May 21, 2024

Releases I'm Ready For, Summer 2024

I've been planning out my summer reading and getting excited for these new books by some of my favorite authors:

THE HAZELBOURNE LADIES MOTORCYCLE AND FLYING CLUB by Helen Simonson (May 7): Simonson writes wonderful comedies of manners. MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND is the charming story of two widowers falling in love despite the opinions of their small English village. In THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR, residents of a small English village are concerned with not only the activities of their residents, but also the start of World War I. This new novel is also historical, set just after the war in 1919, and it sounds like another delight.

THE DEFAULT WORLD by Naomi Kanakia (May 28): Kanakia has published three young adult novels (most recently, JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE) that all portray characters and situations with the complexity and nuance they deserve. I'm excited for her first novel with an adult rather than teen protagonist. The tagline, "A trans woman sets out to exploit a group of wealthy roommates," sounds like a wild ride, and the San Francisco tech world setting is an extra draw for me.

MOONBOUND by Robin Sloan (June 11): Speaking of the San Francisco tech world, that's the starting point for Sloan's MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE and SOURDOUGH before each swerves off into a mysterious secretive society, one based around books and the other in food. I adored both and can't wait to see where Sloan is going in MOONBOUND, which takes place 13,000 years in the future. There's a companion website where he's posting material related to the book.

SLOW DANCE by Rainbow Rowell (July 23): I've read all of Rowell's novels, and I love the way she writes about the emotions of relationships between people with humor and heart. After almost a decade of publishing books about magical characters in the Simon Snow series, she's returning to a story of real world adults trying to figure out a relationship together.

SPECIAL TOPICS IN BEING A PARENT by S. Bear Bergman, illustrated by Saul Freedman-Lawson (July 30): The first collaboration between Bergman and Freedman-Lawson, SPECIAL TOPICS IN BEING A HUMAN, offers life advice that's as enjoyable to read and look at as it is useful. I'm willing to bet that even as a non-parent, I'll find guidance in this new book to incorporate into my life and relationships.

LOKA by S.B. Divya (August 13): Last year's MERU launched a space opera series with imaginative worldbuilding, great characters, and an exciting plot. I'm looking forward to continuing the interplanetary and genetic adventures in the next installment!

Good Stuff Out There:

→ At CrimeReads, Micaiah Johnson explains how genre communicates a contract with the reader: "This understanding is why I write every single story as a murder mystery author, even though I do not strictly write murder mysteries. The murder mystery author's contract is neither kind nor cruel, but a kind of trickster middle. The murder mystery author gets to behave like an older sibling who is as bullying as they are loving: I will trick you, there will be death, but there will also be resolution. It is the antagonism of the horror writer, but in the form of a game. And, most importantly, it is a game the reader can win."

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