Readers' Most Anticipated Books of June
Here’s some trivia for your next book club meeting: The first book written in English by a woman was titled Revelations of Divine Love, and was penned in or around 1413 by religious hermit Julian of Norwich. Julian’s writing was preserved over the centuries by Benedictine nuns and didn’t see wide publication until 1901. Luckily for us book nerds, the publishing industry works a little faster these days.
To wit, watch for the following books, new in June: Office power dynamics get serious in The Other Black Girl from Zakiya Dalila Harris. F. Scott Fitzgerald gets a serious rethinking in Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful. And Alex Michaelides returns with the death-by-mythology thriller The Maidens. Also on tap: Small-town triplets, 1980s Malibu drama, and rich-person problems in NYC.
Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers' early reviews, and how many readers are adding these books to their Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure anticipation). We use the information to curate this list of hottest new releases.
The new book from Taylor Jenkins Reid (Daisy Jones & The Six) chronicles one fateful night in the life of the weird and wealthy Riva family. The Rivas traditionally throw the annual end-of-tourist-season bash for the locals in Malibu, California. In the long, hot summer of 1983, the Riva party is about to go totally off the rails. Secrets will be revealed! Grievances will be revealed! Alcohol will be abused!
The new thriller from pseudonymous superstar Riley Sager (Final Girls), Survive the Night is set in the early 1990s, back before smart phones could resolve plot points instantly. College student Charlie Jordan is sharing a ride back to Ohio with a guy who may or may not be a serial killer. Calling for help would require a pay phone. Running away would require a cruising speed less than 55 mph. It’s a pickle, all right.
A twisty psychological thriller set in the world of professional book publishing, The Other Black Girl tells the tale of Nella Rogers, the only Black employee at her office. When newcomer Hazel joins the team, Nella is happy to finally have some diversity in the mix. But soon Hazel is the office darling, Nella is being iced out, and a series of menacing events suggests that there will be blood– think Get Out meets The Stepford Wives.
This highly anticipated dark fantasy from Hannah Whitten has the general shape of an old fairy tale–Little Red Riding Hood, to be exact–but it’s using different colors and scribbling outside the lines. As Second Daughter, Red is doomed to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood. But Red’s own formidable powers are starting to emerge, and she has no intention of following the traditional plot lines….
Jordan Baker is rich, beautiful and connected. She’s also Asian, queer, and adopted. Set in the Jazz Age milieu of 1920s New York City, Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents The Great Gatsby by introducing elements of alternate history, fantasy and mystery plotting. Rethinking F. Scott Fitzgerald is an ambitious undertaking and there’s something undeniably appropriate about the combination of glittering American excess and dangerous demonic pacts.
A deeply personal diversion into memoir for writer and journalist Ashley C. Ford, Somebody’s Daughter recounts Ford’s childhood experience growing up in poverty, and her loving relationship with her incarcerated father. Ford’s beautiful and bruising coming-of-age story is making all kinds of buzz lists and early readers seem genuinely blown away. Bonus trivia: Ford is a veteran cultural critic and former host of the Brooklyn-based “112BK” show.
Debut author Ly Tran has a story tell. In 1993, when Ly was just a toddler, she and her three older brothers were moved from a small town on Vietnam’s Mekong river to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens. Years of struggle followed, in which Ly and her siblings were forced to work long hours to keep the family afloat. Tran’s evocative writing is a richly detailed chronicle of one family’s passage through the American immigrant experience.
Alex Michaelides–winner of the 2019 Mystery & Thriller Goodreads Choice Award for The Silent Patient–returns with The Maidens, concerning a series of mysterious murders at the University of Cambridge in England. Former student Mariana Andros is determined to find the killer, who appears to have a very weird fixation on the Greek myth of Persephone in the Underworld. Sinister professors. Secret societies. Ritual murder. Good times.
Seventeen years ago, the tiny town of Bourne made national news when the municipal water supply turned green and was declared unfit for use. Seventeen years later, the Mitchell triplets are all grown up and things are finally changing–and fast. Told with “wit, wonder and deep affection,” the new novel from Laurie Frankel (This Is How It Always Is) features three narrators and a secret that’s been hidden for longer than they’ve been alive.
In old-school publishing terms, the debut from Marianne Cronin is what’s known as “a weepie”–the kind of book guaranteed to make you cry. But, you know, in a good way. Seventeen-year-old Lenni, currently in the terminal ward of a Glasgow hospital, befriends wardmate 83-year-old Margot. The two devise a plan to celebrate their one hundred years of collective life with a series of paintings.
Billed as a reinvention of the ancient myth of Narcissus, author A. Natasha Joukovsky’s dark and funny debut novel follows two affluent big city couples as their paths cross and tangle in the summer of 2015. New Yorkers Wes and Diana have it all, as do Philadelphians Vivien and Dale. When they meet, they discover they still want more. Mirror updates the proud American tradition of beautiful people doing stupid things in the name of ambition and achievement.
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