Whether you're looking for a summer beach read or something scary to keep you up late at night, there are thousands of good books out there. From classics to tear-jerkers, we've compiled a short list of quality reads to make you laugh, cry, or want to fall in love. Many of these titles are available both in print and as an e-book, so whatever your favorite method of delivery. So brew a cup of tea or pour a glass of wine, and relax with a story that transports you.
Disparaging the "phonies" in his life, the hero-narrator, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield, is the quintessential 16-year-old. His story is firsthand, from leaving his Pennsylvania prep school to going underground and AWOL in New York for three days. Confused and disillusioned, he searches for truth and rails against the "phoniness" of the adult world. He ends up exhausted and emotionally ill, in a psychiatrist's office. After he recovers from his breakdown, Holden relates his experiences to the reader. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.
This is a series of seven books, both praised and criticized for the Christian allegories, but the entire novella collection is worth reading for the rich storytelling alone. Following the story of anthropomorphic animals and noble humans, the Chronicles intertwine wartime England with the birth, growth, and death of a magical world. Fantastic creatures, heroic deeds, epic battles in the war between good and evil, and unforgettable adventures come together in this world where magic meets reality, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years. The Chronicles of Narnia has transcended the fantasy genre to become a part of the canon of classic literature.
Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. They couldn’t hate it more. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. You won't be able to put down the story of vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.
Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO, and founder of Gogol Industries, having been veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. This raunchy comedy shines with warmth, as Hazel is forced to take drastic measures to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all.
If you've recently been through a breakup, you might enjoy reading this book, examining solo travel across four seasons and four cities. The destinations--Paris, Istanbul, Florence, New York--are all pedestrian-friendly, allowing travelers to slow down and appreciate casual pleasures instead of hurtling through museums and posting photos to Instagram. Author Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveler--and even in one's own city--is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world--patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds--in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others.
The best beach read, especially if you loved The Devil Wears Prada. Andy faces a challenge even bigger than Miranda Priestly - suburbia. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars. But recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now. So it is that Emily, her scorned friend-cum-client Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social landmines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public.
Grab your blanket and lock the doors. Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. As an adult, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. Jean has one chance to reclaim not only her own voice but also the voices of all other women.
February 1862. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
In this utterly accessible yet comprehensive guide to wine, author Melissa Ross will walk you through the ins and outs of wine culture. Told in her signature comedic voice, with personal anecdotes woven in among its lessons, Wine. All the Time will teach you to sip confidently and make you laugh as you're doing it.