This summer I want to read all the books, don’t you? ‘Spoiled for choice’ doesn’t even begin to describe the new releases out this season (…which is how a list of 6 titles turned blossomed into the
8 10 12-strong list you see before you). Whether you are looking for something heart warming or spine chilling, summer 2016 has you covered. Here’s a small fraction of the books I’ll be devouring:
Cuddled Up With the Kids
At the risk of stating the obvious the book of summer 2016 is a script for a play: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II. Picking up nineteen years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the play focuses on Harry’s son, Albus. I know the risk of disappointment is always great when expectations run this high, but it’s Harry Potter, so it’s bound to be lifechanging, right? (July)
Alice in Wonderland fans will want to check out Tahereh Mafi’s Furthermore. In this re-vision of the Alice narrative, Alice is a 12-year old girl whose father has mysteriously disappeared. She enlists the help of her frenemy Oliver to venture into the land of Furthermore and bring her father home. (August)
With a Flashlight Under the Covers
You’re never too old to stay up too late eagerly turning pages to find out how the story ends. For years Stephen King has been my go to late night reading buddy. This summer he offers us End of Watch, the conclusion to the Bill Hodges trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes. Hodges once again faces off against Brady Hartsfield who has developed unforeseen powers thanks to an experimental drug. (June)
I was so blown away by Paul Tremblay’s Stoker award-winning A Head Full of Ghosts that I can’t wait to get my hands on his latest, Disappearance at Devil’s Rock*. Ghosts did a marvellous job of walking the line between realistic drama and supernatural thriller partly because Tremblay revels in his characters’ unreliability. Devil’s Rock promises more of the same with the missing of a teenage boy Tommy, and the promise of finding him relying on the lies and half-truths told by the friends he was with before he disappeared. (June)
With a Box of Tissues
Here’s one that’s perfect for fans of Garth Stein’s heartwarming The Art of Racing in the Rain. And perfect for dog lovers. And fans of quirky fiction like The Storied Life of AJ Fikry or The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Lily and the Octopus* by Steven Rowley tells the story of singleton Ted Flask, and his furbaby Lily. As for the octopus, you’ll have to read it to find out more… (June)
With a Highlighter
These days my Litsy account is non-stop quotes from Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing*, a sprawling family story that starts in 18th century Ghana with two sisters: one who marries a British governor and lives in a castle, and one who is forced into slavery. It’s the kind of book you put down every few pages just to savour the writing properly. My favourite quote so far: “Weakness is treating someone as though they belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.” Literary tattoo anyone? (June)
With a Fruity Drink in the Sun
Sooner or later we all need something frivolous and fun. I’m looking forward to dipping into Nine Women, One Dress* — a novel about an LBD in NYC and the women who buy, return, and borrow it from Bloomingdale’s (July)– and Hadley Freeman’s Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies* — because I quite simply am still not over Molly Ringwald, Baby, or Buttercup (June). If I’m blessed enough to need a third fruity drink book, I choose Danika Stone’s All The Feels, a YA title that celebrates geek fandom. (June)
With a Fan (When It’s Just Too Hot)
When it’s too hot to move, I recommend reading about the cold. This summer I’ll be heading to Clachan Falls, November 2020. Jenni Fagan’s post-apocalyptic The Sunlight Pilgrims* tells the story of an Earth with three suns, melting polar ice caps, and a temperature of -40C (in England!?!). Trust me, when it’s scorching out, this one will hit the spot. It’s a joyful novel about how we adapt and survive. (July)
My final two picks are books I’m so excited to read that I’ll dive right in wherever, whenever. Emma Cline’s debut The Girls* is a coming-of-age story that will get under your skin with its examination of the intensity of female friendships framed by a Manson-like cult.
Toronto! Witches! Russian folklore! Family relationships! Shapeshifters! Claire Humphrey’s debut The Spells of Blood and Kin has it all, and I want in. Now, please.
What are you planning to read this summer?
*Thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss for ARCs of the starred titles — much appreciated!