Summer in New York City can feel like the most unbearably hot place on earth. The subway platforms seem to sizzle, and the pavement? It's laughing at our misery. Then again, there are plenty of places out there as hot if not hotter than NYC. So find an air-conditioned refuge and read these books set in some of the hottest places in the world.
In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
A young Libyan boy named Suleiman must navigate the difficult terrain of Tripoli under the reign of Muammar Gaddafi.
Girls of Riyadh by Rajāʼ ʻAbd Allāh Ṣāniʻ
In this email epistolary novel, four young Saudi women muse on their relationships with men, gender dynamics, and sex.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
A classic of nihilist literature, this novel examines an Algerian man who kills without remorse.
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
When a tenacious young woman meets a secret agent in Baghdad, she must decode his cryptic dying words.
What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng by Dave Eggers
Based on a true story, this novel describes the life of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Love isn't easy in this intergenerational drama set in India.
Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed
Colonial Yemen comes to life in this semi-autobiographical novel about the author's father.
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver is at her best in this novel which combines her knowledge of ecology, biology, and rural Virginia.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story by John Berendt
After the death of a male prostitute in Savannah, Georgia, a community must reckon with their understanding of justice.
Cat on A Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
This Pulitzer Prize-winning play traces the relationship of a cotton tycoon and his family.
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bola̜no
In this quest novel, two young men begin a search for a beloved Mexican poet.
White Dog Fell From the Sky by Eleanor Lincoln Morse
A medical student in Botswana must flee his country after witnessing a killing.