ a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today,Â people marry later than ever and spend years ofÂ their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, aÂ soul mate.
For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming hisÂ comic insight at modern romance, but for ModernÂ Romance, the book, he decided he needed to takeÂ things to another level. He teamed up with NYUÂ sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massiveÂ research project, including hundreds of interviewsÂ and focus groups conducted everywhere fromÂ Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzedÂ behavioral data and surveys and created their ownÂ online research forum on Reddit, which drewÂ thousands of messages. They enlisted the worldâsÂ leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, HelenÂ Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, SherryÂ Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike anyÂ social science or humor book weâve seen before.
In Modern Romance, Ansari combines hisÂ irreverent humor with cutting-edge social scienceÂ to give us an unforgettable tour of our newÂ romantic world.
The Boston GirlÂ by Anita Diamant
Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addieâs intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents canât imagineÂ âÂ a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.
Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her âHow did you get to be the woman you are today.â She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naÃ¯ve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamantâs previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one womanâs complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.
Paper TownsÂ by John Green
So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his lifeÂ âÂ summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revengeÂ âÂ he follows.
When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are cluesÂ âÂ and theyâre for him.
Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.
#1 Bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars John Green crafts a brilliantly funny and moving coming-of-age journey about true friendship and true love.
Have you read any of these books? Tell us about them in the comments below!