Grown-Up Reads

16 of the Best New Books of
Summer 2017

by Jennifer Ridgway

As I look toward summer, I’m already daydreaming about our family vacation, thinking about what I can do with my kids when they aren’t in camp, and contemplating which books to read in between. With summer reading in mind, I combed through the lists of books coming out this season and pulled together the titles I’m particularly excited for readers to pick up in the upcoming months. Now all I need is a hammock, some sunglasses, and a glass of mint lemonade…

  • May

  • The Garden of Small Beginnings

    by Abbi Waxman

    Waxman’s debut novel centers on Lilian, a young woman attempting to move on from the grief of her husband’s sudden death while raising their two small daughters. With the support of her younger sister and an assignment from her employer to take a gardening class, she begins to come to terms with her life. Waxman manages to weave laugh-out-loud moments throughout this authentic tale of loss.
    (On Sale: 5/2/17)

  • You're the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships

    by Deborah Tannen

    The new book from the bestselling author of You’re Wearing That? and You Just Don’t Understand delves into women’s friendships. Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, interviewed 80 women, aged 9 to 97, with a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities, to decode how the ways in which women communicate make their relationships unique.
    (On Sale: 5/2/17)

  • The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir

    by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

    When she was a student at Harvard Law, Marzano-Lesnevich took a summer job at a law firm and worked on a retrial case to defend a death row inmate. In this memoir, she describes her experience and how it prompted her to question her own beliefs, the meaning of truth, and her own past and family secrets. Marzano-Lesnevich’s writing is fantastic, deftly blending a true crime mystery with memoir. The perfect read for those who were addicted to the podcast “Serial,” the Netflix show “Making a Murderer,” or fans of true crime or mysteries.
    (On Sale: 5/16/17)

  • Touch

    by Courtney Maum

    In Touch, readers meet Sloane, a world-renowned trend forecaster whose prediction that real-life interactions will outweigh virtual ones clashes with both her employer’s goals and her partner’s viral New York Times Op-Ed that extolls the virtues of virtual sex. As she begins a quest to defend human intimacy, she kicks out her partner and attempts to reconnect with her estranged family. Maum, whose debut I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You was a bestseller, has written a satirical yet touching novel that will have you putting down your phone and connecting to the (real) people in your life.
    (On Sale: 5/30/17)

  • June

  • The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

    by Arundhati Roy

    It has been 20 years since The God of Small Things, Roy’s Man Booker Prize-winning debut novel, was published. In her first novel since then, Roy takes the reader on a journey across India and through time, lacing themes of love, longing, connection, and identity into a sweeping novel that will haunt you long after you finish turning the pages.
    (On Sale: 6/6/17)

  • The Marsh King's Daughter

    by Karen Dionne

    Helena lives on the edge of a marshland with her husband and two daughters who don’t know that she is the product of abduction. Helena’s mother was kidnapped by “The Marsh King,” and Helena was born two years later and had no contact with the outside world until she was twelve. When Helena discovers that her biological father has escaped from prison, she fears for her family and herself, but she also knows she is the only one capable of tracking him down. Weaving Hans Christian Andersen’s tale into a modern-day thriller, Dionne has written a gripping page-turner.
    (On Sale: 6/13/17)

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

    by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    After years of near silence, Evelyn Hugo has decided to finally share the story of her three decades of Hollywood fame. As Monique, a young journalist, sits with Evelyn and listens to her tale, she hears it all: the good, the bad, and the tales of the “seven husbands.” With great characters, stark honesty, gossip, heartache, and an unexpected twist, this novel has all the makings of a fantastic beach read.
    (On Sale: 6/13/17)

  • The Waking Land

    by Callie Bates

    Bates’s debut is the first book in a planned trilogy about a young woman who can call on the magical powers of nature. When Elanna was a child her father attempted a rebellion, and she was taken by the King as her father’s punishment. The King raised Elanna as his own daughter, and she was despised by the King’s biological daughter. Now that the King has mysteriously died, Elanna finds herself exiled and must decide where her loyalties lie. Bates has built an extraordinary world with terrific characters in this unique new fantasy.
    (On Sale: 6/27/17)

  • July

  • Reading with Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship

    by Michelle Kuo

    In 2004, Michelle Kuo moved to the Mississippi Delta to teach at a school in one of the poorest counties in the U.S. There she met a young man named Patrick. Patrick was thoughtful, motivated, and loved learning — he was only hampered by opportunity. Kuo worked with him until she moved away to attend law school. After learning that Patrick was in jail for murder, she moved back to work with him again. This is a story about the power of books; the issues of race, justice, and poverty; and the endurance of hope and connection. Kuo’s book is an honest and touching memoir.
    (On Sale: 7/11/17)

  • Refuge

    by Dina Nayeri

    Award-winning author Dina Nayeri’s new novel is about a woman who escaped Iran as a girl, while her father stayed behind. Over the course of two decades, they only see each other four times, yet as their lives continue to separate, they come to need each other more. Nayeri, who was an Iranian refugee herself, has written a novel that explores the current worldwide refugee crisis through the lens of a father-daughter relationship.
    (On Sale: 7/11/17)

  • Tornado Weather

    by Deborah E. Kennedy

    In her new novel, Kennedy uses the disappearance of 5-year-old Daisy as a catalyst to examine the people of a small town in Indiana, and its chapters are told by different characters who believe they know what happened to the girl. Yet this book isn’t a mystery at its heart — rather, it’s a character study of everyday people trying to live their lives, possibly wishing for more. With compassion, Kennedy brings to life the poverties, prejudices, hopes, and disappointments of a rural setting.
    (On Sale: 7/11/17)

  • Where the Light Falls

    by Allison Pataki and Owen Pataki

    Set in Paris during the French Revolution, this new historical novel from bestselling author Allison Pataki and her brother, a former Army lieutenant, brings the streets of Paris and its citizens alive. Three years after the storming of the Bastille, as France grapples to find its way to the ideals of Life, Liberty, and Fraternity, three characters’ lives become intertwined. With love stories across social classes, the struggles of a polarized society, the fragile nature of liberty, and cameo appearances from real Revolutionary heroes (both French and American), Where the Light Falls is sure to appeal to Francophiles and historical fiction fans.
    (On Sale: 7/11/17)

  • August

  • Sour Heart

    by Jenny Zhang

    Sour Heart is the highly anticipated first book from Lenny, an imprint founded by Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. Zhang’s collection of short stories follows a group of young Chinese and Taiwanese girls in a New York immigrant community, simultaneously struggling to live on the edge of poverty and trying to define who they are. These stories will certainly get you thinking.
    (On Sale: 8/1/17)

  • Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

    by Jonathan Hennessey, illustrated by Justin Greenwood

    Hamilton is obviously enjoying his time in the Founding Father spotlight. Whether you’re a history buff who’s hungry for a fun take on his life story, a musical fan who’s obsessed with the Broadway smash, or anything in between, Hennessey and Greenwood’s graphic novel biography will bring Alexander Hamilton to life in a new way.
    (On Sale: 8/8/17)

  • Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult

    by Bruce Handy

    With a subtitle like that, of course Wild Things caught my attention! In this book, Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Bruce Handy takes a romp through children’s literature to explore the histories and stories behind the classic tales. Not only will it have you waxing poetic about your own childhood, it will also have you reading these kids’ books to the children in your life with renewed enthusiasm.
    (On Sale: 8/15/17)

  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

    by John Boyne

    Born to an unwed, teenage mother in Ireland in 1945, Cyril Avery is adopted by the Avery family, who always remind him that he is not really an Avery. Boyne’s novel covers seven decades of Cyril’s life, jumping seven years at a time, and thus examines 70 years of Ireland’s history and the immense changes that occurred there in that time. Published earlier this year across the pond, readers have been raving about what an amazing work this is.
    (On Sale: 8/22/17)

What new books are you looking forward to reading this summer?