Ah, summer—when beach reads and light romance novels reign supreme. But let’s be honest: It’s nice to switch up the summer reading list and add in a few other genres as well. So, while these three recommendations—a thrilling domestic disturbance, a historical mystery and a darkly comic next chapter in a familiar character’s story—don’t necessarily have much romance in them, they are perfect additions to your must-read pile. Not sure which one to dive into? Just add all three to your reading list. 


Tracy Flick Can’t Win, by Tom Perrotta

If the name Tracy Flick rings a bell, feel free to get excited for this sequel of sorts to Tom Perrotta’s Election (which was made into a movie featuring Reese Witherspoon as Flick, a role for which she received a Golden Globe nomination). In Tracy Flick Can’t Win, we catch up with Tracy as an adult; she’s a vice-principal, a mother…and as ambitious as ever. When her boss, the principal, announces his retirement, she’s a shoo-in for his replacement. It makes sense—she’s paid her dues and has been commended for her work. But a motley cast of characters—a former star football player who comes back to be inducted into the high school hall of fame, the president of the school board, who garners Tracy’s favour, and said president’s wife, who is trying a bit too hard to be her friend—stir doubts in Tracy’s mind and remind of her own high school days. Is she reading too much into things or is her life starting to unravel? With biting commentary and perfect comic timing, this is one sequel you won’t want to miss.

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Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, by Lizzie Pook

A historical novel set in 19th-century Australia, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook follows Eliza Brightwell, a young woman who is headed to greet her pearl-diving father and brother as they return from a lengthy trip at sea. But only her brother returns, and he has little to offer by way of explanation of their father’s disappearance. Refusing to accept that he was lost at sea, as others believe, Eliza sets out to figure out what happened to her father, crossing paths with some notorious characters and unravelling a surprising mystery—one that has her reflecting on her past as much as looking to the future.

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Magpie, by Elizabeth Day

While some might call Marisa’s romance with Jake a “whirlwind,” for her, it’s a when you know, you know” kind of situation. And she just knows that moving in and starting a family with her new beau is the right move—until, that is, their temporary roommate starts acting incredibly strange. Kate moved in to help offset the costs of new parenthood, and though Marisa was reluctant, it made financial sense. But when she starts acting like she’s more than a lodger—cooking for Jake and becoming overly familiar—Marisa needs to know who she really is and what she’s up to. Fans of thrillers will not want to miss the can’t-see-it-coming twists in this thriller from Elizabeth Day. 

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