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10 Books To Pick Up Before Your Summer Vacation

For when you need a book you won't be able to put down (and also something to block the sun).

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1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

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For those people who are still obsessed with Jim and Pam's relationship on "The Office," this book might be the one for you. The story focuses on the life of Lincoln, a guy who has just gotten a job surveilling company employee email. He finds himself getting involved in the lives of the employees, with a special interest in a woman named Beth and her romantic relationships. The fun part of this book is that you get to spy on the emails along with him and follow his train of thought as he finds himself falling for Beth.

2. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

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This book is for those who enjoy historical fiction, especially that which provides an extremely detailed account of the setting and time period. Burton's story focuses on Nella, a young girl who is newly married to a wealthy merchant with a few secrets. She finds herself enlisting the help of a miniaturist to both aid her in filling her cabinet and filling the hours of her time. The setting is 17th century Amsterdam, a far cry from whichever beach you'll be reading on. This book is not exactly a light read, but the trial at the end makes it a page turner fit for the beach.

3. In the Woods by Tana French

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If you find yourself wanting to be simultaneously entertained and terrified, then this is the book for you. Tana French's writing is so suspenseful that you may not be able to put this book down to do pretty much anything else. This story revolves around the life of a detective in Dublin and his job of solving the murder of a young girl. When he finds the setting of her murder to be similar to the disappearances of his own childhood friends, things get extra suspenseful (and did I mention scary?). Definitely a page turner for those who need a book they won't want to put down to actually participate in water/sand activities.

4. Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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The magic of the bookstore shines through this novel about a young tech-savvy man who leaves his digital job and decides to work in a strange bookstore. The store's mystery enthralls him and he seeks to find out why the store's odd clients never seem to buy anything, instead borrowing books for unknown purposes. This is a good read for someone who wants a mystery, but without the violence of a crime novel.

5. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

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This book is the type that becomes a fast favorite. Two stories, one of a fourteen-year-old girl named Alma, and one of an old man named Leo Gursky, eventually intertwine in a memorable and beautifully written story. While Alma deals with her family life, Leo discovers that a book he once wrote, inspired by someone he fell in love with long ago, is still being read and greatly affecting those who come across it. Just like that book, this one and its beautiful passages will stay with you long after you've read the final page.

6. The Secret Place by Tana French

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Another Tana French mystery makes the list because she is just so good at mixing thrilling suspense with a cast of complex characters. This one may also freak you out (the font on the cover is even freaky), but it is considerably less terrifying than In the Woods. This novel focuses on a group of teenage girls and the boarding school they attend, a place where a young boy's murder has gone unsolved. The book gives an extremely accurate insight into the minds of teenage girls and how and why they form their friendships. One of the best mysteries I've ever read, this book will be one you won't be able to put down.

7. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

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This book was once lauded by Mindy Kaling as one of her favorites, which should be enough of a review for anyone. The story focuses on Madeleine Hanna, a recent college graduate, who struggles to figure out the real world and the relationships that come along with it. Though its plot sounds somewhat commonplace, the story features complex characters with a variety of flaws. Eugenides writes so beautifully and his words are so quotable that you may need to fight the urge to underline the whole book.

8. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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If you love Ernest Hemingway and want something new, pick up Paula McLain's novel about his romance with his wife Hadley Richardson. See how Hemingway lived and wrote in 1920's Paris and the events that led up to his romance and marriage to Hadley. The story, though fictional, provides a realistic insight into what thoughts may have been going through Hadley's mind as she navigated her marriage to the troubled yet brilliant writer.

9. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

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This is one of those YA books that you do not need to be a YA to enjoy. I'll Give You the Sun tells the story of a twin brother and sister pair dealing with tragedy during adolescence. The two teens are forced to face their current lives and their upcoming futures while going through a period of time without the other's support. They should sell this book with a pack of tissues, so be sure to bring some to the beach. It beautifully depicts what loss is like and how passion can help you rediscover the beauty of life.

10. The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker

Amazon / Via amazon.com

This book deserves the last place on the list only if you are reserving that place for the best. Joel Dicker manages to put a book within a book, while plotting a complex murder mystery and a huge cast of characters and potential suspects. I don't think I have ever been more attached to a book than this one and more unwilling to put it down for necessary social interaction. The story's mystery is the murder of a young girl, Nola, and her scandalous relationship with the narrator's former teacher and idol, Harry Quebert. The narrator, a young and popular writer named Marcus Goldman, struggles to write a book about the mystery to clear Quebert's name, despite the evidence and continuously discovered immoral behavior of his former hero. This review could be this short and simple: This book = amazing.

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