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When selecting new books to read, we browse Amazon, snoop on the subway and ask friends and co-workers. That last method usually proves particularly fruitful, which is why we polled a bunch of PureWow editors for the best books they’ve read this summer. From a classic fantasy series to one of the year’s buzziest titles, here are their picks.

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the goldfinch donna tartt
cover: Little, Brown and Company; background: mikroman6/getty images

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“While extremely long (like, over 30 hours if you're listening to the audiobook), The Goldfinch is such an engrossing tale and so beautifully told. I loved walking down the same NYC streets that the protagonist, Theo (who will be played by Ansel Elgort in the Nicole Kidman-starring movie out this fall), traversed in the book and feeling the same ironic loneliness amidst the crowds of people. If you need a solid beach read (and want to become completely waylaid for the few months it'll take to truck through it), you need to read this Donna Tartt novel.”Roberta, News Editor

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motherhood sheila heti
cover: Henry Holt and Co; background: mikroman6/getty images

Motherhood by Sheila Heti

“As more and more of my friends start having kids, talking about having kids or freezing their eggs, it's been impossible not to think about whether or not I ever want to be a mom (to be honest, the jury's still out). This book, which is technically a novel but reads more like a string of philosophical musings, follows a 30-something writer as she’s parsing through her feelings on that exact subject. It basically felt like the author took all my conflicted thoughts and articulated them into something lyrical and wise.” -Carolyn, Senior Editor

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cleopatra stacy schiff
cover: Little, Brown and Company; background: mikroman6/getty images

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

“This was $1 on one of the outside book racks of The Strand in New York City, and immediately caught my eye. The cover has a really intriguing image of a woman that could be Cleopatra, but also resembles the model in Girl with a Pearl Earring. The book is so wonderful because it sheds so much light on the true story of Cleopatra—from the civil war she launched against one brother, to the assassination of her other and her constant adjustments to the changing new world order (à la Rome). The book also helps you to understand all the myths we have floating around about her and all the things we do and do not factually know is true. So, so fascinating.” -Corley, Manager, People and Operations

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the people in the trees hanya yanagihara
cover: Anchor; background: mikroman6/getty images

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara

“I read this in about four days, and wow, it was so incredible. The story itself was rather different from what I usually look for in a book: The protagonist is a scientist, the story is mostly set on a remote island and centers around discovering a native tribe. But it was written as a journal with tons of smart footnotes peppered in by a friend of the narrator, making it a really entertaining read. Plus, this book ended up being such a good conversation starter (because most people are well aware of Yanagihara's other book, A Little Life, but this novel is so, so different from that tearjerker).” -Dena, Fashion Editor

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and then there were none agatha christie
cover: William Morrow Paperbacks; background: mikroman6/getty images

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

“I've been rereading this for like the 15th time. It's the perfect summer read because it requires very little brainpower but is a total page-turner. Ten people trapped on an island where they mysteriously start getting murdered one by one? What's not to like? And it's gotta say something about how good the book is if I keep rereading it even though I know who the killer is!” -Phil, Executive Editor

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you caroline kepnes
cover: Atria; background: mikroman6/getty images

You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes

“After I finished watching You on Netflix and learning that it got renewed for a second season, I decided to read the book and its sequel, Hidden Bodies. They were quick, easy and entertaining reads (aka perfect for summer) that completely creeped me out. Kepnes has a weird, yet talented knack for making you like the main character, Joe Goldberg, the hot book nerd who also happens to be a manipulative stalker and serial killer. Let's just say I'm excited to watch season two when it premieres.” -Rachel, Associate Managing Editor

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harry potter and the goblet of fire
cover: Scholastic; background: mikroman6/getty images

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

"The series came out when I was in college and, apparently, at the time I felt too cool to read it. I was insane. Now, I'm reading it for the first time—in preparation for eventually reading it aloud to my son—and I can't put it down. I'm going to go on record and say that Book 4 is my favorite so far, mainly because things really take a turn and the good vs. evil narrative doesn't feel as lighthearted and playful anymore. Bottom line: J.K. Rowling is a genius. (There's Moody! And Cedric! And Hermione's campaign to protect the House Elves!) What a gift this series is." -Rachel, Director of Special Projects

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normal people sally rooney
cover: Hogarth; background: mikroman6/getty images

Normal People by Sally Rooney

“I fully admit that I jumped on the bandwagon to read Sally Rooney's Normal People, and I have zero regrets. The novel follows the on-and-off romance of a young couple in Ireland, and since I don't want to give any spoilers (you should definitely read it), let's just say I finished the whole thing in three days. It's funny, heartbreaking, relatable and a fine example of Rooney's ability to say much with few words—but I most loved that while it was certainly a love story, it was also a commentary on social class, mental health, family and friendship.” -Katherine, Associate Food Editor 

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fleishman is in trouble taffy brodesser akner
cover: Random House; background: mikroman6/getty images

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

"Another PureWow editor (the author of this exact article!) gave me this book during my plea for another novel to fill my post-Normal People void. If you like anything by Emma Straub or Maria Semple, you will love this book. Written by journalist Taffy Brodesser-Akner (her debut novel) and set in New York City, the story opens with Toby Fleishman in the midst of a divorce with his remarkably unaffected wife. As he slowly learns how to balance his career, two kids and new-found freedom...the ground drops out from under him. I honestly can't share anymore than that because I still have 50 pages left and I have to stop writing so I can finish. That's how good this book is." -Angela, Editorial Director, Branded Content

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the dinosaur artist paige williams
cover: Hachette Books; background: mikroman6/getty images

The Dinosaur Artist by Paige Williams

“To be totally honest, I picked up a copy of this book because my local bookstore was closing down and I felt bad and wanted to buy something, and this one had a really great cover. It turned out to be my favorite book of the year so far. It’s wild! It follows the true story of a criminal investigation into the auction of a fossilized dinosaur skull from Mongolia, but the author goes into an immense amount of detail regarding every element of the case. It’s got something for everyone: Floridian nudists, stories of the real life Indiana Jones, a lesson in Mongolia’s history, a brief but important showdown between Nicolas Cage and Leo DiCaprio, deeply conservative Texan lawyers, the entire life story of the oft forgotten ‘Greatest Fossilist in the world,’ Mary Anning, and more. It’s a whirlwind adventure of a book and I absolutely loved it.” -Abby, Associate Editor

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florida lauren groff
cover: Riverhead Books; background: mikroman6/getty images

Florida by Lauren Groff

“Based on the recommendations of a couple of the above contributers, I checked out the audiobook version of this short story collection from the library. All of the stories have some sort of connection to the Sunshine State—tangential or direct—but none is a ‘beach read’…despite many involving water in some form—monster hurricanes, desolate swamps and even one about two young girls abandoned on an island. Lauren Groff’s writing is spectacular and will make you smarter just imbibing it, but listening to her—yes, the author—actually read her own words in the audiobook version was a strange treat that, if you do the same, will probably make you wonder how much of her writing is autobiographical.”–Dara, Senior Editor

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