Beach, hammock or sofa? All would be the perfect spot to settle in with a book from this curated list of GBH staff favorites. Whether you’re a fan of horror, fiction, fantasy or history, there’s something here for you.

The Overstory by Richard Powers
Barbara Ayotte, senior director of strategic communications

“This wondrous novel tells the stories of nine very different characters whose lives slowly start to converge after each has a life-changing experience with trees. Powers weaves magical realism with tree biology, interspersed with witty dialogue, jaw-dropping scenes along with a dose of climate change activism. A sweep of a novel — I couldn’t put it down. I’ve always loved trees, but after reading this story, I know why. One of my all-time favorite reads.”

Babel and Yellowface by R.F. Kuang
Ron Bachman, senior director of programming

“At only 26, Rebecca Kuang writes page-turners with teeth. Babel is a Dickensian fantasy set in 19th century Oxford about literary translation as a weapon of colonialism. In Yellowface, a White writer passes off an unpublished novel by a recently deceased Asian friend as her own work. It addresses issues of cultural appropriation, race, cancel culture and the toxicity of social media. Heady but utterly compelling.”

The Revolutionary and Symphony of Secrets
Callie Crossley, GBH News host and commentator

“I know most people are not reading ‘heavy’ books during the summer, but I love, love, love Stacy Schiff’s The Revolutionary about the little-known, true legacy of Founding Father Samuel Adams — a biography that reads like a novel. And for pure fun, Brendan Slocumb's Symphony of Secrets, a twisty tale of secrets and lies in the world of classical music, is just as much fun as his first novel The Violin Conspiracy.” (Editor’s Note: Listen to episodes of Crossley’s “Under the Radar” podcast, covering Slocumb’s novel, three local librarians’ summer reading recommendations and more.)

Hawthorn and Horowitz series by Anthony Horowitz
Donna Danielewski, executive director of accessibility

“Anthony Horowitz is creator of some of public television’s most beloved series and characters, including Magpie Murders, Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War and screenwriter for Poirot. The delight of his four-book series is that a fictionalized version of Horowitz himself is a character, a crime writer hired by private investigator Detective Daniel Hawthorne to document his cases. Horowitz plays the Watson to Hawthorne’s Holmes, a memorable, if mismatched, team.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
Elizabeth He, strategic communications associate

“If you read The Hunger Games trilogy, I recommend the prequel. The story traces back to the tenth annual Hunger Games with 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem, mentoring Lucy Gray, the female tribute from District 12. Collins explores the ethical, political and societal implications of humanity in its natural state through this dystopian world. I am reading this before the movie adaptation is in theaters in November.”

Foster by Claire Keegan
Tim Lepczyk, archives technology manager

“My favorite recent book is Foster, in which a young girl is sent to live with her aunt and uncle without knowing when she'll come home as her parents struggle with poverty and another baby on the way. As the girl settles into home life, she compares her current situation with that of her family and begins to appreciate what family and love can be.”

HEX by Thomas Olde Heuvelt
Caroline Mango, digital archivist

“How about a story that mixes a haunting, a quarantined town and viral content? Thomas Olde Heuvelt’s English adaptation of his bestselling Dutch novel HEX is one of the most exciting horror books I have read in recent years (and trust me, that’s all I read). Do not look up any more information on this book; just get it. The less you know the better!”

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Natalie Obedos, assistant scheduler

“This is probably one of the most beautifully written novels I’ve read this year. It’s a rare example of an immigration story that isn’t centered around America and instead explores the complex history between Japan and Korea through four generations of a Korean family. It was equal parts eye-opening history lesson and simple story of human spirit.”

Still Life by Louise Penny
Kate Van Sleet, administrative director

“This is the first book in the Gamache mystery series by Louise Penny, an introduction into the wonderfully vibrant world of Three Pines, a tiny village on the Canadian/US border filled with such complex and well-developed characters that you feel like you know them personally by the end of the book. This 18-book series is about the power of friendship, love and kindness and how these forces can be harnessed to overcome the ugly side of human nature. Each book is a whirlwind of page-turning drama that will leave you perfectly satisfied. This series should be read in order as it does have several underlying plots that build as the series progresses.”