15 Fiction Books Coming In June That Will Jumpstart Your Summer
Books are like diving boards for new adventures. No matter where you are, books can always take you to fantastic new places. This month, we're gallivanting around the world and spanning the breadth of time with books from well-loved authors, like Stephen King and Annie Proulx, and debut novelists, like Swan Huntley. Their novels take us from Ghana to Antarctica to NYC and everywhere in between.
June is bringing us some fantastic fictional explorations of life-long friendships. No matter who your BFFL is, you're sure to connect with the powerful (and sometimes heartbreaking) depictions of what it means to know someone so completely for so long.
And of course, with the summer we're falling into all kinds of suspenseful reads, perfect for those days when you need to lose yourself in a heart-thumping escapade. As you barrel through these intense mysteries, you won't know who you can trust. Your adrenaline will be through the roof.
I dare you to try something new in your reading this summer. Dive headfirst into something you're not used to. This list is full of plenty of fantastic reads that will give your summer the jolt it needs:
1. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (June 7; Knopf)
One of the most anticipated reads of the summer, this brilliant debut novel will take you on a captivating journey. The book follows the paths of two half-sisters in 18th century Ghana and their descendants. Effia is married to an Englishman and lives in privileged comfort. Esi is imprisoned and shipped off to America to be sold into slavery. As you read each woman's story, Gyasi delivers a powerful exploration of slavery's evolution and effects.
2. Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (June 7; Simon and Schuster)
Ted's best friend is his dachshund, Lily. The two play board games together and gossip about who's hotter: Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynolds. But when Ted discovers that a tumor has taken hold of Lily, his world comes crashing down around him. This story will make your heart swell in the most special of ways.
3. The Gilded Years by Karin Tanabe (June 7; Washington Square Press)
This enticing historical fiction novel tells the story of Anita Hemmings, the first black woman to attend Vassar. Hiding her true identity and passing herself as white, Anita rooms with Lottie, the daughter of one of the most prominent families in America. As Anita is drawn into Lottie's elite world, her secret roars beneath everything, threatening every step she takes.
4. Rich and Pretty by Rumaan Alam (June 7; Ecco)
This is the story of two life-long best friends who are now adults, living in NYC, and walking completely different paths. As they struggle to adjust to their new lives, you'll be swept away by this story about the evolution of friendship.
5. When We Meet Again by Kristin Harmel (June 7; Gallery Books)
After losing her family, Emily is completely devastated. But then, she's sent a beautiful painting of her grandmother as a young woman, standing at the edge of a sugarcane field under a violet sky. Along with the painting is an unsigned note: "He always loved her." As she dives into the mystery of the painting and the expanse of her family history, Emily uncovers a love story that throws a new light on everything she thought she knew.
6. Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet by H. P. Wood
Set on Coney Island in 1904, this book will transport you to the fantastical world of turn-of-the-century freakshows and carnivals. After Kitty and her mother arrive in New York from South Africa, Kitty's mother mysteriously disappears. As she frantically searches for her mother, Kitty is thrown into the chaotic world of the circus life, befriending a cast of characters that live to be strange.
7. End of Watch by Stephen King (June 7; Scribner)
Stephen King is dropping a new book just in time for summer reading. The third installment in the Bill Hodges trilogy, this book has everything a King wants from his books. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, has awoken from his vegetative state with some deadly new powers. Now he's on the path to cause even more damage than before.
8. I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan (June 7; Crown)
Dr. Georgia Young has built a great life for herself, but she's feeling stuck and restless. So she shakes things up: quits her job, moves, and goes on a long journey in search of past love. If you're not already a Terry McMillan fan, you're about to become one.
9. The Girls by Emma Cline (June 14; Random House)
Everyone who reads this book can't stop talking about it. Set in NorCal in the '60s, we follow Evie as she falls in with a group of older girls and finds herself in the middle of a soon-to-be cult. As she gets caught up in this mesmerizing, dangerous new world, she's pushed towards an act of violence that she never thought herself capable of.
10. Barkskins by Annie Proulx (June 14; Scribner)
The author of "Brokeback Mountain," Annie Proulx is one of American literature's iconic female authors. Now, in this new masterpiece, she's taking us on a journey that spans form the sixteenth century to the modern day. It starts with indentured servants, René Sel and Charles Duquet, as they arrive in New France to become woodcutters, or "barkskins." From there, we charge through their lives and the lives of their descendants, traveling across continents and time, until we land in the present day, where humanity is on the brink of ecological disaster.
11. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (June 19; Gallery/Scout Press)
If you're a fan of Agatha Christie, get ready to curl up with this suspenseful mystery. Set on a small, luxury cruise, which at first appears to be the epitome of serenity and paradise. But when travel writer Lo Blacklock witnesses a woman thrown overboard, the journey suddenly takes a turn for the murderous. The real mystery: with every passenger accounted for, what did Lo really witness?
12. Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (June 21; Hogarth)
Another five-star addition to the brilliant Hogarth Shakespeare Project, this modern retelling of The Taming of the Shrew is stirring up a lot of buzz. As beloved author Anne Tyler twists this classic story with modern-day issues, she turns it into a vibrant exploration of a woman's fight for independence.
13. My Last Continent by Midge Raymond (June 21; Scribner)
Get cool this summer with a romance set in Antarctica. Lovers Deb and Keller both work in Antarctica during the travel and research season, seeing each other only a few weeks out of the year. But this year, Keller is missing. When news of a ship in trouble comes in, Deb is suddenly fighting to save Keller's life.
14. A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl (June 28; Viking)
Nerds, assemble! This book is the ultimate road trip, following a cast of characters as they each make their own way across the country to attend various comic cons. This book is filled with fun references, but don't worry, you don't have to be a mega-geek like me to fall in love with it. With enthralling characters and tons of heart, this read (much like a good con) has something for everyone.
15. We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley (June 28; Doubleday)
Love, money, and secrets collide in this intoxicating debut novel. Catherine has all the riches and privilege that she wants, and yet, she still feels an emptiness in her life, afraid she may never find someone. When she falls for the educated and elegant William, it seems like this may change. But as their relationship develops, she begins to encounter signs that something is terribly wrong. From hazy, dark warnings from her Alzheimer's-diagnosed parents to a mysterious note from the past that reads "We cannot trust anyone," every step Catherine takes towards the truth will make your head swirl.