We suggest: Sizzling summer reads

By Collection Management Librarian Kathy Sexton

There are always tons of great titles released during summer, and this year is no exception. This week we’re highlighting just a few of these new books that we think everybody will be reading in the coming months. Place your hold today!

Fiction


The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Published: June 1

Why you should try it: A darkly humorous social satire with snappy dialogue and suspense? Yes, please!

Description: Tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel is hired until she, after a string uncomfortable events, is elevated to Office Darling, leaving Nella in the dust.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand/Libby (ebook & digital audiobook)

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One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Published: June 1

Why you should try it: If you loved Red, White and Royal Blue, or you just want that delightful and charming perfect-for-summer romance.

Description: Cynical August starts to believe in the impossible when she meets Jane on the subway, a mysterious punk rocker she forms a crush on, who is literally displaced in time from the 1970s and is trying to find her way back.

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With Teeth by Kristen Arnett

Published: June 1

Why you should try it: Like in her debut novel, Mostly Dead Things, Arnett creates a complex domestic drama starring compelling, flawed, and relatable characters 

Description: Struggling to create a picture-perfect queer family, Sammie Lucas, scared of her own son, must pick up the pieces when his hostility finally spills over into physical aggression, in this thought-provoking portrait on the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love.

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The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Expected publication date: June 15

Why you should try it: If twisty, clever thrillers are your thing, Michaelides is emerging as one of the hottest new writers.

Description: When a member of a secret society known as The Maidens is murdered, a brilliant, but troubled, group therapist finds her obsession with proving the guilt of an untouchable Cambridge University professor spiraling out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her life.

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The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honoree Fanonne Jeffers

Expected publication date: July 21

Why you should try it: Kirkus Reviews claims this might be the next Great American novel, and Publishers Weekly says readers will be floored.

Description: To come to terms with who she is and what she wants, Ailey, the daughter of an accomplished doctor and a strict schoolteacher, embarks on a journey through her family’s past, helping her embrace her full heritage, which is the story of the Black experience in itself.

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Clark & Division by Naomi Hirahara

Expected publication date: August 3

Why you should try it: Based on true events, written by an Edgar Award winner, AND set in Chicago.

Description: In 1944, the Itos have just been released from the Manzanar, California concentration camp and relocated to Chicago. Twenty-year-old Aki’s sister Rose was sent ahead six months prior but upon arriving, the family learns that Rose was killed by a subway train, and it was deemed a suicide. Aki refuses to believe that Rose killed herself and sets out to find the truth.

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Mrs. March by Virginia Feito

Expected publication date: August 10

Why you should try it: Read the book first! This has already been optioned for a film adaptation starring Elizabeth Moss.

Description: George March’s latest novel is a smash. No one is prouder than Mrs. March, his doting wife. But when a shopkeeper insinuates that the shady protagonist is based on Mrs. March, she is hurled into a harrowing journey that builds to near psychosis, one that begins merely within the pages of a book but may uncover both a killer and the long-buried secrets of her past.

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Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Expected publication date: August 17

Why you should try it: Don’t you want to read an historical noir by the author of Mexican Gothic

Description: In 1970s Mexico City, Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the escapist stories in the latest issue of Secret Romance. But when her next-door-neighbor disappears amid political unrest, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman and thrown into a dangerous world of hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies.

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My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

Expected publication date: August 31

Why you should try it: If horror is your thing, you don’t want to miss a new book by Stephen Graham Jones.

Description: Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies, especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.

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Nonfiction


How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith

Published: June 1

Why you should try it: For an enlightening and original take on the legacy of slavery. 

Description: A look at how the legacy of slavery is preserved in monuments and landmarks such as Angola, a former plantation–turned–maximum-security prison in Louisiana that houses Black men working the fields for virtually no pay. 

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Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

Published: June 1

Why you should try it: This is sure to be one of the best memoirs of the year.

Description: One of the prominent voices of her generation, the author presents this coming-of-age recollection of a childhood defined by the ever looming absence of her incarcerated father and a traumatic event, revealing the threads between who you are and what you are born into.

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The Second by Carol Anderson

Published: June 1

Why you should try it: The 2nd Amendment has been endlessly debated yet Anderson manages to bring a fresh and compelling interpretation.

Description: The New York Times best-selling author of White Rage investigates the history and impact of the Second Amendment, how it was designed, and how it has been constructed from the start to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable.

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All That She Carried by Tiya Miles

Expected publication date: June 8

Why you should try it: Learn history through a moving and exquisitely written narrative of one family. 

Description: The story of how three generations of Black women have passed down a family treasure—a sack filled with a few precious items given from an enslaved woman to her daughter in 1850s South Carolina.

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How to Survive America by D.L. Hughley

Expected publication date: June 15

Why you should try it: Few write about the state of our nation with more passion and acerbic wit than D.L. Hughley.

Description: The well-known comic and radio host satirically examines how racism predisposes Blacks and minorities to safety and health risks, including a lack of access to medical care, healthy food, and clean air and water.

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The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore

Expected publication date: June 22

Why you should try it: The author of The Radium Girls is back with another page-turning story previously lost to history. 

Description: In 1860, Elizabeth Packard, committed to an insane asylum by her traitorous husband, becomes a champion for the many rational women on her ward, discovering that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose.

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The Storm Is Upon Us by Mike Rothschild

Expected publication date: June 22

Why you should try it: This is a serious and compelling deep dive into QAnon and its followers.

Description: Rothschild takes readers from the background conspiracies and cults that fed the Q phenomenon, to its embrace by right-wing media and Donald Trump, through the rending of families as loved ones became addicted to Q’s increasingly violent rhetoric, to the storming of the Capitol, and on.

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The Comfort Book by Matt Haig

Expected publication date: July 6

Why you should try it: Aren’t you intrigued that the author of The Midnight Library wrote a self-help book?

Description: Incorporating a wealth of sources from across history, science, and his own experiences, the New York Times bestselling author offers reassurance and encouragement for anyone looking for a more fulfilling, more uplifting way through life.

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This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan

Expected publication date: July 6

Why you should try it: The much loved food/history writer turns his astute eye to the world of mind-bending plants.

Description: In this unique blend of history, science, and memoir, the New York Times best-selling author examines and experiences three plant drugs—opium, caffeine, and mescaline—from several very different angles and contexts, exploring the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants.

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Librarian Kathy Sexton

About Kathy

Kathy is a Collection Management Librarian who loves reading, sharing, and talking about books. Her missions in life are to: create communities of readers, convince folks that her official title should be “Book Pusher,” and refute that “disco” is a dirty word.

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