7 (more) New Books to Read This Summer

It’s still summer, right? I know it’s winding down, but you’ve got time to pack in a little bit more summer reading over the long weekend. I promise.

I’ve been reading a ton of books this summer, and I realized that I hadn’t shared my thoughts here, even though I did a preview at the beginning of the summer. In this round up, I’ve included more genre fiction, and really think there’s a book here for everyone.

That’s not by accident. I’ve been really making an effort to broaden and deepen my own reading habits, and push myself out of my comfort zone. Not only do I want to ensure I’m familiar with all genres, but I want to be certain I’m actively seeking out diverse voices. I’m a bit behind on my goals for the year in that regard, so I plan to step it up in the future.

For now, here are seven new releases I’ve enjoyed.


6 more new books to read this summer

If you love cynical teenagers…

How to Set a Fire and Why: A NovelHow-to-Set-a-Fire-and-Why-Cover by Jesse Ball

I loved, loved, loved Catcher in the Rye when a teacher gave it to me in high school, and have always longed for a female character that is as endearing and irritating as Holden. This might just be it. I loved the voice of the main character, and the premise felt modern and fresh.


If you love twisty mysteries and are missing gymnastics from the Olympics…

you will know meYou Will Know Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott writes the books in the mystery or suspense category I’ve ever really enjoyed (though I’m looking to branch out).  If you like psychologically driven domestic noir, she’s not to be missed. Her latest follows a family through the world of competitive gymnastics.



If you love Edith Wharton + retellings…

A Wife of Noble CharacterA Wife of Noble Character: A Novel by Yvonne Georgina Puig

Debut novelist Puig transplants the story of the New York elite during the Gilded Age to modern day life among Texas oil barons, and it mostly works. The interiority of the characters (which I love) is great, and very reminiscent of Wharton. Maybe I’m a purist, but my only complaint was the upbeat twist. Still, an engrossing read. If you want more modern updates to Wharton, check out The Innocentswhich transports The Age of Innocence to Jewish North London.


If you love nostalgic, bittersweet coming of age stories…

Another Brooklyn: A NovelAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is a must read. She writes seemingly effortlessly for all ages, from picture books to YA to adult fiction. All her work has a poetic rhythm, even when it is prose, as this novel is. This is a beautiful, coming of age story that I highly recommend.


If you love thoughtful survivalist fiction…

The Sunlight Pilgrims: A NovelThe Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

I loved Fagan’s debut, Panopticon, and this climate disaster plot is just a backdrop for complex characters navigating the world and their own grief. Really a dazzling voice in fiction, and the perfect kind of sci-fi to hand to readers of literary fiction who are hesitant to dip their toes in the genre.


If you love Orphan Black…

false heartsFalse Hearts by Laura Lam

Okay, this is a bit of a cheat, because it’s still on my TBR list – but the premise is so cool! I liked Laura Lam’s YA series and am excited to read this adult sci-fi novel all about former conjoined twins and the mob and a terrifying dream-inducing drug. Bonus because it’s set in San Francisco, and I have really enjoyed stories set there.



If you love creepy but introspective psychological thrillers…

We Could Be Beautiful: A NovelWe Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley by Swan Huntley

This was my “borrow” from my turn at doing buy, borrow, bypass at Book Riot. While it won’t be a hit with every reader, the atmospheric novel about the lives of the New York elite is a quick, captivating story.



Have you been reading anything great this summer? I’m always interested to hear what readers think! 

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  • I just picked up A Wife of Noble Character from the library. Can’t wait to dive in! We Could Be Beautiful was such an interesting read. I felt like a nosy neighbor to the fabulously wealthy, oh and that plot twist!

    • Hope you enjoy A Wife! The nosy neighbor vibe is spot on what I got out of WCBB.

    • OMG I hope you love Wife of Noble Character! Are you an Edith Wharton fan?

      • I haven’t read anything by Edith Wharton yet, but I need to – I absolutely LOVED A Wife of Noble Character! Living in Houston, the characters felt so true to life. Starting How To Set a Fire and Why soon – it’s my second round with it from the library, hopefully I can get to it this time!

        • Glad you liked Wife of Noble Character – it’s kinda been under the radar but I was such a fan. Edith Wharton is my favorite, and I really love The House of Mirth, and I’d love to chat with someone who has read both and compare endings. I hear you on library books coming in when you don’t have time – I usually have like 20 checked out and only get to half of them before they are due. But I am such a mood reader. I loved the voice of Fire – very on point with the modern, female Holden Caulfield vibe.

  • Awesome. Very intrigued by the Jenni Fagan books. I am pretty sure I read something by Woodson in high school. If You Come Softly.. ? Maybe… Not sure, but I remember being sad, but really enjoying it. Looking into False Hearts too…. because despite my lack of Orphan Black watching (thus far)… it sounds great. I have a list of shows that’s just as long as my list of books… (not really, but you get the idea). I FINALLY finished Kate Hudson’s lifestyle book. It had a lot of activities to do as you read. Which I liked, but it slowed me down. I liked that it was pretty practical, and specific. I’m also a big sucker for Ayurveda. I find it really fascinating, and she uses bits of that in her own personal philosophy. I appreciated that it wasn’t too new age-y… or too strict. It was pretty realistic. I am about half way through a fabulous book of food/travel essays called Fork in the Road. It’s really unusual and I’m loving it. Starting a YA fiction right now, just because I’ve been craving those fun quick stories through my non-fiction reading. hehe Thanks for sharing this list! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

  • I love an Edith Wharton retelling. Really liked The Innocents. Glad to hear about this new one.

    • Oh, let me know what you think if you pick it up! Did you end up liking A Sense of the the Infinite? I am always nervous when people pick up books I recommend so I’ve been curious.

  • I really liked Brown Girl Dreaming so I want to read Another Brooklyn soon! Woodson is such a great author!

    Here are my August reads: