What are the Best New Books Coming in June 2018?
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New month, new books! Book Light is our Dandelion Chandelier curated list of the titles we’re most excited about that are being published in the coming month. Our intrepid team has been exploring the most-anticipated new books scheduled to be released in June 2018, and here’s what we’ve found.
It’s officially summer beach read season, and this month’s list doesn’t disappoint. But it’s not all flip-flops and rose – there are also some weighty tomes and serious subjects being tackled in June.
There are tales of journeys toward and away from home; sagas of fathers and sons, parents and children. There are novels and non-fiction about the natural world in all of its beauty and menace; about immigrant life; and several glimpses – both fictional and not – into the milieu of the contemporary art world and its impact on women.
Of course it wouldn’t be June without at least one book about a wedding. And in the month when the nation celebrates Flag Day, there’s a piercing inquiry into what it means to be a true American.
Here’s our pick of the top new books on the way in June 2018 – novels, essay collections, and non-fiction – that we cannot wait to crack open. You can pre-order them now if you like.
Florida by Lauren Groff marks the return of the bestselling author of Fates and Furies. This time the setting is the Sunshine State, “a world that is at once domestic and wild—a place where the hazards of the natural world lie waiting to pounce, yet the greatest threats and mysteries are still of an emotional, psychological nature” – June 5, 2018
Kudos by Rachel Cusk completes the literary Outline trilogy, and as happy as we always are to have a new work from this author, we’re sad to see such a luminous series come to an end. Cusk has quietly been reinventing the nature of fiction itself, and it has been a wonderful journey. In this, the final volume of narrator Faye’s odyssey through her first year after a devastating divorce, the protagonist takes a trip from London to Europe and finds herself continuing to explore the themes of what it means to be an artist and a member of a family – June 5, 2018
In the novel Upstate by James Wood, an estranged family reunites for six wintry days in upstate New York in an attempt to rescue the youngest daughter from a bout of debilitating depression. They wrestle with profound questions over the course of their visit: “Why do some people find living so much harder than others? Is happiness a skill that might be learned or a cruel accident of birth? Is reflection conducive to happiness or an obstacle to it?” – June 5, 2018
How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson is the sequel to her well-loved debut novel about the trials of working motherhood, I Don’t Know How She Does It. Kate Reddy is back, seven years later, with teenaged children, a husband in the midst of a mid-life crisis, and ailing parents. Oh, and she’s facing down the looming moment when she’ll turn 50 – June 5, 2018
Social Creature: A Novel by Tara Isabella Burton is one of the most buzzed-about of the upcoming summer releases in fiction. A debut novel from a Ph.D. in theology, it’s a thriller about two women. Louise is struggling to make ends meet. Lavinia is rich and louche, and takes Louise on as her Pygmalion project. They move in together, but Lavinia is still calling the shots. Utilizing social media and texting as key plot drivers, it’s a timely, dark, twisty tale that’s already winning rave reviews – June 5, 2018
Lorna Simpson Collages by Lorna Simpson with an introduction by Elizabeth Alexander. Using advertising photographs of black women (and men) drawn from vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines, the exquisite and thought-provoking collages of world-renowned artist Lorna Simpson explore the richly nuanced language of hair. Surreal coiffures made from colorful ink washes, striking geological formations from old textbooks, and other unexpected forms and objects adorn the models to mesmerizingly beautiful effect – June 5, 2018
Still Lives by Maria Hummel is a literary thriller set in the world of contemporary art. Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women―the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others―and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women. As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances. Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala – June 5, 2018
There There by Tommy Orange is a debut novel about Native Americans living in and around Oakland, California. It’s the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the annual Big Oakland Powwow. Orange expertly mines the territory and piercingly raises the question of what it means to be a real American – June 5, 2018
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin is a debut novel that was twenty years in the making. Described as both “a literary novel and a thriller,” it features a protagonist who has escaped a Mexican drug cartel for a life as the warden of a peaceful nature preserve in Virginia. Then mutilated bear remains begin to turn up, and things quickly get hairy – June 12, 2018
The setting of A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza is an Indian wedding. A once close-knit family gathers back together: parents Rafiq and Layla and three children – Hadia, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition; Huda, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps; and Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What has caused this family to fracture? And can they find their way back? This is the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, and as such is generating a great deal of pre-publication buzz – June 12, 2018
Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li is debut novel about the intertwined lives and of the people working in everyone’s favorite Chinese restaurant in Rockville, Maryland. When disaster strikes, the Beijing Duck House’s waiters and kitchen staff are forced to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life had previously kept at bay – June 19, 2018
Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over by Nell Painter is a memoir of making a fresh start. Following her retirement from Princeton University, celebrated historian Dr. Nell Irvin Painter surprised everyone in her life by returning to school―in her sixties―to earn a BFA and MFA in painting. Enrolled in the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, she finds deep meaning in her new life, and also assesses some fundamental issues: How are women and artists seen and judged by their age, looks, and race? What does it mean when someone says, “You will never be an artist”? Who defines what “An Artist” is and all that goes with such an identity, and how are these ideas tied to our shared conceptions of beauty, value, and difference? We can’t wait to read it! – June 19, 2018
Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist by Sylvie Patry, with contributions by Cindy Kang, Marianne Mathieu, Nicole R. Myers and Bill Scott tells the story of a pioneering female painter who is not as well-known as her body of work warrents. Today Berthe Morisot (1841–1895) is considered a major Impressionist artist, a recent development despite the respect received in her lifetime from peers Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. As the only female member of the Impressionist group at its founding in late 1873, Morisot played a major and multifaceted part in the movement, and her works were prized by pioneering dealers and collectors. Her name disappeared from the pantheon for over a century, and this volume is part of the work of restoring her to her rightful place in art history – June 19, 2018
We Begin Our Ascent by Joe Mungo Reed is a first novel set inside the world of professional cycling, and inside a marriage on the brink. Sol is a cyclist competing in the Tour de France, and Liz is a geneticist who’s either on the brink of a major discovery or a total loss of funding. They’ve just welcomed their first child into the world, and things are spiraling downward. With the great George Saunders deeming it “a dazzling debut by an exciting and essential new talent and a true stylist,” we’re keen to add this one to our summer reading list – June 19, 2018
How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran is a novel about a young women making it in a world where men hold all the power from the bestselling author of How to Build a Girl. Johanna Morrigan is 19, living in London in 1995 at the epicenter of British pop. Her adventures lead her to raise one of the most topical issues of the current day: How can one woman stop a bad, famous, powerful man? – June 28, 2018
What a list! We may have to cancel some plans, ’cause this is going to be the perfect month to be a bookworm. Happy reading.