The 10 Most Anticipated Books to Read This Summer


Happy almost-summer-reading season! As usual, this summer is chock-full of new titles from popular bestselling authors, including sizzling romances by Jasmine Guillory and Talia Hibbert, twisty thrillers by Megan Miranda and Lucy Foley, historical fiction by Beatriz Williams and Emma Donoghue, and contemporary drama by J. Courtney Sullivan and Emily Giffin. We’re also looking forward to sophomore adult fiction novels from Akwaeke Emezi, Daisy Johnson, and Leah Franqui, as well as too many other books to mention here. But from all the amazing books set to hit shelves (or your delivery service) this summer, we managed to pick 10 novels we especially can’t wait to get our hands on. Prepare to pre-order at least one (or four)!


Brit Bennett
The Vanishing Half

June 2, 2020

From the author of "The Mothers," this book tells the story of two light-skinned sisters from Louisiana who flee their small hometown for more opportunities in the 1960s. I was fortunate to be able to read this book in March, and despite it being so early in the year, I immediately pegged it as one of my favorite 2020 books. It’s that good.

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Megha Majumdar
A Burning

June 2, 2020

Following a terrorist attack in contemporary India, this brilliant debut follows three people—a young Muslim woman, a schoolteacher, and an aspiring actor—and explores the ways they become victims (or beneficiaries) of circumstance in a tense political environment. In addition to the engaging characters and issues, the story has an excellent sense of place that will transport you to northeastern India.

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Catherine Adel West
Saving Ruby King

June 16, 2020

The titular character, Ruby King, narrates just one of many points of view in this debut novel set on Chicago’s South Side. After Ruby’s mother is murdered, the community is forced to face up to the difficult question of whether they could have prevented her death. Given it’s too late for her mother, the next question is whether they can save Ruby King.

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Chanel Cleeton
The Last Train to Key West

June 16, 2020

This historical novel has it all: a gangster turf war, an undercover federal agent, new love, old love, and an impending natural disaster. Set over Labor Day weekend in the Florida Keys during the Great Depression, this novel alternates between the perspectives of three women who find themselves in the path of a hurricane.

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Gabriella Burnham
It Is Wood, It Is Stone

June 30, 2020

Brazilian-American author Gabriella Burnham explores the intersecting lives of three women in her debut novel. Set in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the book features an American who moves to Sao Paulo for one year, her housekeeper, and a charismatic artist who enters their lives. Words like “exquisite” and “gorgeous” are used liberally in early reviews of the novel, plus that yellow cover will look great in your #theeverygirlreads posts.

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Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Mexican Gothic

June 30, 2020

I confess I was first attracted to this book because of the gorgeous cover. Once I saw it was written by the author of "Gods of Jade and Shadow," one of my favorite books of 2019, I pre-ordered it immediately. This Gothic novel set in a countryside mansion in 1950s Mexico sounds suspenseful and glamorous: the perfect combination for escapist summer reading.

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Caroline Mackenzie
One Year of Ugly

July 7, 2020

This debut novel tells a contemporary immigrant story I haven’t read much about in fiction: a family fleeing instability in Venezuela for a new life in Trinidad. When the family’s matriarch dies, her secrets cause even more problems for her surviving relatives. Despite the unfunny subject matter, early reviews praise the wit and humor Mackenzie manages to inject into the story.

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Alexis Henderson
The Year of the Witching

July 21, 2020

Part Salem Witch Trials, part Book of Revelations, part patriarchal cult community and part intersectional feminism, this horror/fantasy debut by Alexis Henderson is the perfect dark, witchy escape to make you feel a little better about the world we live in now. Escape into the story of Immanuelle, an outcast whose lifelong attempts to conform end when she meets powerful witches in the forbidden forest surrounding her insular community.

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Yun Ko-eun
The Disaster Tourist

August 4, 2020

I’ve read a lot of thrillers, but I’ve never read one that was billed by the publisher as “an eco-thriller with a fierce feminist sensibility.” So I’ll admit: I’m intrigued! Translated from Korean, this slim novel (barely 200 pages) features a woman who works at a travel agency that specializes in “disaster travel,” i.e. destinations ravaged by climate change, natural disasters, or other devastating occurrences.

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Susan Abulhawa
Against the Loveless World

August 25, 2020

Yet another book that initially captured my attention with its stunning cover, the description of this story sounds fascinating. Nahr, the novel's main character, is born to Palestinian refugees in Kuwait in the 1970s and travels throughout the Middle East before landing in solitary confinement, from where she reflects on her life.

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Note: Many books scheduled to publish this year have been pushed back due to the coronavirus crisis, which means two of the books we included on our spring reading list are now publishing this summer: Running by Natalia Sylvester will be published on July 14, and He Started It by Samantha Downing will be available on July 28. Our spring pick How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole is not expected to release until winter as of this writing.