Goodreads recently let BuzzFeed know which books, according to its users, have been the popular picks for summer.
Below are the titles, based on average rating and number of ratings, that are getting a lot of buzz and love.
2. Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley
"This is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. Lily and the Octopus reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all." (Simon & Schuster)
3. LaRose by Louise Erdrich
"North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. [It's] an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture." (Harper Collins)
4. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
"Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most... including herself." (MacMillan)
5. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
"Edward is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown. Jane is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than in romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended. Gifford is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy, and with the fate of the kingdom at stake, they will have to engage in some conspiring of their own." (Harper Teen)
6. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
"Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan... until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and her Congressman dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Her friends Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?" (Simon & Schuster)
8. Barkskins by Annie Proulx
"In the late 17th century two penniless young Frenchmen arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become wood-cutters—barkskins. René suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. But Duquet, crafty and ruthless, runs away from the seigneur, becomes a fur trader, then sets up a timber business. Proulx tells the stories of their descendents over three hundred years—their travels across North America, to Europe, China, and New Zealand, under stunningly brutal conditions—the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks, and cultural annihilation." (Simon & Schuster)
9. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
"New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon, but her world is forever changed when Hitler’s army sets its sights on France. Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. For the ambitious young German doctor Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power. The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten." (Penguin Random House)
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
11. Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
"Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer. Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom. And Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people." (Del Rey)
12. The Fireman by Joe Hill
"A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears — there's the Fireman, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted... and as a weapon to avenge the wronged. As the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke." (Harper Collins)
13. Idol by Kristen Callihan
Libby meets Killian — super famous rock star — when she finds him drunk on her lawn. When he decides to stick around, Libby finds her initial annoyance at him turning into tolerance, and even desire. The world wants Killian to return to the stage, but now he wants to bring Libby — a grouchy hermit — with him.
14. Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
When the stranger sitting across from Soraya on the train leaves his phone behind — a phone he was barking orders into throughout the ride — Soraya grabs the phone and returns it to his swanky office (but only after searching through the photos and contacts on the phone, and leaving behind a sexy photo of her own.) She doesn't expect the very rich, very attractive man will use his newly returned phone to text her, or that when they finally meet again, face to face, their attraction will be unstoppable.
15. Redemption Road by John Hart
"A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother. A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting. After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen. Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, Redemption Road proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller." (MacMillan)
16. Before The Fall by Noah Hawley
"On a foggy summer night, eleven people — ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter — depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: The plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs — the painter — and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work?" (Grand Central)
17. The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza
"When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation. The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes. What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika." (Bookouture)
18. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
"Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries — panic, exhaustion, heat, noise — and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. [Mary Roach] answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again." (W. W. Nortion & Company)
19. Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick
"In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within." (Penguin Random House)
20. The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee
"Weaving science, social history, and personal narrative to tell us the story of one of the most important conceptual breakthroughs of modern times, Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.Throughout the narrative, the story of Mukherjee’s own family—with its tragic and bewildering history of mental illness—cuts like a bright, red line, reminding us of the many questions that hang over our ability to translate the science of genetics from the laboratory to the real world. In superb prose and with an instinct for the dramatic scene, he describes the centuries of research and experimentation—from Aristotle and Pythagoras to Mendel and Darwin, from Boveri and Morgan to Crick, Watson and Franklin, all the way through the revolutionary twenty-first century innovators who mapped the human genome." (Simon & Schuster)
21. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
"Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more. Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done 'with both the heart and the hands'; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work." (Knopf Doubleday)
A previous version of this post included a photo that incorrectly identified Vi Keeland. It has been replaced.