9 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in June
Taxidermists. Army linguists. Faux-woke bros. This month’s best new books are like nothing you’ve ever read before. Here are nine titles we’re adding to our must-read list.
Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn (June 4)
When Patsy finally gets a visa to America, she’s desperate to leave her beautiful but impoverished Jamaican town—but her overzealous mother and five-year-old daughter, Tru, are making her plans difficult. In an act of defiance, she leaves them both behind and sets off to Brooklyn, where she finds an America much harsher than she was expecting. At the same time, Tru grapples with her mother’s decision to leave, while dealing with her own issues surrounding identity and sexuality.
Awards for Good Boys: Tales of Dating, Double Standards and Doom by Shelby Lorman (June 4)
According to Lorman, “good boys” are the ones who put “feminist” in their Tinder bio but constantly talk over you. They’re the ones who condemn sexual harassment…except when the perpetrator is one of their friends. Through vignettes and illustrations, her book examines our obsession with celebrating male mediocrity and the tendency to applaud men for doing the bare minimum.
The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr (June 4)
On Sophie Bloom’s 42nd birthday, she goes to dinner with her husband and two couple friends. There, the group discusses a widespread cheating scandal rocking their town. As it turns out, her husband is one of the biggest cheaters. Shocked and humiliated, Sophie flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad. There, she rediscovers herself as a separate entity from her husband.
Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett (June 4)
Arnett’s debut novel tells the eccentric and darkly funny story of Jessa, a woman in Florida who, after her father’s suicide, takes over her family’s taxidermy business. Alongside her quirky mother and brother, Jessa is forced to examine how she fits in with the people who raised her.
Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (June 4)
Sylvie is the Lee family's brilliant and beautiful oldest daughter. When she travels to the Netherlands to visit her dying grandmother…she vanishes. Her parents are distraught, and Sylvie’s timid younger sister Amy sets out to find her. Along the way, Amy discovers that the family’s golden child was keeping painful secrets that could explain her disappearance.
Formation: A Woman's Memoir of Stepping Out of Line by Ryan Leigh Dostie (June 4)
Raised in a sheltered Christian community in New England, Dostie never imagined that she would end up on the front lines of a war halfway around the world. That is, until a conversation with an Army recruiter in her high-school cafeteria changes the course of her life. Hired as a linguist, she struggles to find her way in the testosterone-filled world of the Army barracks. And then, she’s raped by a fellow soldier. Her memoir is a raw look at life with PTSD and proving her worth in a world where the odds are stacked against her.
City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (June 4)
In the 1940s, 19-year-old Vivian has just been kicked out of Vassar College. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her aunt, who owns a crumbling midtown theater. When Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Gilbert’s (Eat, Pray, Love) return to fiction is about discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person.
Bunny by Mona Awad (June 11)
At an elite MFA program in New England, Samantha is a scholarship student who rolls her eyes at her classmates’ privilege. Then, she gets a taste of the inside when she’s drawn into a clique of rich girls who all call each other "Bunny,” a name that’s sweeter than the weird rituals they practice behind closed doors.
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (June 25)
In a sleepy Maine town, Evvie Drake becomes a recluse after her husband dies in a car crash. At the same time, in New York City, former professional baseball player Dean Tenney is flailing. Looking for a break, he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house and the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Soon, the two begin an unexpected friendship that turns into something more.