Fiction You Have to Read Before Summer Ends

A picture of a dog reading a book.

Our team of writers also loves reading, which really shouldn’t surprise you at all. That’s why we’ve decided to put together a list of our favorite fiction pieces, so you can lose yourself in a good story.

Although our team is great at working together, we’re made up of a bunch of people with very different tastes. To make it easier on you, we broke our list down by subgenre. Find your favorite, grab it from your local library or bookstore, and relax with a good read!

Drama

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Read the book before you watch the show. It’ll be way less predictable.

We’ll be honest. This is our guilty pleasure mom drama. This book follows the mothers of toddlers who go to a prestigious preschool. Just wait, though. The plot thickens much more quickly than you might think. Trust us on this one.

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie
This book is a series of short stories about life on a Native American reservation in Arizona. It follows people of all ages throughout various changes in their lives. This book makes a great match for the person who doesn’t have hours to dedicate to reading. Just read one short story, set it down, and come back.

Oh, and it also inspired the movie, Smoke Signals, so you know it’s amazing.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
This book follows Tess, who has just moved to New York. Here, she discovers that working as a server in a big city is wildly different than serving in the country. This book is filled with romance, intrigue, and more. Plus, it’s a series on Starz, so you know it has to be good.

Fantasy and Sci-Fi

The Dark Tower Series by…
We’ll tell you the author of this series in a second, because you’ll judge it too quickly otherwise. This series follows a gunslinger named Roland in a post-apocalyptic world where multiple universes are colliding. He and his friends have to race against time (which doesn’t move at a consistent pace), space (which can fluctuate at random), and opposing forces to stop the end of all things.

Sound awesome? Good. Start with the first book, The Gunslinger. Oh yeah. We forgot to mention the author. It’s Stephen King, but this isn’t a horror series. Still, if you’re a King fan, you’ll see a lot of crossovers from his other novels. Keep an eye out.

The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
All of Asimov is great, but this series has a fascinating through line of psychohistory; humans in big numbers will inevitably chart down a predetermined path. Check it out. It’s comforting in 2019 to avoid the Great Man Theory of history. Plus you have to read it, because Apple has green-lit a TV series.

Historical Fiction

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Even if historical fiction isn’t your thing, you have to check this one out. It’s all about a young man named Henry Montague and his best friend, Percy, going on one last hurrah of a trip before they both are forced to become actual adults. The best part? It’s LGBTQ+ historical fiction that focuses on a plot jam-packed with pirates, alchemy, and social faux pas. It even won the Stonewall Honor. (Bonus: if you love it, there’s a sequel called, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.)

A Gentleman in Moscow by Armor Towles
This book is HIGHLY recommended, which is why we bought it from a local bookstore (always shop local). The story is the 30-year saga of the Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov. In 1922, the Bolsheviks spare him from death or Siberia and instead place him under house arrest inside the Metropol Hotel in Moscow. What spared his life? A 1913 revolutionary poem he wrote in university.

The Huntress by Kate Quinn
We just finished this book, and it checks all the boxes. Suspense? ✔️ History? ✔️ Strong female character? ✔️

The story centers on a nurse who is sucked into the WWII resistance effort when she takes care of a gentleman who’s been injured by the Nazis. We won’t give anything more away about it. Just buy it.

Horror/Thriller

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This book follows a woman who commutes on a train every day. To pass the time, she watches a family through the window and quickly becomes unhealthily obsessed with the people she sees. This creepy novel about stalking will keep you on your toes from start to finish.

Gone Girl by Gillian Schieber Flynn
A woman goes missing, and everyone thinks it’s her husband. Don’t tune out yet, though. This book is full of twists and turns that you won’t expect. Just keep reading. We promise you won’t regret it.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
This book is almost impossible to explain. It’s about…well…a lot of things. A junkie finds a pile of papers obsessively written by a dead man about a documentary that doesn’t exist. There is no summary that can convey the way this post-modernistic book slowly disarms you. You’ll need to set it down and walk away from time to time. It’s that intangibly creepy. We guarantee you’ve never read anything like it.

One Second After by William R. Forstchen
This book covers the apocalypse that’s caused by an Electro Magnetic Pulse and its effect on a tiny town. The author is a Harvard professor who’s an expert in this area and talks about how much we fall to ruin as soon as we lose power. It gets creepy quickly. Just be prepared.

Mystery

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
This book is twisty, just like the title suggests. The main character is another strong female (are you sensing a theme?) who is an investigator for Spain’s secret police. She’s tasked with solving the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s minister of culture. You’ll need to read the book twice to catch all the hidden storylines.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
This book is an absolute classic. While it’s written to be easy to read, the mystery will still give you a run for your money. When an old man named Samuel W. Westing dies, various people from walks of his life gather to hear who inherits his massive fortune. Still, Westing was always a fan of games, and the hoops he makes his possible inheritors jump through will make you want to read this book in one go.

Tell Me Your Dreams by Sidney Sheldon
This mystery doubles as a psychological thriller. A string of murders ties three otherwise unrelated women together in ways that you’ll never expect. We’d love to tell you more about this one, but anything else we say would give it away. Go read for yourself!

Which book is your favorite? We can’t wait to hear about what your must-reads are. Check these out and then get in touch with us. After all, reading makes you a better writer, and we’re all about that.

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