Hottest Summer Releases: July Top 10
As the summer months in lockdown roll on, we find ourselves craving the escapism of fiction more than ever. Whether you are looking for short stories that reflect upon the absurdity of modern life, quirky literary fiction or YA with a hint of magic, we’ve got you covered with our July preview…
Want by Lynn Steger Strong 7 July, Henry Holt & Company
This searing second novel from Steger Strong looks set to become the summer’s most talked-about read. Protagonist Elizabeth is exhausted. Living in New York, she has a husband, two children, a PhD from an Ivy League, is working two jobs and they’ve just filed for bankruptcy. She reaches out to long-lost friend Sasha who, as fate would have it, is also experiencing a crisis of her own. Want explores womanhood, motherhood, friendship, privilege and the all-too-subtle rage that burns within when we dare to want things.
Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers 9 July, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Jean Swinney is thirty-something, single, and has finally accepted the unremarkable nature of her life. But when Gretchen Tilbury contacts the local paper claiming that her daughter is the product of a virgin birth, Jean is sent to investigate. Escaping her mundane existence, she slips into the lives of the enigmatic Tilburys, awakening within herself a desire that could have disastrous consequences for them all. Both a compelling mystery and tender romance, Small Pleasures is the perfect escapist summer read.
Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman 14 July, Little, Brown
The hosts of the hit podcast ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ tell the story of their own friendship. Sharing some of their funniest moments, they also muse on how to navigate the messier, harder parts of life. This honest and heart-warming book will make you cherish the greatest of all love stories – friendship.
Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave 14 July, Penguin Adult
Psychiatrist and mental health advocate Saumya Dave’s debut novel explores the complex and ever-evolving role of women in both family and society through this multi-generational tale of self-discovery. Saumya Dave composes a spellbinding tale seeped in Indian culture, ripe with conflict and filled with wholly relatable characters. Her rich tale of hope, love and family loyalty will resonate with any woman seeking the courage to resurrect an abandoned dream.
All Adults Here by Emma Straub 16 July, Michael Joseph
A poignant, witty and compelling family portrait of complex relationships and fragmented selves, All Adults Here by bestselling author Emma Straub explores the reality of modern families and how to navigate the complexities they engender. This gem of contemporary fiction interrogates motherhood and modern-day family dynamics, following the rocky journey into adulthood.
The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones 21 July, Titan
In the latest novel from established Native American author Stephen Graham Jones, four men must confront the mistakes of their youth when, ten years after an illegal elk hunt, they find themselves haunted by a vengeful supernatural entity. A gothic, fable-like exploration of contemporary Native identity which retains the suspense and violence of its generic predecessors, The Only Good Indians is a testament to the power and complexity of Horror.
The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos 23 July, HarperCollins
Magic is discouraged, but it doesn’t stop a group of friends from forming an amateur magic club at school. Sam loves magic, and he might also love James. James just painted a target on all of their backs, and Delia is really losing her patience. Magic might be what brought them together, but now it’s threatening to tear them apart. The Fascinators is a bewitching debut exploring friendship and first love.
Modern Times by Cathy Sweeney 23 July, Orion
Surreal, dark, and deeply absurd, Modern Times is a spectacular collection of short stories, evoking strange and dreamlike worlds where the lines between the familiar and the extraordinary are blurred. This bold and imaginative debut collection is at times chilling, eerie and uncanny, whilst exuding wit and quirky humour. Genre defying and completely unforgettable, Modern Times is a dazzling summer read.
Quintessence by Jess Redman 28 July, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Prepare to be enchanted by this beautiful and magical middle grade novel. Alma knows what it’s like to be alone, so when she sees a falling star –– one that looks a lot like a child –– she knows she must search for it. She embarks on an adventure in a test of friendship, confidence, and a little bit of magic. Jess Redman’s second novel, following her debut The Miraculous, is a delight.
The Butterfly Lampshade by Aimee Bender
30 July, Cornerstone
As a child, Francie has a lot to deal with when her mentally unstable mother is taken away after a psychotic episode. As a grown-up, Francie feels disconnected from others, as well as from reality. Fearful of inheriting her mother's psychological difficulties, Francie embarks on an emotional journey to determine who she is by delving into her peculiar childhood memories. Peppered with magical realism, Aimee Bender's new novel deftly explores childhood trauma, memory, mental health and familial ties.