9 books on everybody’s wish list this season

Whether romance, mystery, non-fiction, or thriller, nothing goes better with the beach than a great summer read. It’s a tradition as old as the backyard BBQ cookout, a custom celebrated since the dawn of the cottage cocktail. It’s summer reading. And finally—after so much patient waiting—it’s returned to us again.

Spanning multiple styles and genres (from light and fun stories to sweeping meditations on economic inequality) we’ve compiled our list of must-read summer blockbusters.

Below are the nine books you shouldn’t miss this season:

Books to escape with

Robert Galbraith: The Silkworm – A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm (by J. K. Rowling alter-ego Robert Galbraith) is the second in series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Liane Moriarty: Big Little Lies – From the Aussie author of last year's runaway hit The Husband’s Secret comes Big Little Lies, a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Lindsey Kelk: What a Girl Wants - Being arrested in your own bedroom is never a good start to the day. Tess Brookes really needs to sort out her back-stabbing flatmate – and her life. Should she gamble all on the new photography job she’s landed, or snap up the offer from long-time crush and best friend Charlie to start up on their own – in more ways than one? There’s just one small thing she hasn’t mentioned. Or rather, one tall thing. He’s handsome, infuriating and called Nick…

Diana Gabaldon: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood - 1778: France declares war on Great Britain, the British army leaves Philadelphia, and George Washington’s troops leave Valley Forge in pursuit. At this moment, Jamie Fraser returns from a presumed watery grave to discover that his best friend has married his wife, his illegitimate son has discovered (to his horror) who his father really is, and his beloved nephew, Ian, wants to marry a Quaker. Meanwhile, Jamie’s wife, Claire, and his sister, Jenny, are busy picking up the pieces.

Deborah Harkness: The Book of Life - Fall under the spell of Diana and Matthew once more in the stunning climax to their epic tale, following A discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. After travelling through time in Shadow of Night historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies.

Anthony Doerr: All The Light We Cannot See - From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, comes this beautiful, ambitious New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Brilliant nonfiction

Thomas Piketty: Capital in the Twenty-First Century - The main driver of inequality--returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth--is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty's findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Hard Choices – This is Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. Reacquaint yourself with Hillary as she is poised once again to become the first female president of the United States.

David Sax: The Tastemakers - In this eye-opening, witty work of reportage, David Sax uncovers the world of food trends: Where they come from, how they grow, and where they end up. Traveling from the South Carolina rice plot of America’s premier grain guru to Chicago’s gluttonous Baconfest, Sax reveals a world of influence, money, and activism that helps decide what goes on your plate.

Whatever your fix, there really is something great for every reader this summer.