Break out the sunscreen and jean shorts—Summer 2017 is finally here! But being the self-respecting bookworm that you are, no summer would be complete without a trove of new and engrossing literary delights. Fear not: Bookstr has got you covered.
1. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
Finishing out his popular Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, Kwan returns to his ridiculously wealthy Singapore clan as they grapple with the impending death of the family matriarch and the unknown contents of her coveted will. Kwan is a master at describing the lives of certain members of the very very very rich; you’ll want to complete his saga before the upcoming film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians is released.
2. Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash
Habash’s debut novel has been compared to recent athlete-centric favorite The Art of Fielding, and with good reason. Stephen Florida tells the story of college wrestler Steven (misspelled in the book – it’s a plot point) and his relentless quest to win the big championship—love, friendship, and sanity be damned. Though Habash devotes plenty of space to wry observations of liberal arts life (Steven takes a class called “What is Nothing?” for an easy A), he never drifts far from Steven’s disturbed and fascinating psyche as he gives his all for sporting glory.
3. Isadora by Amelia Gray
Modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan is often remembered for her grisly demise, in which her signature long scarf became entangled in the wheels of her moving car. But as Gray proves, Duncan’s life was possibly even more dramatic than the way she died. A bisexual communist who traveled the world defying conventions and innovating dance technique, Duncan lived a life of tragedy and ecstasy amid the turmoil of the early twentieth century. Gray, acclaimed for her 2015 short story collection Gunshot, ensures that Isadora is not merely biography but an evocative literary experience.
4. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Twenty years after publishing the Man Booker winning The God of Small Things, Roy finally returns to fiction with her latest sweeping epic about the life of Anjum, a young woman born intersex who rejects her male upbringing to go on a journey of intense relationships and profound self-realization. Twenty years may be a long time to write a follow-up—but when it comes to a writer like Roy, such things are probably worth the wait.
5. The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen
Ian Bledsoe, hurting for cash after his spiteful father’s deathbed disinheritance, flees to Greece to seek financial from his privileged friend Charalambos “Charlie” Konstantinou. But Charlie is dealing with problems much worse than money woes, and when he vanishes it is up to Ian to separate truth from lies and games from reality. Bollen delivers a thrilling tale of money and vanity in the vein of the Talented Mr. Ripley that will keep you on the edge of your beach chair.
6. Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
Sedaris has kept us in stitches for years with essay collections like Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, and he’s back at it with this collection of excerpts from his old diaries. The first of two volumes, Theft by Finding documents Sedaris’s early adulthood as a broke, drug-using IHOP devotee slouching his way towards literary fame. You definitely won’t want to miss this invitation into the comedy and tragedy of life on the margins, straight from the mind of one of the greatest living American humorists.
7. You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships by Deborah Tannen
A professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, Tannen interviewed eighty women, ages 9-97, to investigate the unique language women use to build and maintain relationships with each other. Along with her field research and literature review, Tannen provides anecdotes from her own lives as she strives to map out the intricate web of communication that both strengthens and weakens female friendships.