For some entrepreneurs the generally slower summer months are a great time to learn something new or catch up on the latest business titles. For others, vacation season is all about feeding the brain with some great fiction.

Don't knock devouring a pageturner. Not only do figures like Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama credit fiction with expanding their outlook and exercising their minds, but science even suggests that a great novel can boost empathy, a hallmark of excellent leaders.

So which titles have the literary world chattering this summer? If you're too busy to scan countless reviews and best-of lists, Quartz's Kevin J. Delaney has done you a big favor. He's sifted through recommendations from book critics at the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Newsday, the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and the Wall Street Journal to find the books recommended by multiple experts.

Here's his list with the number of times each book was recommended in parenthesis:

  1. The Girls by Emma Cline (Six mentions)
  2. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Four mentions)
  3. Barkskins by Annie Proulx (Four mentions)
  4. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Romana Ausubel (Three mentions)
  5. Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters (Two mentions)
  6. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (Two mentions)
  7. How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball (Two mentions)
  8. Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole (Two mentions - this one is essays)
  9. Problems by Jade Sharma (Two mentions)
  10. The Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward (Two mentions -- essays and poems)
  11. Voyager: Travel Writings by Russell Banks (Two mentions -- as you'd expect, travel writing)
  12. The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver (Two mentions)
  13. Ninety-Nine Stories of God by Joy Williams (Two mentions -- short stories)
  14. Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers (Two mentions)
  15. Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam (Two mentions)

Check out the rest of Delaney's super helpful post for details on the books, as well as a few additional recommendations to check out. Or, if you're still in the market for more ideas, everyone from Bill Gates to Richard Branson to Charlie Munger has offered suggestions.

What book are you most excited to read this summer?

Published on: Jun 10, 2016
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