It’s that time of year when all you want to do is lose yourself in the pages of a great book—whether ensconced in a comfy chaise lounge on a beach, in your backyard, or in the comfort of the air conditioning at home. Need reading material? We’ve got you covered with a crop of unputdownable summer reads that will keep you turning the pages. Just load your book bag or eReader and dive in. Enjoy!
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Winner—National Book Critics Circle Award
“A transfixing epic.”—The Boston Globe
A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding
“Clever and funny.”—People
Move over, Bridget Jones’s diary: She’s back, and this time she’s texting and tweeting. . . .
Fourteen years after landing Mark Darcy, Bridget’s life has taken her places she never expected. But despite the new challenges of single parenting, online dating, wildly morphing dress sizes, and bafflingly complex remote controls, she is the same irrepressible and endearing soul we all remember—though her talent for embarrassing herself in hilarious ways has become dangerously amplified now that she has 752 Twitter followers. As Bridget navigates head lice epidemics, school-picnic humiliations, and cross-generational sex, she learns that life isn’t over when you start needing reading glasses—and why one should never, ever text while drunk.
Studded with witty observations about the perils and absurdities of our times, Mad About the Boy is both outrageously comic and genuinely moving. As we watch her dealing with heartbreaking loss and rediscovering love and joy, Bridget invites us to fall for her all over again.
The Circle by Dave Eggers
New York Times Notable Book
“A vivid, roaring dissent.”—The Wall Street Journal
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
“Wickedly delectable.”—The New York Times
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
Dexter’s Final Cut by Jeff Lindsay
The Killer Character That Inspired The Hit TV Series
“Gory . . . appalling . . . funny.”—Los Angeles Times
Lights. Camera. Murder. The Dexter series continues with a wild ride through Hollywood.
Mega-star Robert Chase is famous for losing himself in his characters. When he and a group of actors descend on the Miami Police Department for “research,” Chase becomes fixated on Dexter Morgan, the blood spatter analyst with a sweet tooth and seemingly average life. Chase shadows Dexter’s every move, trying to learn what makes him tick. However, Dexter’s favorite pastime of hunting down the worst killers who’ve escaped legal prosecution—and introducing them to his special brand of justice—presents, well, a bit of a problem. It’s a secret best kept out of the spotlight if Dexter wants to stay out of the electric chair, but even Dexter isn’t immune to the call of fame. . . .
Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk
A dark and twisted apocalyptic vision from a provocative storyteller.
After a Halloween ritual gone awry, Madison finds herself trapped in Purgatory—or, as mortals like you and I know it, Earth. She can see and hear every detail of the world she left behind, yet she’s invisible to everyone who’s still alive. Not only do people look right through her, they walk right through her as well. The upside is that, no longer subject to physical limitations, she can pass through doors and walls. Her first stop is her parents’ luxurious apartment, where she encounters the ghost of her long-deceased grandmother. For Madison, the encounter triggers memories of the awful summer she spent upstate with Nana Minnie and her grandfather, Papadaddy. As she revisits the painful truth of what transpired over those months (including a disturbing and finally fatal meeting in a rest stop’s fetid men’s room, in which . . . well, never mind), her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning. Satan has had Madison in his sights from the very beginning: through her and her narcissistic celebrity parents, he plans to engineer an era of eternal damnation. For everyone.
Once again, our unconventional but plucky heroine must face her fears and gather her wits for the battle of a lifetime. Dante Alighieri, watch your back; Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.
The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan
A People Magazine Top 10 Best Book of the Year
The bestselling author of Maine returns with an exhilarating novel about Frances Gerety, the real pioneering ad woman who coined the famous slogan “A Diamond is Forever,” and four unique marriages that will test how true—or not—those words might be.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years, but their son’s messy divorce has put them at rare odds; James, a beleaguered paramedic, has spent most of his marriage haunted by his wife’s family’s expectations; Delphine has thrown caution to the wind and left a peaceful French life for an exciting but rocky romance in America; and Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own. As the stories connect to each other and to Frances’s legacy in surprising ways, The Engagements explores the complicated ins and outs of relationships, then, now, and forever.
Inferno by Dan Brown
The #1 “Blockbuster”— USA Today
Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon awakens in an Italian hospital, disoriented and with no recollection of the past thirty-six hours, including the origin of the macabre object hidden in his belongings. With a relentless female assassin trailing them through Florence, he and his resourceful doctor, Sienna Brooks, are forced to flee. Embarking on a harrowing journey, they must unravel a series of codes, which are the work of a brilliant scientist whose obsession with the end of the world is matched only by his passion for one of the most influential masterpieces ever written, Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno.
Dan Brown has raised the bar yet again, combining classical Italian art, history, and literature with cutting-edge science in this captivating thriller.
Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson
New York Times Notable Book
“Thrilling. . . . Galvanizing and cinematic.”—The Boston Globe
The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.
At the center of it all was Lawrence himself. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed.
Longbourn by Jo Baker
New York Times Notable Book
“Brilliant on every level.”—USA Today
The servants take center stage in this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice. While Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters fuss over balls and husbands, Sarah, their orphaned housemaid, is beginning to chafe against the boundaries of her class. When a new footman arrives at Longbourn under mysterious circumstances, the carefully choreographed world she has known all her life threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended. Mentioned only fleetingly in Jane Austen’s classic, here Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Regency England and, in doing so, uncovers the real world of the novel that has captivated readers’ hearts around the world for generations.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Man Booker Prize Finalist
“Mesmerizing . . . exquisite.”—The Washington Post
The Lowland is an engrossing family saga steeped in history: the story of two very different brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn apart by revolution, and a love that endures long past death. Moving from the 1960s to the present, and from India to America and across generations, this dazzling novel is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwood
New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book
“Joyous. . . . A pleasure. . . . Miraculously balances humor, outrage and beauty.” —The New York Times Book Review
In this final volume of the internationally celebrated MaddAddam trilogy, the Waterless Flood pandemic has wiped out most of the population. Toby is part of a small band of survivors, along with the Children of Crake: the gentle, bioengineered quasi-human species who will inherit this new earth.
As Toby explains their origins to the curious Crakers, her tales cohere into a luminous oral history that sets down humanity’s past—and points toward its future. Blending action, humor, romance, and an imagination at once dazzlingly inventive and grounded in a recognizable world, MaddAddam is vintage Atwood—a moving and dramatic conclusion to her epic work of speculative fiction.
The Madmen of Benghazi by Gérard de Villiers
Available for the first time in the U.S.!
The Madmen of Benghazi is a gripping, racy, ripped-from-the-headlines espionage thriller set in volatile post-Qaddafi Libya.
When terrorists try to shoot down a plane carrying Libyan prince Ibrahim al-Senussi, it is clear that someone wants him dead. But the CIA has its own plot for the prince: Now that Qaddafi has been overthrown, al-Senussi is their best bet to set up a constitutional monarchy and stem the Islamist tide in Libya. The CIA, which needs Malko as much as he needs them, sends the Austrian aristocrat to Cairo to learn more about al-Senussi’s plans by seducing his companion, a ravishing British model. This mission is enormously appealing, but also proves enormously dangerous, as the same madman of God who is trying to kill al-Senussi also takes aim at Malko.
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith
“Particularly endearing.”—The Christian Science Monitor
Fans around the world adore the bestselling No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and its proprietor Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s premier lady detective. In The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, Precious Ramotswe has her hands full with two puzzling cases. The first concerns a young man hoping to claim his inheritance at his uncle’s farm. The farmer’s lawyer fears that this self-professed nephew may be falsely impersonating the real heir, and asks Mma Ramotswe to look into his identity. The second involves the just-opened Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, which has been shadowed by misfortune, from bad omens in the mail to swirling rumors that its products are dangerous. The salon’s proprietor fears that someone is trying to put her out of business—but who? Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe has come to suspect that her intrepid associate Grace Makutsi is pregnant—though Mma Makutsi has mentioned nothing.
With genuine warmth, sympathy, and wit, Alexander McCall Smith explores marriage, parenthood, and the importance of the traditions that shape and guide our lives.
One Summer by Bill Bryson
A Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book
“Rollicking . . . amazing.” —Chicago Tribune
The summer of 1927 began with Charles Lindbergh crossing the Atlantic. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth was closing in on the home run record. In Newark, New Jersey, Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole for twelve days, and in Chicago, the gangster Al Capone was tightening his grip on bootlegging. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed, forever changing the motion picture industry.
All this and much, much more transpired in the year Americans attempted and accomplished outsized things—and when the twentieth century truly became the American century. One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.
Police by Jo Nesbo
#1 Bestselling author of The Bat and Cockroaches
“A dizzyingly taut feat of storytelling.”—The Boston Globe
A vindictive killer is stalking Oslo’s streets, slaying police officers at the scenes of crimes they once investigated but failed to solve. The department urgently needs Harry Hole.
For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His brilliant insights and dedication to his job have saved countless lives over the years. But as the killer grows increasingly bold and the media reaction increasingly hysterical, the detective is nowhere to be found. This time, when those he loves and values most are facing terrible danger, Harry is in no position to protect anyone—least of all himself.
Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
“Nancy Drew meets Philip Marlowe.” —Stephen King
From Rob Thomas, the creator of the television series and movie phenomenon Veronica Mars, comes the first book in a thrilling mystery series that picks up where the feature film left off.
Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.
Now it’s spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person’s case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.
The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice
“Mysterious and mystical.”—R. L. Stine
It is winter at Nideck Point. Oak fires burn in the stately flickering hearths, and the community organizes its annual celebration of music and pageantry. But for Reuben Golding, now infused with the Wolf Gift, this promises to be a season like no other. He’s preparing to honor an ancient Midwinter festival with his fellow Morphenkinder—a secret gathering that takes place deep within the verdant recesses of the surrounding forests.
However, Reuben is soon distracted by a ghost. Tormented, imploring, and unable to speak, it haunts the halls of the great mansion, drawing him toward a strange netherworld of new spirits, or “ageless ones.” And as the swirl of Nideck’s preparations reaches a fever pitch, they reveal their own dark magical powers.