Complex's 10 Must-Read Summer Books

Complex's 10 Must-Read Summer Books

books
People can assume what they want, but there's more to us at Complex than kicks, women and Twitter fights. It takes brains to be this fly, and we're well-read like whoa, despite how this entire sentence is written. Not only do we have impeccable taste in literature, but we're passionately devoted to making you a better person (or at least helping you pretend to be one), so we rounded up our favorite reads in recent memory in hopes that we can convince you to take a few books with you to the beach, on vacation, or wherever else you're spending the last month of summer.

All are paperback, which means easy transport, and all have the official Complex co-sign. $150 for a pair of shoes that'll be out in three months vs. $15 for a book that just might change your life? Get your paper up!


THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO (Riverhead Trade)

AUTHOR: Junot Diaz

A comic-book geek, hot Dominican girls, and magical realism? We think that maybe...yes, yes, it's official, this book might just have it all!

BUY IT NOW!
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CITY OF THIEVES (Plume)

AUTHOR: David Benioff

The writer of The 25th Hour (which Spike then turned into a decent movie) goes back in time to the Siege of Leningrad in World War II to tell a story of two young men looking for eggs, sex, and Nazis. Sound boring? Wrong. One of the best reads of the year, trust.

BUY IT NOW!
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DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY (Vintage)

AUTHOR: Erik Larson

Nonfiction that reads like a crime novel. Old-timey Chicago and a serial killer who took out more people than Jack the Ripper? Yes, please.

BUY IT NOW!
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THE HUNTER (University Chicago Press)

AUTHOR: Richard Stark

Originally written in 1962, this is the first installment of an incredible noir series, The Parker Novels, by mystery O.G. Donald Westlake (writing under a pseudonym). It was turned into Payback, that Mel Gibson joint from the '90s, but don't let that sway you. No frills, just taut sadistic revenge.

BUT IT NOW!
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I AM NOT SIDNEY POITIER (Graywolf)

AUTHOR: Percival Everett

Post-racial utopia our behind. Just because our president is black doesn't mean there's not room for a white-hot satire in the vein of Ishmael Reed and Paul Beatty (blaow, two more recommendations for that ass!).

BUY IT NOW!
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LUSH LIFE (Picador)

AUTHOR: Richard Price

The author of Clockers and Freedomland went off to write for The Wire, then came back to books to tell a tale of L.E.S. hipsters, cops, and Tru-Life's crew. Well, not exactly, but the book reads like a Field Guide to Ludlow Street, except with way more guns.

BUY IT NOW!
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THE ROAD (Vintage)

AUTHOR: Cormac McCarthy

A father and son scrabble across the wasteland that used to be our planet. Bleak post-apocalpytic settings were never so compelling, so read up now before the Viggo Mortensen movie finally comes to theaters and you're exposed for the poorly-read poser you are.

BUY IT NOW!
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SUPER SPY (Top Shelf)

AUTHOR: Matt Kindt

If you're looking for a graphic novel, stop here. Espionage + awesome meta-fiction + pretty pictures = JJ Abrams' wet dream.

BUY IT NOW!
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WHITE TIGER (Free Press)

AUTHOR: Aravind Adiga

A dirt-poor village kid rises through the class divides of India. Coarse, hilarious, and a far fucking cry from the gauzy "Indian fiction" your girl's into.

BUY IT NOW!
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ZEROVILLE (Europa)

AUTHOR: Steve Erickson

A freak show with an obsessive love of movies moves to 1960s LA, then falls in with some weirdos and descends into madness. Seriously, seriously unlike anything you've ever read.

BUY IT NOW!

Tags: books, graphic-novel, junot-diaz, summer-reading
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