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19 Book Releases We're Excited About This Month

And What You Can Read in the Meantime

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • June 02, 2021

Reading Ahead

No matter how many books we may already have on our TBR shelves, we still can't resist browsing (and buying!) the exciting new reads of the season. And June is a huge publishing month. From edge-of-your-seat thrillers to epic historical dramas to groundbreaking story collections, this month's releases check a lot of boxes! Here are thirteen volumes that we can't wait to get our hands on. A few of these may already be available. (But we'll still include the suggestion of a previously published book with a similar vibe.)

June 1

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Get Out meets The Stepford Wives in this whip-smart debut. Nella is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. So she's thrilled when Hazel joins the team. But they've only just broken the ice when a series of awkward events propels Hazel to office darling. Then Nella starts receiving the notes.

What to read first: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four famous siblings are throwing an epic party to cap off the summer. But a host of family secrets, resentments, and insecurities are brewing and, combined, they set off a highly combustible (literally!) chain of events. This entertaining novel unfurls over the course of a wild 24 hours in 1980s Southern California.

What to read first: Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Somebody's Daughter by Ashley C. Ford

For as long as she could remember, Ashley has put her father on a pedestal despite only having vague memories of him. But he's in prison and she doesn't even know what he did to end up in there. This extraordinary debut memoir speaks to finding the threads between who you are and what you were born to.

What to read first: Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward

Long Division by Kiese Laymon

This Twain-esque time-traveling coming-of-age novel skirts the line between magical realism and visceral reality. Mississippi, 2013: a teenage boy is given a strange book. As he reads the story, set in 1985, he discovers a character with his own name. Another character bears the name of a missing local girl.

What to read first: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Girl One: A Novel by Sara Flannery Murphy

Orphan Black meets Margaret Atwood in this twisty supernatural thriller about female power and the bonds of sisterhood. Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine "Miracle Babies" conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead.

What to read first: The Power by Naomi Alderman

June 8

Everyone Knows Your Mother's a Witch by Rivka Galchen

It's 1618 in Germany. Plague is spreading and the Thirty Years' War has begun. Fear and suspicion is rife throughout the Holy Roman Empire. In the small town of Leonberg, Katharina Kepler is accused of being a witch. This novel draws on real historical documents to tease out a provocative, entertaining tale of our time.

What to read first: Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell

The Ugly Cry by Danielle Henderson

A sharp, hilarious memoir about a nontraditional upbringing and growing up Black in a mostly white community. Abandoned at ten when her mother left to start a new family with her drug-addicted, abusive boyfriend, Danielle was raised by grandparents who thought their child-rearing days had ended in the 1960s.

What to read first: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid

For fans of fractured fairy tales, this debut novel is a retelling of Hungarian history and Jewish folklore. The story follows a young pagan woman with hidden powers and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen as they form an unlikely alliance to thwart a tyrant.

What to read first: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

June 15

Bath Haus by P. J. Vernon

This edge-of-your-seat thriller is filled with exquisite escalations and oh-my-god twists. Oliver is a young recovering addict who is savoring his hard-won stability and a perfect life with his loving, wealthy partner Nathan. But when an impulsive trip to a gay bathhouse goes horribly wrong, it all starts to unravel.

What to read first: Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Widespread Panic by James Ellroy

Fred Otash is the man in the know and the man to know in Tinseltown. From the modern master of noir comes a novel about the king of the 1950s Hollywood underground—a tale of pervasive paranoia filled with communist conspiracies, FBI finks, celebrity smut films, and strange bedfellows.

What to read first: L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

A sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It's about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.

What to read first: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee

This enveloping, exultant novel set in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century charts one man's rise to fame and fortune, and his mysterious murder. It is the story of a city transformed and a portrait of a singular individual who found the world closed off to him—yet enlarged it.

What to read first: High Dive by Jonathan Lee

June 22

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

In this lush atmospheric tale, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace. But when Malik takes his place at the palace, he finds it rife with dark secrets and deceptions. He sets out to uncover the truth in this intriguing sequel to the bestselling The Henna Artist.

What to read first: The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

God Spare the Girls by Kelsey McKinney

This mesmerizing debut is a coming-of-age novel set in northern Texas explores themes of family, identity, and the delicate line between faith and deception. When two sisters discover a dark secret about their father, the head pastor of an evangelical megachurch, it upends their lives and community.

What to read first: Revival Season by Monica West

Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor

This psychologically taut new story collection, from the author of Booker Prize finalist Real Life, offers a series of linked stories set among young creatives in the American Midwest. It's a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in an unyielding world.

What to read first: Lot: Stories by Bryan Washington

Dream Girl by Laura Lippman

In this dark, complex tale of psychological suspense, novelist Gerry Andersen lies in a hospital bed in his glamorous but sterile apartment after being injured in a freak accident. Utterly dependent on two women he barely knows, he doesn't know if he can trust anyone, even himself.

What to read first: Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

June 29

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

From two acclaimed authors comes a historical novel based on the remarkable true story of J. P. Morgan's personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, a Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation.

What to read first: Passing by Nella Larsen

Something Wild by Hanna Halperin

In this unflinching portrait of sisterhood, Tanya and Nessa travel to their childhood home in the Boston area to help their mother move out. In alternating perspectives that interweave the past and present, the novel explores the ways trauma reverberates over generations.

What to read first: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Objects of Desire: Stories by Clare Sestanovich

This debut collection lays bare the beauties and ironies of contemporary life. In these stories, thrilling desire and melancholic yearning animate women's lives—from the brink of adulthood, to the labyrinthine path between twenty and thirty, to middle age, when certain possibilities quietly elapse.

What to read first: Animal Wife by Lara Erlich

Hopefully there's something here that catches your eye! Let us know which new books you're most excited about this month. And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for daily book recommendations, literary tidbits, and more.

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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