Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the 10 titles that our editors are most excited to add to their TBR shelves. For even more hot new releases, check out our Summer Previews for the best books coming out this season.
You’ve probably spotted Emma Cline’s novel on a few must-read lists this season. That’s no surprise; it’s poised to be one of the most talked about books of the summer. The novel is split between two time periods: 1969 (when protagonist Evie Boyd finds herself enthralled by a group of girls she sees in the park and becomes determined to be like them), and decades later when a middle-aged Evie recalls the summer she was swept up by a beautiful girl named Suzanne and joined a dangerous Manson-inspired cult. Publishers Weekly writes, “The Girls is less about one night of violence than about the harm we can do, to ourselves and others, in our hunger for belonging and acceptance.”
Author Jay Griffiths has bipolar disorder and experiences periods of mania and depression. Her own mind is often a mystery to herself, and as a result she began to diligently write about her life in notebooks. In this book, Griffiths guides readers through a year of her life when she knew she was close to a breakdown but struggled to find treatment that could pull her back from the edge. Here, she explores mental health’s representation in Shakespeare’s works, the Greek and Roman views of the mind, psychotherapy, and how she ending up hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
This dark psychological thriller from Swedish author Erik Axl Sund hooked European readers when it was first released in 2010, and now Americans can see what the hype is all about. Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is livid when she isn’t given more resources to help find the person who murdered and mutilated a young boy. When two more bodies turn up, she suspects that a serial killer may be at work. She partners up with psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund to learn more about the type of person who could have committed these crimes. The two women become intimate over the course of the investigation, and lean on each other as they uncover horrors they couldn’t have imagined.
What’s a child-prodigy-turned-ex-con to do when released from prison? Become a dog walker, of course. After spending over 20 years behind bars, Carleen Kepper (once known as Ester Rosenthal) is struggling to readjust to the world she once knew. She takes up a job walking dogs for wealthy Manhattanites and quickly learns that she relates to the canines much better than their human counterparts. In her free time, Carleen tries to reconnect with her 11-year-old daughter, who is busy preparing for her bat mitzvah. Kirkus calls Elizabeth Swados’ novel “one of a kind,” and we’re sure that you’ll agree.
Fans of historical fiction, this one’s for you. Sarah-Jane Stratford takes readers back to 1926 London, just after the end of World War I. A little company called the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is exploring the future of radio and American Maisie Musgrave is ecstatic to be on board as a secretary. In this job, she has a front row seat to the ways that John Reith, Director-General of the BCC, and Hilda Matheson, Director of Talks programming, aim to shape radio for British audiences. As if that weren’t exciting enough, Maisie also uncovers a political conspiracy and must decide if sharing the truth is worth risking everything she’s worked for.
We know we aren’t supposed to judge books by their covers, but c’mon! Aside from a gorgeous and intricate covers, Saša Stanišić’s novel also boasts a creative and engaging plot revolving around the art of storytelling. The tale dips in and out of the lives of various villagers in a small German town as they prepare for an annual festival. Each shares details about his or her life, some thinking of the past and some caught up in the rush of the present. This is a novel about history, mythology, fairy tales, and stories. It’s a fun and memorable journey for anyone willing to go along for the ride.
Newbies, you’ll want to sit this one out, but fans of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series will adore this new installment. The beloved characters have fought and struggled for the last 15 books to find harmony, and it seems as though they are finally getting close. The war is over and new rulers are working to shape their world into an accepting and peaceful place. Naya, a changeling child with Psy powers born to Sascha and Lucas, represents the hope for bright new future. She’s also a valuable pawn to those who aren’t happy with the changing social order. This book is a celebration of everything these characters have earned, and readers will devour it quickly.
Brooklyn Shepard is ready to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. She’s been offered a coveted theater apprenticeship at an exclusive summer camp, and she’s mostly sure that it was earned on merit and not through a favor called in by her famous mother. Brooklyn’s entire family performs, and she knows that this summer is her shot at making a place for herself and cultivating her talent in the theater community. At camp, her self doubt grows, but she finds it easier to ignore when she’s spending time with her roommate Zoe. As the days go by, Brooklyn thinks about her sexual identity and her stage presence in equal measure. Alison Cherry has written a charming summer novel about finding out what you want and who you want to be.
Norwegian author Arne Svingen delivers a sweet middle grade novel about looking at the world through positive eyes and learning to trust those around you. Thirteen-year-old Bart’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t let the bad things like bullies or his mom’s alcoholism get to him. Instead, he listens to his favorite kind of music (opera) and continues to view the world as a wondrous and happy place. His mom signs him up for boxing lessons, imagining that he’ll learn to defend himself, but instead Bart becomes more interested in his school’s talent show. He’s encouraged to perform by Ada, a popular girl at school and a new friend. Bart doesn’t know if he’s brave enough to do that, but he does know that it feels good to have a friend to confide in.
Is there a bond more pure than that between a child and a dog? Lynne Rae Perkins explores that relationship in this fun and educational picture book. Frank and his dog Lucky are the best of friends. They do everything together, including learning more about the world around them. Rather than trying to smuggle Lucky into school, Frank explores the great outdoors with his pal. When Lucky learns that skunks are not particularly friendly, Frank learns about experimenting by testing what household items help de-stink Lucky. When Frank’s human friend starts teaching him Spanish, Lucky decides to take up the language of ducks. Together, Frank and Lucky help to teach readers that learning doesn’t need to take place in a classroom; it happens all around you every day.