July 26, 2023

Releases I'm Ready For, Summer 2023

I've been planning out my summer reading and getting excited about all the books from favorite authors that are coming out this season!

CROOK MANIFESTO by Colson Whitehead (July 18): It's always a surprise to learn what topic and genre Whitehead is venturing into for his next impressive book, but this time the surprise is that he's written his first sequel. I'm looking forward to another visit with the characters from HARLEM SHUFFLE, which combined a fun crime story with the more serious historical events of the early 1960s. One of the things I most enjoyed about the first book was how it portrayed the city and characters changing across several years, and the sequel has the same format, covering the 1970s.

MOBILITY by Lydia Kiesling (August 1): Kiesling's first novel, THE GOLDEN STATE, focused in minute detail on the stress of parenting a toddler solo and was somehow completely enthralling. I've been so curious to find out what she'd write next, and I'm fascinated by everything packed into the description of a "geopolitical exploration and domestic coming-of-age novel" that revolves around the oil industry.

TIME'S MOUTH by Edan Lepucki (August 1): I'm excited to get a novel involving time travel from an author I trust to do something unpredictable with it. Both the apocalyptic CALIFORNIA and the contemporary WOMAN NO. 17 were complicated and unsettling, and a story involving a possible cult in 1950s Santa Cruz promises to be as well.

(A fun note: I became familiar with both Kiesling and Lepucki through their work at The Millions, so it's a bit of synchronicity that not only are they publishing books on the same day, but both covers feature rainbow shimmers.)

TOM LAKE by Ann Patchett (August 1): I'm a big admirer of Patchett's masterful family stories, COMMONWEALTH and THE DUTCH HOUSE. Both novels jump around through decades to fully develop the characters and their relationships, and it sounds as though TOM LAKE does the same. Part of the story takes place in the spring of 2020 as a family comes together to isolate, and I'm eager to see how Patchett writes about the early pandemic.

HAPPINESS FALLS by Angie Kim (August 29): Kim's debut, MIRACLE CREEK, was an intricately plotted, emotional mystery and courtroom drama. Ever since its release, Kim has shared occasional details online about her next book, so I've been anticipating this missing person mystery for years now!

THE VASTER WILDS by Lauren Groff (September 12): MATRIX, the surprisingly compelling story of twelfth century nuns, was one of my favorite books of 2021, and I continue to recommend it frequently. Groff is going far (but not quite so far) back into history again with this novel, to 1610 and the Jamestown colony, and I'm intrigued.

LAND OF MILK AND HONEY by C Pam Zhang (September 26): I loved the beautiful writing and fierce characters of HOW MUCH OF THESE HILLS IS GOLD, a story set in the past, in the aftermath of the California gold rush. This time Zhang imagines a future of smog and famine, and in case that isn't interesting enough, the novel is also billed as "a love letter to food."

Good Stuff Out There:

→ At The Millions, Stewart Sinclair explains the path to publishing his first book, a treatise on juggling: "This was the sort of class where the discussion you had in the morning would sort of carry on Socratically in your head throughout the day. So I'd still be thinking about post-modernity and irony and the films of David Lynch even as I took the streetcar down to the French Quarter, where I'd set up my pitch in the middle of the street and lay out my juggling props."

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