What to Read…
With a million books published each year (no, really…1,000,000!) it may be difficult to choose what to read next. From contemporary and historical fiction, rom coms, debuts and essays, to crime, suspense and thrillers, there is something for everyone. Topics like race, culture, bigotry, marriage, family, friendship and revenge are all engaging so there are a lot of books to consider, depending on your mood. Here are some suggestions for the summer!
26 Books to Choose From!
The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid
NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE SUMMER BY TIME, ELLE, USA TODAY, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND MORE
“Perhaps Hamid’s most remarkable work yet … an extraordinary vision of human possibility.” –Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies
“Searing, exhilarating … reimagines Kafka’s iconic The Metamorphosis for our racially charged era.” Hamilton Cain, Oprah Daily
From the New York Times-bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change.
One morning, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders’s skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. At first he shares his secret only with Oona, an old friend turned new lover. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Across the land, people are awakening in new incarnations, uncertain how their neighbors, friends, and family will greet them. Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss and unease wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance at a kind of rebirth–an opportunity to see ourselves, face to face, anew.
In Mohsin Hamid’s “lyrical and urgent” prose (O Magazine), The Last White Man powerfully uplifts our capacity for empathy and the transcendence over bigotry, fear, and anger it can achieve.
Honey & Spice by Bold Babalola
“Divine summer reading. Hilarious, hot, and heartfelt. ” — Meg Cabot, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A vibrant debut novel . . . Babalola is incisively funny, capturing the kick and sweetness of her title with her words.” — Entertainment Weekly
Recommended by New York Times • Entertainment Weekly • Elle • Esquire • Harper’s Bazaar• Southern Living • Buzzfeed • Goodreads • and more!
Introducing internationally bestselling author Bolu Babalola’s dazzling debut novel, full of passion, humor, and heart, that centers on a young Black British woman who has no interest in love and unexpectedly finds herself caught up in a fake relationship with the man she warned her girls about
Sweet like plantain, hot like pepper. They taste the best when together…
Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.
They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her own presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?
A gloriously funny and sparkling debut novel, Honey and Spice is full of delicious tension and romantic intrigue that will make you weak at the knees.
“Babalola’s writing shines whether she’s writing parry-riposte banter or fresh, evocative interiority.” — New York Times Book Review
“Babalola’s hilarious romance debut will have you laughing out loud and reconsidering first impressions.” — Buzzfeed
The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda
“This eerie thriller…can stand next to Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Stephen King’s The Shining.” —Booklist (starred review)
New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda returns with a gripping and propulsive thriller that opens with the disappearance of a journalist who is investigating a string of vanishings in the resort town of Cutter’s Pass—will its dark secrets finally be revealed?
Ten years ago, Abigail Lovett fell into a job she loves, managing The Passage Inn, a cozy, upscale resort nestled in the North Carolina mountain town of Cutter’s Pass. Cutter’s Pass is best known for its outdoor offerings—rafting and hiking, with access to the Appalachian trail by way of a gorgeous waterfall—and its mysterious history. As the book begins, the string of unsolved disappearances that has haunted the town is once again thrust into the spotlight when journalist Landon West, who was staying at the inn to investigate the story of the vanishing trail, then disappears himself.
Abby has sometimes felt like an outsider within the community, but she’s come to view Cutter’s Pass as her home. When Landon’s brother Trey shows up looking for answers, Abby can’t help but feel the town closing ranks. And she’s still on the outside. When she finds incriminating evidence that may bring them closer to the truth, Abby soon discovers how little she knows about her coworkers, neighbors, and even those closest to her.
Megan Miranda brings her best writing to The Last to Vanish, a riveting thriller filled with taut suspense and shocking twists that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Why Didn’t You Tell Me by Carmen Rita Wong
An immigrant mother’s long-held secrets upend her daughter’s understanding of her family, her identity, and her place in the world in this powerful and dramatic memoir
“This is the Carmen Rita Wong I know—fierce and true. Her story broke my heart and filled it up at the same time.”—Sunny Hostin, three-time Emmy Award–winning co-host of ABC’s The View and New York Times bestselling author of I Am These Truths
My mother carried a powerful secret. A secret that shaped my life and the lives of everyone around me in ways she could not have imagined.
Carmen Rita Wong has always craved a sense of belonging: First as a toddler in a warm room full of Black and brown Latina women, like her mother, Lupe, cheering her dancing during her childhood in Harlem. And in Chinatown, where her immigrant father, “Papi” Wong, a hustler, would show her and her older brother off in opulent restaurants decorated in red and gold. Then came the almost exclusively white playgrounds of New Hampshire after her mother married her stepfather, Marty, who seemed to be the ideal of the white American dad.
As Carmen entered this new world with her new family—Lupe and Marty quickly had four more children—her relationship with her mother became fraught with tension, suspicion, and conflict, explained only years later by the secrets her mother had kept for so long.
And when those secrets were revealed, bringing clarity to so much of Carmen’s life, it was too late for answers. When her mother passed away, Carmen wanted to shake her soul by its shoulders and demand: Why didn’t you tell me?
A former national television host, advice columnist, and professor, Carmen searches to understand who she really is as she discovers her mother’s hidden history, facing the revelations that seep out. Why Didn’t You Tell Me? is a riveting and poignant story of Carmen’s experience of race and culture in America and how they shape who we think we are.
The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay
“Books can have teeth. A whole mouthful of them. The Pallbearers Club has a whole lifetime of them.” —Stephen Graham Jones, New York Times bestselling author of My Heart Is a Chainsaw
A cleverly voiced psychological thriller about an unforgettable—and unsettling—friendship, with blood-chilling twists, crackling wit, and a thrumming pulse in its veins—from the nationally bestselling author of The Cabin at the End of the World and Survivor Song.
What if the coolest girl you’ve ever met decided to be your friend?
Art Barbara was sonot cool. He was a seventeen-year-old high school loner in the late 1980s who listened to hair metal, had to wear a monstrous back-brace at night for his scoliosis, and started an extracurricular club for volunteer pallbearers at poorly attended funerals. But his new friendthought the Pallbearers Club was cool. And she brought along her Polaroid camera to take pictures of the corpses.
Okay, that part was a little weird.
So was her obsessive knowledge of a notorious bit of New England folklore that involved digging up the dead. And there were other strange things – terrifying things – that happened when she was around, usually at night. But she was his friend, so it was okay, right?
Decades later, Art tries to make sense of it all by writing The Pallbearers Club: A Memoir. But somehow this friend got her hands on the manuscript and, well, she has some issues with it. And now she’s making cuts.
Seamlessly blurring the lines between fiction and memory, the supernatural and the mundane, The Pallbearers Club is an immersive, suspenseful portrait of an unusual and disconcerting relationship.
Reputation by Sarah Vaughan
“Astonishingly timely and clever, it’s also utterly gripping.” —Lucy Foley, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Sarah Vaughan has done it again. Superb.” —Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author
The bestselling author of Anatomy of a Scandal—now a hit Netflix series—returns with a new psychological thriller about a politician whose less-than-perfect personal life is thrust into the spotlight when a body is discovered in her home.
As a politician, Emma has sacrificed a great deal for her career—including her marriage and her relationship with her daughter, Flora.
A former teacher, the glare of the spotlight is unnerving for Emma, particularly when it leads to countless insults, threats, and trolling as she tries to work in the public eye. As a woman, she knows her reputation is worth its weight in gold but as a politician, she discovers it only takes one slip-up to destroy it completely.
Fourteen-year-old Flora is learning the same hard lessons at school as she encounters heartless bullying. When another teenager takes her own life, Emma lobbies for a new law to protect women and girls from the effects of online abuse. Now, Emma and Flora find their personal lives uncomfortably intersected…but then the unthinkable happens.
A man is found dead in Emma’s home. A man she had every reason to be afraid of and to want gone. Fighting to protect her reputation, and determined to protect her family at all costs, Emma is pushed to the limits as the worst happens and her life is torn apart.
Another breathless and twisty novel from an absolute “master of suspense” (CrimeReads), Reputation brilliantly illustrates that it isn’t who you are that matters…it’s who people think you are.
Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
A Phenomenal Book Club Pick
TIME • Best Books of the Month
Vulture • Most Anticipated Books 2022 – Vulture
Goodreads • Hot and Fresh: 60 Highly Anticipated Debut Novels
Ms. Magazine • Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of Us 2022
SheReads.com • Best Books Coming in Summer 2022
Exquisitely compassionate and witty, Big Girl traces the intergenerational hungers and desires of Black womanhood, as told through the unforgettable voice of Malaya Clondon.
In her highly anticipated debut novel, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan explores the perils―and undeniable beauty―of insatiable longing.
Growing up in a rapidly changing Harlem, eight-year-old Malaya hates when her mother drags her to Weight Watchers meetings; she’d rather paint alone in her bedroom or enjoy forbidden street foods with her father. For Malaya, the pressures of her predominantly white Upper East Side prep school are relentless, as are the expectations passed down from her painfully proper mother and sharp-tongued grandmother. As she comes of age in the 1990s, she finds solace in the music of Biggie Smalls and Aaliyah, but her weight continues to climb―until a family tragedy forces her to face the source of her hunger, ultimately shattering her inherited stigmas surrounding women’s bodies, and embracing her own desire. Written with vibrant lyricism shot through with tenderness, Big Girl announces Sullivan as an urgent and vital voice in contemporary fiction.
The It Girl by Ruth Ware
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the “claustrophobic spine-tingler” (People) One by One returns with an unputdownable mystery following a woman on the search for answers a decade after her friend’s murder.
April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.
Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.
Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.
“The Agatha Christie of our generation” (David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author) proves once again that she is “as ingenious and indefatigable as the Queen of Crime” (The Washington Post) with this propulsive murder mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Any Other Family by Eleanor Brown
The New York Times bestselling author of The Weird Sisters returns with a striking and intimate new novel about three very different adoptive mothers who face the impossible question: What makes a family?
Though they look like any other family, they aren’t one—not quite. They are three sets of parents who find themselves intertwined after adopting four biological siblings, having committed to keeping the children as connected as possible.
At the heart of the family, the adoptive mothers grapple to define themselves and their new roles. Tabitha, who adopted the twins, crowns herself planner of the group, responsible for endless playdates and holidays, determined to create a perfect happy family. Quiet and steady Ginger, single mother to the eldest daughter, is wary of the way these complicated not-fully-family relationships test her long held boundaries. And Elizabeth, still reeling from rounds of failed IVF, is terrified that her unhappiness after adopting a newborn means she was not meant to be a mother at all.
As they set out on their first family vacation, all three are pushed into uncomfortably close quarters. And when they receive a call from their children’s birth mother announcing she is pregnant again, the delicate bonds the women are struggling to form threaten to collapse as they each must consider how a family is found and formed.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE • From the bestselling author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night comes a dreamy reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.
“As alluring as it is unsettling, filled with action romance, and monsters . . . Readers will fall into this tale immediately, enchanted.”—Booklist (starred review)
“The imagination of Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a thing of wonder, restless and romantic, fearless in the face of genre, embracing the polarities of storytelling—the sleek and the bizarre, wild passions and deep hatreds—with cool equanimity.”—The New York Times
Carlota Moreau: A young woman growing up on a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of a researcher who is either a genius or a madman.
Montgomery Laughton: A melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol. An outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas and plentiful coffers.
The hybrids: The fruits of the doctor’s labor, destined to blindly obey their creator and remain in the shadows. A motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities.
All of them live in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Dr. Moreau’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction.
For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and, in the sweltering heat of the jungle, passions may ignite.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is both a dazzling historical novel and a daring science fiction journey.
The Bodyguard by Katherine Center
“My perfect ten of a book!” — Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of BEACH READ and BOOK LOVERS
She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.
He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name―captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.
They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah―against her will and her better judgment―finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.
What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.
More Praise for The Bodyguard:
“Great rollicking fun! Prepare to laugh and swoon and grin your pants off.”―Helen Hoang, New York Times bestselling author of The Heart Principle
“Utterly charming… Center’s latest might be her most winning yet. It’s not only a must-read for her fans, but
it will likely garner her new devotees as well.” –Booklist (starred review)
“My perfect 10 of a book. As funny and sweet as all the very best nineties rom-coms, but with Center’s signature heart-tugging depth. I wish I could erase it from my mind just to read it again for the first time. A shot of pure joy.”―Emily Henry, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Book Lovers
“The Bodyguard is absolutely, unequivocally delightful!”―Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Wish You Were Here
Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark
The masterful story of a lifelong friendship between two very different women with shared histories and buried secrets, tested in the twilight of their lives, set across the arc of the 20th century.
Celebrated children’s book author Agnes Lee is determined to secure her legacy—to complete what she knows will be the final volume of her pseudonymously written Franklin Square novels; and even more consuming, to permanently protect the peninsula of majestic coast in Maine known as Fellowship Point. To donate the land to a trust, Agnes must convince shareholders to dissolve a generations-old partnership. And one of those shareholders is her best friend, Polly.
Polly Wister has led a different kind of life than Agnes: that of a well-off married woman with children, defined by her devotion to her husband, and philosophy professor with an inflated sense of stature. She exalts in creating beauty and harmony in her home, in her friendships, and in her family. Polly soon finds her loyalties torn between the wishes of her best friend and the wishes of her three sons—but what is it that Polly wants herself?
Agnes’s designs are further muddied when an enterprising young book editor named Maud Silver sets out to convince Agnes to write her memoirs. Agnes’s resistance cannot prevent long-buried memories and secrets from coming to light with far-reaching repercussions for all.
Fellowship Point reads like a classic 19th-century novel in its beautifully woven, multilayered narrative, but it is entirely contemporary in the themes it explores; a deep and empathic interest in women’s lives, the class differences that divided us, the struggle to protect the natural world, and, above all, a reckoning with intimacy, history, and posterity. It is a masterwork from Alice Elliott Dark.
Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier
Things We Do in the Dark is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.
When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom―covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her―she knows she’ll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it’s not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it’s only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she’s worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.
Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she’s unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris’s secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.
Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.
The Measure by Nikki Erlick
The Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!
“A story of love and hope as interweaving charters display: how all moments, big and small, can measure a life. If you want joy, love, romance, and hope—read with us.” —Jenna Bush Hager
A luminous, spirit-lifting blockbuster for readers of The Midnight Library.
Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.
It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.
But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.
From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?
As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?
The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.
Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious, and invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny that encourages us to live life to the fullest.
Joan by Katherine J. Chen
“It is as if Chen has crept inside a statue and breathed a soul into it, re-creating Joan of Arc as a woman for our time.”—Hilary Mantel, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Booker Prize winner Wolf Hall
Girl. Warrior. Heretic. Saint? From the acclaimed author of Mary B comes a stunning, secular reimagining of the epic life of Joan of Arc.
1412. France is mired in a losing war against England. Its people are starving. Its king is in hiding. From this chaos emerges a teenage girl who will turn the tide of battle and lead the French to victory, becoming an unlikely hero whose name will echo across the centuries.
In Katherine J. Chen’s hands, the myth and legend of Joan of Arc is transformed into a flesh-and-blood young woman: reckless, steel-willed, and brilliant. This meticulously researched novel is a sweeping narrative of her life, from a childhood steeped in both joy and violence, to her meteoric rise to fame at the head of the French army, where she navigates the perils of the battlefield and the equally treacherous politics of the royal court. Many are threatened by a woman who leads, and Joan draws wrath and suspicion from all corners, while her first taste of fame and glory leaves her vulnerable to her own powerful ambition.
With unforgettably vivid characters, transporting settings, and action-packed storytelling, Joan is a thrilling epic, a triumph of historical fiction, as well as a feminist celebration of one remarkable—and remarkably real—woman who left an indelible mark on history.
Crying in the Bathroom by Erika L. Sánchez
“Equal parts pee-your-pants hilarity and break your heart poignancy- like the perfect brunch date you never want to end!”–America Ferrera, Emmy award-winning actress in Ugly Betty
From the New York Times bestselling author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, an utterly original memoir-in-essays that is as deeply moving as it is hilarious
Growing up as the daughter of Mexican immigrants in Chicago in the nineties, Erika Sánchez was a self-described pariah, misfit, and disappointment—a foul-mouthed, melancholic rabble-rouser who painted her nails black but also loved comedy, often laughing so hard with her friends that she had to leave her school classroom. Twenty-five years later, she’s now an award-winning novelist, poet, and essayist, but she’s still got an irrepressible laugh, an acerbic wit, and singular powers of perception about the world around her.
In these essays, Sánchez writes about everything from sex to white feminism to debilitating depression, revealing an interior life rich with ideas, self-awareness, and perception. Raunchy, insightful, unapologetic, and brutally honest, Crying in the Bathroom is Sánchez at her best—a book that will make you feel that post-confessional high that comes from talking for hours with your best friend.
Shmutz by Felicia Berliner
“Berliner finds the bridge between ecstatic and carnal.” —Raven Leilani, New York Timesbestselling author
“Clever, subversive, juicy, and surprising….A stunner!” —Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
In this witty, provocative, and unputdownable debut novel a young Hasidic woman on a quest to get married fears she will never find a groom because of her secret addiction to porn.
Like the other women in her Brooklyn Hasidic community, Raizl expects to find a husband through an arranged marriage. Unlike the other women, Raizl has a secret.
With a hidden computer to help her complete her college degree, she falls down the slippery slope of online pornography. As Raizl dives deeper into the world of porn at night, her daytime life begins to unravel. Between combative visits with her shrink to complicated arranged dates, Raizl must balance her growing understanding of her sexuality with the more conventional expectations of the family she loves.
A singular, stirring, and compulsively readable debut novel, Shmutz explores what it means to be a fully realized sexual and spiritual being caught between the traditional and modern worlds.
Normal Family by Chrysta Bilton
A riveting, nuanced portrait of unforgettable characters thrown together by chance and DNA, Normal Family is a story of nature, nurture, and coming to terms with one’s true inheritance.
What is a “normal family,” and how do you go about making one? Chrysta Bilton’s magnetic, larger than life mother, Debra, yearned to have a child, but as a single gay woman in 1980s California, she had few options. Until one day, while getting her hair done in a Beverly Hills salon, she met a man and instantly knew he was the one she’d been looking for. Beautiful, athletic, artistic, and from a well-to-do family, Jeffrey Harrison appeared to be Debra’s ideal sperm donor.
A verbal agreement, a couple thousand in cash, and a few squirts of a turkey baster later, and Chrysta was conceived. Over the years that followed, Jeffrey would make regular appearances at the family home, which grew to include Chrysta’s baby sister. But how much did Debra really know about the man she’d chosen to father her daughters? And as a single mother torn between fierce independence and abject dependence—on other women, alcohol, drugs, and the adrenaline of get-rich-quick schemes—what secrets of her own was she keeping?
It wasn’t until Chrysta was a young adult that she discovered just how much her parents had hidden from their daughters—and each other— including a shocking revelation with far-reaching consequences, not only for Debra, Chrysta, and her sister, but for dozens and possibly hundreds of unsuspecting families across the country. After a lifetime of longing for a “normal family,” can Chrysta turn to face the reality of her own, in all its complexity?
Bringing us into the fold of a deeply dysfunctional yet fiercely loving clan that is anything but “normal,” this emotional roller-coaster of a memoir will make you cry, laugh, and rethink the meaning of family.
Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
Fathomlessly inventive and original, Julia Armfield’s Our Wives Under the Sea is a portrait of marriage as we’ve never seen it before.
“A wonderful novel, deeply romantic and fabulously strange. I loved this book.” ―Sarah Waters
“Without a doubt, one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s not only art, it’s a perfect miracle. We are lucky for it.” ―Kristen Arnett
Leah is changed. A marine biologist, she left for a routine expedition months earlier, only this time her submarine sank to the sea floor. When she finally surfaces and returns home, her wife Miri knows that something is wrong. Barely eating and lost in her thoughts, Leah rotates between rooms in their apartment, running the taps morning and night. Whatever happened in that vessel, whatever it was they were supposed to be studying before they were stranded, Leah has carried part of it with her, onto dry land and into their home. As Miri searches for answers, desperate to understand what happened below the water, she must face the possibility that the woman she loves is slipping from her grasp.
By turns elegiac and furious, wry and heartbreaking, Our Wives Under the Sea is an exploration of the unknowable depths within each of us, and the love that compels us nevertheless toward one another.
The Retreat by Sarah Pearse
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Sanatorium,a Reese’s Book Club pick, here, Detective Elin Warner uncovers the truth behind the suspicious deaths on a stunning island getaway
They couldn’t wait to stay here.
An idyllic wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation—but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumored to be cursed.
But now they can’t leave.
A young woman is found dead below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But Detective Elin Warner soon learns the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.
And they would do anything to escape.
The longer Elin stays, the more secrets she uncovers. And when someone else drowns in a diving incident, Elin begins to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests at this luxury resort? Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself.
Most are here to recharge and refresh. But someone’s here for revenge. . . .
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
In this exhilarating novel by the best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry two friends—often in love, but never lovers—come together as creative partners in the world of video game design, where success brings them fame, joy, tragedy, duplicity, and, ultimately, a kind of immortality.
“Utterly brilliant. In this sweeping, gorgeously written novel, Gabrielle Zevin charts the beauty, tenacity, and fragility of human love and creativity. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.
Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
A Good Morning America Book Club Pick!
“I LOVED this book! …Funny, breathtaking, hopeful, and dreamy.”—Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis
“One of the Summer’s Hottest Reads”—Entertainment Weekly
A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Plot, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Latecomer is a layered and immersive literary novel about three siblings, desperate to escape one another, and the upending of their family by the late arrival of a fourth.
The Latecomer follows the story of the wealthy, New York City-based Oppenheimer family, from the first meeting of parents Salo and Johanna, under tragic circumstances, to their triplets born during the early days of IVF. As children, the three siblings – Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally – feel no strong familial bond and cannot wait to go their separate ways, even as their father becomes more distanced and their mother more desperate. When the triplets leave for college, Johanna, faced with being truly alone, makes the decision to have a fourth child. What role will the “latecomer” play in this fractured family?
A complex novel that builds slowly and deliberately, The Latecomer touches on the topics of grief and guilt, generational trauma, privilege and race, traditions and religion, and family dynamics. It is a profound and witty family story from an accomplished author, known for the depth of her character studies, expertly woven storylines, and plot twists.
Family Remains by Lisa Jewell
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell comes an intricate and affecting novel about twisted marriages, fractured families, and deadly obsessions in this standalone sequel to the “brilliantly chilling” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs.
Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.
Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.
After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.
As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.
In this masterful standalone sequel to her haunting New York Times bestseller, The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell proves she is writing at the height of her powers with another jaw-dropping, intricate, and affecting novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.
Extenuating Circumstances by Joyce Carol Oates
Twenty-two disturbing tales of crime and suspense from “America’s preeminent fiction writer” (New Yorker)
Two hitmen in a depressed rust belt town struggle with a job gone wrong. A girl witnesses a horrifying accident and carries it with her for the rest of her life. Medical students bring a severed foot to a college party. Five-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Joyce Carol Oates has made a career of exploring the forbidden corners of human experience, and the stories collected here, spanning her first three decades as a writer, are among her most unsettling and unforgettable works to date.
Originally published in long out-of-print volumes, these tales have not appeared in any form this century―until now; formally fresh and endlessly experimental, they show a writer boldly engaging with disturbing truths and terrifying possibilities, and deconstructing the tropes and expectations of traditional prose writing as she does so. But beyond their stylistic ingenuity, these are creepy, suspenseful stories that cut straight to the bone; their darkness will linger long after the final page is turned.
A must-read for long-time fans of Joyce Carol Oates and an excellent introduction for the uninitiated, the twenty-two tales included in Extenuating Circumstances exemplify the author’s idiosyncratic spookiness, “visceral, psychologically involving, and socially astute”.
The Librarian Spy by Madeline Martin
“Readers will be on the edge of their seats…. A brilliant tale of resistance, courage and ultimately hope.” –Kelly Rimmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Warsaw Orphan
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Bookshop in London comes a moving new novel inspired by the true history of America’s library spies of World War II.
Ava thought her job as a librarian at the Library of Congress would mean a quiet, routine existence. But an unexpected offer from the US military has brought her to Lisbon with a new mission: posing as a librarian while working undercover as a spy gathering intelligence.
Meanwhile, in occupied France, Elaine has begun an apprenticeship at a printing press run by members of the Resistance. It’s a job usually reserved for men, but in the war, those rules have been forgotten. Yet she knows that the Nazis are searching for the press and its printer in order to silence them.
As the battle in Europe rages, Ava and Elaine find themselves connecting through coded messages and discovering hope in the face of war.
“Uplifting, inspiring and suspenseful, this is one to savor!” –Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Riviera House
“Madeline Martin is a fantastic author. The Librarian Spy is a stunning tour de force of historical fiction.” –Karen Robards, author of The Black Swan of Paris
For more historical fiction from Madeline Martin, don’t miss The Last Bookshop in London.
Want to know what I bring to the beach?
I am constantly choosing and re-choosing what I want to read and I have endless lists on my phone and piles of books all over the house! When I read at home I can make a game day decision, but when I travel to the beach I need to plan it out. Check out my new, light weight beach bag, a few necessities and the latest book stack I am toting around with!