Book clubs are more popular than ever—and summer book clubs might just be the best seasonal activity. Highly anticipated titles spanning various genres from some of your favorite authors and noteworthy debut authors are sure to spark unforgettable book club discussion and become summertime favorites for 2023.
The Marriage Box by Corie Adjmi (5/2)
It’s the 1970s and Casey Cohen is a sixteen-year-old Middle Eastern Jew who has started hanging with the wrong crowd. When she gets in trouble, her parents flip her world upside down by returning to their Orthodox Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn. This new world is odd to Casey, especially the Marriage Box, where teenage girls are on display for potential husbands. When she meets Michael, she falls in love and marries at eighteen, hoping to adjust, but when she finds out Michael is ready for her to have his baby, she questions everything.
You Are Here by Karin Lin-Greenberg (5/2)
In this small town, the local shopping mall serves as the central point where the lives of its inhabitants intersect. As the mall faces its last days, its occupants dream of something better. We meet a diverse cast of characters, from the only hair stylist who watches YouTube painting tutorials, to her awkward son who studies new illusions for his act. Through the eyes of these lovable strangers, we explore the complicated and emotional history of a town in transition, and how our stories are tied to the places we call home.
Paper Names by Susie Luo (5/2)
Spanning three decades from China to New York, we meet Tony and his daughter Tammy. Tony, a Chinese-born engineer, immigrated to the United States hoping for a better life. And we meet Tammy at the age of nine, witnessing the ways she copes with being a first-generation American. Oliver is a wealthy white lawyer with a dark secret, living where Tony works. A violent attack brings together the three of them in unexpected ways, showing three perspectives of life in America.
I Will Leave You Never by Ann Putnam (5/9)
Zoe Penney is a woman living in the Northwest during a dangerous drought. As an arsonist sets fires all around her, Zoe becomes plagued by nightmares of her home and a little boy lost in the woods. The arrival of winter brings much-needed rain, but it also brings devastating news: Zoe’s husband, Jay, has been diagnosed with cancer. As Jay begins treatment, strange and startling encounters with nature and a shadowy figure add to Zoe’s fears. She grapples with anger and disbelief but gradually learns that it’s possible to love even terrible things, if they can teach her something valuable.
The God of Good Looks by Breanne Mc Ivor (5/16)
Bianca Bridge dreams of becoming a writer. After taking a job with a tyrannical entrepreneur, Obadiah Cortland, Bianca begins to suspect that there is more to him than meets the eye. As she navigates the rigid class barriers of Trinidadian society and the impact of beauty commodification, Bianca finds an unlikely ally and draws on her strength to fight back against the threats to her new life. This sparkling debut is a heartwarming and thought-provoking tale about prejudice, identity, and the masks we wear.
Glassworks by Olivia Wolfgang-Smith (5/16)
In 1910, Agnes Carter finds herself trapped in an abusive marriage, but the arrival of Bohemian naturalist and glassblower Ignace Novak reignites her passion for science and inspires her to fight for a different life. Her actions breed secrecy, and the resulting silence echoes into the future, impacting her son Edward and his child, Novak-just Novak in 1986. In 2015, Cecily’s daughter Flip resolves to break the cycle of inherited secrets, reaching back through the generations in search of a family legacy that feels true. This beautifully written novel is a poignant exploration of the ties that bind us and the secrets that shape our lives.
The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer (5/30)
Lucy Hart is a teacher’s aide who found solace in books during her lonely childhood. She wishes to adopt a seven-year-old orphan named Christopher, but lacks the funds and stability to do so. When Jack Masterson, the author of Lucy’s favorite book series, announces a contest to win his new book on the real Clock Island, Lucy is one of the four contestants chosen to compete. However, she must navigate ruthless book collectors, wily opponents, and the distractingly handsome illustrator, Hugo Reese, while Masterson plans a twist ending that could change their lives forever.
A Quitter’s Paradise by Elysha Chang (6/6)
Eleanor is fine! Sure, she’s keeping secrets from her husband, has quit her PhD program, and yeah, her mother is dead. Has she gone through her things yet? No, but what else is she supposed to do? How is she supposed to process grief when she could barely process her own mother? Resisting every step—Eleanor begins to confront her present as we get glimpses into her past, revealing long-held secrets as she realizes that she cannot outrun her past, only face it with bravery.
You Were Always Mine by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza (6/13)
From the authors of We Are Not Like Them comes a thought-provoking dual perspective novel that explores the intersectionality of race, class and motherhood. Cinnamon Haynes and Daisy Dunlap are unlikely friends forced to reckon with one life-altering decision that impacts each woman more than they could have expected.
Loot by Tania James (6/13)
Abbas, a young woodcarver, is recruited to build a giant tiger automaton for Tipu Sultan’s sons in the palace. Alongside the famous French clockmaker Lucien du Leze, he hones his craft, learns French, and falls in love with Jehanne, the daughter of a French expatriate. However, when Tipu’s palace is looted by the British, the tiger automaton disappears, and Abbas is sent on a mission to retrieve it from an estate in England. A thrilling tale of heroism, love, and artistic growth, intertwined with a heist that spans two continents and fifty years, illuminating the violent legacy of colonialism.
Nightbloom by Peace Adzo Medie (6/13)
Selasi and Akorfa were once inseparable cousins in Ghana. Selasi was outgoing while Akorfa was studious, yet they shared everything with each other—until Selasi changed, and she began shutting Akorfa out and becoming hostile. Akorfa left for an American university to become a doctor, but Selasi faced racism and obstacles in Pittsburgh. It takes a crisis to bring them back together and reveal Selasi’s secret, forcing Akorfa to confront her own role in their estrangement. Nightbloom is a powerful portrayal of class, family, and female bonds in Ghana and the US.
The Mythmakers by Keziah Weir (6/13)
Sal Cannon’s life is falling apart. Her career in journalism has hit a huge low and her relationship is struggling. When she reads a short story by Martin Keller, an older author she met years before, she realizes the story is about their chance meeting. When Sal learns the story is an excerpt from his unpublished novel, she reaches out, only to find out that Martin is dead. Desperate to read the rest of the story, she reaches out to Moira, Martin’s widow and inserts herself into her life in an attempt to piece together a story she isn’t sure is hers.
Lucky Red by Claudia Cravens (6/20)
Disillusioned and exhausted from caring for her alcoholic father, sixteen-year-old Bridget is left alone to survive after he dies from a snakebite while crossing the Kansas prairie. She finds herself penniless in Dodge City and is recruited to work at the Buffalo Queen, the only brothel in town run by women. Bridget takes to brothel life and develops good friendships with her fellow “sporting women,” until Spartan Lee, a legendary female gunfighter, rides into town and Bridget falls in love. When the Buffalo Queen’s peace and safety are shattered, Bridget seeks vengeance and autonomy, determined to claim her own destiny in this gritty and compelling tale set in the Wild West.
One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris (7/4)
A beautiful exploration of love, family and forgiveness follows Sara Lancaster and her daughter Alana as they head to Savannah to care for Sara’s father. Returning to Savannah means more to Sara than caring for her father, it also means revisiting the memories of her sexual assault that gave her Alana. Sara will do anything to keep her assailant’s family from knowing Alana exists but when she runs into his brother there is an undeniable pull that neither cannot deny.
Queen of Exiles by Vanessa Riley (7/11)
Inspired by Queen Marie-Louise Coidavid, who escaped a coup in Haiti and established herself in Italy during the Regency era, comes Marie-Louise Christophe. This immersive historical fiction novel follows Louise’s resilient journey from royalty to exile and back to the thrown as she brilliantly establishes herself as an equal to the kings of Europe.
The Air Raid Book Club by Annie Lyons (7/11)
In 1938, Gertie Bingham is contemplating closing her bookstore after the passing of her husband. But with the threat of war becoming more real, Gertie decides to take in a Jewish refugee, Hedy, and realizes the role her bookstore can serve during this tumultuous time. When the Blitz begins, Gertie and Hedy start an air raid book club to escape their bleak reality and boost the spirits of those around them.
The Centre by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi (7/11)
Anisa Ellahi mostly subtitles Bollywood movies, although she dreams of translating great literature. When her boyfriend, Adam, learns to speak Urdu basically overnight, she demands to know his secret, to which he begrudgingly tells her about The Centre, an invite-only program that promises language fluency in just 10 days. It seems like the answer to her dreams, so she enrolls, undergoing rigorous processes. But as she learns more about the organization, she begins to see the true cost of its hidden services.
Women of the Post by Joshunda Sanders (7/18)
This deeply moving narrative based on the true events of an all-Black battalion of the Women’s Army Corps follows the experiences of three Black women serving overseas in WWII. Work suddenly becomes personal when one of the women discovers a backlogged letter that is certain to upend one of their lives. Alternating between their perspectives, readers will discover the importance of female friendship, tenacity, and discovering one’s purpose.
The Beauty of Rain by Jamie Beck (7/18)
Amy Walsh’s life changes after winning the lottery, but not for the better. Struggling to find purpose, she refuses to spend any of the prize money on herself. Her older sister, Kristin DeMarco, invites her to live with her family while she heals, but this arrangement leads to trouble for Kristin’s career and her relationship with her husband. Amy plans to give away all her money, but first she must convince Kristin to spend time with her family. As the sisters help each other, life’s unpredictability tests their love and their resilience.
The Block Party by Jamie Day (7/18)
The inhabitants of the posh Alton Road cul-de-sac are enmeshed in a clandestine network of secrets and scandals, hidden not only from the outside world but from each other as well. When a murder occurs during the annual Summer block party, the question of who did it and why takes readers on a journey back a year earlier, as long-standing rivalries and betrayals come to light. Through the revelations, it becomes clear that the true peril lurks within their own block, and that everything and everyone is shrouded in deception.
Jackal, Jackal by Tobi Ogundiran (7/18)
In “The Lady of the Yellow-Painted Library”, a salesman tries to escape from a supernatural librarian who wants to recover her lost book. Ogundiran takes on Pinocchio in “The Tale of Jaja and Canti,” where a wooden boy seeks to be loved and finds his powerful mother. “The Goatkeeper’s Harvest” has Lovecraftian echoes, with a young mother chasing goats from her farm when a woman claims they are her children and demands retribution for the goat killed. These dark and fantastic stories, along with others, are waiting to be discovered.
Time’s Mouth by Edan Lepucki (8/1)
Ursa has a unique ability to travel through memory and revisit her past. She attracts a group of women to a ramshackle Victorian mansion in the woods outside Santa Cruz, but her powers come with a cost, leading her son Ray and his pregnant lover Cherry to flee to Los Angeles. However, mysterious events force Cherry to abandon their baby, leaving Ray to raise Opal alone. As a teenager, Opal must uncover the generations of secrets that gave rise to her family’s painful legacy, leading her on a journey through time and memory from Santa Cruz to Melrose Avenue and beyond in Time’s Mouth, a poignant exploration of familial bonds.
Las Madres by Esmerelda Santiago (8/8)
This multigenerational saga explores womanhood, friendship, family and disaster. In 1975 in Puerto Rico, fifteen-year-old Luz is in a serious car accident that claims her parents’ lives. Recovering from a brain injury, Luz has lost her memories of that fatal day but now her memories bring her to time and places she cannot share with anyone. Fast forwarding to 2017, Luz’s daughter, Marysol, wishes her relationship with her mother was stronger but understands the impact of Luz’s traumatic past. As interpersonal and natural disasters usurp their carefully laid plans a secret from the past threatens to expose all of their lives.