Summer reading means lots of things to lots of readers: Indulgence and escape and a chance to delight in a new favorite author, mostly, though it’s also a chance for some us to catch up on books we missed earlier in the year. (And admittedly, Summer Reading is synonymous with homework for much of the younger set.)
For the booksellers who handpick books for our Discover Great New Writers program year-round, summer is another chance to wow other readers with books from writers who are not yet household names. We’ve tapped twenty-one outrageously great books for you to experience this summer: Seventeen novels, three memoirs, and a true story of hope and forgiveness that we hope wow you as much as they wowed us.
Historical Fiction is having a moment and we have four fresh, cinematic takes on the genre covering from 19th Century England to Russia during WWI and the 1960s: A Bend in the Stars, by Rachel Barenbaum, The Confessions of Frannie Langton, by Sara Collins, The Darwin Affair, by Tim Mason, and First Cosmic Velocity, by Zach Powers.
Stories of Family and Home are always crowd-pleasers and we have four that readers and reviewers will be talking about all summer: How Not to Die Alone, by Richard Roper, The Most Fun We Ever Had, by Claire Lombardo, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, by Ocean Vuong, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna, by Juliet Grames, and The Travelers, by Regina Porter.
We’re not the only ones who love a classic Coming-of-Age Story, and we can’t wait to see how other readers respond to The Last Book Party, by Karen Dukess.
Kidnappings, mysterious disappearances, and the possible identity of a notorious killer drive a quartet of Literary Thrillers, starting with Disappearing Earth, by Julia Phillips, A Prayer for Travelers, by Ruchika Tomar, The Rumor, by Lesley Kara, and The Van Apfel Girls are Gone, by Felicity McLean.
Escape into a trio of Wildly Inventive Novels grounded in Mayan mythology, classic literature, and the collapse of the world as we know it with Gods of Jade and Shadow, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, by H.G. Parry, and The Lightest Object in the Universe, by Kimi Eisele.
We also have Unforgettable True Stories from streetwear visionary Bobby Hundreds (This is Not a T-shirt) and actress Tembi Locke (From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily and Finding Home); an incredible story of illness and recovery from scientist Rikke Schmidt Kjaergaard (The Blink of an Eye); and an unforgettable story of violence and forgiveness from Jennifer Berry Hawes (Grace Will Lead Us Home).
If you’re a reader who loves to use the summer to catch up on your reading, our Spring 2019 Discover picks, including novels like American Spy, We Must Be Brave, and Lights All Night Long, plus memoirs like Maid, Sissy and The Light Years are here; the winners and finalists of the 2018 Discover Awards including Kiese Laymon, Tommy Orange, and Tara Westover are here; and our 29-year-old archive, including Pulitzer Prize Winners Ayad Akhtar, Jennifer Egan, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jhumpa Lahiri, countless National Book Award winners, and Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro is here.