Hopefully you have plans for a summer vacation in a beautiful, peaceful place. Maybe your destination is a beach, a lake or a mountain. It could even be your couch. Sometimes there’s no place like home.
Below are some of Cold-EEZE’s reading recommendations to help you unwind. All are fiction because we think summer reading should be about escapism.
- Dark Places. This is the novel Gillian Flynn wrote before “Gone Girl,” the one that makes that more famous book seem like a light romantic comedy by comparison. It centers on a woman named Libby Day whose mother and two sisters were murdered by her brother when she was a small child. But, of course, things are not always what they seem. “Dark Places” has been adapted into a film starring Charlize Theron that will be released in August.
- The Black-Eyed Blonde. This hard-boiled mystery reprises the Raymond Chandler character of Philip Marlowe, a jaded private detective in 1930s-era Los Angeles. Published in 2014, it was written by Benjamin Black, which is the pen name of Irish novelist John Banville for his mystery books.
- A Game of Thrones. Even if you’re a diehard fan of the show and know the major plot points, the books are worth reading for their degree of detail and nuance. You just need to have some time to invest in them. The first of the current five books is the shortest, and it’s 704 pages long. Two more are planned.
- Go Set a Watchman. Originally written in the mid-1950s after “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee’s anxiously awaited second novel was released on July 14. Expect it to be read by many a book club.
- Life After Life. This 2013 Kate Atkinson novel imagines numerous versions of the life of its heroine, Ursula Todd, who grows up in an idyllic corner of England in the years leading up to World War II. Her small choices lead to wildly different outcomes – some noble and some tragic.
- The Goldfinch. This epic tale spans from New York to Las Vegas to Amsterdam and won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014. It tells the story of a young man’s strange connection to a painting by a Dutch master. At 784 pages, you’ll need to be committed to it.
- In the Unlikely Event. If you loved Judy Blume’s young-adult novels growing up, you should give her new book – her first adult novel in 17 years – a try. It draws on a series of freak airplane crashes that took place during her own childhood in New Jersey in the 1950s.
- The Girl on the Train. Arguably the most buzzed-about new release of 2015, this best-selling thriller is set in London and has been compared to “Gone Girl.” (It also uses an unreliable narrator to tell the story.)
- One Kick. This edgy thriller centers on 21-year-old Kick Lannigan, who was abducted in broad daylight as a young girl and rescued by the FBI five years later. As an adult, she’s trained herself as an expert in various forms of combat, and now she’s teaming up with an enigmatic partner to track down missing children.
- The Secret Place. The latest in the “Dublin Murder Squad” series, in which each book is told through the perspective of a different investigating detective, this story focuses on a murder on the grounds of an elite girls’ high school. The victim is a boy from a school down the road. It’s a spine-tingling story and a haunting depiction of teenage friendships.
- The Silkworm. This is the second novel by Robert Galbraith, better known to the world as J.K. Rowling. It follows the exploits of a London private detective named Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott and their investigation of the grotesque murder of a writer.
Do you have suggestions for summer books to read?