See TIME's picks for our favorite titles from the front half of the year
It’s turning into a big year for readers. Though highly-anticipated releases from authors such as Jonathan Franzen and Harper Lee remain on the horizon, 2015 has already produced enough great books to topple a nightstand.
To help you sort through the year’s offerings or choose which titles to add to your summer reading list, TIME has ranked the best books of 2015 (so far). The picks span genre and form — including a darkly enchanting collection of short stories, a delightful novel featuring a dysfunctional bride-to-be and a singing memoir chronicling both grief and, yes, taming a hawk. Happy reading!
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Atkinson covers four generations of the Todd family that was at the center of her novel, Life After Life. The narrative jumps throughout the 20th century around the story of Teddy Todd, a Royal Air Force pilot in World War II who struggles with his postwar survival.
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson
When disaster dooms the planet, people across the world unite to send a coalition into outer space and ensure the survival of their species. After 5,000 years, seven races of humans stem from the survivors, and they attempt to return to a changed earth.
I Take You by Eliza Kennedy
Lily Wilder, a promiscuous lawyer in New York, prepares to marry her archaeologist fiancé, Will. The novel follows her difficulties embracing monogamy in both theory and practice, told with the inflection of Lily’s humor.
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
Each of these nine stories takes place in a seemingly normal setting, such as a hotel or at a birthday party, into which dark elements of the fantastic and supernatural subtly intrude.
Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman
A collection of tales from virtuoso storyteller Neil Gaiman, ranging from horror to science fiction to fairy tales to verse. They include “adventure story,” Gaiman’s rumination on death, and “a calendar of tales,” short takes inspired by his replies to fan tweets.
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
An experienced falconer, Macdonald resolves to train a vicious predator, the goshawk, as a means to cope with the death of her father. This stunning memoir explores the deep strange bond she forms with her bird.
The Story of Alice by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
The Story of Alice charts the curious, controversial friendship between Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (more commonly known as Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he created Alice in Wonderland. The book also explores how and why Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass, have had such lasting cultural resonance.
The Brothers by Masha Gessen
Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen’s passionate, opinionated, deeply reported exploration of the long road that led the Tsarnaev brothers to commit the Boston Marathon bombing. She traces the family’s history from Chechnya to a precarious Boston-area immigrant demi-monde, asking urgent questions and avoiding simple answers.
The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits
Inspired by diaries from her childhood, Heidi Julavits chronicles her daily life in this diary-form memoir that is simultaneously about small details and big ideas.
How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt
Journalist Stephen Witt writes a lucid, mordantly funny account of the rise of digital music piracy, starting with the story of a worker in a North Carolina CD-pressing plant who personally leaked more than 2,000 albums over eight years.
Thank you images and information from TIME.com
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