37 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: June 2024

Cover of 37 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: June 2024

Fiction List 


The Future Was Color by Patrick Nathan – June 4 (Counterpoint LLC)

As a Hungarian immigrant working as a studio hack writing monster movies in 1950s Hollywood, George Curtis must navigate the McCarthy-era studio system filled with possible communists and spies, the life of closeted men along Sunset Boulevard, and the inability of the era to cleave love from persecution and guilt. But when Madeline, a famous actress, offers George a writing residency at her estate in Malibu to work on the political writing he cares most deeply about, his world is blown open. Soon Madeline is carrying George like an ornament into a class of postwar L.A. society ordinarily hidden from men like him. Spanning from sun-drenched Los Angeles to the hidden corners of working-class New York to a virtuosic climax in the Las Vegas desert, The Future Was Color is an immaculately written exploration of postwar American decadence, reinventing the self through art, and the psychosis that lingers in a world that’s seen the bomb.


Amerikaland by Danny Goodman – June 4 (Leftover Books)

Amerikaland is a rare blend of unexpected elements: sports, adventure, terrorism, friendship. Its characters grapple with their own moral compasses even as they put their bodies on the line—as athletes and entertainers, but also as human beings trying to make the world a better place. A debut both thrilling and tender.” —Ilana Masad, author of All My Mother’s Lovers


Fire Exit by Morgan Talty – June 4 (Tin House Books)

“Utterly consuming. With Talty’s subtle charm and crystalline prose. . . . Fire Exit absolutely smolders.” –Tommy Orange, author of There There


The Bulgarian Training Manual by Ruth Bonapace – June 4 (Clash Books)

“This is a joyfully freakish story held aloft and borne along with the strength and dazzle of the legendary strongmen and strongwomen at its heart. Tina is a loud, raucous and unapologetic heroine of New Jersey and her stream-of-consciousness rings refreshingly true to life. I kept waiting for the ambitious arc of the narrative to deflate but Ruth Bonapace never wavered from her headlong rush forward . . . If it were a movie it would be independent, washed in acid colors and have a cult fan base with their own secret bicep-curl handshake.” –Helen Simonson, NYT best-seller author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War


Log Off by Kristen Felicetti – June 4 (Shabby Doll House)

“​​If one is very fortunate, a few books will fundamentally change their life. Such is the case for me and Log Off, an indelibly wise coming-of-age story crackling with humor and nostalgia. Felicetti will heal you, delight you, and make you want to hug your younger self; Log Off is an instant classic, a heartbreaker and a balm, and we’re all the luckier for it.” —T Kira Māhealani Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls


Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh – June 4 (Doubleday Books)

Blessings is a stunning and exceptionally moving story of love, shame, redemption and fierce familial bonds. In sublime, evocative prose and from alternating points of view, Ibeh tells the story of Uzoamaka and Obiefuna as mother and son come to transformative realizations about themselves and each other. Ibeh has an elegant and passionate way with language, from the depictions of the Nigerian cultural landscape and its tense reckonings with queerness to the gorgeous mundanities of the protagonists’ home lives and the various dynamics of religion, class, and schoolboyhood. I’m grateful that this beautiful book exists, and I will return to it again and again as if for the first time.” –Francesca Ekwuyasi, author of Butter Honey Pig Bread


Experienced by Kate Young – June 4 (Penguin Books)

“A fizzing, lip-chewing, collar-bone biting, palm-sweating roller-coaster of a rom-com that is both the sexiest book you’ll read all year and the most heartening. A big, kind, horny love-in that will embolden readers to get some more experience of their own.” –Caroline O’Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of The Rachel Incident


The Sons of El Rey by Alex Espinoza – June 11 (Simon & Schuster)

“Before the glam drama of drag queens, there existed the flamboyant reign of kings like El Rey, an underdog transformed into a superhero. This is the story of a lucha libre dynasty that battles with ghosts and regrets, heroes and humiliations. It is as much the chronicle of a dying Mexican patriarch as it is about his gay grandson, both hiding behind stoic masks. Ultimately, it is a tale about that country called desire.” –Sandra Cisneros, award-winning and bestselling author of The House on Mango Street


Mouth: Stories by Puloma Ghosh – June 11 (Astra House)

“These stories are so sharp, so strange, so precise – like perfect razors, meant to cut to the heart and open it up to the gasp of pain but also, to astonishing beauty.” –Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You


The Sisters K by Maureen Sun – June 11 (Unnamed Press)

“There’s a brutal misogynist logic that underpins Korean patriarchal culture and yet it is so rarely dramatized this intimately in Korean American fiction; here it organizes every part of these sisters’ lives, as it does for so many. Chilling, tender, fierce and sharp, the resulting novel is an inheritance drama where everyone is running from their family, one of the most original novels about sisters and family I’ve read in some time.” –Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel


All Friends Are Necessary by Tomas Moniz – June 11 (Algonquin Books)

“Vivid and compelling, All Friends Are Necessary is a celebration of love in all its forms. In the wake of devastating losses and amid the isolation of the pandemic, Efren “Chino” Flores struggles for meaning and connection. In a pitch-perfect portrayal of the Bay Area and beyond, the indelible Flores welcomes us into his circle of friends. A tender, frank, and funny narrative.” –Vanessa Hua, author of Forbidden City


Cuckoo by Gretchen Felker-Martin – June 11 (Tor Nightfire)

In the summer of 1995, seven queer kids abandoned by their parents at a remote conversion camp came face to face with it. They survived–but at Camp Resolution, everybody leaves a different person. Sixteen years later, only the scarred and broken survivors of that terrible summer can put an end to the horror before it’s too late. The fate of the world depends on it.


Under the Neomoon by Wolfgang Hilbig (translated by Isabel Fargo Cole) – June 11 (Two Lines Press)

Widely considered to be one of the great German writers of the twentieth century, Wolfgang Hilbig’s dark visions have long held readers aloft with their musical language and uncompromising vision of the modern world. In Under the Neomoon, his debut short story collection originally published in East Germany in 1982, Hilbig’s persistent fixations–factory pits, rampant nature, and split identities–are at their most visceral and brilliant. An electric collection that evokes the works of Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingeborg Bachmann, Under the Neomoon is a neon-bright reminder of humanity’s folly and the importance of storytelling from down below, where the workers toil.


Margo’s Got Money Troubles by Rufi Thorpe – June 11 (William Morrow & Company)

“Rufi Thorpe is one of the most talented and daring novelists at work today. Thorpe takes a young, single mother’s desperation and weaves from it a madcap, remarkable family of misfits. Margo’s Got Money Troubles is just so good: the humor, the pathos, the redemption–every sentence, every twist of plot is wildly original and unexpected. When has such a lovable heroine ever been created? Reading Margo’s Got Money Troubles is a joy; you will fall in love on page one.” — Stephanie Danler, New York Times bestselling author of Sweetbitter


Tongueless by Lau Yee-Wa (translated by Jennifer Feeley) – June 11 (Feminist Press)

Tongueless follows two rival teachers at a secondary school in Hong Kong who are instructed to switch from teaching in Cantonese to Mandarin–or lose their jobs. Apolitical and focusing on surviving and thriving in their professional environment, Wai and Ling each approach the challenge differently. Wai, awkward and unpopular, becomes obsessed with Mandarin learning; Ling, knowing how to please her superiors and colleagues, thinks she can tactfully dodge the Mandarin challenge by deploying her social savviness. Wai eventually crumples under the pressure and dies by suicide, leaving her colleague Ling to face seismic political and cultural change alone as she considers how far she will go to survive such a ruthlessly competitive work environment.


One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon – June 11 (Knopf Publishing Group)

Jasmyn and King Williams move their family to the planned Black utopia of Liberty, California hoping to find a community of like-minded people, a place where their growing family can thrive. King settles in at once, embracing the Liberty ethos, including the luxe wellness center at the top of the hill, which proves to be the heart of the community. But Jasmyn struggles to find her place. She expected to find liberals and social justice activists striving for racial equality, but Liberty residents seem more focused on booking spa treatments and ignoring the world’s troubles. Jasmyn’s only friends in the community are equally perplexed and frustrated by most residents’ outlook. Then Jasmyn discovers a terrible secret about Liberty and its founders. Frustration turns to dread as their loved ones start embracing the Liberty way of life. Will the truth destroy her world in ways she never could have imagined?


Tehrangeles by Porochista Khakpour – June 11 (Pantheon Books)

“Like Little Women on an ayahuasca trip, Tehrangeles is delightfully twisted and heartfelt. If you set a TikTok mukbang at a Crazy Rich Persian wedding, you’d still have a long way to go to capture the extravagant eccentricities of the Milani sisters. Khakpour is a satirist extraordinaire who astutely captures the zeitgeist of a culture and a place where ‘reality’ is just something you livestream and truth is a billion times stranger than fiction. The antics and agonies of the Milani family had me googling pet psychics and turning the pages gleefully–at turns surprised and horrified, but always charmed and laughing so hard.” –Kevin Kwan, author of Lies and Weddings


Sillyboy by Peter Vack – June 11 (Cash 4 Gold Books)

The classic story of a doomed romance between a memelord and an e-girl. ‘Call it autofiction, call it confession, but call it brilliant,’ says the Southwest Review. From Jon Lindsey’s new press which recently published SUICIDE: AN ANTHOLOGY in partnership with House of Vlad.


You Are the Snake: Stories by Juliet Escoria – June 18 (Soft Skull)

Exploiting the form of the short story in a voice entirely her own, You Are the Snake resists easy moralizing by subverting our expectations of how narrative functions. While Escoria plumbs the depth of girlhood and new womanhood, she leaves room for oddness, impulse, and yearning. Each story contains its own world, be it the suburbs of California or the mountains of West Virginia, but taken as a whole, this collection is expanding and challenging, corrupting expectations about what women can be and what they can write.


God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer by Joseph Earl Thomas – June 18 (Grand Central Publishing)

“Joseph Earl Thomas’s God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer is a brilliant novel of hunger and work and care and grief that deftly captures the maddening mess of everything that makes life worth living. Thomas is a skilled, surgical prose stylist; his sentences are magnificent scalpels. There isn’t a single dull line in the book. God Bless You, Otis Spunkmeyer is unpredictable, unsentimental, and impressively tender.” –Isle McElroy, author of People Collide


Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi – June 18 (Riverhead Books)

Aima and Kalu are a longtime couple who have just split. When Kalu, reeling from the breakup, visits an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend, Ahmed, he makes a decision that will plunge them all into chaos, brutally and suddenly upending their lives. Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, collide into the scene just as everything goes to hell. Sucked into the city’s corrupt and glittering underworld, they’re all looking for a way out, fueled by a desperate need to escape the dangerous threat that looms over them.


Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil by Ananda Lima – June 18 (Tor Books)

Craft: Stories I Wrote for the Devil is a beautiful work of alchemy: strange and familiar, experimental and narrative, topical and timeless, heart wrenching and wickedly funny. No story is without an eye to the larger political world–from Reagan Halloween costumes to Americans dispensed from vending machines–and yet no story forgets the vulnerable human hearts that exist within that world, just trying to survive and care for one another, day after day. These stories weave a world entirely their own and beckon you to stay with the charm of Lima’s devil himself. I would have stayed forever. ” –Gwen Kirby, author of Shit Cassandra Saw


Scumbag Summer by Jillian Luft – June 20 (House of Vlad Press)

“I’m going to yearn forever for the lives lived in Scumbag Summer, which hits you like a crush you’ll never get to touch, possessing the kind of exiled frisson that happens the moment before you kiss someone new—but just the moment before—because once it’s over, you’ll be wishing you were back at the beginning experiencing it for the first time again.”—ELLE NASH, author of Deliver Me


The Eyes Are the Best Part by Monika Kim – June 25 (Erewhon Books)

The Eyes Are the Best Part is part fever dream, part downwards spiral that masterfully explores the pressures of being an elder sibling, the turbulence and pain of fractured families, race and misogyny, and immigration. It tackles the most difficult parts of trauma and Asian womanhood through a narrative that is messy, complicated, and above all, gut wrenching. Kim has written a character who readers will love, hate, and will want to hug tight and never let go.” –Ai Jiang, Nebula finalist and author of Linghun and I Am AI


Bear by Julia Phillips – June 25 (Hogarth Press)

“Julia Phillips’s rare and marvelous new novel weaves fairy-tale magic into a story of sisterhood, daughterhood, care, and devotion, while deftly illustrating the precarity of modern American life and the confines of social class. Building with quiet fury to its astonishing ending, Bear will capture your heart and mind. I read in a state of wonder.” –Jessamine Chan, bestselling author of The School for Good Mothers


You’re Safe Here by Leslie Stephens – June 25 (Gallery/Scout Press)

“Part psychological thriller and part wry social commentary, You’re Safe Here is a fresh and timely debut that deftly explores the potential–and betrayals–of a world bursting with unbound technological innovation. The complicated, yearning women in the novel navigate a treacherous landscape, all while coming to terms with their own ambitions and desires, ultimately forcing readers to ask themselves: What does safety mean to me? How far would I go to achieve it? With deliciously paced storytelling sprinkled with secrets galore, Leslie Stephens’s debut promises to guide you through uncertain waters with grace and authority.” –Thao Thai, author of Banyan Moon


Hombrecito by Santiago Jose Sanchez – June 25 (Riverhead Books)

“Captures with rare vividness the rapture and terror of childhood, the way self-making and self-destruction can grow so tangled as to be indistinguishable. This is a novel of enormous insight, musicality, and love. Sanchez is a stunning new talent.” –Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness


Please Stop Trying to Leave Me by Alana Saab – June 25 (Vintage)

“Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is an electric, delirious novel about how art-making, romantic partnership, and trauma make fractals of the self. Alana Saab is an intoxicating stylist, pulling off a heady and meta debut that feels like clawing your way out of the belly of some monster, rib by rib, only to find that the monster is you. Deadpan and tender, Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is a must-read for anyone who has ever white-knuckled their way through the wilderness of their own mind (it me).” —Ruth Madievsky, author of All-Night Pharmacy


The Liquid Eye of a Moon by Uchenna Awoke – June 25 (Catapult)

“In The Liquid Eye of a Moon, Uchenna Awoke casts a spell that is at once enchanting and haunting. An important story full of love and wonder, family and culture, strife and tribulation–this is not your typical debut novel. You are in the hands of a masterful storyteller, one whose grace and lyricism will win you over and then burrow deep inside the muck and marrow of your soul where it will remain for a long time.” –Robert Lopez, author of Dispatches From Puerto Nowhere


The Lions’ Den by Iris Mwanza – June 25 (Graydon House)

“The themes of this compelling story (set in 90s Zambia) –the malign forces of intolerance and ignorance, the blind fear of the other–are still sadly extant in many parts of today’s world. The Lions’ Den is a brave and necessary book.The two protagonists Grace and Bessie are powerfully drawn creations and propel this page turner to its profound conclusion. An impressive debut.”  –Gabriel Byrne, Actor and Author of Walking with Ghosts


Non-Fiction & Poetry List 


Landsickness by Leigh Lucas – June 2 (Tupelo Press)

A lyric essay about young love and loss and the aftermath of a former lover’s suicide. Landsickness explores the inelegant progress of grief and pursues a relentless search for evidence of the beloved’s presence through the physics of splashes, the history of seasickness, and the science of depression. While full of tenderness, the poems employ humor and honesty to observe the ugliness of grief and the failure of elegy to restore the dead.


Hell Gate Bridge: A Memoir by Barrie Miskin – June 4 (Woodhall Press)

“A bold necessary and absolutely beautiful portrait of early motherhood and mental illness. I was rapt from the start, marveling at the mystery and the bravery, and most of all, the steadfast love that connects us even in our darkest hours. A chilling and ultimately redemptive story, one that kept me up at night reading, evoking reflection on the ways America fails mothers, but also, the ways mothers never cease to fight back. This should be required reading for every person, period. Barrie Miskin guides us with an expert’s hand, never ceasing to remind us of our own humanity along the way. I loved it.” -Chelsea Bieker, author of Madwoman, Godshot and Heartbroke


Fabulosa by Karen Rigby – June 10 (Jackleg Press)

Deliciously inventive in its linguistic unfurlings, Fabulosa fibrillates with “noir and glitz” in these strange, seductive poems that are in conversation with a range of players from Dior to Endeavour Morse to Hieronymus Bosch. Shimmering with diamond-cut precision, Fabulosa underscores Rigby’s observation that “I never write / without measuring, each line / hooking a quicksilver hunger.” There is no bloat in this book; it is exquisitely hewn. Underpinning the collection is a keen interest in cinema, fashion, feminism, transformation, and textuality (from ars poeticas to portmanteaus to ekphrastics). Seamed with goldshine and darkness, we find in these fireball poems a “wilderness / glanced through the bull’s eye.”


Endless Fall: A Little Chronicle by Mohamed Leftah (translated by Eleni Sikelianos) – June 18 (Other Press, LLC)

In Settat in the 1960s, when it was still a tiny village, a young man leapt to his death in front of his stunned class and their teacher, left holding a brief, devastating suicide note. Among the students was Mohamed Leftah. Haunted by the uncommon grace of that desperate act, and the tragic image of his body lying in the courtyard, Leftah penned this chronicle of life at the time, marked by repressed desire and shame. A fiery yet thoughtful meditation on taboo acts—homosexuality, adultery, suicide—and the hypocrisy and cruelty often found in those who judge them, Endless Fall also offers a fascinating window into the mind of the seminal writer.


Bird Milk & Mosquito Bones: A Memoir by Priyanka Mattoo – June 18 (Knopf Publishing Group)

“The magic of Bird Milk & Mosquito Bones is that it takes us all over the world but always feels like it could be happening right next door. Priyanka Mattoo’s writing is steady and true and warm but also exquisitely insightful and precise. Her family is now our family. Her stories are a part of us. This book is an absolute treasure.” –Jami Attenberg, author of I Came All This Way to Meet You


Woman of Interest: A Memoir by Tracy O’Neill – June 25 (HarperOne)

“With Woman of Interest, Tracy O’Neill solidifies her status as one of our greatest living prose stylists. With a singular wit and brilliance, O’Neill expands the horizons of the memoir, pushing the boundaries of the genre into the realm of detective noir and thrilling quest narrative. O’Neill’s formal innovations and bracing prose create a new and invigorating lens through which readers can view a universal theme: the desire to search for the self and one’s source.” — Chloé Cooper Jones, author of Easy Beauty


Others Like Me: The Lives of Women Without Children by Nicole Louie – June 13 (Dialogue Books) 

A deeply personal exploration of childless and childfree women in their own words.

Others Like Me is the story of fourteen women around the world, from different walks of life, who don’t have children. It’s also the story of why Nicole Louie had to find them and what they taught her. Part memoir, part exploration of childlessness through candid conversations, this book showcases the many ways in which people find fulfilment outside of parenthood. And because the social expectation to procreate weighs the most on women, Louie focuses solely on them, their experiences and how they flourish outside of motherhood. In doing so, she upends the stereotypes that diminish women who are not mothers and offers reassurance and companionship on a path less known.


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