08 June 2020

10 Books for Your June Wish List

June marks the official start of summer, which means we can look forward to vacations (or staycation, as the case may be), lazy days on the deck or porch, and maybe even some afternoons at the pool or beach. Hand in hand with warmer weather comes more time for reading.

Throughout this month I will be sharing my picks for the week's new book releases. For the most part, the books on my lists are for summer escape reading, though you'll also find a few nonfiction titles mixed in. I also include a few books in translation.

Note: For a variety of reasons, publishers have changed the release dates of many of this season's titles. When I wrote this post, the following books were all set to publish on June 2; check dates before ordering. [This list was postponed from last week; look for the second post on Thursday or Friday.]

Head to the Beach

  • 10 books recommended by Beth Fish ReadsThe House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman (Mariner) Setting: South Carolina. What happens? Two families on different sides of the economic divide vacation together. The adults have secrets, and the children are on the brink of change. Before the trip is over, one person has been killed. The novel is introduced by the ghost of the victim, leaving the reader to figure out the clues as the story progresses.
  • The View from Here by Hannah McKinnon (Atria) Setting: Connecticut. What happens? Three adult siblings and their families reunite at the family lake house to celebrate their grandmother's 97th birthday. One brother and the sister have led conventional lives, but the other brother has been distant. His arrival, with a woman and her daughter in tow, foreshadows change for the family dynamics--but what kind of change is uncertain.
Read with the Lights On
  • 10 books recommended by Beth Fish ReadsSeven Years of Darkness by You-Jeong Jeong (Penguin) Setting: South Korea. What happens? Sowon was only 11 when his father was sent to prison for killing his wife, a young girl, the girl's father, and two security guards before opening a dam and flooding an entire village. Sowon grows up under the shadow of his father's crimes, until seven years later he receives information that could clear his father's name. This promises to be a complex thriller. (in translation)
  • The Guest List by Lucy Foley (William Morrow) Setting: Ireland. What happens? What could possibly go wrong at an opulent celebrity wedding held on an island with with iffy cell service? Long-festering jealousies, too much alcohol, and exposed secrets lead to murder. This is a twisty closed-room-type mystery/thriller.
Prepare to Discuss
  • 10 books recommended by Beth Fish ReadsThe Choice by Gillian McAllister (Putnam) Setting: London. What happens? The choice making up the book's title is multilayered. First, a woman chooses to believe the man walking behind her is up to no good. Second, she decides to strike first by turning around and pushing him. Third, she must choose what to do when she realizes she may have killed him: call for help and face the consequences of her actions or keep walking and live the rest of her life as if nothing happened. What does she do? What would you do?
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Riverhead) Setting: United States; last half of 20th century. What happens? Twin sisters grow up in a small Louisiana town where the black community has been consciously self-selecting for lighter skin tones. After running away from home as teens, the girls make very different choices to escape their past: Stella runs a second time, this time to live in the white world, disappearing from her family forever; Desiree marries the darkest man she can, though ends up back at her mother's house. The paths of the twins may have diverged, but those of their daughters intertwine in unexpected ways. Race, socioeconomics, transgender, love, family, self-identity, and many more themes to think about.
  • An Elegant Woman by Martha McPhee (Scribner) Setting: United States; 20th century. What happens? How four generations of women coped with their differing circumstances, reinventing themselves as necessary and informing the lives of their children and their grandchildren to follow. This family saga takes us from the East Coast to the upper Plains, from richer to poorer, from supportive to indifferent as a set of sisters in contemporary times try to understand the lives of the women who came before them.
  • Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (Ecco) Setting: Hong Kong. What Happens? A contemporary Irish expat living in Hong Kong must decide who she really is. While eking out a living teaching English to the wealthy, Ava meets a rich male banker and soon allows herself to become a kept woman, entering a social stratum she could never afford. When he is transferred to London, Ava meets a powerful female lawyer and is soon attracted to her and her lifestyle. When the banker returns to Hong Kong, Ava must decide who she is and what she wants.
Pick Fantasy or Reality
  • 10 books recommended by Beth Fish ReadsThe Court of Miracles by Kester Grant (Knopf BYR) Setting: alternate Paris; 1828. What happens? After the failed French revolution, Paris is ruled by two courts: that of Louis XVII, which remains indifferent as ever to the plight of the poor, and that of the underworld guilds, who control the people. Nina has found a place in the Thieves Court, building her reputation as a skilled burglar, but when her BFF attracts the attention of the Guild of Flesh, Nina becomes determined to save her friend and the others enslaved by that guild. Action and adventure mixed with themes of class, race, and human trafficking.
  • The Inner Coast by Donovan Hohn (Norton) Setting: United States What happens? This collection of 10 previously published essays explores our relationship with the landscape, with our past, and with some of our literary heroes. Several essays focus on water, ranging from ice canoeing to scuba diving, droughts, and the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. In some pieces, Hohn turns to his family, writing about his mother's struggles with mental health and his uncle's passion for collecting antique tools. His discussions of literature include Henry David Thoreau, Adrienne Rich, and even the Bible. Put these though-provoking, prize-winning essays on your reading list.


rhapsodyinbooks 6/8/20, 6:50 AM  

Seven Years in Darkness sounds particularly intriguing. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Kathy Martin 6/8/20, 8:16 AM  

Interesting assortment of books. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

Daryl 6/8/20, 8:56 AM  

some interesting books .. i am almost done with book one in a series by Pierce Brown that begins with Red Rising the narrator is Tim Gerard Reynolds at first i wasnt sure i even wanted to continue past the first chapter but he's such a good narrator i stuck with it and now i am invested .. have you read?

Tina 6/8/20, 9:02 AM  

I have the Guest List by Foley in my holds at the library. Hoping that comes up soon.
The family saga by McPhee intertests me as I love a multi generational story. The perspectives are interesting to me.

Laurel-Rain Snow 6/8/20, 9:13 AM  

I have The Guest List and can't wait to read it! The Choice looks very good. Thanks for sharing, and I am also eager to read The Vanishing Half.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy your week.

Les in Oregon 6/8/20, 6:37 PM  

I enjoyed The Mothers, so I'm very interested in The Vanishing Half. It's getting a lot of press this week.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 6/8/20, 9:28 PM  

These titles sound fabulous. Thank you for sharing these with us.

Greg 6/8/20, 10:39 PM  

The Guest List is one I'm definitely interested. I've been looking for good thrillers lately...

Vicki 6/9/20, 1:36 PM  

The "Read with the Lights On" books caught my attention!

westmetromommy 6/10/20, 6:51 PM  

I have "The Guest List" sitting on my bookshelf...hoping to get to it soon!

Jackie McGuinness 6/20/20, 9:01 AM  

SIGH more books added to my wish list.

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