It's July, the living is easy, and summer vacation reading is in full swing. Summer is truly a magical time for readers, with plenty of pools to lounge by, car trips to fill, and bright mornings where you can just laze about, book and coffee in hand. Now is definitely the perfect time to add some shining new reads to your TBR pile.
Everyone needs a summer fling, and this month's reading is alive with romance. From culinary courtship to sexy schemes, get ready for your heart to beat in entirely new ways. So what if the cute guy at the snowcone stand is a total snob? These books will certainly sweep you off your feet.
On the flip side, this month is also filled with gripping stories of mischief, mayhem, and murder. Dive into the shocking, irresistible world of crime, with characters who sink their teeth into dangerous games. Or, put on your detective hat, and try to untangle truth from lie in a riveting mystery.
And finally, this month has some one-of-a-kind families that will take you in. Read on as they fight for each other in the most heart-wrenching of ways. These characters will reach out of the page to you, and you won't want to let them go.
So, grab your bookmark and let the pages fly! It's summer, the sun is high, let's have some fun.
1. How To Set A Fire And Why by Jesse Ball (July 5; Pantheon)
Characterized by Ball's stand-out prose, this book will find you in the deepest places. Lucy's father is dead, her mother's in a mental institution, and she's been kicked out of school. But, when she discovers that her new school has an Arson Club, she's willing to risk everything to get in.
2. Listen To Me by Hannah Pittard (July 5; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Mark and Maggie's relationship is as strained as can be, fraught after Maggie's world was shattered by a mugging at gunpoint. But when the couple goes on their annual trip, Maggie's newfound paranoia may be the thing that saves them from certain danger. Pittard writes with a unique gusto, and you'll be riveted the entire way through.
3. Absalom's Daughters by Suzanne Feldman (July 5; Henry Holt & Co.)
Two half-sisters, one black and one white, live in the American South in the 1950s, with its abundant Jim Crow laws. When their father dies, they set off on a road trip from Mississippi to Virginia to claim their inheritance.
4. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (July 12; Scribner)
This book is like Doc Martin meets a whodunnit mystery, and you'll adore it. Set in a tight-knit town in 1970s England, the story begins when a woman in the neighborhood goes missing. Two 10-year-old girls take it upon themselves to find her through God. What they find is a dangerous web of deception braided around their community.
5. Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (July 12; William Morrow)
Written in simmering Singlish (Singaporean English), this fun book is reminiscent of Emma, but set in the elite world of Singapore. Jazzy and her friends will take you along for a spinning ride as they try to ensnare Western expats, straddling the divide between old and new Asia.
6. Perfect Pairing by Rachel Spangler (July 12; Bywater Books)
You may have already fallen head-over-heels for Rachel Spangler (author of The Long Way Home and Learning Curve, to name a few), so get excited for her latest f/f romance. Set in the culinary world, this is the story of Hal, chef and owner of a grilled cheese food truck, and Quinn, an investment banker with big plans for Hal. Filled with romantic tension and plenty of grilled cheese, this is a perfect beach read choice.
7. Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn (July 19; Liveright)
Don't let the sunny cover fool you. This isn't a light-hearted summer read to take with you to the beach. Instead, it's a painful work that issues of colonialism, sexuality, poverty, and race. Set in Jamaica, Here Comes The Sun is the story of Margot, who works at a fancy resort in Montego Bay, doing whatever it takes to get her wunderkind sister, Thandi, a better life. When a new hotel threatens to displace their village and upend their community, Margot embraces it as an opportunity to gain financial independence and to perhaps admit her love for another woman.
8. Losing It by Emma Rathbone (July 19; Riverhead)
In this smart and delightful read, Julia, a 26-year-old virgin upends her life, and moves to North Carolina to live with her strange aunt. There, she makes it her mission to have sex. But when she learns that her 58-year-old aunt is also a virgin, things become much more complicated.
9. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (July 19th; Gallery/Scout Press)
If you love Agatha Christie, check out this new read. While reporting from a luxury cruise, journalist Lo Blacklock witnesses a woman getting thrown overboard. But, in the morning, everyone on the ship is accounted for. As Lo gets to the bottom of what she did or didn't see, you'll be swept up in a mystery you won't be able to put down.
10. The Unseen World by Liz Moore (July 26; W.W. Norton)
Spanning from the 1980s to the distant future, this book centers upon Ada, who has been raised solely by her computer scientist father, David. When David begins to lose his memory, and Ada goes to live with one of his co-workers, she discovers that her father may not have been who he seemed after all. Diving into virtual reality, she goes on a mission to uncover her father's secrets.
11. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott (July 26; Little, Brown, and Company)
Katie and Eric Knox are proud parents of a gymnastics prodigy. But when a violent death shakes the world of teenage gymnastics, everything changes, and suddenly Katie is fighting to hold her family together. But even in the thick of it all, she can't help but be pulled in by the irresistible allure of crime itself. This book is nothing short of a roller coaster ride—you need it on your bookshelf ASAP.