1. The Martian by Andy Weir
It wasn't hard to ignore the world with this book in my hands, considering the story isn't even set on Earth. The focus on outer space took me back to my college level astronomy classes, but I learned more from this book about Mars, space, and astronauts than I ever did in that outdated planetarium. Even the locations described in the book are real places. From the beginning, I was on the edge of my seat and unable to put it down. Smart as a whip, Weir solved every seemingly unsolvable problem in a way that made my jaw drop.
It’s smart and it’s funny — if this book were a guy, I’d ask him out to dinner.
2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
A murder mystery set in a small, southern town (the type of town where the phrase “Darlin’, bless your heart” is considered rude).
Through this story, readers follow the main character, a journalist covering the murders of two young girls, through her murky past and troubled present. If you've read any of Gillian Flynn's other books, you can imagine the twists and turns this novel takes!
Not for the faint of heart, this book will make your skin crawl.
3. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
This is an oldie, but a goodie.
Set in the time period of Henry the Eighth, experience life in the English court during a storm of velvets, pearls, and silks, as two sisters fight for the King’s favor. Lies, deceit, and beheadings are just a few ways this sultry novel has in store for you.
4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Talk about a thriller. This is one book you will not be able to put down. It takes something simple (like a girl watching a group of houses from her seat on the train every day) and turns it into an intriguing, fast paced, hold your breath, can't stop reading, impossible to put down novel. Like Sharp Objects, this one isn't for the faint of heart, either.
5. The Firm by John Grisham
A smart, young Harvard man named Mitch gets an offer from a renowned law firm in Memphis, Tennessee. Blown away by the firm and all they offer to do for the hard-working, debt-filled college graduate, how could he refuse? Life is great, complete with his brand new BMW, until an FBI agent approaches him and Mitch learns things about the firm, and their connection with the Mafia, that he never wanted to know. Follow Mitch as he plays a dangerous game and fights for his life.