10 New Must-Reads for June


It’s finally June, and you know what that means — it’s officially time to kick-start your summer reading. Luckily for you, this month will see the release of a veritable book barn of new, exciting releases, from retold classics to masterful essay collections to blockbuster novels. After the jump, ten of the most exciting books hitting shelves this month. Which ones are burning a hole in your reading list? Weigh in in the comments.

TransAtlantic , Colum McCann (June 4)

McCann, who won the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, is back with another novel in linked stories, this one spanning 150 years and multiple countries, but as suffuse with gorgeous prose as ever.

One Thousand and One Nights: A Retelling , Hanan al-Shaykh (June 11)

Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh has collected 19 stories from the legendary collection and braided them together in modern English. The result is bawdy, violent, spellbinding, and not for children, like all truly great fairy tales.

The Silver Star , Jeannette Walls (June 11)

Fans of Walls’s particular brand of heartbreaking-wise will find something to love in the story of 12-year-old Bean Holladay and her older sister, abandoned by their wayward mother, making their way in a treacherous world.

The Faraway Nearby , Rebecca Solnit (June 13)

Rebecca Solnit is one of our most vital chroniclers of the contemporary world, of art, of humanity, of memory, and you should gorge on everything she writes. Plus, she is the woman who brought us “mansplaining.” So, you know.

Carnival , Rawi Hage (June 17)

This hectic, swirling novel is a perfect fit for the frenzy of summer, cobbled together from stories of a cabdriver in fictional Carnival city. Like any carnival worth its salt, lunatics, drunks, wild children, and sharp voices abound.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane , Neil Gaiman (June 18)

New Gaiman is always cause for epic delight. His first novel for adults in eight years, a deft fairy tale of strange memories, is cause for extra.

In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods , Matt Bell (June 18)

This mythical, magical debut is a sneaky fable of a book — at times sweet, at times deeply disturbing, always with its ragged claws planted firmly in your chest.

Seiobo There Below , László Krasznahorkai (June 20)

Susan Sontag called László Krasznahorkai “the contemporary Hungarian master of the apocalypse.” Does that mean you should read his novel about a Japanese goddess seeking perfect beauty? Yes, yes it does.

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells , Andrew Sean Greer (June 25)

Multiple lives are big this year. If Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life didn’t slake your interest, try the always-deft Andrew Sean Greer’s new novel, wherein a depressed Greta Wells undergoes electroshock therapy and finds herself in all the other lives she might have lived.

Sisterland , Curtis Sittenfeld (June 25)

Twins are always compelling. Twins with ESP? Delightful, weird, and perfect for beachside reading.