It’s almost summer, which means that you’ll finally have some time to finish the dog-eared copy of Infinite Jest you started (with best intentions, we’re sure) four years ago. Though if you wanted to hold off for a little longer, no one blames you. The past few months saw several fantastic books hit the shelves, with many more on the way. A light summer read, or 388 pages of dense metamodernist commentary… these ten reads should help you make the choice.
Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King: When you get a reputation as the “Master of Horror”, it’s kind of hard to break into a different genre, especially when the cover of your newest book features blood raining onto an umbrella. But as King demonstrated with his adventurous Dark Tower series and his sagacious handbook on the craft of writing, he won’t stay inside a box. His newest novel, about a depressed cop who must come out of retirement to stop a psychopath from killing hundreds of innocent people, might just be enough to rebrand him as the “Master of Mystery”.
No Place to Hide, Glenn Greenwald: In 2013, 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden changed the world by turning over evidence of the U.S. Government’s spy activity to The Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald. Now, Greenwald writes about the incident, recounting the harrowing ten-day trip he took to Hong Kong in order to meet Snowden, and adds his own opinions on the issues.
The Smoke at Dawn, Jeff Shaara: Michael Shaara won a Pulitzer for The Killer Angels, a historical novel about the Battle of Gettysburg, and his son, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Shaara, continues his father’s legacy. The Smoke at Dawn follows some of the most important players from the summer of 1863, including Generals Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and George Thomas of the Union and Generals Bragg, Patrick Cleburne, and James Longstreet of the Confederacy.
The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler: Probably the greatest hard-boiled detective story of all time, Raymond Chandler’s classic 1939 novel follows Los Angeles detective Philip Marlowe as he tries to protect the wealthy Sternwood family from blackmail. Expect extortion, pornography, murder, and plenty of double-crossing. If you like the book, check out the 1946 movie — it stars Humphrey Bogart, and William Faulkner wrote the screenplay. (Big Lebowski fans delving deep into the wormhole of fandom will also glean some insight; the Coen brothers’ movie is loosely inspired by Chandler’s works.)
One More Thing, B.J. Novak: Who knew that B.J. Novak, who starred in The Office as well as Inglorious Basterds, also wrote fiction? In April 2013, the multi-talented Harvard-graduate announced a seven-figure, two-book deal with Knopf, and the first, One More Thing, debuted back in February. The hilarious romp features a diverse array of stories with plots that range from a boy who finds $100,000 in his Frosted Flakes to a principal who wants to get rid of arithmetic.