Summer is officially here, and with it brings a heat wave. Ever felt like you’re just too hot to even move, let alone write a novel? So what better way to deal with the heat then by finding a shady spot and reading your favorite books about heat waves?

Here are some recommendations I have. They tend to be a bit on the scarier side of things, but that’s to keep your mind off this terrifying heat:

Cujo by Stephen King: A mother and son get trapped inside a Ford Pinto during the hottest summer in 30 years. A rabid dog waits to pounce if they attempt to leave. Uplifting reading, best done on a sweaty subway car surrounded by almost-rabid commuters.

To Kill a Mockingbird: Our precocious narrator Scout describes that fateful summer,  “Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer’s day; bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square; Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning; Ladies bathed before noon, after their three o’clock naps, and by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.A novel best read while lazing in your backyard, wondering about why the world is the way it is — then forgetting about that and jumping into a creek.

Romeo and Juliet: Summer love, gone awry. Not that they weren’t warned by the cool-headed Benvolio,  “The day is hot, the Capels are abroad; / And if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl, / For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.” Best read while reminiscing about that summer love, and resisting the urge to look him or her up on Facebook.

A Time to Kill: Set during a sweltering southern summer inside of a claustrophobic courtroom, this drama won’t make you feel any cooler, but will keep you on edge long enough to forget about the heat. Best read while drinking a large lemonade while wearing far too much clothing.

Heat Wave: Dylan Terrey’s book, published at the beginning of the month on Lulu, follows NYPD detective Nikki Heat as she deals with a smooth-talking journalist whose been assigned to write about her latest murder investigation.

How many of you have a bit of heat in your books? What books do you think should be added to our sizzlin’ summer list?