The start of summer means plenty of trips to the beach. While some like to hit the waves, there’s nothing better than kicking back with a good book under warm rays of sun. Before you reread Ender’s Game for the seventh time or 50 Shades of Grey for the twentieth, there are some great new books out this summer that will help you move off of the beaten literary path.
Save the Date: The Occasional Mortification of a Serial Wedding Guest
In this collection of personal essays, journalist Jen Doll recounts her experiences at 17 some odd weddings. She uses the celebrations of holy matrimony as a way to chronicle her own relationships, both romantic and platonic. The humor and insight that has won her acclaim as a seasoned reporter for The Atlantic, New York, and Cosmopolitan make her debut book an all-too-relatable read. It’s also the insightful, soothing literary balm you need when you’re stuck at the destination beach wedding you’ve paid too much to attend.
Published: May 1
The Girls of August
Anne Rivers Siddons is a veteran novelist, so you’ll be in good hands with her 19th novel. The story of four women who gather every August for a week at the beach is a little too perfect of a plot for a summer read. A tragic death interrupts their annual ritual, but years later the remaining summer core come together. This novel illustrates the beautiful and startling ways friendships remain and evolve over times. Reading it will help you remember who your real friends are, even when they’re not lying beside you at a summer share.
Published: July 8
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street
Abandonment, reinvention, and—wait for it—ice cream. It’s as if memoirist Susan Jane Gilman’s fictional debut was written for readers craving something a bit indulgent and addictive to cool them down during the lazy, stir-crazy hours of summer. The author of Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress and Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven has concocted a tale about a Russian Jewish immigrant in 1913 who transforms herself from Malka Bialystoker to Lillian Maira Dinello all thanks to being injured by an ice cream street vendor. The novel follows Dinello as she develops her own ice cream empire and leads a double life in more ways than one. It’s a delicious, gripping read for a long, hot summer day.
Published: June 10
You know you’re going to want to read Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir, even if only because it’s going to be on everyone’s lips. Clinton is almost a shoe-in for a 2016 presidential run and while Hard Choices may not give any definite answer to her potential candidacy, it does promise some personal insight into one of the most buzzed-about American politicians. You don’t have to be a political junkie to love the charming details already evident in the book’s Vogue excerpt, like how Clinton’s mother loved watching Dancing with the Stars. Hopefully, it will be that ideal mix of gripping political reveals (hello, Benghazi) mixed with personal anecdotes.
Published: June 10