The titles on our summer bookshelf range from a modern romance novel to a collection of essays about prestige TV.
Whether you’re lazing at the cottage with hours at your disposal or just squeezing in a few chapters here and there between hectic summer activities, there’s a buzzy new book out there for you. From breezy beach reads to thought-provoking essays and beyond, here’s what we’re adding to our reading list.
Fleishman Is in Trouble
Remember that viral Gwyneth Paltrow profile by Taffy Brodesser-Akner? Or the one about Bradley Cooper’s reticence? The New York Times writer’s debut novel about ambition, divorce and mid-life upheavals—told through an unexpected but very satisfying narrative conceit—is all set to be her next runaway hit. “When I turned 40, my friends started getting divorced,” Brodesser-Akner tells the Guardian, about the impetus for the novel. “I wanted to understand it better because I had so much anxiety about divorce – from the minute I agreed to marry my husband, I have been in an obsessive defence against our marriage ending.” Available now.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
Award-winning Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel is an epistolary exploration of race, family, masculinity and cultural displacement. “One of my obsessions both in poetry and the novel is to be thorough with the investigation of American life,” Vuong tells Oprah Magazine. “Both the good and the bad. Can we find joy in that? How can we carry those simultaneously complicated truths into the future and how do we rescue each other without lying about who we are?” Available now.
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
Jia Tolentino worked at The Hairpin and Jezebel before heading over to The New Yorker so when it comes to intuitively understanding how the internet shapes public discourse and even self-image, she’s always on the money. Her book of essays, Trick Mirror, examines the effects of the internet, social media and self-obsession on modern culture. In case anyone still needs convincing, Zadie Smith has declared it “a whip-smart, challenging book.” Available August 6.
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast where she and her colleagues discuss everything from watercooler TV to under-the-radar indies, Linda Holmes’ first love has always been romance novels. So she set out to write her own, albeit one in which rescuing each other isn’t the end goal of the couple at the centre of the love story. “It was important to me that the characters, who have problems, didn’t want the relationship to be a substitute for all the other things they personally needed to deal with,” she tells FASHION in our summer issue. Available now.
I Like To Watch: Arguing My Way Through the TV Revolution
Emily Nussbaum, the New Yorker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning TV critic, has been writing about television for over 20 years, ever since an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “spiked [her] way of thinking entirely.” She has since seen the medium go through a renaissance period, evolving from something akin to “a disposable cup” to arrive at what is now arguably considered its golden age—the era of prestige TV. Her first book, I Like to Watch, is a collection of previously published essays (aside from one new one) that spans ten years of her writing, elucidating just how both the medium and its audience have changed. Available now.
How Could She
Set in the ever-shifting world of New York media, this new novel by Toronto native and Vogue contributing editor Lauren Mechling explores female friendship, ambition and jealousy through the complicated relationship between three women. “It’s a breezy, fast-paced read,” writes FASHION’s Isabel Slone, “but undercurrents of darkness, jealousy and torpor preclude it from the ‘beach read’ category.” Available now.
The Yellow House
Sarah M Broom’s memoir spans many generations, traumatic events and natural disasters, revolving around the house in New Orleans where she and her 11 siblings grew up. “For me, the house began as the idea of belonging to a place that you don’t feel represents you or even belongs to you fully,” the author tells Entertainment Weekly. “And so, from the place of the house, the story for me became about New Orleans and the way that New Orleans is mythologized — the way that people feel so deeply that they know it. Or that it’s doing something for them. Within the mythology of New Orleans, the actual people who make New Orleans the place that most people love are just completely out of the story. I saw the act of writing the book of me as a cartographer, reimagining, revising, expanding a map of a sort — to include all the people I know, all the places I know, that I never see on the literal and also theoretical map.” Available August 13.