There is nothing as satisfying as making a TBR list for summertime, right? Even when you know you won’t be following it religiously, you just want to curate a list that has all the awesome titles people are raving about. So here are a few recommendations you might want to add to your list.
Gallant by V.E. Schwab
If you love stories of hidden worlds behind secret doors and gates, you are surely going to enjoy Gallant, a new YA fiction book by V.E. Schwab. Like her other books, you won’t get to see a fast-moving plot building up through the novel, as it is more about what goes on in the mind of its main character.
In the novel, Olivia grows up in the Merilance School for girls as an orphan until the day she receives a letter inviting her home to Gallant, a large, strange family house. Olivia communicates in sign language and it is amazing to see how she invents new ways to convey her messages to other people. At Gallant, Olivia finds a mysterious world and goes on to uncover her family secrets.
Since there is not much action in the book, you might think it is going to be a boring read, but believe it or not you are going to love the vibe Schwab creates in the book.
The Night Shift by Alex Finlay
This is a fast-paced thriller you don’t want to miss! Also, a great book to start with if you are going through a reader’s block. Short chapters and no dragging of the storyline makes it a perfect thriller to enjoy. The only bad thing is the story has a lot of characters, so keeping a track of them could be taxing in the beginning.
The thriller follows the intersecting lives of two victims of murder attempts. One narrowly escaped a tragic night shift at a Blockbuster Video store. The other lives through a harrowing night shift at an ice cream parlour in the same town 15 years later. The police go on to investigate the traumatic stories behind these murder attempts
House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas
Sarah J. Maas didn’t disappoint her fans this time. House of Sky and Breath, a fantasy/romance, the second in the series The Crescent City, is full of characters, multiple romances, competing narratives and cliffhangers that are meant to keep you waiting for the next book.
In the book, after saving The Crescent City, Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are ready to slow down and find some normalcy once again, but as the ruler’s threat grows, the two are slowly pulled into the rebel’s plans.
Book of Night by Holly Black
Holly Black has written incredible fantasy young adult novels, but makes her adult debut with “Book of Night,” an urban fantasy that became a 2022 favourite before it was even published.
Charlie Hall is trying to lay low in her shadowy, magical world when a figure from her past returns and thrusts her into a chaotic spin of murder, secrets, magic and a fight for survival.
The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
In this fast-paced fantastical thriller, Nell Young’s legendary cartographer father is found dead in his office with a seemingly worthless map. Her investigation reveals its incredibly valuable and rare nature, as well as the plot of a mysterious collector, determined to destroy every last copy. Nell’s subsequent and remarkably dangerous journey reveals her family’s darkest secrets and the power of the map.
Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey
In this creepy gothic thriller, a young woman, Vera, reluctantly returns to her childhood home to care for her sick mother, even though the house is filled with memories of her late serial killer father. To make matters worse, a nosey artist has moved into the guesthouse, and he may or may not be the one leaving notes for Vera in her dead father’s handwriting.
Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola
This one is Reeses Book Club pick of the month. This rom-com action is a long, but a light read. Once you are into the story, you will be flying through the pages. Most importantly, you will fall in love with the main character, Kiki, as she is intelligent and friendly. You are also going to love how women can support each other and that the characters are so relatable.
The story is about a Black British college student who finds herself in a fake relationship. In an attempt to salvage both their reputations, the two find that they have more in common than they think.
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Emily Henry’s newest romance plays with enemies-to-lovers vibes. The storyline is not at all complicated so you can easily whizz through the book. Heroine Nora Stephen is a literary agent who agrees to go on a trip with her sister to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. It’s meant to be a blissful girls’ getaway. Instead, she runs into a rival literary acquaintance, who is also taking time away from the city.
Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo
Are you a fan of Orwellian satire? If yes, then you must give Glory a read! Glory is a compelling satire about cycles of tyranny, in the aftermath of Robert Mugabe’s overthrow in 2017. The novel takes inspiration from Animal Farm, but it is not at all a remix. The story is embedded in the Zimbabwean folklore where the animal citizens of Jidada (a fictionalised Zimbabwe) live under the long-serving leader of the country, the Old Horse. Though a disturbing read, Glory truly paints the terrifying vision of political disintegration for readers today.
The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid
Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel is coming out on August 2. In this book, a world is introduced where people who were once white find that their skin has turned brown overnight, and as you can probably guess, society doesn’t know how to handle this shifting dynamic. It isn’t a fun read, but the critics and reviewers say it is going to be an essential read.
Reality+: Virtual Worlds and the Problem of Philosophy by David Chalmers
A brilliantly engaging philosopher tackles the question of whether or not we’re living in a simulation, and asks if that would even matter: the virtual worlds created by computers, he argues, could be just as fulfilling and meaningful as “real” life.
The Man Who Tasted Words: Inside the Strange and Startling World of Our Senses by Dr Guy Leschziner
A very interesting and informative book that will show you how our senses tell us about the reality of the world. Neurologist Guy Leschziner vividly describes what happens when our senses malfunction, as in the bizarre case of James, who tastes a full English breakfast when he hears the words “Tottenham Court Road”. In another story, a guy named Paul could pull out his own teeth and break his legs yet feel no pain. Each story in the book explains the incredible science behind everyday sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch.
Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers by Emma Smith
History lovers, this one is for you! Smith explores the physicality of books through the ages – “bookhood”, as she puts it – in this homage to the tactile pleasures of reading. From Madame de Pompadour’s insistence on being painted against a backdrop of books (an early example of the shelfie) to Joe Orton and Kenneth Halliwell’s witty defacement of covers in their local library, it is filled with historical nuggets.
Compiled by Tooba Ghani