10 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in July
What do a woman seeking revenge against her cheating husband, a tough-as-nails Indian grandmother and two of the world’s most famous drag queens have in common? Honestly, not that much, but they’re all the focus of some of July’s most exciting new books. Here are ten titles we’re adding to our list immediately.
F*ckface: And Other Stories by Leah Hampton
In this debut collection of 12 short stories, Hampton explores the interdependence between rural residents and their environment. Her characters range from a young girl desperate for a way out of her small town and a ranger working along the Blue Ridge Parkway to a woman who takes her husband’s research partner on a day trip to her favorite place on earth, Dollywood, and briefly imagines a different life. Each is funny, heartbreaking or both.
Let’s Never Talk About This Again: A Memoir by Sara Faith Alterman
Alterman enjoyed a G-rated childhood in suburban New England, with over-the-top birthday cakes and nerdy word games invented by her prudish father, Ira. But her world changed when she discovered that Ira was actually a campy sex writer who'd sold millions of books in multiple languages. For decades, the books remained an unspoken family secret, until Ira developed early onset Alzheimer's disease and announced he'd be reviving his writing career with his daughter’s help. In this memoir, Alterman describes the experience of discovering new facets of her father; once as a child, and again as an adult.
Trixie & Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood by Trixie Mattel and Katya
Trixie Mattel and Katya are drag superstars and frequent collaborators (do yourself a favor and watch their hilarious YouTube series, UNHhhh). Their first book is a satirical guide to life told through essays and conversations that channel their chaotic-in-a-great-way energy. Here’s Katya on the subject of hair: “There is perhaps no detail as important to the identity of the modern woman as her hairstyle. If you’ve been anywhere near a television sometime during the last 25 years, then all I have to do is say, ‘the Rachel,’ and you’ll instantly know I’m not referring to the recently acquired midsize sailboat whose dazzlingly vivid airbrushed portrait of celebrity chef Rachael Ray caused quite the stir in Nantucket this summer, but rather the iconic hairstyle sported by Jennifer Aniston in the sitcom Friends.” Will you learn anything groundbreaking about being a woman? Maybe not. Will you cry-laugh? Yes ma'am.
The Golden Cage by Camilla Lackberg
Faye has loved Jack since business school. Jack grew up wealthy, while Faye, who did not, is hiding a dark past. When Jack needs help launching a new company, Faye leaves school to support him. The two eventually have a baby, and Faye finds herself at home, caring for their daughter, wealthier than she ever imagined, but more and more removed from the excitement of the business world. Then, she discovers that Jack is having an affair, bringing out violent tendencies from the past no one knows about.
Sex and Lies: True Stories of Women’s Intimate Lives in the Arab World by Leila Slimani
When Leila Slimani was in her native Morocco promoting her novel Adèle, about a woman addicted to sex, women began confiding in her the dark secrets of their sexual lives. In Morocco, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution and sex outside of marriage are all punishable by law. Sex and Lies combines vivid testimonies with Slimani's passionate commentary to make a galvanizing case for a sexual revolution in the Arab world.
Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel
Bridget and Will are loving, compatible and devoted to each other. The thing is, they’re strictly friends who have, for three decades, performed in the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin. In the years since, Gavin has become one of the classical music world’s stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success. After Bridget’s boyfriend breaks up with her and her elderly father announces he’s getting married, she hatches a plan to host the wedding while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight.
Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave
In Dave’s debut novel, three generations of women struggle to define themselves while pursuing their dreams. Simran has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her "writing hobby." Nandini, for her part, has strived to create an easy life for her children in America, from dealing with her husband's demanding family to the casual racism of her patients. Nandini’s mother, Mimi, failed her daughter in ways she'll never be able to fix—or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it's needed.
It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham
Unfolding over the course of a year in São Paulo, Brazil, Burnham’s debut is about two women, Linda and Marta. Linda is an anxious American living in Brazil with her husband, Dennis, who has accepted a yearlong professorship. As Dennis drowns in work, Linda feels unmoored. Marta, the couple's maid, is exasperated by Linda’s instability. One day, Linda leaves home for an adventure with a charismatic artist, which ultimately binds Marta and Linda in unexpected ways.
VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE: The Fat Girl’s Guide to Being #Brave and Not a Dejected, Melancholy, Down-in-the-Dumps Weeping Fat Girl in a Bikini by Nicole Byer
OK, so this technically came out last month, but you don’t want to miss it. Byer is an actress, comedian, podcaster and co-host of Nailed It! on Netflix. Her debut memoir skewers the idea that a fat person wearing a bikini is “brave,” as she helps readers embrace their body as it is. Expect tips for finding the perfect bikini, finding your own #bravery, handling haters and a list of 101 things you can do in a bikini, from “Recite poetry to people who may or may not want to hear it,” to “Hatch a plan with your twin sister to trade places and break up your dad and his new girlfriend.”
The End of Her by Shari Lapena
In Lapena’s latest thriller, Stephanie and Patrick are adjusting to life with their twin baby girls. Even though they’re a handful, and Stephanie struggles with sleep deprivation, she’s happy. That is, until Erica, a woman from Patrick's past, appears and makes the disturbing accusation that Patrick’s first wife’s death wasn’t an accident, but murder. Stephanie isn't sure what, or who, to believe.