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20 new books for your midsummer reading.

Katie Yee

June 15, 2021, 4:53am

Need a book to take to the park? You’re in luck… It’s New Books Tuesday!


Jonathan Lee, The Great Mistake

Jonathan Lee, The Great Mistake

“[A] seriously entertaining fictional recreation of the life and violent death of a forgotten giant in the history of New York City, Andrew Haswell Green.”
–The Times

Yan Lianke, Hard Like Water

Yan Lianke, tr. Carlos Rojas, Hard Like Water

“Yan’s signature biting wit creates another indelible work of bittersweet humor and sociopolitical insight.”

Anne Seghers, tr. Margot Bettauer Dembo, The Dead Girls' Class Trip

Anna Seghers, The Dead Girls’ Class Trip

“Seghers’s masterly title story, written near the end of the war, casts an idyllic school outing in a dark pall, anticipating the fates of the innocent children. The result is classic European storytelling at its most potent.”
–Publishers Weekly

James Ellroy_Widespread panic

James Ellroy, Widespread Panic

“Purgatory is rarely this much fun.”
–Financial Times

Resistance_Val McDermid

Val McDermid, Resistance
(Atlantic Monthly)

“Scottish crime writer McDermid takes a stab at bio-noir in this spare but riveting graphic novel tracking a pandemic.”
–Publishers Weekly

Alex Michaelides, The Maidens

Alex Michaelides, The Maidens

“Mariana’s therapy experience introduces a fresh forensic-psychology perspective to ever-popular themes of Greek tragedy and insular academia.”

Laura Raicovich, Culture Strike 

Culture Strike is a must-read account of how museums have positioned themselves as progressive while working hard to maintain the status quo.”
–Aruna D’souza

to poison a nation_andrew baker

Andrew Baker, To Poison a Nation
(New Press)

“An eye-opening excavation of a little-known American tragedy.”
–Publishers Weekly

The Natural Mother of the Child

Krys Malcolm Belc, The Natural Mother of a Child

“This is a beautiful memoir of parenthood and selfhood that promises to expand the canon of literary writing on caregiving and identity.”
–The Millions

Genesis P-Orridge_Nonbinary

Genesis P-Orridge, Nonbinary
(Abrams Press)

“An entertaining and thoughtful book about a remarkable life that consistently embraced transformation.”

glory days_wertheim

L. Jon Wertheim, Glory Days
(Houghton Mifflin)

Sports Illustrated executive editor Wertheim (Blood in the Cage) offers an occasionally entertaining history of developments in sports and culture during the summer of 1984.”
–Publishers Weekly

George Packer, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal

George Packer, Last Best Hope

“A thought-provoking study in civics, history, and the decline and fall of self-government.”


Brandon P. Fleming, Miseducated

“An inspiring page-turner for all readers, especially those seeking to overcome significant obstacles to find success.”


John Tresch, The Reason for the Darkness of the Night

“While Tresch addresses the common impression of Poe as a “morbid dreamer” and a penniless writer, he takes things further by offering a nimble account of the emerging science of Poe’s day. Fans of Poe’s work—and science enthusiasts­—will appreciate Tresch’s fresh angle.”
–Publishers Weekly

Kai Bird_The Outlier

Kai Bird, The Outlier

“The best study to date of the Carter era and a substantial contribution to the history of the 1970s.”

Ruth Scurr, Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows

Ruth Scurr, Napoleon

“Even readers well-versed in Napoleon’s rise and fall will learn something new from this gracefully written and imaginatively conceived portrait.”
–Publishers Weekly

Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan

Donal Ryan, Strange Flowers

“Fans of Sebastian Barry and Anne Enright will love this delicate and lush portrait.”
–Publishers Weekly

Claire Boyles_Site Fidelity

Claire Boyles, Site Fidelity
(W. W. Norton)

“Deliberate and compelling.”

Chris Offutt, The Killing Hills

Chris Offutt, The Killing Hills

“Rural crime fiction that kicks like a mule.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda_In the Heights

Lin-Manuel Miranda, In the Heights
(Random House)

“Behind-the-scenes tales of the impetus behind the story, songs, choreography, casting, costumes, and sets are instructive and entrancing, but what is most compelling is testimony about how this musical about a community ended up forging new communities and awakening a new appreciation for home in cast and audiences alike.”

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