There are lots of good books to lose yourself in this month. Take them to the pool, the lake, or the beach. Just don’t get mad at me if you are so immersed you forget to put sunscreen on!
There are a number of novels that I am excited about for June. They are all very different so maybe there is a book here that will appeal to you, too. If you read any of these books, please drop me a line and let me know what you think. I welcome your comments. Perhaps we could even read together.
Here are some books to cool you off this month:
The first is Natalie Bakopoulos’s “The Green Shore.” I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this that I won through Good Reads. I absolutely loved it! Set in Greece (and Paris) in the late 1960s and early 1970s during Greece’s military dictatorship, Bakopoulos focuses on a Greek family and how revolution seems to be part of their DNA. Bakopouplos is the brother of Dean Bakopoulos, author of “Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon.” I think good writing must be part of the Bakopoulos DNA! Natalie will visit Lemuria Books in Jackson, MS, on June 27, for a signing and reading. I hope to meet her there. “The Green Shore” comes out June 5. I will be posting my review this week. Hopefully, I can interview Natalie here.
Daniel Kalla’s “The Far Side of the Sky” will be released on June 4. Kalla writes about Westerners in Shanghai during the late 1930s. According to the product description, “The Far Side of the Sky focuses on a short but extraordinary period of Chinese, Japanese and Jewish Second World War history, where cultures converged and heroic sacrifices were part of the everyday quest for survival.” Kalla is the author of “Pandemic.” It is a novel of love and death in Shanghai.
Francesca Segal’s “The Innocents” is getting a lot of buzz. The book does not even come out until June 5, but no matter. In the past week, I have read reviews of the novel in both ELLE and Vogue. Yes, I do trust both. Both magazines loved the novel. I expect I will, too. The book’s description says: “A smart and slyly funny tale of love, temptation, confusion, and commitment, “The Innocents” is a generous and deeply satisfying look at a close-knit society in which one young man’s pre-wedding panic illuminates the universal conflict between responsibility and passion.” Will be a great read before that June wedding you’re going to!
Kristen Den Hartog’s “The Girl Giant” will also be released June 5. This book is already a bestseller in Canada. According to Good Reads, “Set just after World War II, The Girl Giant tells the story of Ruth, an immensely sympathetic young girl who is quickly and inexplicably growing into a giant. An only child and an outcast among her peers, Ruth spends much of her time alone. “I stood alone on the playground as the swings flew and the monkey bars filled up with children. My hands reached almost to my knees; I was all wrong, out of proportion.” But Ruth possesses a gift, a strange second sight. ” Sounds intriguing!
If you are craving social satire this summer, look no further than “Seating Arrangements” by Maggie Shipstead. This book comes out June 12. Good Reads calls it: “Hilarious, keenly intelligent, and commandingly well written, Shipstead’s deceptively frothy first novel is a piercing rumination on desire, on love and its obligations, and on the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice.” This one should be great!
Because I am a sucker for apocalyptic novels, I am really looking forward to “The Bird Saviors” by William J. Cobb. This book will be released June 12. “The Bird Saviors” has it all: a pregnant teen, economic collapse, climate change, a fuel crisis, cults, and fundamentalist preachers. I cannot wait!
June 12 also marks the release date for Emily Jeanne Miller’s “Brand New Human Being.” According to the novel’s product description, “Meet Logan Pyle, a lapsed grad student and stay-at-home dad who’s holding it together by a thread. His father, Gus, has died; his wife, Julie, has grown distant; his four-year-old son has gone back to drinking from a bottle. When he finds Julie kissing another man on a pile of coats at a party, the thread snaps. Logan packs a bag, buckles his son into his car seat, and heads north with a 1930s Lousville Slugger in the back of his truck, a maxed-out credit card in his wallet, and revenge in his heart.” This might be the read of the summer!
June 19 is the publication date of “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt. “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” is Brunt’s debut novel. Good Reads calls it “an emotionally charged coming-of-age novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home is a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.”
Another novel set for a June 19 release is “The Red House” by Mark Haddon. Haddon previously wrote “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” The product description boasts “The Red House is a literary tour-de-force that illuminates the puzzle of family in a profoundly empathetic manner — a novel sure to entrance the millions of readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” I only hope Haddon’s newest lives up to the hype.
Joshua Henkin’s “The World Without You” is also slated for a release date of June 19. Henkin is the author of “Matrimony.” Good Reads describes the novel as “Set against the backdrop of Independence Day and the Iraq War, The World Without You is a novel about sibling rivalries and marital feuds, about volatile women and silent men, and, ultimately, about the true meaning of family.” I think it will be perfect for fans of Stephen Dau’s “The Book of Jonas” and Ben Fountain’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” This is sure to be a much talked-about book.
Am I saving the best for last? Well, we’ll see. I am definitely anticipating “The Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker. It comes out June 26. This is a young adult, coming-of-age novel that is sure to appeal anyone who liked Grace McCleen’s recent novel “The Land of Decoration.” Perhaps these are books that should be read together.