Most of summer is done. We’re in mid-August already, and our minds are trying to suppress the inevitable, that back-to-school frenzy coming up soon. Before we dive into new routines and responsibilities, we have just enough time to squeeze in one more last summer read. Here is a list of our top ten books to read before the summer is over.
1. A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon
If you like character rich crime mysteries starring the detective who solves them, we recommend American writer Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti novels about an Italian detective solving crimes in Venice. With over 25 books in the series, it’s hard to pick and choose where to start.
2. Asperger’s Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna by Edith Sheffer
A haunting look into the research of Austrian psychiatrist Hans Asperger whose work with autistic children during Nazi times led to the first understandings of diagnosing autism. Initially hailed as a hero, now a controversial figure, with ties to the Nazi party.
3. Severance by Ling Ma
Apocalypse + Satire. If you’re into either, this one is for you. Did I mention both the protagonist and author are first generation Chinese American millennials?
4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The original novel the movie is based on. Science fiction, dystopia and 1980s pop culture references. Escapism at its best.
5. Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle Giordan
Looking for a feel-good story to brighten the end of summer? Try this French #1 bestselling book about living beyond your routine life.
6. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
If you like gripping dramas that leave you thinking deeper, try this novel about two Nashville families coming face to face with real-life issues like privilege, complicity, and finding redemption.
7. Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey
A collection of essays on social justice, smart, funny, and relatable.
8. Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese Art of Nourishing Mind, Body, and Spirit by Candice Kumai
“How to nourish your mind, body, and spirit using ancient techniques. Plus, there’s dozens of recipes for healthy, Japanese-inspired cuisine scattered throughout. Score!” —Good Housekeeping
9. Tangerine: A Novel by Christine Mangan
A new place, an old friend, a mysterious disappearance. If you enjoyed Gone Girl, with its twists and turns of “what really happened,” “who’s telling the truth/lie,” this is the book you should read before the summer is over.
10. Circe by Madeline Miller
An updated and dramatic retelling of Greek Mythology about Circe, the witch and villainess from the Odyssey. Take a second look at traditionally stereotyped female characters from ancient myths and legends before feminism.