Here are the new reads worth making room for in your carry-on or beach bag.
Summer is prime time to use your vacation days for far-flung trips, lazy picnics or lounging at the cottage — and knocking a few books off your list is always easier when the weekly sked isn’t packed with meetings and appointments. Need a few recos? These books top our list right now. Whether you like fast-paced thrillers, gritty prison dramas or glam chick lit, each of these unforgettable novels will capture your attention up until the very last page.
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner
One of the most anticipated books of the spring according to Buzzfeed and Publisher’s Weekly, The Mars Room is two-time National Book Award nominee Rachel Kushner’s compassionate portrayal of a woman sentenced to life in prison for killing her stalker. It’s heartbreaking and violent, but may give you that extra push to be kinder to the people around you. If you loved Orange is the New Black, you’ll want to pick this one up.
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
No one takes stories of hopeless illness and turns them into uplifting prose like neuroscientist Lisa Genova, the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice (her first book about a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease). In this novel, a celebrated concert pianist slowly loses the ability to move his arms as his body is taken over by ALS. When he can no longer live alone, his ex-wife steps in as caregiver — even though their marriage was a disaster and she blames him for ruining her career as a promising jazz musician. Somehow, in the face of unspeakable tragedy, Every Note Played brings the beauty of forgiveness into clearer focus.
The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie
A building in Chicago explodes, killing hundreds of people. Afterward, three women are tied together by the tragedy and the losses they’ve suffered. But each has secrets she’s keeping from even her family and closest friends — of horrible deeds she’s committed and realities she’s not ready to face. Canadian author Catherine McKenzie of Smoke and Fractured weaves a skillful plot and memorable characters whose motives leave you guessing until the very end.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestley’s first assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, is now a successful image consultant with a new supermodel client, Karolina (plus her senator husband who dreams of life as POTUS). The catch? They live in Greenwich, Connecticut — far from the city lights of New York City, but with glamour, intrigue and tricky social situations to navigate just the same. Pick up Weisberger’s latest as of June 5 if you love juicy, sexy chick lit that reads like a gossip rag.
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
From the New York Times bestselling author of I Found You comes the heartrending story of Laurel Mack, a woman who has finally started to come to terms with her teenage daughter’s disappearance a decade before. But when she starts up a relationship with a single father who seems almost too good to be true, and new clues arise in her daughter’s case, Laurel finds herself once again trying to uncover exactly what happened to her child all those years ago.
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
In this coming-of-age tale by the author of The Interestings, The Wife, The Uncoupling and The Ten-Year Nap, college freshman Greer Kadetsky meets feminist icon Faith Frank (to be played by Nicole Kidman in the upcoming film adaptation) — a lucky break that eventually leads to a career at Frank’s speaker’s forum dedicated to telling the stories of women. As she leans further into her ambition and away from her high school sweetheart, Greer begins to better understand womanhood and what feminism means today.
Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley
Martin Reese has a wife, a daughter and millions in the bank, yet he secretly spends his time purchasing police files and tracking down the missing bodies of serial killer victims — then digging them up. And if that’s not weird enough, he leaves cryptic messages leading the police to the corpses as a twisted act of public service. When a series of new murders hits Seattle, Martin finds his family at the centre of an investigation and the target of an angry killer who prefers his victims stay buried. It’s a dark, demented and oddly satisfying read by a Canadian writer.
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
For a dose of romance and suspense set against the backdrop of sultry Morocco in the 1950s, turn to Christine Mangan’s debut novel about American college friends who reunite far from home. Like a classic movie in book form, it’s a lush depiction of a love triangle and a toxic friendship between two women with unreliable points of view.
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
A collection of ten short stories from the widely celebrated author/satirist of Prep, American Wife and Eligible, You Think It, I’ll Say It takes a look at the anxiety, disenchantment and ambivalence that has become a part of modern life in middle-class America. Many of the stories have already been optioned for an Apple series to be produced by Reese Witherspoon (she seems to have a her finger on the pulse of all the hottest lit) and starring Kristen Wiig.