Back to school, back to school! Even though we’re getting further and further away from the days of composition notebooks and three-ring binders, we still love the pomp and circumstance of back-to-school season. One of our favorite parts is checking off our summer reading list and stocking up on a few great books to read as the weather cools. To quench your thirst for learning, we’ve rounded up 10 best-sellers you need to read. Consider this homework—you’ll thank us!
The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher by Hilary Mantel ($18)
This New York Times best-selling collection of short stories from award-winning author Hilary Mantel tells the tales of human experience with cutting honesty and engrossing, rapt detail. Familial fissures, sinister deaths, sex, marriage, and more have never been so wildly entertaining.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr ($15)
This 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction has widely been touted as the book to read of the last year. Doerr’s beautiful World War II tale follows a German boy and a blind French girl in Germany-occupied France. It is stunning and thought-provoking, page after page.
Circling the Sun by Paula McLain ($17)
This New York Times best-seller is a diamond of historical fiction. Set in colonial Africa, it centers on a British colonial's daring daughter who, at 16, marries a drunk, becomes the greatest female horse trainer in the region, and finds herself embroiled in dalliances with high society, romance, and adventure aplenty.
The English Spy by Daniel Silva ($17)
This latest from New York Times best-selling author Daniel Silva returns us to the nail-biting quests of Gabriel Allon, the main protagonist of Silva’s espionage series focusing on Israeli intelligence. Set on the glamorous island of St. Barts, The English Spy is downright riveting.
My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem ($15)
Journalist, social activist, and feminist icon Gloria Steinem is renowned for being a catalyst for change. Her memoir explores the key to her enduring energy and lasting hope for change, and is an observant, enriching, and inspiring biographical read.
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult ($19)
This page-turner from best-selling author Jodi Picoult tells the story of a teenager who sets out to shed light on the disappearance of her mother when she was just 3 years old. The book is a fast-paced mystery peppered with the poignancy of themes like motherhood, family, and grief.
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari ($18)
One of the most timely books of recent pop culture history, comedian and actor Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance probes the mystifying world of dating in the age of apps and endless options. Having joined forces with researchers and sociologists, Ansari makes Modern Romance at once thought-provoking, wildly disconcerting, and hilarious. A must-read.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah ($17)
Popular thriller author Kristin Hannah’s latest book tells the story of two French sisters during World War II, one in Paris, one on the countryside. It’s peppered with social and political activism, romance, and lovely details and drama.
The Martian by Andy Weir ($10)
Though first released in 2011, The Martian is about to be remade into a Ridley Scott film starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain—so you can bet it’s as relevant as ever. The book tells the story of an American astronaut who must survive after he becomes stranded on Mars. Read it before the movie’s October release.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen ($18)
The latest from beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jonathan Franzen (Freedom, The Corrections), Purity is a multigenerational American epic that centers on a young woman as she seeks to uncover the mysteries of her own life.
Have you read any of these books? What others are on your reading list? Share below!