Summer is here! That means road trips, relaxing afternoons on the beach, and long, sunny days. Here are some lengthy favorites—all more than 400 pages!—that are sure to keep you company throughout every summer adventure. From fright-inducing classics and viscerally reimagined myths to inspiring personal memoirs and sweeping historical dramas, we have a recommendation for any mood. So grab your sunscreen, a pair of sunglasses, and one (or more) of these supersized, stand-out reads; it’s going to be a long, hot summer.
Twenty-eight years after one terrible summer, seven friends reunite in their hometown of Derry, Maine, to confront the monster from their childhoods. With all the thrills and chills of Stephen King’s best work, IT also burrows deep to make both its characters and its readers confront the things that scare them most. Be sure to catch up on this massive must-read before IT Chapter Two comes to the big screen this September!
Page count: 1,168
It: Chapter Two—soon to be a major motion picture in 2019!
Stephen King’s terrifying, classic #1 New York Times bestseller, “a landmark in American literature” (Chicago Sun-Times)—about seven adults who return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first stumbled on as teenagers…an evil without a name: It.
Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real.
They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But the promise they made twenty-eight years ago calls them reunite in the same place where, as teenagers, they battled an evil creature that preyed on the city’s children. Now, children are being murdered again and their repressed memories of that terrifying summer return as they prepare to once again battle the monster lurking in Derry’s sewers.
Readers of Stephen King know that Derry, Maine, is a place with a deep, dark hold on the author. It reappears in many of his books, including Bag of Bones, Hearts in Atlantis, and 11/22/63. But it all starts with It.
“Stephen King’s most mature work” (St. Petersburg Times), “It will overwhelm you…to be read in a well-lit room only” (Los Angeles Times).
In BLACK LEOPARD, RED WOLF, Marlon James explores the twisted roots of myth, fantasy, and history. Three years after a boy disappears, a group of ragtag creatures, including Tracker, a hunter with an unnatural sense of smell, come together to find him. An African fantasy epic, James’s novel is the first in a trilogy—dubbed by fans as the African GAME OF THRONES—that imagines a lush and original world where all is not what it appears and what matters most is who’s telling the story.
Page count: 640
In THE DISTANT HOURS, Edie Burchill is compelled to return to the decaying Milderhurst Castle, a craggy, aging estate where her mother was sheltered as a child during World War II. Now, the castle houses the Blythe sisters: a pair of eccentric, mysterious twins and their younger, seemingly unhinged sister. As Edie explores her mother’s past, she realizes the castle is also home to years of secrets that haunt its inhabitants and have been waiting for her to uncover them.
Page count: 576
A long-lost letter compels Edie Burchill to visit the great but decaying old house of the elderly Blythe spinsters—a set of twins and their disturbed younger sister. Edie is soon drawn into the mysteries of the house and the hidden truth of the sisters’ past in this richly atmospheric tapestry of madness, forbidden love, and family secrets.
In MRS. EVERYTHING, Jennifer Weiner follows the lives of two sisters from their cookie-cutter 1950s home to the existential chaos of our present day. Jo, the uncompromising intellectual, emerges from the upheaval of the 60s and 70s with a conservative, suburban life. Meanwhile, her girlish, traditional sister still hasn’t left the counterculture of the 60s behind. Witty, ambitious, and moving, Weiner’s novel will appeal to generations of readers as it explores the power of expectation versus reality in an ever-changing world.
Page count: 480
Elizabeth George returns with the latest Lynley and Havers mystery. A small, pastoral town is wracked with grief and suspicion after the trusted town deacon is accused of a crime and then found dead. With a claustrophobic setting and cast of complex characters that would make Agatha Christie proud, George spins a suspenseful thriller that is one part social commentary, one part detective story, and all parts pure enjoyment.
Page count: 704
In BECOMING, the iconic and fearless first lady Michelle Obama traces her journey from the South Side of Chicago to the White House, pausing to reflect on the challenges and rewards of being a working mother, how to cope with personal and professional failures, and what it means to command in a time of conflict. Confident and compassionate, this memoir captures not only one woman’s story, but an era in our lives and history.
Page count: 448
Historical fiction, romance, fantasy, and crime, LABYRINTH OF THE SPIRITS has something for every reader. Alicia Gris, an investigator in Spain’s secret police, agrees to take on one final case to solve the disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture. Carlos Ruiz Zafón depicts a spellbinding world in the final installment of his Cemetery of Forgotten Books series—reimagining a Spain defined by dangerous secrets, a history of violence, and a meta awareness of the important relationship between people, history, and the literature that defines us.
Page count: 816
Haruki Murakami novels are always imaginatively ambitious, spell-binding encapsulations of the human soul, and his latest tome, KILLING COMMENDATORE, is no exception. After his wife leaves him, a common portrait artist discovers a long-lost painting that sets into motion a series of mystical events across time, space, and metaphysical boundaries. KILLING COMMENDATORE is a freshly eccentric and brilliantly illuminative exploration into Murakami’s most poignant themes of love, loss, and loneliness.
Page count: 704
There’s no better time than summer to get swept up in a land far, far away. In A CONJURING OF LIGHT, the fate of four Londons hangs in the balance as three unlikely heroes must defy the odds to beat an ancient evil. Start with the first book in the series, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, to truly entangle yourself in this darkly evocative epic that’s destined to be a new fantasy classic.
Page count: 623
Engrossing and cinematic, David W. Blight’s FREDERICK DOUGLASS is the definitive biography of the escaped-slave-turned-orator who became a sociopolitical tour de force during America’s nineteenth century. This 2019 Pulitzer Prize–winning book is a staple for any history buff as it engages with both Douglass’s astounding public life and his little-known personal history.
Page count: 912