For a bookaholic, there’s nothing more rewarding than curling up with a good book, whether it’s summer, monsoon or winter. Which is why we’ve got you covered with a list of books that you must add to your reading list. From scintillating mysteries to generational dramas and haunting coming-of-age debuts, we’ve pulled together 10 incredible titles.
The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas
A raw, authentic and heartfelt story of 16 year old Starr, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas recounts her story, after she witnesses her childhood friend, Khalil get shot and killed by a white police officer. In the aftermath, Starr must not only find the courage to seek justice for Khalil, but also deal with the way both the media and society paint Khalil in a negative light. What truly stands out in this book is the fact that the author manages to breathe life and importance into every character and fill each scene with palpable tension and purpose.
The reality is that Khalil’s story parallels so many past and recent tragedies that cannot be ignored. The Hate U Give brilliantly addresses its multiple themes — police brutality, the Black Lives Matter Movement, privileged perspectives on race — with an insight and wisdom that is impressively honest, and which promises to stay with you long after you have completed the book.
The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a brilliant, endearing, scary as hell book. Told with simplistic prose and stark attention to detail, Atwood describes life in the not too distant future where the United States has been transformed through military coup into a totalitarian theocracy.
This dystopian horror story is made all the more real by the bridge Atwood has created between the world we know now and the world that could be – the story’s protagonist remembers the time before the change. The Handmaid’s Tale is a powerful novel that is frightening and powerful and if you are looking to add some chill to your summer months, pick up this book, right away.
Chemistry By Weike Wang
In Weike Wang’s Chemistry, a young female doctoral student’s life doesn’t go quite as planned — as she struggles with her research, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her Chinese parents’ high expectations, her life begins to unravel. As the pressures from both her university and those around her push her deeper into depression, she is forced to re-evaluate who she is and what she really wants, and re-find her place in the world. A poignant tale of self-discovery that anyone who’s ever felt a little lost will relate to instantly.
Into The Wild By Christopher McCandless
The story of Christopher McCandless is as harrowing as it is relatable. Recreated by Krakauer, Into the Wild recounts the real events that led McCandless to graduate college and spend his summer trekking through the wilderness on his own. The story is as riveting as it is fascinating, and you won’t be able to put it down.
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas By John Boyne
This story, set in 1942 Berlin, is about the unlikely friendship between two 9-year-old boys. It’s moving, will make you cry, and can be read over the span of a lazy afternoon. (Just make sure to have tissues nearby.)
Eleanor & Park By Rainbow Rowell
This is a love story about two people falling in love with each other and a book they both adore. If you’re in the mood for a fun romantic novel with some dark turns, and have a bit of geekiness in you, then definitely add this to the summer reading list.
Ill Will By Dan Chaon
There’s nothing exactly supernatural about Ill Will, the latest novel by Dan Chaon, but each page nevertheless feels deeply haunted, almost soaked with dread. When Dustin, a forty-something psychologist, gets the news that his adopted brother Rusty is being released from prison (after being put there thirty years ago for the murders of Dustin’s parents, aunt, and uncle), he spirals out of control and becomes obsessed with the wild theories of one of his patients. As it cycles between past and present, the ambitious and devastating Ill Will pulls its troubled characters even further down into its dark, bleak heart, a progression both cruel and utterly mesmerizing.
The Idiot By Elif Batuman
Elif Batuman’s debut novel The Idiot takes place in the foreign land of the mid 1990s, where everyone talks on landlines and email is a strange new curiosity, through the eyes of Selin, a funny, naive, deeply curious young woman. From Selin’s first day at Harvard on, The Idiot traces her intellectual and emotional development as she takes an array of mostly baffling courses, makes friends, and falls into an email correspondence with an alluring fellow student. Along the way, her experiences begin to answer the questions her classes won’t, such as how language relates to reality, and how to be a person in a world stymied by imperfect communication. While the book’s leisurely, wandering pace belies the sharpness of its observations, like a dreamy memory punctuated by flashes of insight, The Idiot is fascinating, hilarious, and insightful throughout.
The Tidal Zone By Sarah Moss
Adam is a happy stay-at-home dad who is also working on a history of the bombing and rebuilding of Coventry Cathedral. But one day, he receives a call from his daughter’s school to inform him that, for no apparent reason, fifteen-year-old Miriam has collapsed and stopped breathing. The story of his life and the lives of his family are rewritten and re-told around this shocking central event, around a body that has inexplicably failed.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing By Madeleine Thien
In Canada in 1991, 10-year-old Marie and her mother invite Ai-Ming, a young woman who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests, into their home. Ai-Ming tells Marie the story of her family in revolutionary China, a history in which three musicians – the shy and brilliant composer Sparrow, the violin prodigy Zhuli, and the enigmatic pianist Kai – struggle to remain loyal to one another and to the music they have devoted their lives to during China’s relentless Cultural Revolution.