6 beach reads to look forward to this summer

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The first official day of summer is almost here, which means the season for beach reads is upon us. Whether you've already made a dent in your to-be-read pile since spring or not, these are a few upcoming summer book releases that are creating a buzz.


"Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me" by Aisha Harris (June 13)

Aisha Harris, a culture critic and co-host of NPR's "Pop Culture Happy Hour," weaves her pop culture expertise and personal anecdotes together in her debut essay collection, "Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me," out mid-June. Kirkus Reviews calls the collection a "vibrant well-researched view on how current pop culture both reflects and informs our society." Harris examines the role TV shows, films and music played in shaping her life. She laments about her role as a Black critic tasked with critiquing Black art and interrogates the evolution of the "Black friend" trope through films like "She's All That" and more contemporary shows like "New Girl." "For readers already inclined to read culture to understand themselves, 'Wannabe' is a compelling affirmation that they're looking in the right place," Elamin Abdelmahmoud wrote for The New York Times. Order here.

"I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home" by Lorrie Moore (June 20)

It has been over a decade since Lorrie Moore has published a novel, her last being 2009's "A Gate at the Stairs." She has made a name for herself over her four-decade career with gripping short stories and prose that lingers with fans and critics alike. Her latest novel explores love, mortality, loss and rebirth while oscillating between 2016 and the Civil War era. The story follows Finn, a recently suspended high school teacher who embarks on a cross-country road trip with the reanimated corpse of his recently deceased ex-girlfriend. Moore's "thoughtful and witty" novel will delight her fans, and "those new to Moore will want to see what else they've been missing," Publisher's Weekly mused. Pre-order here.

More June books: "The Talk" by Darrin Bell" (June 6); "All the Sinners Bleed" by S.A. Cosby (June 6); "Loot" by Tania James (June 13); "The Sullivanians: Sex, Psychotherapy, and the Wild Life of an American Commune" by Alexander Stille (June 20)


"Crook Manifesto" by Colson Whitehead (July 18)

Colson Whitehead's forthcoming crime novel is the highly anticipated sequel to 2021's "Harlem Shuffle." Set in 1970s Harlem, the saga follows Ray Carney, a former criminal and family man, trying to lay low and focus on his furniture business. When his daughter asks for Jackson 5 concert tickets, his former vocation as a fencer suddenly seems more alluring. "Crook Manifesto" is "not just crime fiction at its craftiest," Kirkus opined, "but shrewdly rendered social history." Pre-order here.

"The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet" by Jeff Goodell (July 11)

Environmental journalist and author Jeff Goodell returns with "an alarming and timely look at how rising temperatures across the globe will radically change our lives unless we make a concerted effort to scale back the use of fossil fuels," Joumana Khatib and Neima Jahromi wrote in the Times. In his latest, Goodell warns readers about the risks that "may appear incremental now but carry profound ramifications," the pair added. His 2017 book, "The Water Will Come," focused on the rising sea levels worldwide. Pre-order here.

More July books: "All-Night Pharmacy" by Ruth Madievsky (July 11); "Vanishing Maps" by Cristina García (July 18); "Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud" by Ben McKenzie with Jacob Silverman (July 18); "Silver Nitrate" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (July 18)


"Family Lore" by Elizabeth Acevedo (August 1)

Spoken word poetry champion and award-winning author of "Poet X," Elizabeth Acevado is stepping out of the young-adult genre with her first novel written for adults. In "Family Lore," Acevado explores the lineage of a Dominican American family as a group of sisters gathers for a "living wake" to celebrate their sister Flor, who has a knack for predicting when someone will die. Acevado has already made a name for herself with her YA hits, but now readers get the chance to see if her work appeals to an older audience. Pre-order here.

"Witness" by Jamel Brinkley (August 1)

Following his National Book Award-nominated debut, 2018's "A Lucky Man," Jamel Brinkley returns with another collection of short stories. Set in New York City, the collection is composed of stories about people grappling with the choice to speak up or remain silent on behalf of others. "Brinkley is immensely talented, making this one of the year's most anticipated works of American fiction," NPR's Michael Schaub opined. Pre-order here.

More August books: "The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean" by Susan Casey (Aug. 1); "Tom Lake" by Ann Patchett (Aug. 1); "The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store" by James McBride (Aug. 8); "The Marriage Question: George Eliot's Double Life" by Clare Carlisle (Aug. 15)

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