8 summer reads for hot days

Written by

Summer is finally here, not that you didn’t know already. It is, after all, 8,000,000 degrees out. And so, we’ve been thinking about summer books – beach reads, poolside tales and stay-inside-because-it’s-too-hot books.

To get us started, Editor of the New York Times Book Review Pamela Paul told Press Play what’s on her must-read list this summer.

1. Before the Fall by Noah Hawley

Hawley, the show runner for the TV series “Fargo,” writes a thriller about a plane crash in the Atlantic, that looks back into the past lives of the passengers to solve the mystery of what caused the aircraft to go down.

Before the Fall-453

2. The Girls by Emma Cline

Set in Northern California during the 1960’s, Cline’s newest novel offers up a seductive coming-of-age portrait based on the female followers of cult leader and convicted murderer, Charles Manson.

the girls

3. They May Not Mean To, But They Do by Cathleen Schine

Comic novelist Cathleen Schine takes a hilarious look at the effects of old age on a family.


4. In the Darkroom by Susan Faludi

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi writes a dark memoir about identity vis-a-vis her father’s gender re-assignment and her family history under Nazi occupation in Hungary.

in the darkroom

5. The Return by Hisham Matar

After the fall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, author Hisham Matar recounts his return to his homeland after 22 years and the reunion with his family, who he never believed he would see again.

the return

6. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Gyasi’s debut novel is a multigenerational story about slavery and migration between Africa and America.

7. The Gene by Siddharta Mukherjee

Mukherjee incorporates personal narrative, social science and science to survey the history of the gene and explores what could happen when humans have the power to “read” and “write” their own genetic code.


8. Being a Beast by Charles Foster

Natural historian Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to live like a badger, so he tried it out— moving underground for six weeks, eating earthworms and sleeping in a dirt hole. He also did the same as a fox, otter, stag, and swift to better understand both the lives of humans and animals.

being a beast