Before we dive headfirst into one of the biggest publishing seasons ever, let's take a moment to look back at the most popular books of the summer—the recent releases that really had you guys buzzing during the past three months. So, without further ado, we present Your Top 10 Books of the Summer, as determined by the number of pageviews on We'll count down from #10 because it's more exciting that way.


One sweltering summer night in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Val and her best friend June take their inflatable raft onto the bay—but only one of them returns home. Searching for answers and pertinent evidence, their neighborhood is shaken as residents attempt to solve the biggest mystery they’ve ever witnessed. Ivy Pochoda’s second novel, Visitation Street, uncovers Red Hook’s secrets, delving deep into a girl’s disappearance and the ghosts that arise in its wake. (Read our entire review.)

Astronaut wives#9
by Lily Koppel 

There’s just something about the early ’60s: the drinks, the conservatism, the consumerism, the Cold War. And the astronauts. “Mad Men” fans and history buffs alike won’t want to miss a new book about a relatively unexplored aspect of this era: the lives of the astronauts’ wives. NASA encouraged the women to be “thrilled, happy, and proud” of their space-bound men, but really they experienced so much more. (Read our entire review and a Q&A with Koppel.)

AMY FALLS DOWN by Jincy Willett

We readers can be greedy things. Mere books are not enough for us: We want the authors, too. We want their autographs, their photographs, handshakes, interviews. . . . In her hilarious, merciless, entirely delightful new novel, Amy Falls Down, Jincy Willett digs into this phenomenon from several angles. Our protagonist, Amy Gallup, is a contentedly washed-up fiction writer in her 60s who spends most of her days teaching writing classes online from her California home. Then one day she trips in the garden, conks her head on a birdbath and proceeds to give a newspaper interview she doesn’t remember doing. (Read our entire interview with Jincy Willett.)

& SONS by David Gilbert

“I heard a little about it after the fact,” Gilbert admits during a call to his office. . . . The issue is that “&” as an opening character refuses to show up in Internet searches, which could mean that online book buyers will miss a chance to read one of the best novels of the year. But Gilbert was never asked about and never considered changing the title. “I remember walking around New York and seeing these ghostly building signs—‘. . . & sons’—and wondering, who are these sons? The ampersand is essential to the title because it evokes the idea of a family trade, the sense that there is the family business of family and you’re kind of stuck in the business.” (Read our entire interview with David Gilbert.)

by Chris Bohjalian

In his 15 novels, Chris Bohjalian has delved into a potpourri of weighty topics, including environmental activism, medical malpractice suits and interracial adoption. Some of his more recent novels are injected with an element of mystery, and he continues on that track with his latest—a brilliant blend of historical fiction and a chilling serial killer story. This gripping novel opens in Florence in 1955 with the brutal murder of Francesca Rosati, daughter-in-law of Antonio and Beatrice Rosati. (Read our entire review.)

We are all completely#5

Rosemary Cooke is, in many ways, an ordinary girl raised in an ordinary family. Her father is a behavioral psychologist who always brings his work home, and her mother is his supportive better half. As the youngest, Rose admires her older brother, Lowell, and is jealous because she thinks he loves her sister, Fern, the most. In fact, Rose thinks everyone would pay more attention to her if Fern weren’t around. But that’s where the Cookes are different from most families. Rose and Fern are their father’s work: Fern is a chimp, being raised as a daughter in a human family. (Read our entire review.)


By all appearances, Thea Atwell lives a charmed life. A child of Emathla, Florida, “a stone’s throw” from Gainesville, she rides horses and explores the lush land with her cousin and twin brother, insulated from the Great Depression by her family’s citrus fortune. But in July of 1930, at age 15, Thea is sent to a year-round camp for girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an idyllic enclave where Southern young women go to become ladies. Because as the headmistress says, “Becoming a lady is not simply a thing which happens, like magic . . . becoming a lady is a lesson you must learn.” Turns out Thea has done something very bad, and the camp—far away from Florida—is her punishment. (Read our entire review.)

by Liane Moriarty

At first, this reviewer wanted to warn readers not to be taken in by the light tone of Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. On second thought, maybe readers should let this rather crafty novelist’s deceptive breeziness and humor sweep them along. It makes the shocks just that much more deliciously nasty, including the gob-smacking twist in the epilogue. (Read our entire review.)

by J. Courtney Sullivan

“I didn’t want a wedding,” Sullivan admits during a phone call from her Brooklyn apartment, which she shares with her fiancé. “But now I’m having a very traditional wedding. There will be bridesmaids in taffeta.” All the wedding talk is relevant for two reasons: First, her dazzling new novel, The Engagements, is an examination of marriage and the eternal siren call of diamonds. Second, Sullivan got engaged while she was writing the book, so she was researching her book and her nuptials at the same time. (Read our entire interview with J. Courtney Sullivan.)

by Neil Gaiman

We readers expect magic when we pick up a Neil Gaiman novel. By now he’s built a reputation for his own unique brand of spellbinding fiction, but even among works . . . The Ocean at the End of the Lane stands as a landmark. Never before has Gaiman’s fiction felt this personal, this vibrant or this deeply intimate. Gaiman’s hero is an unnamed narrator who returns to his childhood home as an adult and is flooded with memories of a farm at the end of the English country lane where he grew up. We relive those boyhood memories as he does, beginning with an odd tragedy that brought him to the doorstep of the Hempstock family. (Read our entire review.)

What do you think of the list? Are there any surprises—that either made or didn't make the list? What was your favorite book of the summer? Let us know in the comments below!

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