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21 new books to keep your summer reading going strong.

Katie Yee

July 7, 2021, 4:52am

Remember when you were a kid and you went to the library during the summer for the free AC, and they would give you this chart where you could track your reading? I miss that. In adult life, no one gives you stickers or pencils or cheap branded drawstring backpacks for reading 25 books over the summer, and that’s a shame.

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The Comfort Book

Matt Haig, The Comfort Book
(Penguin)

“With Haig’s trademark empathy and celebration of the resilience of the human heart, this is a book we all need and deserve.”
–Booklist

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Miranda Cowley Heller, The Paper Palace
(Riverhead)

“Heller’s prose is full of lush atmospheric details. This will keep the reader guessing all the way to the end.”
–Publishers Weekly

the brilliant abyss

Helen Scales, The Brilliant Abyss
(Atlantic Monthly)

“Its overall effect is not to clarify the waters—to create something as bright and blue as a Cameron scene—but to insist that what’s already down there matters, even or especially when it is hidden from our view.”
–The New Republic

this is your mind on plant_michael pollan

Michael Pollan, This Is Your Mind on Plants
(Penguin Press)

“A wide-ranging investigation that will interest anyone curious about consciousness-altering substances and their varying legality.”
–Library Journal

vessel

Cai Chongda, Vessel
(Harpervia)

“a tantalizing portrait of a changing China in his dazzling English-language debut … It’s in this space that his writing glows, juxtaposing the beauty of both small-town living and urban life. This shines with the bright talent of an excellent storyteller.”
–Publishers Weekly

Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith

Violet Kupersmith, Build Your House Around My Body
(Random House)

“Kupersmith proves herself a fearless driver who revels in the daunting challenge she has set for herself. There are so many ways this novel could have lost its balance; instead, its too-much-ness makes for a thrilling read, acrobatic and filled with verve.”
–The New York Times Book Review

The Stranger Times_CK MCDonnell

C.K. McDonnell, The Stranger Times
(Bantam Press)

“McDonnell packs jokes into every layer of his writing — narration, description, dialogue — and they always propel, rather than hold up, the business of storytelling, which is the real test of a comic author.”
–The Times

amy sohn_the man who hated women

Amy Sohn, The Man Who Hated Women
(Bantam Press)

“By any standard, this is a fascinating group of women. Sohn is a vivid writer with an eye for detail, and she is clearly inspired by her subjects’ fervent beliefs and dramatic lives.”
–Washington Monthly

Wayward_Dana Spiotta

Dana Spiotta, Wayward
(Knopf)

“So much contemporary fiction swims about in its own theories; what a pleasure to encounter not just ideas about the thing, but the thing itself—descriptions that irradiate the pleasure centers of the brain, a protagonist so densely, exuberantly imagined, she feels like a visitation.”
–The New York Times

Saved By a Song_Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier, Saved By a Song
(St. Martin’s)

“Her book invites seasoned artists to deeper authenticity, new artists to deeper craft and all readers to deeper self-reflection.”
–BookPage

The Very Nice Box by Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett

Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett, The Very Nice Box
(Houghton Mifflin)

“Blending comedy, thriller, and romance to great and surprising effect, this should have wide appeal.”
–Publishers Weekly

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Emily Austin, Everyone in This Room Will Someday be Dead
(Atria)

“As funny as the novel is, it’s equally dark and intensely harrowing. This debut is profound for its honest portrayal of mental health in a chaotic modern world.”
–The Skinny

Tim Parks, The Hero's Way: Walking with Garibaldi from Rome to Ravenna

Tim Parks, The Hero’s Way
(W.W. Norton)

“This gripping account of Italy’s visionary past serves as a revealing window into its clouded present.”
–Publishers Weekly

Mikita Brottman_Couple Found Slain

Mikita Brottman, Couple Found Slain
(Henry Holt)

“This thought-provoking book adds to conversations about the role of psychiatric institutions and how society can offer solutions.”
–Library Journal

Dan Fesperman_The Cover Wife

Dan Fesperman, The Cover Wife
(Knopf)

“An absorbing tale of terrorism with a tantalizing what if at its core.”
–Kirkus

After Cooling_Eric Dean Wilson

Eric Dean Wilson, After Cooling
(Simon & Schuster)

“The author hangs a fascinating, troubling story—several, actually—on the history of Freon.”
–The New York Journal of Books

fox and i

Catherine Raven, Fox and I
(Spiegel & Grau)

“Rich and meditative, Raven’s musings on nature and solitude are delightful company.”
–Publishers Weekly

a shock

Keith Ridgway, A Shock
(New Directions)

“There is a special kind of reading pleasure in books that feature seemingly disconnected stories of interlocking lives.”
–The Irish Times

Nobody Somebody Anybody, Kelly McClorey

Kelly McClorey, Nobody, Somebody, Anybody
(Ecco)

“With beautiful subtlety, McClorey conveys warping loneliness as Amy anthropomorphizes the world around her, seeing raspberries and deli packages as companions.”
–Booklist

the tiger mom's tale_lyn liao butler

Lyn Liao Butler, The Tiger Mom’s Tale
(Berkley)

” If you’re looking for a quick story to devour, give this a gander, especially if you love a good family drama, and one that includes learning something about our Asian culture and Taiwanese food!”
–The Nerd Daily

Books Promiscuously Read_Heather Cass White

Heather Cass White, Books Promiscuously Read
(FSG)

“A book that encourages the reading of other books, preferably with abandon.”
–Kirkus

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