21 Tantalizing & Engaging Must Reads for Teens and Adults

With kids heading back to school and fall activities ramping up, parents are freed up with time to sit and wait. In the car. For hours. Regardless of whether you find yourself the queen of carpooling or not, chances are you keep your ears open for the must reads of the season. Whether fiction, non-fiction, or young adult fiction, you will find one or more books that catch your eye in the list below. Check out these must reads for teens and adults!


Our Best Must Reads List for People Who Love to Snuggle Up With A Great Book

The Family Plot

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Nothing starts out a list of must reads like a mystery murder. The Family Plot is a brand new release that will keep you entertained and guessing until the end. Dahlia Lighthouse’s twin brother, Andy, disappeared ten years ago when they were sixteen and living at their true-crime-obsessed parents’ isolated home. Fast forward to today and Dahlia returns home to mourn her father’s death only to find a second body in the plot: her brother’s…with an ax in his skull.

Dahlia and her family members volley ideas back and forth over who murdered Andy. This eclectic family would be endearing if the subject of their obsession wasn’t so gruesome. Pick up The Family Plot to learn along with Dahlia what secrets her family and their household to solve the mystery of Andy’s disappearance.

To Love and To Loathe

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Sometimes, light rom-com historical fiction novels are the must reads that top the list. To Love and To Loathe is an endearing, and hilarious read with a Bridgerton-type storyline that keeps the reader interested. Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham, is forced to challenge his prowess under the sheets when his latest mistress has some not-so-favorable words. Enter the widowed Diana, Lady Templeton, seeking experience in bed, and we have a mutual common goal.

What the characters didn’t bargain for is actually finding pleasure and joy in one another’s company. You can’t help but smile while reading about this unlikely and flirting courtship. If you’re seeking a period piece that is both cheeky and fun, To Love and To Loathe is the book for you.

The Other Passenger

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What would you do if your circumstances placed you arguing with a friend right before he or she disappears? And you were all of a sudden deemed a suspect? The Other Passenger is on this list of must reads for its twists and turns.

Jamie and Kit are neighbors who strike up a friendship via their daily ferry commute. One day, Kit doesn’t show up for the boat, and his wife, Melia reports him missing. The initial clues include an argument between Jamie and Kit witnessed by passengers on the ferry the evening prior. Jamie’s life is turned upside down when the police determine he had a reason to want Kit dead. But he’s innocent, right?

Read More: 8 Engaging Middle Grade Books for Advanced Readers in Need of a New Series

Uglies

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The first in the Uglies series, Uglies is a young adult novel and one of many must reads for parents and teens alike. The series starts in a dystopian society where all pre-teens are sent to boarding schools and deemed “uglies” until their sixteenth birthday when surgery turns them into “pretties”. These drastic measures eliminate jealousy and one’s looks helping gain traction in society.

The heroine, Tally, is nearly sixteen and can’t wait to become a “pretty”. Her birthday is later in the year than her friends making her one of the last to have the operation. While patiently waiting in her dorm, Tally meets Shay, someone who challenges the way the world works and whether becoming “pretty” has ulterior motives.

When Shay runs away before her sixteenth birthday, Tally has a choice: follow Shay or move forward with these new doubts and worries about the future of her society. Which path does she choose? And how does it affect this dystopian society that claims to be so much smarter than the civilization of the past?

The Charm Offensive

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Looking for must reads that explore the behind-the-scenes of reality match-making TV shows? The Charm Offensive opens with its main character, Dev Deshpande, being a producer of Ever After, a Bachelor-esque TV show. Dev strongly believes in the happily ever after even after his love life fails to shine any light on a fairy tale of his own.

Enter Charlie Winshaw: the Prince Charming of all Prince Charmings cast to boost ratings both of the show and of Charlie’s poor reputation. Dev struggles as Charlie’s “handler” to get Charlie to show an ounce of charisma on air…even though Dev sees what a true prince Charlie is when the cameras aren’t rolling. Sometimes fairy tales show up where you least expect them and both Dev and Charlie are about to figure this out first-hand!

The Music of Bees

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When compiling a list of must reads this fall, make sure to add The Music of Bees to the top of your list. This story centers around Alice Holtzman, a middle-aged widow who is stuck at a dead-end job and living on her family’s orchard. The piece of her life that brings meaning is tending to her beehives, a unique hobby to say the least.

When Alice nearly runs over an 18-year-old mohawked-hair boy in a wheelchair, both of their lives begin to intertwine on a path that revolves around caring for Alice’s bees. Harry, a lost 24-year-old, enters the picture and the reader is sucked into these characters’ world in a small town in Oregon. A masterpiece from Penguin Random House, you won’t regret starting (or finishing) this book.

The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount Everest

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If non-fiction is your jam, Penguin Random House recently released one of many must reads, called The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount Everest. This true story is told by Mark Synnott, a veteran climber who sets out to solve the mystery of the original expeditionists that sought to climb Mount Everest in 1924, George Mallory and Sandy Irvine.

Mallory and Irvine were last seen eight hundred feet shy of their goal but their bodies and the camera and film documenting their climb were never found. Synnott takes the reader on the journey up Everest with him to experience the mystery, hardships, and death that met the climbers.

Read More: Grab One (or 10!) of These Best Books To Read Right Now

The Rejection That Changed My Life

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Have you ever reached a point in your life where you need inspiration either personally or professionally? Maybe that inspiration stems from a rejection or a recent failure or maybe you need to start over altogether. Regardless of your reason, The Rejection That Changed My Life is your answer to your search for inspirational must reads.

Not only does this book help change your mindset about failure, but it also helps provide new and different ways to view challenges. Every single person has been rejected in some way or manner. The Rejection That Changed My Life was written to help women feel empowered. Read about stories by women of various cultural backgrounds in a diverse collection of jobs.

Personal and professional growth can come from failure. Pick up The Rejection That Changed My Life to help you determine how to turn your life around at any stage in your career.

Because He’s Jeff Goldblum

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The Washington Post’s Travis M. Andrews decided to explore the life and career of Jeff Goldblum in his latest book Because He’s Jeff Goldblum. One of the must reads for fans of Goldblum and pop culture alike, this book explores everything from Goldblum’s hobbies to his thoughts behind the scenes of his movie career.

How does one person prepare to be a scientist-turned-fly? Because He’s Jeff Goldblum knows how. A humorous look at stories that go as far back as Goldblum’s childhood and range in theme from what he would write in the shower as a kid to his favorite brand of cough drops. Thought you knew Jeff Goldblum before? Now you have the chance to get the scoop on everything you never wanted to learn about this endearing and timeless actor.

Vibrant: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Own Your Health, and Glow

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You want to live your best life, right? Vibrant: A Groundbreaking Program to Get Energized, Own Your Health, and Glow lays out a plan to help you uncover an even better version of the amazing you that already exists today!

Get healthy, build up your natural immunity, enhance your energy, get yourself a gorgeous glow. This uplifting book is included in the must reads list because it tells you exactly what you need to hear to radiate health, positivity, and promise.

This unique book covers it all – from energy-depleters and makeovers to hydration and smarter food choices (recipes are included, too). Once you’ve absorbed all of these ideas, it’s time to get to work, with the included 30-Day Vibrant Habit Makeover. Try out some new approaches, take note of how you feel, and create healthy habits that will put you on a path to a more Vibrant life!

Feel Great, Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss

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Although fall sweaters are much more forgiving than summer swimsuits, wouldn’t it be great to shed a few unwanted pounds before the winter holidays arrive? Feel Great, Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss will help you do just that!

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee will help you discover the true cause of your weight gain, so you can take appropriate and responsible steps to reverse it. The holistic lifestyle changes he outlines in his book promise to not only help you lose weight, but also increase your energy levels, move more, and sleep better, too. In fact, he’ll help you discover the true cause of your weight gain so you can take appropriate and responsible steps to reverse it.

Feel Great, Lose Weight: Simple Habits for Lasting and Sustainable Weight Loss concludes with a helpful and inspiring toolbox to help you put thoughts into action and go after the results that you want. Grab a copy of this title on the must reads list and see what small changes you can put in place today that will add up to big results in the long run!

Redefining Rich

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What does being “rich” mean to you? It can mean many things to many different people. Is it climbing the corporate ladder and landing that dream job that affords you a luxury estate and an exotic car collection? Is it starting your dream small business and serving your local community? Perhaps it’s taking advantage of the gig economy and building in the flexibility to take time off, recharge, and see the world.

Redefining Rich is on your must reads list because it explores all of this, as well as the motivations, benefits, and drawbacks for these choices. Sure, you could pursue that big promotion, but what if it takes time away from being with your family? You could summon the courage to take a risk and open a business, but will you have to work literally around the clock? Maybe you don’t have to choose. It’s absolutely possible to find your calling, chase your dreams – and live. Let Shannon Hayes shows you how in this book on the must reads list!

Redefining Rich explores economics, quality of life, income, organization, profit, and more in an easy-to-understand way. Use the concepts laid out inside to live smarter, achieve wealth, and fuel your passions.

Read More: 20 Awesome Learning Toys and Books To Help With Virtual Or In School Learning

Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors

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Are you a big Tesla fan? Whether you are or not, Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors is on the must reads list for anyone interested in the amazing rise of this all-American company. This novel by Edward Niedermeyer is about Tesla’s challenges and evolution into the popular automotive company we know today.

Tesla has survived through many struggles while trying to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. When Tesla launched the Roadster and Model S, the company lost money due to high manufacturing costs and low volume, but it attracted a larger market of buyers after introducing the more affordable Model 3.

As a result, Elon Musk and Tesla have become household names and are shaping the future of the automotive industry. Read Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors to obtain a fresh, inside look into Tesla that’s never been published before!

The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes Puzzle Book

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Do you know a puzzle lover or a Sherlock Holmes fan? Either way, The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes Puzzle Book will make your must reads list. Solve more than 140 puzzles as you follow maps through London and the English countryside searching for clues. The puzzles are based on six well-known Sherlock Holmes cases including, “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone” and “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.”

Each puzzle is beautifully illustrated. Some of the puzzles are simple, while others will make you think. You might even need to find your own Watson to help you get to the bottom of the mystery for some of the puzzles. The paper is nice and thick so you can make notes and figure out puzzles right in the book.

If you enjoy The Ultimate Sherlock Holmes Puzzle Book, then a trilogy of Sherlock Holmes Puzzle books by the same author, Pierre Berloquin, should be added to your must reads list, too. Each of the puzzle books is themed according to puzzle type – Sherlock Holmes Puzzles Lateral Brain Teasers: 100 Challenging Cross-Fitness Brain Exercises, Sherlock Holmes Puzzles Code Breakers: Over 100 Challenging Cross-Fitness Brain Exercises, and Sherlock Holmes Puzzles Code Breakers Visual Puzzles: Over 100 Challenging Cross-Fitness Brain Exercises.

Each one-page puzzle is illustrated beautifully in color by Jean Rubak. Again, some puzzles you will be able to figure out a cipher quite quickly, while many of the others may have you thinking for days on how to crack the code. The perfect gift for young adults and contemporaries alike!

A Lesson In Vengeance

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Looking for a good young adult suspense novel to add to your must reads list this fall? A Lesson In Vengeance takes the reader down a path of mystery and witchcraft through the eyes of the residents of Dalloway School, a boarding school.

Felicity, a senior living in Godwin House, an exclusive dormitory on the Dalloway campus, returns to school following the death of her girlfriend. Felicity quickly meets Ellis, a first-year and novelist, looking for a partner to research her second book. The subject of the book is focused on the five violent deaths that occurred in the first ten years of the school’s existence. What happens when researching the past starts to catch up to the girls? Will history repeat itself?

Read More: 20 Best Books About Race For Kids And Adults

Small Favors

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Would you fulfill a small favor to a monstrous creature if it meant your deepest desire was granted? That is exactly what starts happening in the young adult novel on the must reads list, Small Favors. Ellerie Downing has spent her life isolated by an impenetrable forest inside Amity Falls. She knows of the stories of the early town settlers and how they fought off monstrous creatures in the woods – but has never seen or heard that these creatures exist in the present day.

While seeking supplies for the town, some of the Downings neighbors go missing. At the same time, strange things start occurring in the town as the creatures present themselves as beings able to fulfill residents’ deepest desires. Ellerie quickly realizes that the requested small favors hide evil intentions. Can Ellerie save the people and town that she loves before it’s too late?

The iPhone Photography Book

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Not many people exist without a cell phone. And so many of you rely on your iPhone to store the everyday and big occasion events of your family. The iPhone Photography Book is on the must reads list for its ability to apply professional photography techniques to your iPhone.

Taking the reader step by step through a single concept, tool, or trick, Scott Kelby shows you how to take the pictures you had no idea were possible. With your iPhone! No need to decipher professional photography jargon because this book was written for you. A parent who just wants a cute, posed, and a well-lit shot of your always-behaving progeny. Or hellions. Either way, this book is the perfect addition to your parenting toolkit.

Liftoff: Elon Musk And The Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX

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Isn’t space fascinating? The planets, stars, and everything unknown in this big universe are just waiting to be explored! Space is the final frontier for human explorers, being led today by private space companies, such as Space X.

Eric Berger is the author of one of the must reads by Harper Collins Publishing called Liftoff: Elon Musk And The Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX. His story is about how Space X blasted off into success by achieving the largest constellation of commercial sales, pioneered reusable rockets, and is the first private company to launch people into orbit. When Space X first started, it had fewer than 200 employees and $100 million in the bank.

Since its inception, SpaceX has launched several test rockets (ex. Falcon 1) and engine tests that had some bumpy rides. Space X stands alongside Nasa in this unforgettable journey to fulfill Musk’s dream of landing on Mars and turning the human race into a multi-planetary species!

Read More: The Best Books for Kids: Series and Single Titles Suitable For Ages 5 to 15

The Wild Ones

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Do you like fantasy stories about female empowerment? If you do, The Wild Ones is perfect for your must reads list. This inspirational fantasy novel by Nafiza Azad is about a group of teenage girls with powers who work together to save a boy’s life whose magic saved them all.

It all started when Paheli gained access to the Between and collected magical girls like her. These girls then used their magic to travel the world and save other girls from pain. These girls then have to help a boy named Taraana, who has dangerous magical forces chasing him. If he gets his powers taken, then The Wild Ones are no longer safe either.

Will The Wild Ones save Taraana before the magical forces capture him and steal his magic? The Wild Ones encourages women to chase after their dreams and not be ashamed of who they are.

Out of Love

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At the end of every relationship, one can’t help but reflect back on the beginning – and the events that lead to the eventual demise of the relationship. Out of Love explores not only the events that lead to the end but also the events that keep one relationship going. How can one couple spend years with one another and still decide to go their separate ways?

This list of must reads includes this backward romance that begins with the end and slowly moves backward in time. When the ending is already known, there is so much to learn from the events of the past. How two people can experience a magical kiss five years in history but still end up apart is beautifully told in this Penguin Random House story.

The Mama Sutra

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Are you looking for must reads that offer a unique and helpful addition to a baby shower gift for the new mom? The Mama Sutra: Ancient Positions and Practices to Soothe the Modern Baby gives moms light-hearted, easy-to-read, conversational advice that teaches about more than 40 methods to help their little ones.

Allie Kingsley Baker and Tony Baker focus on tried and true positions to hold a baby that will do everything from comfort and help him sleep to help alleviate gas, constipation, or teething pain. The simple illustrations go perfectly with the short explanations of poses like Little Spoon, Water Wheel, and A Cute Asana.

The last chapter is for Mama, “The Achy Creator.” This chapter gives positions, poses, and stretches (like the Hip Hiker and Doorway to Heaven) to help mom (and dad) feel better after carrying and caring for their little bundle of joy. Check out The Mama Sutra: Ancient Positions and Practices to Soothe the Modern Baby for tips and tricks of soothing your baby.


Whether your guilty pleasure of must reads is romance, self-help, non-fiction, or suspense, find the next book for your library in the list above. Sometimes, a good young adult fiction title is all you need to lose yourself for an hour or two. You deserve a few minutes to yourself and must reads are a great way to get some “me” time!


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Katie Cowan
A Kansas City native, Katie is a mom of three. She left the corporate world five years ago after supporting her husband through medical school, residency, and fellowship. Katie now enjoys being at home, working part time on digital marketing, and volunteering at her children’s school and her family’s Parish. She loves to work out, try new restaurants, read, and binge watch TV shows. All the TV shows.

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