Summer reads


A new collection of our most beach-friendly articles

Welcome to Summer reads, a collection of stories suited to the season.

Dive into the profiles of our summer double issue: from the man determined to prove that big cats prowl the English countryside, to the desert’s best-known millennial despot. Did these illusionists who made a fortune from magic tricks on Facebook somehow lose themselves? In Mexico a man imprisoned for murder is determined to show that the victim never died.

Our latest guides to the best books offer six on how science works, five on how to think like an economist and four by Salman Rushdie to introduce you to his work. Discover the full collection here.

I’m in New York. Write to me from your part of the world (even if it’s winter) about which of our articles you’re absorbed in this season, and why. I look forward to reading them all.

Stephanie Studer
US Digital Editor
[email protected]

The Economist reads

What to read to understand how science works

Our correspondent chooses six books that tell the story of scientific progress

An introduction to the works of Salman Rushdie

Our culture correspondent recommends four of the novelist’s books—and one about how the fatwa against him changed the world


What to read as an introduction to India

Our Asia editor picks six books spanning 3,000 years of a wonderfully bewildering country


What to read to understand how economists think

Our senior economics writer picks five books for those starting to study the subject

What to read (and watch) to make sense of the energy crunch

Four books and a film, recommended by our Schumpeter columnist

What to read to understand New York

Our New York reporter picks four books and a documentary as the essential guide to America’s greatest city

The five best books to understand AI



World in a dish

Explainer: Which type of plant-based milk is best?

It depends partly on whether you value nutrition above environmental goodness


1843 magazine | Of meat and men: why the American barbecue is about friendship not food

At a barbecue competition, a backyard chef considers the meaning of his hobby in the era of the Big Green Egg


Dive into the double edition

1843 magazine | MBS: despot in the desert

A volatile millennial wields absolute power in Saudi Arabia. What will he do next?

1843 magazine | East of Mariupol: what happened to the Ukrainians who fled to Russia?

Some refugees who went east faced interrogations. Others were met with cups of tea and kindness


1843 magazine | How to go to therapy without talking about your feelings

Two Chinese psychologists talk about divorce, stockpiling and crying into your mask


1843 magazine | Hocus focus: how magicians made a fortune on Facebook

A group of illusionists got rich making addictive videos for social media. Did it cost them their souls?

1843 magazine | Look who’s stalking: the black leopards of Gloucestershire

Frank Tunbridge has spent three decades trying to prove that big cats are prowling England’s green and pleasant land



Food for thought

Fashion as an asset class

Technology has made it easy and worthwhile to sell old clothes

Explainer: Which countries are driving the world’s population growth?

The UN expects the global population to reach 8bn in November, and to surpass 10bn this century


The tragedy of Alaa Abd el-Fattah, a relentless revolutionary

One of Egypt’s best thinkers, the writer and activist has spent most of the last decade in prison


Hayek, Popper and Schumpeter formulated a response to tyranny

Their lives and reputations diverged, but their ideas were rooted in the traumas of their shared birthplace


Gentle distractions

A statistical analysis of the art on convicts’ bodies

What can be learned from a prisoner’s tattoos

Finding yourself in the rivers, lakes and ponds of England

Freshwater swimming as exploration and therapy


1843 magazine | Death of the calorie

For more than a century we’ve counted on calories to tell us what will make us fat. Peter Wilson says it’s time to bury the world’s most misleading measure


Beach reads for business folk

What to read when you are not working


Summer watching

Is there life beyond Earth?

Scientists could be about to answer that question

This is what 3°C of global warming looks like

It’s an entirely plausible scenario. This film shows the catastrophic consequences


How China crushed Hong Kong

Playing the long game



On the ball

Seventeen days walking the Pennine Way

A challenge even mediocre athletes can attempt

Scandal overshadows boxing’s world heavyweight title bout

A streamlined governance structure would do the sport good


The genius of Rafael Nadal

The Spanish tennis star’s astonishing domination of the French Open goes on


Brentford, the football club with a heart

In the lower reaches of the Premier League, romance is alive and kicking


Dive into 1843

1843 magazine | Hell is other people: a monk’s guide to office life

Dreading returning to the corporate environment? Take some advice from the brethren who lived, worked and died with their colleagues

1843 magazine | Death in the Alps

Two planes from the same airline crashed in the same spot in the Alps, 16 years apart. Now the melting ice is releasing their secrets. Simon Akam travels to Chamonix to meet the investigator who believes the truth has been buried



1843 magazine | The bitter truth behind Madagascar’s roaring vanilla trade

How did hunger for the humble pod lead to greed, crime and riches? Wendell Steavenson travels to Madagascar to meet the new spice barons


In numbers

The world’s most liveable cities

Life is getting back to normal, if not quite everywhere

Tel Aviv is the world’s most expensive city

Supply-chain disruptions have pushed up living costs around the world


A new low for global democracy

More pandemic restrictions damaged democratic freedoms in 2021


The Big Mac index

Our interactive currency comparison tool


Evergreen opinion

Bello: A Nicaraguan writer reflects on exile from a dictatorship

Sergio Ramírez’s new novel has enraged Daniel Ortega, the autocratic president

Bartleby: Why women need the office

Female workers should think twice before opting for more remote work


Lexington: A racial-history lesson from the son of a slave

Daniel Smith may be the last direct link to slavery


Free exchange: Just how Dickensian is China?

Inequality is better than it was. But it doesn’t feel that way


Defining the world

Explainer: How will the next Dalai Lama be chosen?

The spiritual reincarnation will have political consequences for America, China and India

Explainer: How are wildfires fought?

And why, and when, they shouldn’t be


Explainer: What is an NFT?

“Non-fungible tokens” use cryptocurrencies’ blockchains to sell original versions of digital artefacts


Explainer: Who controls the Arctic?

Russia is flexing its muscles as climate change opens up new possibilities in the north