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    Updated on Sep 2, 2020. Posted on May 27, 2015

    17 Awesome New Books You Need To Read This Summer

    Here's what's hot this season.

    Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed

    1. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

    Harper

    Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

    Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

    Harper Lee

    Go Set a Watchman is Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee's follow-up to To Kill a Mockingbird, and one of the most anticipated books this summer. Set in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman follows the beloved characters from To Kill a Mockingbird as they struggle with both personal and political problems two decades later.

    Publication date: July 14, 2015

    2. In the Country by Mia Alvar

    Knopf

    In the Country by Mia Alvar

    Michael Lionstar

    Mia Alvar

    Mia Alvar's In the Country is a moving collection of stories about the men and women uprooted by the Filipino diaspora. Spanning multiple countries and time periods, Alvar's illuminating, heartbreaking stories reveal just how universal loss and displacement can be.

    Publication date: June 16, 2015

    3. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

    Graywolf Press

    The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

    Jarrett Eakins

    Maggie Nelson

    Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a fearless memoir that redefines the genre, fluidly blending critical theory with Nelson's personal experiences. At the heart of The Argonauts are a love story and a pregnancy, and Nelson's exploration of both critically sheds new light on sexuality, identity, marriage, and family-making.

    Publication date: May 5, 2015

    4. Loving Day by Mat Johnson

    Spiegel & Grau

    Loving Day by Mat Johnson

    Meera Bowman Johnson

    Mat Johnson

    In Mat Johnson's Loving Day, protagonist Warren Duffy is a mixed-race man who returns to America after experiencing a string of misfortunes in Wales. But after Warren moves into his late father's mansion in black Philadelphia, he encounters his lost daughter, who believes she is white. Moving yet hilarious, Loving Day is a clever commentary on race, love, identity, fatherhood, and the ghosts that haunt us.

    Publication date: May 26, 2015

    5. The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

    Blue Rider Press

    The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North

    Jenny Zhang

    Anna North

    Anna North's The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an elegant, intimate portrait of an exceptionally talented woman and her rise to fame. Elusive cult filmmaker Sophie Stark may be brilliant, but her desire to capture truth in her art has consequences. Bold and enthralling, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark speaks to the costs of creating art and the sacrifices we must make in pursuit of artistic integrity.

    Publication date: May 19, 2015

    Note: North is a former BuzzFeed employee.

    6. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

    Harper

    You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

    Graham Webster

    Alexandra Kleeman

    Alexandra Kleeman's brilliant debut novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is at once eerie and strange and beautiful, an incisive commentary on contemporary culture and womanhood. You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine revolves around three characters named A, B, and C, who each in their own way have fallen prey to modern society's obsession with consumption.

    Publication date: Aug. 25, 2015

    7. Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

    Riverhead Books

    Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

    Beowulf Sheehan

    Lauren Holmes

    Lauren Holmes' debut story collection Barbara the Slut and Other People is simultaneously hilarious and deeply insightful. Written with honesty and heart, Holmes's characters are delightfully real, from the high school student who experiences slut-shaming firsthand to the woman who chooses to sell sex toys instead of becoming a lawyer.

    Publication date: Aug. 4, 2015

    8. The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

    Penguin Press

    The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

    Lola Flash

    Naomi Jackson

    Naomi Jackson's debut novel The Star Side of Bird Hill is set in 1989 Barbados, where two sisters are sent away from Brooklyn to live with their grandmother. A heartbreaking coming-of-age story, The Star Side of Bird Hill is ultimately about the choices we must make about love and family, and what it means to go home.

    Publication date: June 30, 2015

    9. The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato

    Melville House

    The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato

    catiedisabato.tumblr.com

    Catie Disabato

    In Catie Disabato's multilayered mystery The Ghost Network, pop superstar Molly Metropolis disappears without a trace on tour in Chicago, leaving her assistant and a music journalist desperately searching to find her. Molly's journal leads the two young women underground, to an abandoned subway line where they find the secret headquarters of an Illuminati-like group. Ambitious and imaginative, The Ghost Network seamlessly blends pop culture and conspiracy theory and philosophy.

    Publication date: May 5, 2015

    10. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

    Henry Holt and Co.

    The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

    Andy Vernon-Jones

    Helen Phillips

    Helen Phillips' thrilling debut novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat follows a young woman named Josephine, who, after a lengthy unemployment, does not question her new job entering numbers into something called "The Database." But as her feelings of unease and anxiety grow, she begins to figure out just what the numbers mean and must make a terrifying decision.

    Publication date: Aug. 11, 2015

    11. Dragonfish by Vu Tran

    W. W. Norton & Company

    Dragonfish by Vu Tran

    Vu Tran's thrilling debut novel Dragonfish follows an Oakland cop who must unravel his Vietnamese ex-wife's dark past after she disappears from her new husband. Heartbreaking and haunting, Dragonfish speaks to the ghosts that bind us in the present, and the ways in which history both shapes and obligates us in the aftermath of the Vietnam War.

    Publication date: Aug. 3, 2015

    12. Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott

    Riverhead Books

    Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott

    kathleenalcott.com

    Kathleen Alcott

    Kathleen Alcott's Infinite Home is the story of Edith, a widowed landlady, and her beautifully flawed tenants, each relentlessly searching for a sense of family, of love, of home. When Edith's son threatens eviction, the tenants, each broken in their own way, must work together to overcome the challenges and crises of modern human existence.

    Publication date: Aug. 4, 2015

    13. In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

    Knopf

    In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

    Evan Agostini / Getty Images

    Judy Blume

    In the Unlikely Event is iconic author Judy Blume's highly anticipated first novel for adults in over 15 years. Set in New Jersey where Blume witnessed a bizarre series of plane crashes during her childhood, In the Unlikely Event is an imaginative story spanning three generations of characters, and a charming portrait of the mid-20th century.

    Publication date: June 2, 2015

    14. The Hundred-Year Flood by Matthew Salesses

    Little A

    The Hundred-Year Flood by Matthew Salesses

    matthewsalesses.com

    Matthew Salesses

    Matthew Salesses's novel The Hundred-Year Flood is very much like a flood itself — devastating and brutal yet beautiful — the story of a young Korean-American man who flees to Prague, hoping to forge a new identity in a new city. As Prague is faced with a flood that only comes once a century, he must reconcile with his identity as an adoptee in this tale of myth, love, loss, self-discovery, and forgiveness.

    Publication date: Aug. 11, 2015

    15. Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

    Viking

    Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

    Phillipe Matsas / Opale

    Rebecca Makkai

    Music for Wartime shows off Rebecca Makkai's surprising range of short-story writing: Stories of war and destruction appear next to those about love and reality television. Yet the collection still manages to feel like a cohesive, stunning whole, tied together with the wit and heart that courses through each and every story.

    Publication date: June 23, 2015

    16. Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

    Grand Central Publishing
    Kate Christensen

    Brimming with wit and vibrant characters, Jami Attenberg's Saint Mazie is set in Jazz-Age New York City, where large-hearted Mazie Phillips runs famed movie theater The Venice. When the Great Depression rattles the city, Mazie, whose childhood was marked by poverty, opens her doors to those in need in the Bowery and thus rises to "sainthood."

    Publication date: June 2, 2015

    17. The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

    Harper

    The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

    lidiayuknavitch.net

    Lidia Yuknavitch

    In Lidia Yuknavitch's powerful novel The Small Backs of Children, an American photographer takes an iconic photo of a girl and an explosion in an Eastern European village, which soon becomes one writer's obsession. When the writer becomes suicidally depressed, her husband and friends try to bring the photographed girl, who has become an artist, to America. Brutal and devastating but beautiful, The Small Backs of Children is an exploration of survival, guilt, violence, healing, and what it means to be an artist.

    Publication date: July 7, 2015

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