Books

10 books readers loved this summer

Looking for your next great read? Our readers have you covered.

Readers shared the books they couldn't put down this summer. Dana Gerber/Globe

When the sun was still shining and temperatures were high, Boston.com readers spent their days getting through their summer reading lists. The season may be coming to a rainy end, but our readers are still raving about their summer reads.

We asked readers to share what books they’ve recently read and loved, and they were eager to share. They told us about the murder mysteries, beach reads, and travelogs that captured their attention.

As we leave summer behind us and ease into fall, pick up these reader-recommended books for your next read.

“Death of the Great Man” by Peter D. Kramer

Author Peter D. Kramer uses his background in psychiatry to write a novel about a psychiatrist accused of murder when his patient, a narcissistic world leader, turns up dead on his couch. Mary Ann M. from Sharon called the book “very illuminating.”

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“A brilliant, funny, subversive, murder mystery. A who-dun-it that keeps the reader guessing. (Not surprising, as the author is a psychoanalyst.) The fictional and unnamed great man is a world leader in his disastrous second term when he collapses on the doctor’s couch,” she said. “Kramer spins an extraordinarily imaginative story, never far from the truth. Goes where no writer has probably gone before. More than a good read, I think this book is an act of public service!” 

“Demon Copperhead” by Barbara Kingsolver

Set in southern Appalachia, this novel is a modern reimagination of the Charles Dickens novel “David Copperfield.” One reader called it a “VERY difficult read but for all the right reasons.”

“Teen pregnancy, drug culture, opioid addiction (and cyclical recovery), loss of family support, desperate poverty, missing parents or parents also caught up in the cycle,” the reader shared. “Difficult reading but true soul-searing writing. Believe me: read this book.”

“Happy Place” by Emily Henry

A former couple who broke up six months ago makes a pact to pretend to still be together for a weeklong vacation with their best friends in this new romance novel.

“Well-written beach read about high school friends in their 30s who reunite at a summer house in Maine for a week and how the secrets they’ve kept from each other come to the surface. You can smell the salt air and taste the lobster. Henry gets you invested in each character and it quickly becomes a can’t-put-down kind of book that you devour in a day or two!” Meghan O. from Medfield shared.

“He Calls Me Harp” series by Heather White Driscoll

This romance series follows Harper Whitmore, a high school freshman who falls in love with popular senior Scott Pierce. A reader who loved these books called them “an incredibly realistic depiction of a high school romance set in the late 1990s.” 

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“These books made me fall in love with the main characters and then tore my heart out. Definitely a great read. Not really a young adult series even though the characters are in high school. Younger readers should check the trigger warnings in book two, as some heavy topics get covered,” the reader said.

“Raw Dog” by Jamie Loftus

Comedian Jamie Loftus made her literary debut with a book about hot dogs — how they came to be, how they’re served, and what they say about American culture. Bob C. from Watertown put it simply: “It is a book about hot dogs and it is great!”

“Small Mercies” by Dennis Lehane

Prolific Boston writer Dennis Lehane’s latest book was released earlier this year and was the Boston.com Book Club’s June pick. In it, a South Boston mom goes on a search for answers when her teenage daughter disappears during the summer of 1974.

“Such a great tale of the tribalism that is Boston — and specifically Southie,” said Louisa K. from Cohasset. “Set in the early 70s during the busing crisis. Page-turner. Loved it.”

“The Burden of Innocence” by John Nardizzi 

This is the second book in a crime thriller series set in Boston. This time, private investigators face off against a gangster and a corrupt cop who’ve teamed up to ensure the conviction of an innocent man. Reader Lisa B. called the book “fantastic.”

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“P.I. Ray Infantino delves into Boston noir to investigate an old murder on the Boston waterfront. Well-written gritty Boston scenes,” she shared.

“The Fall Will Probably Kill You! (A Love Story)” by Brian McMahon

Expect intrigue in this thriller about an ambitious college student in love with his childhood classmate — who just so happens to be the daughter of a powerful U.S. Senator.

“This is a great page-turner set in D.C. and dealing with ambition, politics, and relationships,” said James E. from Watertown.

“The Forever Witness” by Edward Humes 

This true crime book is a detailed account of how forensic science and genetic genealogy were used to solve two decades-old murder cases in Washington state. 

“The author provides a narrative that reads more like a fictional thriller and takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster ride which includes the victims, their families, their friends, law enforcement investigators, legal system, witnesses, and jury,” said Helen Z. from Natick. “Recommended for those who enjoy reading about true crime, forensic science, innovations in forensic science, law enforcement, genetic genealogy, and cold criminal cases.” 

“The Last Bookshop in London” by Madeline Martin

Inspired by true World War II history, the novel chronicles the story of a bookstore that survives the Blitz and the young woman who works there. 

“For those who love historical fiction, I urge you to read a unique approach to the horrors of World War II that actually offers hope, inspiration, and the overcoming of adversity and horror,” reader Michael J. told Boston.com.


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