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A data-driven guide to the best 2019 summer reading

Beach readings
REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

I haven’t read any of the 45 books I’m about to recommend to you.

Even so, my confidence in them is high. In search of the season’s most-endorsed reads, Quartz analyzed every 2019 summer book list we could find, from Bill Gates to Bloomberg, Bustle, and Buzzfeed.

Encompassing 67 lists and 1,428 individual recommendations, it’s arguably the most statistically sound summer reading list on the internet.

For the most part, lists varied significantly. Of the 920 books recommended, most appeared on only one list. But we were searching for the stand-out reads that popped up often across different lists. And we found them: here are the 45 titles that appear on five or more lists. Nearly all are fiction, and 89% are written by women.

City of GirlsElizabeth GilbertHistorical Fiction
The Nickel Boys*Colson WhiteheadHistorical Fiction
On Earth We’re Briefly GorgeousOcean VuongLGBTQ
Three Women*Lisa TaddeoNonfiction
Fleishman Is in TroubleTaffy Brodesser-AknerFiction
PatsyNicole Dennis-BennLGBTQ
Searching for Sylvie LeeJean KwokMystery
Normal PeopleSally RooneyFiction
Daisy Jones & the SixTaylor Jenkins ReidHistorical Fiction
Trick Mirror*Jia TolentinoEssays
Inland*Téa ObrehtHistorical Fiction
RecursionBlake CrouchScience Fiction
QueenieCandice Carty-WilliamsFiction
The Wedding Party*Jasmine GuilloryRomance
Mrs. EverythingJennifer WeinerHistorical Fiction
BunnyMona AwadHorror
Mostly Dead ThingsKristen ArnettLGBTQ
How Could SheLauren MechlingFiction
The Most Fun We Ever HadClaire LombardoFiction
The Bride TestHelen HoangRomance
My Lovely WifeSamantha DowningThriller
Magic for LiarsSarah GaileyFantasy
My Sister, the Serial KillerOyinkan BraithwaiteFiction
The Tenth MuseCatherine ChungHistorical Fiction
The Need*Helen PhillipsHorror
The Yellow House*Sarah M. BroomMemoir
Lady in the Lake*Laura LippmanMystery
Big SkyKate AtkinsonMystery
I’ll Never TellCatherine McKenzieMystery
Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper LeeCasey CepNonfiction
Ayesha at LastUzma JalaluddinRomance
Evvie Drake Starts OverLinda HolmesRomance
The Testaments*Margaret AtwoodScience Fiction
Orange World and Other StoriesKaren RussellShort Stories
The Paper WaspLauren AcamporaThriller
Doxology*Nell ZinkFiction
American SpyLauren WilkinsonHistorical Fiction
The Golden Hour*Beatriz WilliamsHistorical Fiction
The Confessions of Frannie LangtonSara CollinsHistorical Fiction
The Turn of the Key*Ruth WareMystery
The Silent PatientAlex MichaelidesMystery
The Five: The Untold Lives of Women Killed by Jack the RipperHallie RubenholdNonfiction
The FlatshareBeth O’LearyRomance
The FarmJoanne RamosScience Fiction
Everything Inside: Stories*Edwidge DanticatShort Stories

* Books not yet released as of July 8.

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