Though the book industry tends to slow down in the summer (heat makes it hard to turn the pages), July is still filled with great reads for your poolside or air-conditioner-side afternoons. Don’t be shy: grown ups can indulge in summer reading too. After the jump, ten books to get pumped about this month. What are you most excited to read? Sound off in the comments.
The Classic Horror Stories , H.P. Lovecraft (July 1)
If you, like certain Flavorwire literary editors, have always wanted to get into H.P. Lovecraft but have long been intimidated by his impressive catalog, you’re in luck. This gorgeous edition of the cult weird fictionist’s “core” work, complete with commentary from one of our foremost Gothic lit experts, will set you on the right path.
Don’t Kiss Me: Stories , Lindsay Hunter (July 2)
Lindsay Hunter is a force. Her newest collection plays with form, language, and every damn thing you hold dear. Read it. PS: If you’re in NYC, you may want to RSVP for July’s installment of The Originals Series, presented by FSG, GQ, and Flavorpill, featuring Lindsay Hunter in conversation with David Rees and the musical stylings of Holly Miranda.
Tampa , Alissa Nutting (July 2)
Believe the hype. This is the book that will keep you up at night this summer. Nutting’s first novel follows an extremely twisted female pedophile as she tracks her prey, and the prose leaps off the page — even, nay especially, when you kind of wish it would stay put. Nutting will definitely make you squirm, but you won’t stop turning the pages.
Five Star Billionaire , Tash Aw (July 2)
Aw’s third novel focuses on a handful of Malaysian immigrants trying to chase down their dreams in Shanghai, a city full of flash and bluster and not a little darkness. Literary and twisty and multi-layered — a perfect summer tome.
Men in Miami Hotels , Charlie Smith (July 2)
What’s better for your poolside reading than a good old literary gangster novel? That’s what you’ll get and more from the always excellent Charlie Smith, who manages to spin a violent tale with uncommon poeticism and knockout sentences.
My Education , Susan Choi (July 3)
You all know that Flavorwire loves a campus novel — and here’s another one to celebrate. Choi’s latest book is a psychologically complex, raw, and funny delight. And yes, it’s scandalous. What more could you ask for?
Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel , David Rakoff (July 16)
If you’re still mourning Rakoff, one of our greatest dark humorists, fill the hole (a little) with his posthumously published novel — presented in rhyming couplets. Entertaining and sharp-edged in equal measure.
The Melancholy of Mechagirl , Catherynne M. Valente (July 16)
Not only does this book have one of the most beautiful covers this writer has ever seen, but it also promises to be excellent. After all, you can’t go wrong with Catherynne M. Valente, whose sci-fi stories always confound and delight.
North American Lake Monsters: Stories , Nathan Ballingrud (July 16)
Ballingrud’s debut collection is described by its publisher (that’d be Small Beer Press, which is run by Kelly Link, who is the greatest ever) as being a series of “love stories… and also monster stories.” That sounds pretty brilliant to us. After all, every love story is a monster story — or is it the other way around?
The Panopticon , Jenni Fagan (July 23)
Jenni Fagan was recently named as one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists, but her debut novel is only now reaching us in the colonies. It follows 15-year-old screw-up Anais Hendricks as she is thrown into the eponymous Panopticon — a circular prison built for constant surveillance. Shuddering? Good.