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15 Books to Read This Summer
From a dreamy rom-com to the ultimate beach read, we’ve got all your bases covered.
1/16Get ready to add to your to-read list, because we've got something for everyone.
If you love coming-of-age stories, read:Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering (June 12)
Where is the line between lust and obsession and mature love? That's what Lucy Albright is about to discover when she moves away from her mother to start as a freshman at a California college. There, she meets Stephen—who's confident and sees Lucy in a way she's never been seen before. For her first novel, Carola Lovering uses the duelling perspective of Lucy and Stephen to explore young adulthood, intense romance and toxic love.
If you love literary fiction, read:There There by Tommy Orange (June 5)
In his powerful debut There There, Tommy Orange weaves together the stories of several characters as they travel to the Big Oakland Powwow. There's Opal Viola Bear Shield, who is coming to watch her nephew dance in public for the first time, and the newly-sober Jacquie Red Feather, who's looking to reunite with her estranged family. The multi-generational story explores Indigenous heritage and identity in a way you've likely never seen on page before.
If you love rom-coms, read:The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (June 5)
Sweet and charming are two words that immediately come to mind when describing Helen Hoang's debut novel, The Kiss Quotient. Stella Lane loves math and loves to work, but she does not like being touched. As someone living with Asperger's Syndrome (Hoang was diagnosed with autism herself while writing the book), she finds interpersonal socializing and forming personal connections challenging, making dating unenjoyable. To overcome her inexperience, Stella hires a male escort to show her the ins and outs of romantic (and physical) relationships. Swoon-worthy and original, The Kiss Quotient is everything you could want from a rom-com.
If you love sci-fi, read:The Book of M by Peng Shepherd (June 5)
In a post-apocalyptic, near-future world, people's shadows suddenly start to disappear. And while there's no scientific explanation, it doesn't sound like such a big deal, right? Wrong. With the loss of their shadows, people also lose their memories. Husband-and-wife duo Ory and Max stay holed up in an abandoned hotel to avoid that fate. But when Max's shadow starts to disappear and she goes missing, Ory desperately leaves their once-safe confines to get his wife back.
If you want to learn something new, read:Hard To Do: The Surprising, Feminist History of Breaking Up by Kelli María Korducki (May 22)
The title of Kelli María Korducki's book says it all: breaking up is hard to do. For her non-fiction debut, the Canadian journalist begins anecdotally with a breakup of her own—from her then-partner of nine years—to trace the short history of romantic relationships and the sometimes necessary, often emotional motivations behind them.
If you love dark humour, read:My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh (July 10)
We all, at some point, have probably wished we could just hibernate and hide away from the rest of the world. Well, the unnamed narrator of Ottessa Moshfegh's latest book actually tries to make that dream a reality. Deeply unhappy despite seemingly having no reason to be (she's young, pretty, has a decent job and is taken care of by an inheritance), the narrator decides to self-medicate to a zombie-like state. But when her psychiatrist escalates her medication regimen, the narrator finds herself facing some unintended consequences.
If you love family drama, read:Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li (June 19)
For her debut novel, American author Lillian Li zeroes in on the Beijing Duck House, a family-owned Chinese restaurant in a Maryland city. And when family is working closely together in a high-pressure environment? Drama is inevitable—especially when Jimmy, the son-turned-owner of the resto wants to leave the family legacy behind for something fancier.
If you like politics, read:Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza (July 24)
Charlotte Walsh seems to have it all: a happy marriage, a successful career and great life—but she wants more. After the shocking presidential election, Charlotte quits her Silicon Valley job and moves back to her hometown to run for a highly-contested Congress seat. Author Jo Piazza offers an insightful look at what it means to be a woman running for office—and all the scrutiny that comes with it.
If you love personal essays, read:Calypso by David Sedaris (May 29)
David Sedaris is back with his first collection of stories in five years, this time bringing together 21 essays about his family and getting older. For Calypso, the 61-year-old goes deeper than ever before, touching on his travels, the loss of both his mother and sister Tiffany and his relationship with his father. Sedaris also goes darker than long-time readers are accustomed to, but his trademark humour hasn't gone anywhere.
If you love Jane Austen, read:Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin (June 12)
For her debut novel, Markham, Ont. high school teacher Uzma Jalaluddin relocates Jane Austen's perennial classic, Pride and Prejudice, to Scarborough's Muslim community. Ayesha is a lonely substitute teacher who doesn't want an arranged marriage when she meets the Mr. Darcy-esque Khalid. Need we say more?
If you love reality TV, read:The Favourite Sister by Jessica Knoll (May 15)
In her latest thriller, Jessica Knoll takes on the world of reality TV. When five super successful women—including two sisters—sign onto a NYC-based reality show called Goal Diggers, none of them expect that the season will end with a murder. Part-mystery, part-social commentary, Knoll uses dark comedy to examine our reality-TV-obsessed culture and the barriers women face on their way to success.
If you want a literal beach read, read:The High Season by Judy Blundell (May 22)
Any book can be a beach read if you, you know, read it on a beach, but bonus points if said books is set at a beach. In the case of The High Season, it's the Long Island seaside, where museum director Ruthie must rent out her home to wealthy vacationers every summer. This year's visitor, the elegant Adeline, infiltrates every aspect of Ruthie's life to the point where the woman feels forced to fight back, creating a page-turning upstairs/downstairs-esque drama.
If you love post-apocalyptic fiction, read:Severance by Ling Ma (August 14)
As a millennial who just lost her parents, Candace Chen is content with her easy job at a specialty book publisher and going home at night to watch movies with her boyfriend. But when a dangerous plague spreads across the country causing people to flee their homes, Candace stays behind to photograph an abandoned NYC. The young woman eventually comes across a group of survivors, led by IT specialist Bob, travelling to the mysteriously named, supposedly safe Facility. Candace can't stay on her own forever, but can she trust Bob and co.?
If you’ve ever struggled with being “normal,” read:Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (June 22)
Sayaka Murata has long been an acclaimed writer in her native Japan, but Convenience Store Woman, her 10th novel overall, is her first work to be translated into English. Already an award-winning novel in Japan, Murata's latest follows Keiko Furukura, who's been working at the same convenience store for 18 years. Keiko, who was seen as a "strange" child, is happy, but knows she's not living according to societal expectations. She strikes a deal with a co-worker to appear more "normal" to her friends and family, but is it worth it?
If you loved The Shape of Water, read:The Pisces by Melissa Broder (May 1)
The Pisces, poet Melissa Broder's fiction debut, proudly claims its space in the canon of human-sea creature romance. Broder's protagonist, Lucy, is nine-years deep into writing her PhD dissertation in Phoenix when she breaks up with her long-term boyfriend. Lucy jumps at her sister's invite to dog-sit for the summer in L.A., where she meets an attractive swimmer on the beach one night. Surprise: mystery guy is a merman—but that doesn't damper their newfound relationship.