Early summer is a grand time for new books! Here’s a taste of June’s new fiction. (Did you miss May’s list? Check it out here.) Remember to check the June 2016 LibraryReads list for more ideas, and visit the Book Recommendations page on our blog.
Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty by Ramona Ausubel
Ausubel’s (No One Is Here Except All of Us) second novel tells the story of Fern and Edgar, a couple from old and new money, respectively; they meet and marry in the 1960s, but in 1976 their life of ease comes to an end, and their reactions are drastic. This is a novel about one couple, but also about the country during the ’60s and ’70s.
The Girls by Emma Cline
Set in the summer of 1969 and inspired by the infamous Charles Manson murders, Cline’s “impressive debut is…a harrowing coming-of-age exploration of how far a young girl will go (and how much she will give up of herself) in her desperate quest to belong.” Library Journal calls it “Beautifully written and unforgettable.”
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
In the (real, visible) library catalog, The Invisible Library is filed under the following subjects: Librarians, Rare books, Secret societies, Alternative histories, Adventure, and Fantasy. If you loved Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair or Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, this may be your next favorite book. But beware: this is the first in a trilogy, and the next two (The Masked City, The Burning Page) aren’t out yet.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This amazing debut novel “offers an unforgettable, page-turning look at the histories of Ghana and America, as the author traces a single bloodline across seven generations, beginning with Ghanaian half-sisters Effia, who is married off to a British colonizer in the 1760s, and Esi, who is captured into the British slave-trading system around the same time” (Publishers Weekly).
League of Dragons by Naomi Novik
Here is the eagerly awaited final adventure in the Temeraire series. (The series, for newcomers, is historical/fantasy: “Napoleonic-era military replete with aerial corps of fighting dragons and their handlers” (Booklist). Start with the first book in the series, His Majesty’s Dragon.)
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
Proulx (The Shipping News, Brokeback Mountain) tells the stories of two families over three hundred years, starting with two men who arrive in New France in the 1600s and work as wood-cutters. A “rigorously researched, intrepidly imagined, complexly plotted, and vigorously written multigenerational epic” (Booklist) novel of over 700 pages – something to sink your teeth into this summer. (Not literally.)
Marrow Island by Alexis Smith
Summoned by a letter from an old friend, a journalist returns to the island where her father died in a refinery fire triggered by an earthquake. The fire poisoned the island, but a small utopian community has settled there to reclaim the land. Yet “it becomes disturbingly clear that Marrow Island may be having a sinister effect on the dedicated, religious citizen farmers living off the primitive land” (Publishers Weekly).
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
A retelling of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, which invites prominent novelists to retell Shakespeare’s plays to celebrate his 400th anniversary. Anne Tyler is the author of, most recently, A Spool of Blue Thread. (If you’d prefer Jane Austen retellings instead, try one of these.)
What are you reading this summer? Have you signed up for Adult Summer Reading yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Read all summer to earn raffle tickets and win prizes from local Arlington businesses.