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8 New Books to Read to End the Summer

8 New Books to Read to End the Summer

Whether you read on a tablet, Kindle, or still prefer the smell of a freshly cracked paperback, finding your next book is never easy. You could never read all the new novels, biographies, or nonfiction tomes released each week, so we’re here to help. These are a handful of the new or upcoming books we think deserve a space on your eReader or nightstand.

Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul

Jeremiah Moss

Available Now

We hope including this book doesn’t make us sound like we’re doomsayers for New York. There’s a lot to love about the city. But we sort of agree that the city’s lost a bit of an edge. The neighborhoods that produced most of the city’s most influential cultural pieces are getting homogenized and, while we personally wouldn’t say the soul’s completely gone, it will be if steps aren’t taken. It wouldn’t take much to save some of these cultural touchstones, so the investment’s worth it. Hopefully this book is a wake up call and will give people a guide for how to reverse the more negative trends. $20

The Half-Drowned King

Linnea Hartsuyker

Available Now

Maybe it’s because we just started streaming Vikings on Amazon and American Gods did so well for Starz, but we think the Norse are an underutilized group when it comes to storytelling. Let’s get some more Scandinavian raiding and pillaging in our cultural consumption. The Half-Drowned King seems like a pretty good place to start. It pulls from Norse history and mythology to tell an excellent story that, even though it’s labeled historical fiction, might as well have happened. Plus the books full of names like Ragnvald Eysteinsson, Svanhild, and Linnea Hartsuyker (she’s the author), and they’re all ridiculously fun to try and say out loud. $19

After On

Rob Reid

Available Now

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, among others, have been very vocal about the dangers AI poses for mankind, so it should come as no surprise that artists are hard at work realizing Musk and Hawking’s fears. After On envisions an that runs social media as well as national security, a situation that doesn’t feel far from what the technology would actually be used for. The book focuses on the relationship between mankind and AI in a way not many have done. That is, it recognizes that each influences the other, so the Armageddons so many other works have portrayed aren’t guarantees so much as possibilities. $20

Ten Dead Comedians: A Murder Mystery

Fred Van Lente

Available Now

“Murder Mystery” makes us think of cheaper, quickly written paperbacks that fly off the shelves during beach reading season, then end up sitting in a bin until you move. That doesn’t fit Ten Dead Comedians. What Fred Van Lente does instead is uses the stereotypical framework of a murder mystery to satirize both the genre and show-business attitudes through different eras. We also like that a bunch of washed up and hack comedians are getting made fun of and occasionally murdered. Not saying we want to or advocate the murder of comedians, but it’s that visceral satisfaction that never extends to the real world. $14

When the English Fall

David Williams

Available Now

There’s plenty of post-apocalyptic pop culture, but none of them ever stop to consider what the Amish would do in the event of nuclear war or zombies or a pandemic or meteor or any of the other thousand scenarios people have come up with. It’s a shame, because the Amish are the ones best suited to deal with an apocalypse and are an objectively more interesting demographic than destitute, lonely teens. When the English Fall finally addresses the Amish role in a post-civilization world and gives modern people an outside look at our own motivations and abilities, as well as a closer look at the Amish than we’re accustomed to. $17

The Locals

Jonathan Dee

Available Now

Admittedly the premise is a little contrived, as The Locals is about a rural, working class New England town that elects a paranoid New York City millionaire as its mayor. But once you get past the semi-forced initiation, the book quickly becomes about how to handle the reconciliation of urban and rural class boundaries. It’s best absorbed as a product of 21st century America and it’ll be interesting to see if the book ages well. But for now, it’s a telling exploration of our national situation, even if it is fictional. $17

Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers

Andrew Rea

October 3

Binging with Babish” has reminded us more than once that just because something’s on the big screen doesn’t mean it’s fake food and following along with the videos has given us more than one memorable meal. But now, we don’t have to bring our laptops into the kitchen with us anymore. Andrew Rea, creator of the series, is releasing a cookbook to follow up on his channel’s success. It’s good this book is coming out in the beginnings of sweater weather too, because cooking our way through this is going to definitely undo all that work we did for summer. $23

What the Hell Did I Just Read

David Wong

October 3

John Dies at the End was one of those books/movies that came out of nowhere (unless you’re a Cracked reader, that is). It was an original, creative, entertaining work by an guy who mostly writes Internet comedy articles, its release was quiet, and the series kept its quality through the second installment. Now, in the third, we expect the same black humor that’s come to define the series. If it delivers, expect people a decade from now to write articles about it, talking about how it’s amazing such a solid series had a small initial audience. Don’t we recognize quality when it’s skulking in the back of the bookstore? $17