Forget the trashy beach read. Here are three books to keep your mind engaged this summer. Pleasantly, of course.

Summer Reading

Your time suck: The Familiar Vol. 1
From the author of the brilliant mindf*&% House of Leaves comes a wonderfully dense (but also light and playful at times) novel about nine completely different lives in different parts of the world, each facing their own pivotal life-changing moments. Don’t be fooled by the full-color illustrations; this is heady stuff. Oh, and go old-school: get the paperback, not the Kindle version.

Your immersion into a near-distant dystopian futureThe Water Knife
Hey, California, read up: An assassin, a journalist and a Texas migrant must work together to face the corrupt forces that plague the American Southwest...where water is a resource worth killing for.

Your inspiring biography: Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
Kook, genius, evangelist: whatever your chosen adjective, this is closest you’re going to get to an unbiased biography of Musk’s life, focusing on the entrepreneur’s most critical and controversial moments.

Main photo: Rory MacLeod/Flickr