Labor Day is the sad end to summer, but it's also a blissful long weekend that's made for soaking up all of the seasonal activities you love or haven't yet found the time for — including summer reading. There were so many big books of summer this year — everything from new heart-racing thrillers to must-read rom-coms . And if you're anything like me, there are probably tons of books still left on your seasonal TBR that you'd love to read before all of those new fall books are released. Luckily, Bustle spent all summer reading the best books of the season, and I've gathered 15 of them below for your ideal Labor Day stack.
The books are fiction, nonfiction, romance, thriller, and fantasy. There's both adult and YA picks, so that no matter what reading mood you're in during the last weekend of summer, you're sure to find something you like. From Casey McQuiston's widely-celebrated Red, White & Royal Blue to the recently released thriller Speaking of Summer by Kalisha Buckhanon, you'll find both fan-favorites and under-the-radar picks that will help round out your summer reading list. Say farewell to beach days with these amazing books of summer 2019:
'Ask Again, Yes' by Mary Beth Keane
Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, two rookie cops in the New York Police Department, live next door to each other. The things that happen behind closed doors — the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne — set the stage for an explosive, generational tale about love, family, and forgiveness.
'Red, White & Royal Blue' by Casey McQuiston
When the animosity between Alex, the son of the U.S. president, and Henry, the prince of Wales, makes tabloid headlines, their families force the men to "fake" a friendship in order to mend foreign relations. Of course, it doesn't stay "fake" for very long. For more about the book, you can read an interview with Casey McQuiston on Bustle right now.
'Wilder Girls' by Rory Power
When a mysterious disease hits The Raxter School for Girls, everyone is put under quarantine — including three best friends. When one of them goes missing, the other two search desperately for answers.
'The Right Swipe' by Alisha Rai
Rhiannon and Samson are unexpectedly reunited after he ghosted her following a one-night stand. But the two work for rival dating app companies, they must decide whether they're willing to risk it all for their own chance at romance. You can start reading from The Right Swipe on Bustle right now.
'Gods of Jade and Shadow' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
When Casiopea accidentally awakens a Mayan God of Death, she's torn away from her life as a servant in her grandfather's home, to adventure through Mexico, Texas and the underworld in order to recover Death's throne from his treacherous brother. You can start reading from Gods of Jade and Shadow on Bustle right now.
'Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune' by Roselle Lim
After her mother's death, Natalie Tan returns home to re-open her family's restaurant. With the support of her long-time neighbors and potential romantic partner, she begins to imagine a new life for herself.
'With The Fire On High' by Elizabeth Acevedo
Emoni Santiago is a teenage mom who is struggling balance family obligations, schoolwork, and her desire to become a professional chef. But when she decides to let her talent break free, her life begins to change. For more about the book, you can read an interview with Elizabeth Acevedo on Bustle right now.
'Patsy' by Nicole Dennis-Benn
When Patsy secures a visa to the United States, she chases the dream of reigniting an old love in New York City — even though it means leaving her daughter behind. As the two experience their new lives, they work on finding their way back to each other.
'Whisper Network' by Chandler Baker
Four female co-workers have all had inappropriate experiences with their boss, Ames. When he's promoted to CEO, they decide they can no longer keep silent, so they create a whisper network that set in motion a catastrophic shift within the company.
'Three Women' by Lisa Taddeo
Based on over a decade of research by writer Lisa Taddeo, Three Women is a deep-dive into the sex lives of three women in the U.S. — a homemaker, a high school student, and a restaurant owner — and a profound exploration of female desire.
'Speaking of Summer' by Kalisha Buckhanon
When Autumn's twin sister, Summer, disappears from the roof of their brownstone, there's no explanation. No body is found, the roof is locked, and there are no footsteps. Faced with authorities indifferent to another missing woman, Autumn decided to pursue answers on her own.
'Trick Mirror' by Jia Tolentino
In this collection of essays, New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino shares her thoughts on literary heroines, reality TV, drugs, church, weddings, and beauty — all with her signature wit and flair.
'The Yellow House' by Sarah M. Broom
'The Rest Of The Story' by Sarah Dessen
Sarah Dessen's new book is as perfect for summer as everything else she's ever written. The book follows Emma Saylor's who has never really spent time with her mom's family in the small town of North Lake ― until this summer. When she reunites with Roo, a boy she knew as a child, he helps her wade through her family's secrets and sort through her feelings about her mother's death.
'Furious Hours' by Casey Cep
Furious Hours is three stories in one: First, it's the story of Reverend Willie Maxwell, a rural preacher who is believed to have murdered five people; Second, it's the story of the lawyer who defended both Maxwell and, later, the man who killed him; and third, it's the story of author Harper Lee, who became obsessed with the case and was determined to write a book about it. You can read an interview with Casey Cep on Bustle right now.