Summer Reads

part two

by Kathryn Brooks and Sara Robertson

Swimsuit? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Three books, because you couldn’t choose just one? Check. From complicated meditations on motherhood to dark thrillers that will slip perfectly into a beach bag, here are a dozen books to put on your summer reading list.

Love That Bunch by Alin

This retrospective collection from underground comics legend Aline Kominsky-Crumb is the only book devoted to her work, tracing a path from unpretty youthful bodily explorations to quotidian adventures with her husband, cartoonist Robert Crumb.

The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg

Clare used to see her husband all the time. But when she sees him in Havana, Cuba, that’s different—he’s supposed to be dead. In this meditation on the mysteries of grief, Laura Van Den Berg looks at a marriage through the fog of loss.

The Pisces by Melissa Broder

With The Shape of Water‘s extraordinary awards season, we might all be thinking about sex with fish-men far more than we might have expected or wished. But Melissa Broder’s tale of ennui and the unknown is worth another dive.

The Ambition Decisions by Hana Schank and Elizabeth Wallace

There’s not much historical precedent for the continual societal change around women and work. So journalists Schank and Wallace interviewed their former classmates to find out how a generation of women are grappling with questions of ambition, work, and balance.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

Two-time National Book Award nominee Rachel Kushner turns out another sharp, darkly humorous page-turner that follows Romy Hall, a mother sentenced to life in prison at the beginning of the aughts.

Motherhood by Sheila Heti

A woman who tosses coins to assist her decision-making might be expected to have a difficult time with the question of whether or not to have children, the increasingly urgent question Sheila Heti’s almost-40-year-old narrator faces.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

You’ll be seeing this pink umbrella on beaches everywhere this summer. The next thriller from the pen of Luckiest Girl Alive has a reality TV show as its setting, and a pair of sisters—who are definitely no Housewives—with a dark secret to get the action going.

Some Trick by Helen DeWitt

If there’s any author bookish types trust to take them down the twistiest of rabbit holes with humor and winking unpredictability, Helen DeWitt is it. Take the plunge with these 13 short stories.

Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt

The incendiary title says it all; this novel reimagines the marriage of Vladimir and Vera Nabokov, a literary couple whose brilliance and intertwined labor turned him into a household name.

Who Is Vera Kelly? by Rosalie Knecht

Mourning the soon-to-come end of The Americans? View the Cold War from another angle in this forthcoming spy novel about a young American woman embedded in a group of Buenos Aires activists in the 1960s.

Kudos by Rachel Cusk

London-based author Rachel Cusk has lit a fiery fervor in fans with her acclaimed Outline trilogy. The final volume, Kudos, finds protagonist Faye in Europe, where political upheaval is sparking change.

Florida by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff follows up her acclaimed debut novel Fates and Furies with an equally compelling collection of short stories where an assortment of characters and narratives swirl around in the Sunshine State. ::