It’s only April, but so many new great books will be published soon, and the summer will bring more great titles! To help you navigate this avalanche of upcoming summer books and help you not to miss a thing, we’ve done the homework for you.
This time, we’ve prepared a list of ten books we think will be a great read this summer. No, they are not all beach romances. We’ve picked up very different books for our top summer list—from autobiographies to stories addressing hard social issues. Oh, surely, there’s a perfect beach read as well. Yet, all in all, we’ve tried to make a list as versatile as possible so that you could switch to something lighter or more complex, depending on your current mood. We also added information about their publishers and publishing dates so you don’t miss anything.
Below, you can find our top ten books for this summer. Most of them are upcoming titles to be expected in a few days or later during the next few months (you can start checking their availability on the publisher’s website closer to this date). The last book on the list is one of the last summer’s favorites.
You Are Here
By Karin Lin-Greenberg
Out on May 2, 2023
You Are Here may attract your attention with a bright and seemingly cheerful cover, but we implore you to open it and start reading. This debut short story collection by Karin Lin-Greenberg is a masterful exploration of contemporary American life. What looks like a simple, sad story of a shopping mall shutting down is actually a multifaceted and immersive experience of how people struggle and come to terms with their ever-changing environment. With the book characters, you’ll watch shops slowly going out of business and people making new choices. If you’ve been looking for a book that explores how our identities and aspirations are bound to the places we call home, You Are Here is the one. We’re positive that it’s a perfect addition to your summer reading list that will leave you contemplating the intricacies of the human experience long after you turn the final page.
by Deborah Levy
Out on May 4, 2023
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
August Blue is a luminous novel that is perfect for a summer read. Set in Greece, it follows the story of 34-year-old pianist Elsa M. Anderson as she travels around Europe in search of herself after an onstage crisis. When she feels she can no longer perform, she leaves the stage and starts traveling around Europe, giving music lessons to teenagers and trying to get to terms with her talent and history. There’s an interesting plot twist around a strangely familiar woman whom Elsa tends to meet first in Athens, then in London, then in Paris. The book is a beautifully written and emotionally resonant novel that captures the essence and the complexities of human relationships. It is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a thoughtful and engaging read on a lazy summer day. If you liked The Man Who Saw Everything and The Cost of Living, you’ll definitely like August Blue.
A Life of One’s Own
by Joanna Biggs
Out on May 11, 2023
A Life of One’s Own was named the most anticipated book of 2023 by the New York Times, The Week, Vulture, Elle, and The Millions. In there, Joanna Biggs, a recent divorcée, is trying to understand how to start again after a divorce, and, in her attempt, she turns for advice to the famous women writers she feels an affinity with: Mary Wollstonecraft, George Eliot, Zora Neale Hurston, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison, and Elena Ferrante. In the book, she tries to look at their work and lives in a new light, and through this lens, she tries to understand how to get through a difficult period through the example of these women writers in their moments of transition. The book is a blend of memoir, criticism, and biography that also examines these women’s path to intellectual freedom for themselves.
The Late Americans
by Brandon Taylor
Out on May 23, 2023
Publisher: Riverhead Books
In The Late Americans, lovers and friends live through a year of self-discovery where they encounter, confront, and provoke one another. Among them are Seamus, Ivan, Fatima, and Noah, who decide to say goodbuy to their former life and embark on a cabin trip in search of a new one. If you love contemporary tales about chosen families, this book is a perfect read for you. You’ll have to go through complex topics, from unbridgeable gaps and economic privileges to undefined sexual desires and uncertainty about the future. There’re many questions asked in the book, and some of them are quite complicated, “Can I love someone without harming them?” or “How to connect at the age of precarity?” As the frustrations mount, you get to understand the characters better, as they get to understand what they want and who they are.
by Elliot Page
If you like celebrity memoirs, you’ll find Pageboy an amazing read. Well, you’ll do it anyway. In the book, Elliot Page finally shares his truth as he talks about Hollywood, love, and queerness. He experienced a meteoric rise after the premiere of Juno, but his personal life story isn’t so straightforward. In Pageboy, he finally shares the truth about who he is. It’s a brilliant, beautifully written story about maintaining the sense of self in a society that wants to fit everyone into a binary-driven frame, a story about defining yourself and separation from the expectations of others, navigating criticism, and standing against abuse in its different forms. The book is full of behind-the-scenes details and raises many questions regarding sex, love, and trauma. We positively recommend reading this groundbreaking coming-of-age memoir from the Academy Award-nominated actor.
by Tania James
Out on June 13, 2023
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Loot sends us back to 18th-century India, England, and France. For one thing, it’s a thoroughly absorbing historical tale; for another, it’s an ambitious love story with a versatile array of characters. For one thing, there’s Lucien du Leze, a French clockmaker serving Tipu Sultan, and Abbas, his 17-year-old wood carver and his assistant-to-be. Together, they have to create a giant wooden automaton of a tiger. What at first starts as the story of a young artist coming of age opens up into an epic tale of looted treasure, savage empire, and lasting love—and all this makes it so spellbinding. Overall, it’s yet another stunning novel by a talented writer. Tania James proved that she can capture the complexities of the human experience and project a deep emotional intelligence, and Loot is sure to leave an equally lasting impression like her previous works did.
by Thao Thai
Out on June 27, 2023
Publisher: Mariner Books
Here’s the story of three generations of Vietnamese American women and their long-held secrets. Banyan Moon is a stunning debut by author Thao Thai, which invites you to follow the stories of Ann, her mother, Hương, and Minh, the grandmother. After Minh dies, the mother and the daughter must face the hard questions of their past and their uncertain futures and attempt to rebuild their relationship without the person who used to hold them together. In the meantime, we get a glance into Minh’s story, from the Vietnam War to her immigration to America and her life here. You may say it doesn’t sound like a summer read, but we’re positive it’ll keep you glued to the pages until the very end.
White House by the Sea: A Century of the Kennedys at Hyannis Port
by Kate Storey
Out on June 27, 2023
If you liked our earlier Pageboy suggestion, here’s more: a biography of the Kennedys from the journalist Kate Storey. “A light yet thoroughly researched book that will appeal to followers of the Kennedy family and celebrity culture,” according to the Kirkus Reviews, White House by the Sea is probably, one of the most expected books this summer. It’s a story of the Kennedy family, as seen through their Hyannis Port compound on Cape Cod, where they bonded, celebrated, and grieved. Based on more than a hundred interviews conducted by Kate Storey, a senior features editor for Rolling Stone, with people who knew the Kennedys, this biography is unique in a way, as no one before got so many intimate details about the famous family and this place. A must-read for all Kennedyphiles; an excellent read for any book lover.
by Nicole Flattery
Out on July 11, 2023
Whether you’re a Warhol fan or not, Nothing Special will definitely surprise you in a good way. Set in New York City in 1966, it’s the story of Mae, who gets an incredible offer to work at Andy Warhol’s infamous Factory as the artist’s resident typist. Mae is seventeen. She dropped out of high school and now lives in a rundown apartment with her alcoholic mother and her mother’s boyfriend. Not the best of lives, right? But here comes a chance to reimagine her world. In the book, she transcribes the recordings containing Warhol’s conversations and experiences with his friends, letting us get a glimpse of the countercultural movement. Nothing Special isn’t your ordinary coming-of-age story; it’s a trip through 1960s Manhattan, where the author questions the nature of friendship and independence and tries to dissect the concepts of art and identity.
A Place Like Home
by Rosamunde Pilcher
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
The last book on our list has a true summer spirit. A Place Like Home is a collection of 15 short stories about love: falling in love, being in love, and trying to rediscover love. While they are not all up-to-date (many of them were written in the 1970s and ’80s) and, therefore, may not be entirely resonant with our time, they all speak of universal things: passion and romance. If you’re looking for an escape into the Mediterranean sunshine, villages by the sea, and Scottish countryside (to name a few), this book is your best bet. Each story is uniquely tender and smart, transporting you immediately into a different time and place. A perfect summer read and an antidote to trying times.