31 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: July 2024

Cover of 31 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: July 2024

Fiction 

 

The Curse of the Flores Women by Angélica Lopes (translated by Zoë Perry) – July 1 (Amazon Crossing)

Eighteen-year-old Alice Ribeiro is constantly fighting–against the status quo, female oppression in Brazil, and even her own mother. But when a family veil is passed down to her, Alice is compelled to fight for the rights of all womankind while also uncovering the hidden history of the women in her family. Seven generations ago, the small town of Bom Retiro shunned the Flores women because of a “curse” that rendered them unlucky in love. With no men on the horizon to take care of them, the women learned the art of lacemaking to build lives of their own. But their peace was soon threatened by forces beyond any woman’s control. As Alice begins piecing together the tapestry that is her history, she discovers revelations about the past, connections to the present, and a resilience in her blood that will carry her toward the future her ancestors strove for.

 

Pink Slime by Fernanda Trías (translated by Heather Cleary) – July 2 (Scribner Book Company)

Pink Slime is a dystopia all too near to us, in which human connections and sadness over the end matter more than any explanation of the fog and disease that shroud everything. Trías’s writing, precise and poetic, turns this beautiful novel into a toxic dream, into a meditation on ruins, bodies, and solitude.” —Mariana Enríquez, author of Our Share of Night

 

Concerning the Future of Souls by Joy Williams – July 2 (Tin House Books)

Returning to her legendary short stories, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist Joy Williams offers a much-anticipated follow-up to Ninety-Nine Stories of God, which The New York Times Book Review called a “treasure trove of bafflements and tiny masterpieces.” Concerning the Future of Souls balances the extraordinary and the humble, the bizarre and the beatific, as Azrael—transporter of souls and the most troubled and thoughtful of the angels—confronts the holy impossibility of his task, his uneasy relationship with Death, and his friendship with the Devil.

 

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali – July 2 (Gallery Books)

“In The Lion Women of Tehran, Marjan Kamali brings to life the beauty and tragedy of Iran in the 1960s. From the delicious scent of spices simmering, to the colors of the bazaar, to the snowflakes landing on a certain character’s hair, this story came brilliantly alive to me from the very first page. Courage, friendship, loyalty, hardship, love–this novel has everything.” –Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

 

Misrecognition by Madison Newbound – July 2 (Simon & Schuster)

“Numbed by heartbreak, lost in a peculiarly American loneness, the protagonist of Madison Newbound’s haunting novel brings new understandings of identity and sex to old experiences of melancholy and obsession. I’ve never read anything that captures so vividly the distinct texture of desire, at once feverish and vacant, engendered by the infinite scroll of online life. Misrecognition is a brave and blazingly smart debut.” – Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness

 

MYTH LAB: Theories of Plastic Love by Jack Skelley – July 2 (Far West Press)

“Brilliant and wild, Jack Skelley’s Myth Lab is a manifesto of exuberance disguised as a sci-fi sex test-center for the invention of communal futures. Skelley’s a mad scientist, scholar and poet.”- Chris Kraus, author of After Kathy Acker

 

Flunker by Dennis Cooper – July 4 (Amphetamine Sulphate)

Dennis Cooper decides to publish a new collection of short stories with Amphetamine Sulphate, you just know the master will have something extra special in mind. Yet again, this is Dennis Cooper without limits. Poignant, uncompromising.

 

All This and More by Peng Shepherd – July 9 (William Morrow & Company)

From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Cartographers and The Book of M comes an inventive new novel about a woman who wins the chance to rewrite every mistake she’s ever made… and how far she’ll go to find her elusive “happily ever after.” But there’s a twist: the reader gets to decide what she does next to change her fate. One woman. Endless options. Every choice has consequences.

 

A Thousand Times Before by Asha Thanki – July 9 (Viking)

“Spanning three generations, Asha Thanki’s captivating debut explores the legacies mothers pass on to their daughters–and the complicated responsibilities that accompany them. A Thousand Times Before is a rich family saga about art and memory’s power to inform the present, make peace with the past, and maybe even alter the future.” — Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Our Missing Hearts

 

Our Long Marvelous Dying by Anna DeForest – July 9 (Little Brown & Company)

“A voice as intimate, as clarion, and as unbeholden as Anna DeForest’s–large-souled, sorrow-seasoned, scathingly truthful–comes along only every few generations. In the tensed, starkly precise sentences of Our Long Marvelous Dying, DeForest levels with us about loss and its aftershocks–the lifelong clouts of a bullying parent’s withheld love, the first meekest rumblings of alienation in a marriage, the hospitalized body’s relentless determination to be done with itself. Here is another triumph from a writer of seemingly limitless empathy, brilliance, and fortitude.” –Garielle Lutz, author of The Complete Gary Lutz

 

Whoever You Are, Honey by Olivia Gatwood – July 9 (Dial Press)

Whoever You Are, Honey reads like a thriller, but it’s also a tender and searching exploration of what it means to inhabit a female body. The characters—wounded, wounding, and longing for a better world—will catch you up and carry you along with them.” —Kelly Link, author of The Book of Love

 

The Coin by Yasmin Zaher – July 9 (Catapult)

The Coin is a taut, caustic wonder. Like Jean Rhys, Yasmin Zaher captures the outrageous loneliness of contemporary life, the gradual and total displacement of the human heart. This is a novel of wealth, filth, beauty, and grief told in clarion prose and with unbearable suspense. I was in its clutches from the first page.” –Hilary Leichter, author of Terrace Story and Temporary

 

The Anthropologists by Aysegül Savas – July 9 (Bloomsbury Publishing)

The Anthropologists is yet another gorgeous, gorgeous book from Aysegül Savas: she is an author who simply, and astoundingly, knows. Savas knows hope. Savas knows despair. Savas knows joy, and malaise, and laughter, and curiosity. There are worlds inside of Savas’ prose, and The Anthropologists is both a bright light and a map for how to be. A massively heartening achievement.” –Bryan Washington, author of Lot, Memorial, and Family Meal

 

Bury Your Gays by Chuck Tingle – July 9 (Tor Nightlife)

“Brilliantly bloody, wildly fun, and extremely scary, Bury Your Gays brings a sledgehammer down on tired tropes and makes a masterpiece of their guts. A profoundly smart and emotionally resonant novel that is sprinkled with cinema magic and a brutal Hollywood reckoning.” – Rachel Harrison, national bestselling author of Black Sheep

 

State of Paradise by Laura Van Den Berg – July 9 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

State of Paradise is a weird, wild, thrilling journey through cults, addiction, messed-up families, the pandemic, the weather, and the strangeness and beauty of the great state of Florida. Laura van den Berg’s writing is razor sharp and full of depth and humor, and she has an incredible imagination. This book is freaking brilliant.” –Jami Attenberg, author of All This Could Be Yours

 

Bright Objects by Ruby Todd – July 16 (Simon & Schuster)

“A novel written with immense grace, beauty, and depth, Bright Objects plumbs the farthest reaches of one widow’s grief, ultimately revealing the brilliance of our humanity in the face of immense loss–the will to fight for what’s right, the will to hope, and most importantly, the will to love again. A surprising, thrilling, and seductively dangerous comet of a book.” –Chelsea Bieker, author of Godshot and Madwoman

 

Banal Nightmare by Halle Butler – July 16 (Random House)

“In Butler’s world, everyone hates each other, every day is excruciating in its mundanity, every thought is the beginning of an Escherian journey round and round in hell, and somehow the whole thing is unbelievably funny. With the force of an episode of marijuana psychosis and the extreme detail of a hyperrealistic work of art, Banal Nightmare attempts transcendence through anxiety and dissociation, nailing a series of contemporary characters—better pray you’re not one of them—to the wall.” —Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror

 

The Bang-Bang Sisters by Rio Youers – July 16 (William Morrow & Company)

“This is the high-octane, rock band vigilante novel you never knew you wanted – but definitely need. The Bang-Bang Sisters reads like a lost Tarantino classic, with the verve and body count to prove it. A one-of-a-kind adventure that doesn’t slow down.”  — Alex Segura, bestselling author of Secret Identity

 

Liars by Sarah Manguso – July 23 (Hogarth Press)

“I read Liars in one breathless, refuse-to-be-interrupted sitting. I was walloped on every page–by the painful familiarity of the story, by the all-at-onceness of the life described in these pages, by the brilliance of Manguso’s storytelling. No one does concision and juxtaposition better than Sarah Manguso. I furiously underlined passages and spoke aloud into an empty room as I read: oof and yes and hell no! I’m going to be returning to–and learning from–this book for years.” –Maggie Smith, New York Times bestselling author of You Could Make This Place Beautiful

 

Catalina by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio – July 23 (One World)

“An unforgettable character. Page after page I wrestled with Catalina but she refused to be pinned down, earning my fury and affection. She’s an American original, a fragile and funny powerhouse.” –Quiara Alegría Hudes, author of My Broken Language

 

Someone Like Us by Dinaw Mengestu – July 30 (Knopf Publishing Group)

After abandoning his once-promising career as a journalist in search of a new life in Paris, Mamush meets Hannah–a photographer whose way of seeing the world shows him the possibility of finding not only love but family. Now, five years later, with his marriage to Hannah on the verge of collapse, he returns to the close-knit immigrant Ethiopian community of Washington, DC, that defined his childhood. At its center is Mamush’s stoic, implacable mother, and Samuel, the larger-than-life father figure whose ceaseless charm and humor have always served as a cover for a harder, more troubling truth. But on the same day that Mamush arrives home in Washington, Samuel is found dead in his garage. With Hannah and their two-year-old son back in Paris, Mamush sets out on an unexpected journey across America in search of answers to questions he’d been told never to ask. Breathtaking, commanding, unforgettable work from one of America’s most prodigiously gifted novelists.

 

The Most by Jessica Anthony – July 30 (Little Brown & Company)

“Jessica Anthony’s The Most is a brilliant and startling domestic fable of longing. The novel captures a haunting unrest at the core of midcentury American life, treating its aimlessly striving characters with a stern caress of grace. The Most is a novel of ruthless beauty. I read it in one perfect sitting.” – Isle McElroy, author of People Collide

 

Non-Fiction & Poetry

 

Art Monster: On the Impossibility of New York by Marin Kosut – July 2 (Columbia University Press)

Art Monster is both an ode to and an interrogation of New York–amid the city’s history, ambition, and impossibilities, what kinds of art can survive and flourish? Marin Kosut’s pursuit of this answer is not to be missed–this is an important book for anyone making art right now.” –Chelsea Hodson, author of Tonight I’m Someone Else

 

The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry by Stacey D’Erasmo – July 9 (Graywolf Press)

“In this brief but impressively substantive exploration of the lives and work of eight artists who have sustained enduring careers, D’Erasmo also interrogates her own path as a novelist, literary critic, and teacher as she searches for the answer to one pressing question: ‘How do we keep doing this–making art?’” —Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness

 

Die Hot with a Vengeance: Essays on Vanity by Sable Yong – July 9 (Dey Street Books)

“A must-read for anyone who has felt the tension between the beauty industry’s ability to simultaneously exploit and empower, Die Hot With a Vengeance eviscerates the manipulative aspects of Big Beauty without shaming those who love what beauty practices can offer. With this comprehensive collection of essays, Yong demystifies the beauty industry while illuminating a path toward self-liberation in which we can enjoy beauty while extricating ourselves from ideals that don’t serve us.” — Ling Ling Huang, author of Natural Beauty

 

Carrie Carolyn Coco: My Friend, Her Murder, and an Obsession with the Unthinkable by Sarah Gerard – July 9 (Zando)

“In a sweeping act of grace, Sarah Gerard has written an ode, a testament, a love letter to a friend, and the scathing critique of true crime I’ve been waiting for. Carrie Carolyn Coco presents an unfathomable act of violence and a depiction of the systemic, patriarchal ills that allow exploitative mythologies to be spun from suffering. This book is a balm and antidote to such narratives–offering, instead, a story full of light, artistry, and strength. I didn’t know Carolyn Bush or her art when I started this book; now I do, and my life is fuller for it. I hope more and more storytelling will dignify, as Gerard has so powerfully done, lives and talents like Carolyn’s, lost too soon.” –T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

 

The Lucky Ones: A Memoir by Zara Chowdhary – July 16 (Crown Publishing Group NY)

The Lucky Ones is hauntingly beautiful, intimately portraying how a family survived the Gujarati massacre in 2002 and how everyday and systemic racism led to the targeted killing of Muslims. Blending lyrical writing and investigative reports, this is a necessary read—especially in these times of Islamophobia and genocide.” —Lamya H, author of Hijab Butch Blues

 

Docile: Memoirs of a Not-So-Perfect Asian Girl by Hyeseung Song – July 16 (Simon & Schuster)

Docile is the rarest of things: a scorchingly honest, beautiful, hugely evocative memoir that’s also a proper pageturner: I read it breathlessly in a single sitting, transported and deeply moved. It’s at one and the same time the story of a life and a meditation on identity, family, trauma, illness, and the nature of love, art, and success. It’s wonderful.” — Helen MacDonald, New York Times bestselling author of H is for Hawk

 

On Strike Against God by Joanna Russ (edited by Alec Pollak) – July 23 (Feminist Press)

“I read and reread On Strike Against God when I was in my early twenties, riveted by its strange amalgam of coming-out story, campus novel, cri de coeur, and vertiginous Nabokovian stand-up routine. Russ was both enlisting me in her struggle and, I see now, throwing me a rope so I wouldn’t have to struggle quite as much as she did. Alec Pollak’s critical edition offers up an utterly delightful array of historical, contemporary, and personal context that I hope will assure this curious and powerful revolutionary work the recognition it merits.” –Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home

 

Feh: A Memoir by Shalom Auslander – July 23 (Riverhead Books)

Shalom Auslander was raised like a veal in a dysfunctional family in the Orthodox community of Monsey, New York: the son of an alcoholic father; a guilt-wielding mother; and a violent, overbearing God. Now, as he reaches middle age, Auslander begins to suspect that what plagues him is something worse, something he can’t so easily escape: a story. The story. One indelibly implanted in him at an early age, a story that told him he is fallen, broken, shameful, disgusting, a story we have all been told for thousands of years, and continue to be told by the religious and secular alike, a story called “Feh.” Yiddish for “Yuck.” Feh follows Auslander’s midlife journey to rewrite that story, a journey that involves Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a Pulitzer-winning poet, Job, Arthur Schopenhauer, GHB, Wolf Blitzer, Yuval Noah Harari and a pastor named Steve in a now-defunct church in Los Angeles. Can he move from Feh to merely meh? Can he even dream of moving beyond that?

 

Leaving Biddle City by Marianne Chan – July 30 (Sarabande Books)

“In playful and lyrical leaps, the poems turn like pages in a photo album. Marianne Chan’s speaker meditates on the meaning of what it means to be ‘Mid-Western’ in conjunction with what it means to be ‘Filipina,’ and through examinations within the prose poem’s metaphorical boxiness and in dialogue with the speaker’s community, the poems soar into ecstatic remembrances. What persists in this remarkable collection are important questions about the choices we make for love, and Chan’s beautiful writing will persist as thoroughly as the poured concrete of foundations inscribed with names of family.” –Oliver de la Paz, author of The Diaspora Sonnets

 

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