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    16 Incredible Books You Definitely Shouldn't Miss This Summer

    Here are the books you'll want to have read come fall.

    Jarry Lee / BuzzFeed

    1. In the Country by Mia Alvar

    Knopf

    In the Country

    Michael Lionstar

    Mia Alvar

    Mia Alvar's In the Country is a powerful, globe-trotting short story collection about the men and women who found their lives uprooted by the Filipino diaspora. Simultaneously illuminating and heartbreaking, Alvar's stories will resonate with anyone whose life has ever been touched by loss or displacement.

    Publication date: June 16, 2015

    2. The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

    Harper

    The Small Backs of Children

    Andrew Kovalev

    Lidia Yuknavitch

    In The Small Backs of Children, a writer becomes obsessed with an iconic photo of a girl and an explosion in an Eastern European village. But after the writer falls into a suicidal depression, her friends attempt to bring the photographed girl to America, leading to unforeseen consequences. As brutal as it is beautiful, Lidia Yuknavitch's powerful novel The Small Backs of Children is a meditation on how we survive and heal despite the violence we may encounter.

    Publication date: July 7, 2015

    3. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Spiegel & Grau

    Between the World and Me

    Philip Habib

    Ta-Nehisi Coates

    Deemed "required reading" by Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates's Between the World and Me sharply examines what it means to be a black man (and parent) in America through the filter of history, politics, and his own personal experience. The result is an immensely powerful, necessary work that challenges the contemporary conversation surrounding race and blackness. Moving, thought-provoking, and devastatingly honest, Between the World and Me is Coates at his best.

    Publication date: July 14, 2015

    4. Speak by Louisa Hall

    Ecco

    Speak

    Ben Steinbauer

    Louisa Hall

    At the center of Louisa Hall's multifaceted novel Speak lies a poignant question: what exactly does it mean to be human? Told through five different characters throughout our past, present, and future, Speak looks at our struggle to speak, to be understood, to connect, to bridge the distance between man and machine and, ultimately, the distances we have created between ourselves.

    Publication date: July 7, 2015

    5. Lovers on All Saints' Day by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

    Riverhead Books

    Lovers on All Saints' Day

    Hermance Triay

    Juan Gabriel Vásquez

    Juan Gabriel Vásquez's short story collection Lovers on All Saints' Day is a tender, heartfelt rumination on love and memory. Masterfully weaving emotion into seven stories about complex, troubled characters, Vásquez writes lyrically and sympathetically about modern human life and the dark threads of sadness that run through it.

    Publication date: July 21, 2015

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

    Harper

    You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine

    Graham Webster

    Alexandra Kleeman

    At once eerie and strange and beautiful, Alexandra Kleeman's brilliant debut novel You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine immediately distinguishes itself with its originality and unique voice. Revolving around three characters named A, B, and C who in some ways become consumed by their very obsession with consumption, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine is an incisive commentary on how we live in the modern world.

    Publication date: Aug. 25, 2015

    7. Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott

    Riverhead Books

    Infinite Home

    kathleenalcott.com

    Kathleen Alcott

    Kathleen Alcott's Infinite Home speaks to what it means to find a home, and the challenges and crises of modern existence we must overcome to do so. The story of a widowed landlady and her deeply flawed tenants who are faced with the threat of eviction, Infinite Home is at its heart a story of the relentless human search for family, love, and belonging.

    Publication date: Aug. 4, 2015

    8. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

    Henry Holt and Co.

    The Beautiful Bureaucrat

    Andy Vernon-Jones

    Helen Phillips

    Helen Phillips's unsettling debut novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat unravels like a thrilling — but below the surface horrifying — puzzle: a young, unemployed woman named Josephine finally gets a job entering numbers into something called "The Database." But all is not as it seems, and as Josephine's unease about her new job swells, she begins to figure out exactly what the numbers mean and is faced with a terrifying decision.

    Publication date: Aug. 11, 2015

    9. The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

    Penguin Press

    The Star Side of Bird Hill

    Lola Flash

    Naomi Jackson

    Heartbreaking and lyrical, Naomi Jackson's debut novel The Star Side of Bird Hill is in essence a coming-of-age story about going home and everything that entails. Set in 1989 Barbados, The Star Side of Bird Hill follows two sisters who are sent away from Brooklyn to live with their grandmother, and the choices they must make in the name of love and family.

    Publication date: June 30, 2015

    10. Music for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

    Viking

    Music for Wartime

    Phillipe Matsas / Opale

    Rebecca Makkai

    Rebecca Makkai's range in her collection Music for Wartime is nothing short of impressive: stories of war and destruction are juxtaposed with lighter-hearted ones on everything from love to reality television. Yet each and every story pulses with plentiful wit and heart, tying the collection together into one cohesive, stunning whole.

    Publication date: June 23, 2015

    11. Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont

    Random House

    Among the Ten Thousand Things

    Shiva Rouhani

    Julia Pierpont

    In Julia Pierpont's gripping debut novel Among the Ten Thousand Things, an anonymously-sent cardboard box irrevocably changes one New York family's life as they know it. The package, intended for wife and mother-of-two Deb, accidentally falls into the hands of her children, exposing their father's illicit affair and causing an already strained marriage to fall apart.

    Publication date: July 7, 2015

    12. Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

    Random House

    Fortune Smiles

    Tamara Beckwith

    Adam Johnson

    The stories in Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson's collection Fortune Smiles are as often funny as they are tragic. Johnson's characters may be ordinary people who find themselves caught in extraordinary circumstances, but there's nothing ordinary about this bold and deeply wise collection.

    Publication date: Aug. 18, 2015

    13. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

    Penguin Press

    Eileen

    Krystal Griffiths

    Ottessa Moshfegh

    Ottessa Moshfegh's dark, suspenseful debut novel Eileen tells the story of a disturbed young woman in 1960s New England who works as a secretary in a juvenile correction facility for boys. Over the course of one fateful winter, Eileen befriends the captivating Rebecca, a new counselor at the prison, and gets pulled into a crime that will change her life forever.

    Publication date: Aug. 18, 2015

    14. Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

    Penguin Press

    Modern Romance

    Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

    Aziz Ansari

    Hilarious yet profoundly thoughtful, Modern Romance is an examination of how technology and culture have changed how we find love in the modern world. The voice of comedian Aziz Ansari and the expertise of sociologist Eric Klinenberg intersect and shine in this book, which uses an impressively extensive amount of research to offer insight into what it means to connect, date, and love in the 21st century.

    Publication date: June 16, 2015

    15. Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg

    Grand Central Publishing

    Saint Mazie

    Michael Sharkey

    Jami Attenberg

    Jami Attenberg's Saint Mazie wonderfully immerses the reader in the vibrance and liveliness of Jazz-Age New York City, where large-hearted Mazie Phillips runs the famed movie theater The Venice. Brimming with wit and energy, Saint Mazie details Mazie's rise to "sainthood" during the Great Depression, when she, all too familiar with poverty, opens her doors to those in need in the Bowery.

    Publication date: June 2, 2015

    16. Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes

    Riverhead Books

    Barbara the Slut and Other People

    Beowulf Sheehan

    Lauren Holmes

    Hilarious, thoughtful, and strewn with insight, Lauren Holmes's debut story collection Barbara the Slut and Other People is a delight to read. Filled with compellingly real characters, from the high school student who experiences slut-shaming firsthand, to the woman who chooses to sell sex toys instead of becoming a lawyer, Barbara the Slut and Other People is refreshing in its honesty and heart.

    Publication date: Aug. 4, 2015

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