With the summer waning and back to school just around the corner, the thought of starting a lengthy novel like The Goldfinch may seem a bit daunting. So why not close the summer with a fast, fun read—one you can consume in one or two sittings. Here are a few of my favorite page turners, perfect notes to close out the summer reading season.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don’t be alarmed by the book size. I blew through this 300-page read in two days. This unique love story follows a genetics professor with Asperger’s Syndrome in his quest to find a wife, by creating the perfect questionnaire. In the mean time, he meets the highly unsuitable Rosie, who needs help tracking down her real father. Hijinks ensue. The book has a sequel coming out this winter, and has already been optioned as a movie.
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
Both a humorous look at upper-middle-class America and parenting, this nontraditional narrative uses emails, letters, ER bills and more to tell the story of 15-year-old Bee, whose mother suddenly disappears. Up until her disappearance, her mother appears to be a bit of loose canon, set off by the absurdity of the other mothers in her daughter’s school. Figuring out where she went makes for a fun read.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Fresh off the presses, this book from YA writer Rowell (author of Fangirl and Eleanor & Park) is a charming and touching look at marriage. Even though Georgie and Neal are in love, their marriage is in trouble. When Georgie, a TV writer, has to miss a Christmas trip to Omaha to visit Neal’s family, she discovers a magical way to try to make things right and communicate with her past.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This juicy black comedy set in Australia begins with a death, sucking the reader in to figure out what the heck happened. Told through various points of views, it follow three very different mothers bonded by their children being in the same kindergarten class. One is beautiful, one a Type-A divorcee and the last a young, single mom. The witty whodunit is another critical look at scandalous suburbia.
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Perhaps the perfect close to the summer season is a book about a dysfunctional extended family’s trip to Mallorca. Rife with rivalries and secrets, the trip rips open familial issues, amid the backdrop of a beautiful Spanish island. This humorous read is the antidote for anyone who traveled with family this summer.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This book is an oldie, but I always recommend it to people looking for a good, light read because it’s so friggin’ heartwarming. Set in 1946 on a rural Channel Island that was occupied by the Germans during World War II, the epistolary novel looks at how the area residents survived the harsh occupation, in part by forming a literary club. Parallel throughout the book are the tragic love story of one of the islander and a German soldier and the main character (London writer Juliet Ashton) and one of the locals.