Summer is winding to a close and it is hot, hot, hot. If you’re melting away in a woefully under-airconditioned home, and you only have the strength to keep your eyes open and turn pages, we’ve got just the thing for you. But you’ll need to get these books quick. Once the weather cools, you’ll have one less excuse for procrastination.
Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld
The most delightful thing we’ve read in years. If there’s a single fiber in your body that adores Jane Austen, then you’ll absolutely want to get your hands on Eligible. Sittenfeld (author of Prep) brings the classic Pride & Prejudice to modern-day Cincinnati. She maintains a skillful balance between staying true to the novel’s story line, and fostering an element of surprise. Just…cancel all your plans and read this.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
Unless you read exceptionally fast, it’s highly unlikely you’ll finish this 1000+ page novel by the end of this month. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get started. The book that spawned last summer’s brilliant BBC miniseries, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell combines gentleman magicians with an alternative take on the early nineteenth century, and a grand dose of wit. Clarke’s novel is so well conceived, you might find yourself believing that Lord Wellington did in fact defeat Napoleon with the aid of magic. (Wait, did he?)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling
If you count yourself a Harry Potter fan, you really have no excuse not to read this. While it takes some getting used to its script form, and it doesn’t pack the same cannot-put-it-down punch as the original series, Rowling and crew have created a fun addition to the Harry Potter universe. In The Cursed Child, we revisit the past, get to know new characters, and peek in on some long-lost ones.
The Blue Bath, Mary Waters-Sayer
This is one we haven’t read yet, but we have high hopes. Featuring London, Paris, artists and art galleries, and a sultry love affair our protagonist thought she put to bed years ago (har. har.), this sounds like a perfect read for the end of summer.