Now that we’re pushing our way into the (hopefully!) warmer months, it’s time to take a peek at the books we’ll be reading on our porches and swings. I shared some of my most anticipated titles earlier in the year, so here are ten more to add to your list.
“Dana Spiotta’s new novel is about two women, best friends, who grow up in LA in the 80s and become filmmakers. Meadow and Carrie have everything in common—except their views on sex, power, movie-making, and morality. Their lives collide with Jelly, a loner whose most intimate experience is on the phone. Jelly is older, erotic, and mysterious. She cold calls powerful men and seduces them not through sex but through listening. She invites them to reveal themselves, and they do.”
“Kyung Cho is a young father burdened by a house he can’t afford. His debts have always seemed manageable, but lately they’ve spiraled out of control, and he is worried for his family’s future. A few miles away, his parents, Jin and Mae, live in the town’s most exclusive neighborhood, surrounded by the material comforts that Kyung desires for his wife and son. Growing up, they gave him every possible advantage, but never kindness nor affection. Now, Kyung can hardly bear to see his parents, much less ask them for help. Yet when an act of violence leaves Jin and Mae unable to live on their own, the dynamic suddenly changes, and he feels compelled to take them in.”
“In the heat of a stifling summer in her sixteenth year, Livy Marko spends her days in the rust-belt town of Lomath, Pennsylvania, babysitting, hanging out with her best friend, Nelson, and waiting for a bigger life to begin. These simple routines are disrupted when the electricity is cut off and the bridges are closed by a horde of police and FBI agents. A fugitive from the Republic of Georgia, on the run from an extradition order, has taken refuge in nearby hills and no one is able to leave or enter Lomath until he is found.As the police fail to find the wanted man and hours stretch into days, the town of Lomath begins to buckle under the strain. Like Russian dolls, each hostage seems to be harboring a captive of their own. Even Livy’s parents may have something to conceal, and Livy must learn that the source of danger is not always what it appears.”
“On the first Tuesday of every month, Clarisse Rivière leaves her husband and young daughter and secretly takes the train to Bordeaux to visit her mother, Ladivine. Just as Clarisse’s husband and daughter know nothing of Ladivine, Clarisse herself has hidden nearly every aspect of her adult life from this woman, whom she dreads and despises but also pities. Long ago abandoned by Clarisse’s father, Ladivine works as a housecleaner and has no one but her daughter, whom she knows as Malinka. After more than twenty-five years of this deception, the idyllic middle-class existence Clarisse has built from scratch can no longer survive inside the walls she’s put up to protect it. Her untold anguish leaves her cold and guarded, her loved ones forever trapped outside, looking in.”
“Love can be messy. Love can be a moral question. Love can be the same dull habit, and it’s hard to know whether it’s braver to stay or to run. But every love, Kate Tempest tells us, is a great love. And love animates her debut novel, rich with characters and restless in perspective, sprawling across London. Tempest delves deeper and deeper into Becky and Harry’s worlds, examining their childhoods, their parents and siblings and uncles and friends, each with their own ideals and disappointments, all woven together in fluid, vivid prose with virtuosic highs and quiet refrains.”
“The unimaginable has happened to Marcia Williams. Her bright and beautiful sixteen-year-old son Ryan has been brutally murdered. Consumed by grief and rage, she must bridle her dark feelings and endure something no mother should ever have to experience: she must go to court for the trial of the killer—another teenage boy—accused of taking her son’s life. How could her son be dead? Ryan should have been safe—he wasn’t the kind of boy to find himself on the wrong end of a knife carried by a dangerous young man like Tyson Manley. But as the trial proceeds, Marcia finds her beliefs and assumptions challenged as she learns more about Ryan’s death and Tyson’s life, including his dysfunctional family.”
“When Spark—the rakish prodigal son—returns unannounced to the dilapidated family home on Maine’s Monhegan Island, his arrival launches one unforgettable summer. During his absence, his gentle brother and shrewd, fork-tongued father Pastor Ragnar have been caring for Spark’s son, Hally. A temperamental adolescent emboldened by tales of his father’s mischief, Hally is careening through an identity crisis when he stuns his family by claiming to have had a spiritual vision. Though Spark is permanently dubious, Pastor Ragnar pounces on the chance to revitalize his flagging church. Hally is shoved into the spotlight and, in the frenzy that follows, this fragile family of fathers and sons is pushed to the brink.”
“Lucas and Katya were boarding school seniors when, blindingly in love, they decided to have a baby. Seventeen years later, after years of absence, Lucas is a weekend dad, newly involved in his daughter Vera’s life. But after Vera suffers a terrifying psychotic break at a high school party, Lucas takes her to Lithuania, his grandmother’s homeland, for the summer. Here, in the city of Vilnius, Lucas hopes to save Vera from the sorrow of her diagnosis. As he uncovers a secret about his grandmother, a Home Army rebel who escaped Stutthof, Vera searches for answers of her own. Why did Lucas abandon her as a baby? What really happened the night of her breakdown? And who can she trust with the truth?”
“Some Possible Solutions offers an idiosyncratic series of ‘What ifs’: What if your perfect hermaphrodite match existed on another planet? What if you could suddenly see through everybody’s skin to their organs? What if you knew the exact date of your death? What if your city was filled with doppelgangers of you? Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips’ characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world.”
“From the winner of the PEN International New Voices Award comes the story of Lindanathi, a young HIV+ man grappling with the death of his brother, for which he feels unduly responsible. He and his friends—Cecelia and Ruan—work low-paying jobs and sell anti-retroviral drugs (during the period in South Africa before ARVs became broadly distributed). In between, they huff glue, drift through parties, and traverse the streets of Cape Town where they observe the grave material disparities of their country.”
Which books are you looking forward to for Spring?