May 23rd, 2022
Here are my picks for some of the most exciting books coming out in June, 2022!
It All Comes Down To This by Therese Anne Fowler
Publishes: June 17th, St Martin’s Press
Marti Geller is going to die soon, and she’s hoping to take her secrets with her.
To do this, Marti has stipulated in her will that the family’s summer home on Mount Desert Island, Maine, must be sold as soon as possible. This request comes as a shock to her three daughters, a trio of strong-minded women who are each hiding a secret of their own.
For the eldest daughter, Beck, the Maine cottage is essential to her secret wish to write a novel, and selling is the last thing she wants to do. But recently divorced Claire is privately too preoccupied with an unrequited love to be concerned about the sale, while the youngest daughter, Sophie, would never admit to her sisters that she desperately needs the sale in order to survive.
While the sisters argue over the fate of their late mother’s property, enigmatic southerner C.J. Reynolds, with his own troubled past, is released from prison and begins to travel to Mount Desert Island.
As this seemingly unconnected group all head for the coast of Maine, nothing is as it seems. And everything is about to change. . .
My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
Publishes: June 6th, Lauren Whelon
It was supposed to be a relaxing vacation in sweet, sunny Cape Cod-just me and my beloved brother-but discovering a corpse in our rental house really throws a wrench into our tanning schedule. Now a rude, crude bounty hunter has arrived on the back of his motorcycle to catch the killer and refuses to believe I can be helpful, despite countless hours of true crime podcast listening. Not to mention a fulfilling teaching career of wrangling second graders.
A brash bounty hunter and an energetic elementary schoolteacher: the murder-solving team no one asked for, but thanks to these pesky attempts on my life, we’re stuck together, come hell or high tide.
I’m just here to do a job, not babysit an amateur sleuth. Although…it is becoming less and less of a hardship to have her around. Sure, she’s stubborn, distracting and can’t stay out of harm’s way. She’s also brave and beautiful and reminds me of the home I left behind three years ago. In other words, the insatiable hunger and protectiveness she is waking up in me is a threat to my peace of mind. Before I sink any deeper into this dangerous attraction, I need to solve this murder and get back on the road.
Stuck With You by Ali Hazelwood (STEMinist Novellas #2)
Publishes: June 7th, Berkley
Nothing like a little rivalry between scientists to take love to the next level.
Mara, Sadie, and Hannah are friends first, scientists always. Though their fields of study might take them to different corners of the world, they can all agree on this universal truth: when it comes to love and science, opposites attract and rivals make you burn….
Logically, Sadie knows that civil engineers are supposed to build bridges. However, as a woman of STEM she also understands that variables can change, and when you are stuck for hours in a tiny New York elevator with the man who broke your heart, you earn the right to burn that brawny, blond bridge to the ground. Erik can apologize all he wants, but to quote her rebel leader – she’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee.
Not even the most sophisticated of Sadie’s superstitious rituals could have predicted such a disastrous reunion. But while she refuses to acknowledge the siren call of Erik’s steely forearms or the way his voice softens when he offers her his sweater, Sadie can’t help but wonder if there might be more layers to her cold-hearted nemesis than meet the eye. Maybe, possibly, even burned bridges can still be crossed….
Briefly A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens
Publishes: June 23rd, Picador
In 1473, fourteen-year-old Blanca dies in childbirth in a hilltop monastery in Mallorca. Nearly four hundred years later, when George Sand, her two children, and her lover Frederic Chopin arrive in the village, Blanca is still there: a spirited, funny, righteous ghost, she’s been hanging around the monastery since her accidental death, spying on the monks and the townspeople and keeping track of her descendants.
Blanca is enchanted the moment she sees George, and the magical novel unfolds as a story of deeply felt, unrequited longing—the impossible love of a teenage ghost for a woman who can’t see her and doesn’t know she exists. As George and Chopin, who wear their unconventionality, in George’s case, literally on their sleeves, find themselves in deepening trouble with the provincial, 19th-century villagers, Blanca watches helplessly and reflects on the circumstances of her own death (which involves an ill-advised love affair with a monk-in-training).
Charming, original, and emotionally moving, this is a surprisingly touching story about romantic fixation and a powerful meditation on creativity.
Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh
Publishes: June 21st by Penguin
Little Marek, the abused and delusional son of the village shepherd, never knew his mother; his father told him she died in childbirth. One of life’s few consolations for Marek is his enduring bond with the blind village midwife, Ina, who suckled him when he was a baby, as she did so many of the village’s children. Ina’s gifts extend beyond childcare: she possesses a unique ability to communicate with the natural world. Her gift often brings her the transmission of sacred knowledge on levels far beyond those available to other villagers, however religious they might be. For some people, Ina’s home in the woods outside of the village is a place to fear and to avoid, a godless place.
Among their number is Father Barnabas, the town priest and lackey for the depraved lord and governor, Villiam, whose hilltop manor contains a secret embarrassment of riches. The people’s desperate need to believe that there are powers that be who have their best interests at heart is put to a cruel test by Villiam and the priest, especially in this year of record drought and famine. But when fate brings Marek into violent proximity to the lord’s family, new and occult forces upset the old order. By year’s end, the veil between blindness and sight, life and death, the natural world and the spirit world, will prove to be very thin indeed.
The House Across The Lake by Riley Sager
Publishes: June 22nd (UK, July 7th) Hodder & Stoughton
Recently widowed actress Casey Fletcher has escaped to her family’s lake house for peace and quiet. She’s been happily losing herself in her thoughts and several bottles of bourbon, until the glamorous couple across the lake catch her attention. They look so perfect – just like Casey and her husband used to be.
But is anyone what they seem?
Casey has a detective sat at her kitchen table.
She has a man bound and gagged upstairs.
Casey will uncover dark truths so life-changing that nothing will ever be the same again.
The Woman In The Library by Sulari Gentill
Publishes: June 7th, Poisoned Pen Press
In every person’s story, there is something to hide…
The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.
Stargazer by Laurie Petrou
Published: June 23rd, Verve
Diana Martin has lived her life in the shadow of her sadistic older brother. She quietly watches the family next door, enthralled by celebrity fashion designer Marianne Taylor and her feted daughter, Aurelle.
She wishes she were a ‘Taylor girl’.
By the summer of 1995, the two girls are at university together, bonded by a mutual desire to escape their wealthy families and personal tragedies and forge new identities.
They are closer than lovers, intoxicated by their own bond, falling into the hedonistic seduction of the woods and the water at a remote university that is more summer camp than campus.
But when burgeoning artist Diana has a chance at fame, cracks start to appear in their friendship. To what lengths is Diana willing to go to secure her own stardom?
The lines between love, envy and obsession blur in Laurie Petrou’s utterly enthralling, unceasingly tense novel. A darkly compelling coming-of-age story, perfect for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, and Emma Cline’s The Girls.
The Botanist’s Guide To Parties and Poisons
Publishes: June 7th, Crooked Lane Books
London, 1923. Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh attends a dinner party for the University College of London. While she expects to engage in conversations about the university’s large expedition to the Amazon, she doesn’t expect Mrs. Henry, one of the professors’ wives to drop to the floor, poisoned by an unknown toxin.
Dr. Maxwell, Saffron’s mentor, is the main suspect, having had an explosive argument with Dr. Henry a few days prior. As evidence mounts against Dr. Maxwell and the expedition’s departure draws nearer, Saffron realizes if she wants her mentor’s name cleared, she’ll have to do it herself.
Joined by enigmatic Alexander Ashton, a fellow researcher, Saffron uses her knowledge of botany as she explores steamy greenhouses, dark gardens, and deadly poisons.
Will she be able to uncover the truth or will her investigation land her on the murderer’s list?
For The Throne by Hannah Whitten
Publishes: June 9th, Orbit
Sequel to For The Wolf
The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…
Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir.
Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.
Half A Soul by Olivia Atwater
Releases: June 30th, Orbit
It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.
Little Bird by Tiffany Meuret
Published: June 17th Black Spot Books
The skeletons in the closet have nothing on the one in your backyard.
Freshly divorced and grieving the death of her father, Josie Lauer has caged herself inside her home. To cope with her losses, Josie follows a strict daily routine of work, playing with her dog, Po, and trying to remember to eat a decent meal–and ending each night by drinking copious amounts of vodka. In other words, she is not coping at all.
Everything changes when Josie wakes to find a small shrub has sprouted in her otherwise dirt backyard the morning after yet another bender. Within hours, the vine-like plant is running amok–and it’s brought company. The appearance of the unwieldly growth has also heralded the arrival of a busybody new neighbor who insists on thrusting herself into Josie’s life. The neighbor Josie can deal with. The talking skeleton called Skelly that has perched itself in Josie’s backyard on a throne made of vines, however, is an entirely different matter.
As the strangely sentient plant continues to grow and twist its tendrils inside Josie’s suddenly complicated life, Josie begins to realize her new neighbor knows a lot more about the vines and her bizarre new visitor than she initially lets on. There’s a reason Skelly has chosen to appear in Josie’s suddenly-blooming backyard and insists on pulling her out of her carefully kept self-isolation. All Josie has to do is figure out what that reason is–and she has only a few days to do it, or else she might find herself on the wrong side of catastrophe.
LITTLE BIRD is a story about found family, no matter how bizarre.
The Seawomen by Chloe Timms
Publishes: June 14th, Hodder & Stoughton
Esta has known nothing but Eden’s Isle her whole life. After a fire left her orphaned and badly scarred, Esta was raised by her grandmother in a deeply religious society who cut itself off from the mainland in the name of salvation. Here, fear rules: fear of damnation, fear of the outside world and fear of what lurks beneath the water – a corrupting evil the islanders call the Seawomen.
But Esta wants more than a life where touching the water risks corruption, where her every move is watched and women are controlled in every aspect of their lives. Married off, the women of the island must conceive a child within their appointed motheryear or be marked as cursed and cast into the sea as a sacrifice in an act called the Untethering.
When Esta witnesses a woman Untethered she sees a future to fear. Her fate awaits, a loveless marriage, her motheryear declared. And after a brief taste of freedom, the insular world Esta knows begins to unravel…
This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian
Publishes: June 9th, Penguin
Two sisters. A shocking racist incident. The summer that will change both of their lives forever.
Annalie and Margaret are sisters who agree on only one thing: that they have nothing in common.
Annalie is seventeen: sweet, content, and looking forward to a summer of flirting with the most popular boy in school.
Margaret is nineteen: ambitious, a warrior for social justice, and desperate to forget her ex-boyfriend in New York City.
When their family is the victim of a racial attack, Annalie tries to pretend it never happened – but Margaret wants to fight back. Suddenly their relationship – and all the ones around them – are hanging by a thread. And then a crushing secret threatens to tear them apart forever . . .
How To Raise An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
Publishes: June 14th, One World
How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better?
These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research into the scientific literature, his experiences as a father and reflections on his own difficult experiences as a student ultimately changed his mind. In How to Raise an Antiracist he shows that we must all participate in the effort to raise young people as antiracists.