It’s back to the books and in the spirit of the season, we came up with a mandatory reading list that will make you happy you have homework.


  1. Get the gears going again, but gently, with Salmon Rushdie’s Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, a big book, which blends his trademark grandiose-meets-goofy narrative style, mixing history and myth with tremendous philosophical depth.


  1. All the cool kids are talking about the Neopolitan series, a sprawling ode to female friendships and mid century Italy, which is already being considered a modern literary classic. The series, which starts with My Brilliant Friend, is written by the enigmatic cipher Elena Ferrante (if that’s her real name, and it seems it is not), who has declined to be photographed, interviewed or in any way identified. . Until now. Read Vanity Fair’s two-part interview with Ferrante for the inside story of the story everyone’s talking about.


  1. Take a break from the weighty issues of the back to work week… dive into the new Jack Reacher novel Make Me, a thriller that’ll have you staying up way past bedtime on a school night.


  1. If you prefer your thrillers a little lighter, try Back to School Murder by Leslie Meier a book as fun as is it educational (at least if you’re training to become a sleuth).