A summer road trip is the perfect time to catch up on reading. Whether you’re flipping pages in the passenger seat or absorbing the audiobook version behind the wheel, these five titles will keep you enthralled as the miles melt away.
“The City in the Middle of the Night” by Charlie Jane Anders
Set in a future far from Earth, “The City in the Middle of the Night” takes place on a planet split in half: dark and frozen on one side, broiling hot and sunny on the other — and inhabited by a seemingly monstrous yet intelligent species. What’s left of humanity has settled here as well, living divided and dangerous lives in a pair of cities on the edge of day and night. In this imaginative science-fiction page-turner, Charlie Jane Anders combines thoughtful social and political commentary with a gripping journey through a world that’s both radically different and strangely familiar.
“American Spy” by Lauren Wilkinson
In “American Spy,” international intrigue, romantic drama and a trio of timelines combine to create a fast-paced thriller with a fresh perspective. The main character of Lauren Wilkinson’s novel is a black woman and FBI intelligence officer assigned to infiltrate the government of a charismatic African politician during the Cold War. As she descends deeper into her secret mission, she faces down external dangers — and more significantly, internal conflicts about her overlapping identities.
“Golden State” by Ben H. Winters
What would life be like in a society where lying was against the law? “Golden State” is Ben H. Winters’ fascinating attempt to answer that question in the form of a dystopian thriller. In the near-future Golden State, the Speculative Service, a police force tasked with punishing falsehoods, establishing facts and keeping every citizen under surveillance, zealously guards the truth. However, all is not as it seems — as one officer finds out when his investigation conflicts with the “official” version of reality.
“Madame Fourcade’s Secret War” by Lynne Olson
Although few people know the name of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, she ran France’s biggest espionage ring during World War II, making an immeasurable contribution to the Allies’ eventual victory over the Germans. In “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War,” Lynne Olson tells the story of this courageous young woman and her perilous life — filled with constant threats and narrow escapes — as a spy in the French Resistance. This stranger-than-fiction tale is a deeply researched work of history, but it’s also a suspenseful narrative that’s just as riveting as any thriller.
“The Trial of Lizzie Borden” by Cara Robertson
Most people know the story of Lizzie Borden and her ax — or think they do. In “The Trial of Lizzie Borden,” Cara Robertson provides a fresh look at this 1890s murder case, detailing the crime itself, making sense of how events unfolded in the courtroom and offering insights into why the trial had such a strong cultural impact. This carefully documented true-crime read doesn’t solve the case once and for all, but it’s a compelling look at a story that still resonates to this day.
If you’re planning a getaway this summer, make the most of your trip and pick up one of these gripping titles to read or listen to en route.