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The ReadDown

What We’re Reading This Summer

We asked Penguin Random House employees to recommend their summer reads.  These books include fantasy, mystery, literary fiction, and more. Wherever and however you’re spending your summer, start reading!
  1. 1
    In the Woods Book Cover Picture
    In the Woods Book Cover Picture

    In the Woods

    by Tana French

    “I know, I’m probably the last person in the world who hasn’t read the Dublin Murder Squad series, but even if you have they’re worth revisiting. This is the perfect beach read: evocative writing, characters so real they’ll break your heart, compelling mysteries, and more dark twists and turns than you could possibly handle. Read this outside and you’re bound to get a sunburn – it’s impossible to tear yourself away for even a second.”


    Jon, Crown Publishing Group Editorial

    In the Woods Book Cover Picture
    In the Woods Book Cover Picture

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  2. 2
    A Cure for Suicide Book Cover Picture
    A Cure for Suicide Book Cover Picture

    A Cure for Suicide

    by Jesse Ball

    “This is one of the more absorbing and heart-wrenching books I’ve read in recent memory. It handles grief and illness in a totally fresh way – you follow along, piecing bits together as you go, and are slowly rewarded with beautiful, emotional, human, moments in strange world where a fresh start means exactly that.”


    Amy, Consumer Marketing Development

    A Cure for Suicide Book Cover Picture
    A Cure for Suicide Book Cover Picture

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  3. 3
    Chemistry Book Cover Picture
    Chemistry Book Cover Picture

    Chemistry

    by Weike Wang

    “A novel that’s equal parts hilarious and sad, Wang’s writing will absolutely move you. Looking for your next existential-crisis read? Chemistry is it.”


    Natasha, Corporate Marketing

    Chemistry Book Cover Picture
    Chemistry Book Cover Picture

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  4. 4
    Michelle Obama Book Cover Picture
    Michelle Obama Book Cover Picture

    Michelle Obama

    by Peter Slevin

    Michelle Obama left me inspired and motivated. Slevin gives readers a detailed look at the circumstances and achievements that have propelled Michelle Obama to success. As we follow Ms. Obama from her childhood in Chicago, to her time in the Whitehouse I was awed by her strong sense of purpose and dedication.”


    Sarah, Design & Development

    Michelle Obama Book Cover Picture
    Michelle Obama Book Cover Picture

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  5. 5
    The Wise Man's Fear Book Cover Picture
    The Wise Man's Fear Book Cover Picture

    The Wise Man’s Fear

    by Patrick Rothfuss

    “Summer’s the perfect time to sink your teeth into some epic fantasy for two reasons – first, a lot of fantasy books tend to run long, so you don’t run as much of a risk of running out of things to read halfway through your beach trip, and second, they’re fun. Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle series will appeal to both die-hard fantasy fans and folks who haven’t read much fantasy – his writing is beautiful and accessible, and Kvothe’s story is gripping.”


    Emily, Consumer Marketing Development

    The Wise Man's Fear Book Cover Picture
    The Wise Man's Fear Book Cover Picture

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  6. 6
    An Ember in the Ashes Book Cover Picture
    An Ember in the Ashes Book Cover Picture

    An Ember in the Ashes

    by Sabaa Tahir

    “It will leave you needing to get your hands on the next book. Inspired by ancient Rome, sprinkled with elements of fantasy/the supernatural, and filled with flawed, but amazingly crafted characters, An Ember in the Ashes will leave you with mixed feelings – equal parts angst (there are 2 more unreleased books!) and admiration for Tahir’s superb ability to spin a unique tale.” 


    Seoling, Penguin Young Readers Production

    An Ember in the Ashes Book Cover Picture
    An Ember in the Ashes Book Cover Picture

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  7. 7
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture

    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition)

    by Kevin Kwan

    Looking for a light and entertaining summer read that satisfies your travel-bug? Crazy Rich Asians follows an American on her adventures in Singapore when she meets her financé’s wealthy family. This book combines humor, romance, and outlandish luxury.”
    Kathryn, Consumer Marketing Development
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture
    Crazy Rich Asians (Movie Tie-In Edition) Book Cover Picture

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  8. 8
    El señor Nakano y las mujeres / The Nakano Thrift Shop Book Cover Picture
    El señor Nakano y las mujeres / The Nakano Thrift Shop Book Cover Picture

    El señor Nakano y las mujeres / The Nakano Thrift Shop

    by Hiromi Kawakami

    I loved this book for the same reason I love Zadie Smith and John Steinbeck: it’s a big-hearted and generous look into the lives of people who are in turns kind and exasperating, quirky and mundane. It’s also perfect summer escapism—if the Nakano thrift shop was a real place, you’d want to peek through the windows whenever you pass by just to see what Hitomi and the gang are up to.”

    Ryan, Penguin Books Marketing

    El señor Nakano y las mujeres / The Nakano Thrift Shop Book Cover Picture
    El señor Nakano y las mujeres / The Nakano Thrift Shop Book Cover Picture

    Buy now from your favorite retailer:

  9. 9
    Out of the Easy Book Cover Picture
    Out of the Easy Book Cover Picture

    Out of the Easy

    by Ruta Sepetys

    “Whenever I get a chance to recommend books I go with Ruta Sepetys. Not only does her lyrical writing shine, but she brings a host of interesting backdrops and characters alive in her historical fiction novels. Out of the Easy grabbed me by the hand and pulled me straight into the 1950s New Orleans landscape. I could picture the cobblestone streets of the French Quarter and feel the humid air mixed with the salty sea breeze. Josie is a spunky narrator who’s caught up in a convoluted murder investigation and Sepetys weaves a story full of suspense, humor, and tenacity.”


    Laura, DK Marketing & Publicity

    Out of the Easy Book Cover Picture
    Out of the Easy Book Cover Picture

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  10. 10
    Burning Bright Book Cover Picture
    Burning Bright Book Cover Picture

    Burning Bright

    by Nick Petrie

    “For any crime fiction fan, Nick Petrie’s Peter Ash is a great character – he’s tough, smart and struggles to fight the bad guys while dealing with a PTSD-induced claustrophobia.  Start with the The Drifter if you want to be with Peter from the beginning!”


    John, Consumer Marketing Development

    Burning Bright Book Cover Picture
    Burning Bright Book Cover Picture

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