16 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer

Sunny days on the beach or at the park, vacations full of good reading time (airplanes are great places to read), and of course, lots of new books coming out. We’re starting to get hyped for the warm weather, and all the good reading that comes with it. Here are a few books we can’t wait to get our hands on (along with their release date, so you can add them to your calendar!).

MAY

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. Release Date: May 31st, 2016

The author of The Vacationers releases her second book this month. Modern Lovers follows a tight-knit group of friends who met in college, now fully grown and facing the reality that adulthood has really set in. As their own children head off to college, Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe look back at their own lives and find that adulthood doesn’t mean that the past goes away.

The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley. Release Date: May 31st, 2016

This collection of essays amounts to a manifesto for the growing and increasingly visible movement of feminists in the geek community. From GamerGate to the Hugos, a wider variety of people is having their voices heard — and change isn’t always comfortable. Kameron Hurley is a blunt, frank voice whose assessment of the community may not always be flattering, but is always honest, and absolutely comes from a place of love and belief that geekdom can do better.

Before the Fall by Noah Hawley. Release Date: May 31st, 2016

This thriller by the creator of the Fargo TV show follows the passengers on a plane that crashes into the ocean that leaves only two survivors. Hawley weaves between the aftermath of the crash and the lives of the passengers before the doomed flight, gradually untangling a mystery that seems to point to a conspiracy that brought the plane down. Smart and compelling, Before the Fall will keep you out in the sun until you get burned.

JUNE

The Girls by Emma Cline. Release Date: June 4th, 2016

This stunning, gorgeously written debut novel follows the lonely teenager Evie, who falls in with the charismatic Suzanne and, through her, a dangerous cult in the model of Charles Manson. Isolated on a ranch, desperate to be accepted, Evie’s relationship with Suzanne intensifies, drawing her closer to the brink and deeper into the increasingly dark world of the cult.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Release Date: June 7th, 2016

Another debut novel, one of the most buzzed about of the year, Homegoing follows two branches of a family from the Gold Coast of Africa, one of whom marries a British officer and whose life becomes intertwined with the colonial history of what is now Ghana, the other of whom is sold into slavery. Telling the story over generations, Yaa Gyasi’s masterful novel is both an exploration of the history of the African Diaspora and a series of intimate portraits of individual people.

Barkskins by Annie Proulx. Release Date: June 14th, 2016

Annie Proulx’s newest book is another generational novel, following the families of two penniless fur trappers through the devastation of the world’s forests. Part ecological fable, part family saga, this monumental epic from a renowned writer already has a National Geographic series in the works.

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood. Release Date: June 28th, 2016

Previously published internationally to acclaim and multiple rewards, Charlotte Wood’s novel depicts a world in which women’s sexuality is a weapon turned against them, centered around Yolanda and Verla. As they come to understand the system of corporate control and misogyny keeping them chained, Yolanda and Verla are able to find the strength to turn the tables on their captives, forging a bond strong enough to bring down the system that cages them.

A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl. Release Date: June 28th, 2016

Already drawing comparisons to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, this book follows Val and her son as they cross the country to reunite with her estranged husband, whom she left six years ago. Leaving from New York, they drive West, with Valerie, former star of a cult sci-fi TV show, making appearances at comic conventions along the way. This road trip novel with a twist explores a complex mother-son relationship, and how stories shape the world around us.

JULY

Underground Airlines by Ben Winters. Release Date: July 5th, 2016

Underground Airlines is the story of a young black man named Victor, hired by the US Marshals as a bounty hunter, working to retrieve runaway slaves from the four states where slavery is still legal. Wait, what? In the world of this novel, the Civil War never happened, but the America that results is an uncomfortable mirror of our own. The deeper Victor gets into his case pursuing a runaway named Jackdaw, the more he begins to realize that all is not as it seems.

How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball. Release Date: July 5th, 2016

Lucia is a teenage girl who has lost everything — until she joins her school’s secret Arson Club. This dark epistolary novel deeply explores the inner life of its tough, smart, and sharp-edged heroine. While her association with the Arson Club lights Lucia up, it also seems likely to lead to her destruction.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. Release Date: July 5th, 2016

A new urban fantasy from the author of A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows, this book promises to be a thrilling, fantastic ride. Set in a city divided by a war that has started to breed literal monsters, Kate and August’s lives collide and the line between monster and human starts to blur.

The Devourers by Indra Das. July 12th, 2016

Drawing on Indian mythology, The Devourers tells two interwoven stories — one of a professor encountering a stranger with a remarkable story and a mysterious collection of writings, and one the story contained in those writings of a wanderer in Mughal India and a fantastic, long-lived race living alongside humanity. This book looks to be a fresh, dreamlike fantasy from an exciting new voice.

AUGUST

The Last Days of New Paris by China Mieville. Release Date: August 9th, 2016

After the release of his novella This Census Taker in January, Mieville is also releasing a new novel — one that promises to be every bit as fantastically weird as his oeuvre so far. In 1941 Paris, a reality bomb detonates that leaves behind a surreal and hallucinogenic landscape.

The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. Release Date: August 16th, 2016

The sequel to The Fifth Season, released last year and nominated for a Hugo Award, The Obelisk Gate continues the story of a world in constant flux. Essun desperately seeks her lost daughter, even as the world rocks from a catastrophic event that threatens to wipe out humanity. All of N.K. Jemisin’s work has been exceptional to date, and this second installment in her new series looks to be no exception.

The Nix by Nathan Hill. Release Date: August 30th, 2016

Samuel Andresen-Anderson was abandoned at a young age by his mother Faye. When she appears on the news throwing rocks at a presidential candidate, he capitalizes on her sudden fame by writing a tell-all biography — intending to rip her apart in public. However, as his research begins, and Samuel reaches out to his mother, he begins to uncover a stranger with a story of her own, hidden from the world. This book is both a family psychodrama and a portrait of anger and sanctimony in America, and what we don’t know about the people around us.

AND NOT QUITE SUMMER, BUT WE STILL NEEDED TO INCLUDE:

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Release Date: September 13th, 2016

Colson Whitehead’s highly anticipated novel doesn’t come out until September, but we couldn’t resist including it on this list anyway. The Underground Railroad chronicles young slave Cora, an outcast even among slaves, and her bid for freedom along the eponymous escape trail. Whitehead both transports the reader to the horrors of the lives of black people pre-Civil War, and brings into light the promises that are still unfulfilled today. This book shows an excellent writer at perhaps his best yet.


For more insider info on the latest books, subscribe to the Strand Insider here!

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Strand Book Store’s story.