Can I make a confession to you guys? I hate summer. Don't get me wrong -- I adore the beach, and am a total waterbug. But I'd rather be shivering than sweating any. day. of. the. week! But summer redeems itself in my mind when I remember how much reading I'll get done! Whether I am heading on vacation, to the pool or just don't want to be outside because it's too darn hot, I've always got a book with me. I was too excited about my summer reading list this year to wait for summer to technically arrive, so I got a head start, and want to share my finds with you, friends. Whether you're looking for laugh-out-loud funny, a good cry or something that will leave you afraid to turn the lights out, I've rounded up 10 new releases that I think should be filling your nightstands, your beach bags, your suitcases etc. this summer. Happy reading, my fellow bookworms!
1. All We Ever Wanted
Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 26, 2018)
The Story: In her ninth novel, Giffin once again explores complicated family dynamics, challenging her readers to put themselves in her characters’ troubled shoes. But for the first time, Giffin tackles writing from three very different perspectives (a married mother, a single father and a 16-year-old girl). Nina Browning thinks she has it all: a handsome husband, an accomplished son, wealth and a beautiful home she loves in Nashville. But her world view is clouded when a single picture, snapped in a drunken moment and shared with fervor, forces Tom and Lyla Volpe across the river and into her life, leaving her questioning the morals of the ones she loves the most, and her own parenting skills.
2. Playing with Matches
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Publisher: Touchstone (June 26, 2018)
The Story: I’ve read my fair share of debut novels, and this one, by Elite Daily's dating editor Hannah Orenstein, is far from novice. Orenstein weaves an engaging tale of a young, inexperienced matchmaker thrown to the wolves and expected to fake it until she can actually make it. Sasha Goldberg has just graduated from NYU, is living in New York City with her best friend and is madly in love with her financier boyfriend. When journalism jobs prove hard to come by, Sasha finds herself working as a matchmaker for the elite dating service, Bliss, coaching clients twice her age on how to find what she has: deep and passionate love. But when Sasha’s own love life goes up in flames, she finds herself reevaluating her own judgement as she breaks the cardinal matchmaker rule. You won’t be ready to say goodbye to Orenstein’s well-developed characters (gimme more Caroline!) when you close this book.
3. When Life Gives you Lululemons
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2018)
The Story: The woman who brought us Miranda Priestly in all of her ghastly managerial goodness is back with a 7th novel, this time focusing on Miranda’s former assistant, Emily Charlton. Emily has been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but finds herself bleeding clients as the new social media landscape totally evades her. But when a gorgeous former supermodel falls from grace, Emily sees an opportunity to make her own comeback while pulling client Karolina Hartwell up from the bottom rungs of the social ladder. Of course to do so, Emily will have to face her own worst fear: the suburbs! As she tries to navigate life in Greenwich, CT she finds an unlikely ally in her former boss.
4. The President is Missing
Author: Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company and Knopf (June 2018)
The Story: With more than 100 novels under his belt, there are very few nuances about the literary world that James Patterson hasn’t mastered. But for his most recent novel, he wanted to explore the political process utilizing insider White House knowledge. Enter former president Bill Clinton. The duo narrate a suspenseful tale of President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan who is under attack from his own people for ordering a raid in Algeria to stop an assassination on the leader of the Sons of Jihad. In a baffling move, Duncan slips away from the watchful eye of his protective detail and puts himself in harm’s way to attempt to stop the activation of a deadly computer virus and uncover the identity of a traitor in his ranks.
5. Marriage Vacation
Author: Pauline Turner Brooks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2018)
The Story: Fans of Sutton Foster and Hillary Duff's TV show "Younger" know just how meta this book truly is! On the show, Foster and Duff run a book publishing imprint called Millennial Print and fall in love with an autobiographical novel called "Marriage Vacation" about a woman named Kate Carmichael who seemingly has it all: two adorable daughters, a prewar townhouse on the Upper East Side, and a husband who runs one of the most successful publishing companies in New York. But when Kate reconnects with old friends at a wedding, she is forced to confront all the disappointments in her life and begins to question just how happy she really is. Instead of hopping on a plane home to her loving family, she takes off on a completely unplanned adventure, leaving everyone behind. Back in "Younger" world, when Foster and Duff realize the novel was penned by their publisher's estranged wife, Pauline Turner Brooks, they know they must publish the book before anyone else can, if only to allow their boss to control the narrative of his own family. Trust me, whether you're a fan of the show or not, you're going to want to check out page 58....
6. The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press (May 2018)
The Story: Are you guys tired yet of hearing about the amazingness that is Ruth Ware? No? Ok, great, because I have no intention of ending the obsession anytime soon! Her latest release kicks off when Hal Westaway, a tarot card reader, receives an inheritance letter for a substantial sum of money following the death of her grandmother. With bills piling up, Hal can't help but feel like it's a fortuitous gift. The only problem is her grandmother has been dead for 20 years! Using the cold-reading skills she's honed from tarot card reading, Hal decides to fake it and pretend to be the grieving granddaughter of this mysterious Mrs. Westaway. But from the moment Hal arrives at Mrs. Westaay's English countryside estate, she realizes she may not be the only Westaway hiding secrets. From the publisher: "Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time."
7. The Balcony
Author: Jane Delury
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (March 2018)
The Story: Jane Delury's debut novel follows the lives of all the residents of an estate near Paris over the course of several generations, from the Belle Époque to the present day. From a sweet, young au pair falling in love with her boss to an ex-courtesan shocking the other servants of the house, an aging grandmother trying to connect with her iPhone-addicted granddaughter and a Jewish couple hiding from the Gestapo, the residents of this home throughout history all have very different stories to tell, and yet the estate becomes central to them all. From the publisher: "Throughout this novel of interlocking stories the cross-generational connections and troubled legacies haunt the same spaces, so that the rose garden, the forest pond, and the balcony off the manor's third floor bedroom become silent witnesses to a century of human drama."
8. Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live, and Love
Author: Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 2018)
The Story: Was anyone else flabbergasted when they realized that this month marked the 20th anniversary of the premiere of the first episode of Sex and the City?? I couldn't believe it had been that long since Ms. Carrie Bradshaw came into my life with her pithy columns and musings on life, love and relationships. Granted, I was a little late to the SATC party, as I certainly didn't start watching the show when I was 10! But here, author Jennifer Armstrong explores "how a columnist, two gay men, and a writers’ room full of women" came together to create a show that revolutionized television for women, and shaped how generations of women see themselves.
9. Just the Funny Parts... And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys' Club
Author: Nell Scovell
Publisher: Dey Street Books (March 2018)
The Story: She may not be a household name, but Nell Scovell’s words have been in our homes for more than 30 years. The Harvard graduate has worked on a number of iconic shows including “The Simpsons,” “Charmed,” and “Murphy Brown,” often as the only woman in the writer’s room. With “Just the Funny Parts,” she comically takes readers through the four stages of a Hollywood writer’s career:
- Stage 1: Who is Nell Scovell?
- Stage 2: Get me Nell Scovell!
- Stage 3: Get me a younger, cheaper Nell Scovell!
- Stage 4: Who is Nell Scovell?
While there’s plenty of chuckles through each phase, the creator of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” digs deep into the male-dominated entertainment industry and the difficulties of being heard. Most eye-opening is her recall of working on “Late Night with David Letterman,” and her decision to leave after only a few months due to the “sexual politics” of the show. Scovell, who wrote jokes for President Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, describes the industry as having a “broken doorbell,” in which brilliant women are ringing and ringing, but no one’s letting them in. With “Just the Funny Parts,” expect those doors to be knocked down.
10. So Close to Being the Sh*t, Y'all Don't Even Know
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (May 2018)
The Story: From the title alone, you just know comedian Retta isn’t going to hold back with her first memoir. The former “Parks and Recreation” and current “Good Girls” star doesn’t disappoint with the dish. From awkward celebrity run-ins (Robert Redford, Taylor Swift, Michael Fassbender), a drunken night at the Golden Globes, to her addiction to handbags - dropping $15k on a flash sale on her phone (while on the toilet!). The “Treat Yo Self” star lets you in as if gossiping with an old friend over drinks. “So Close ” begins with a call to audition for the role of Effie White in “Dreamgirls” – a role Jennifer Hudson eventually won an Oscar for. Fear kept the acclaimed funny lady from even showing up, but the following chapters trace her steps to push beyond comfort and into success. Retta’s journey is ultimately about perseverance. She was on the road to becoming a neurosurgeon after graduating Duke University when she packed her leased car and headed to Los Angeles with a stack of head shots and the book “Your Film Acting Career.” She planned to land the lead in a sitcom a la “Roseanne” and “I Love Lucy” (a goals she still has), but ended up on the college comedy circuit for years with small roles here and there. While the outspoken live tweeter has certainly made a splash in Hollywood, she readily admits she’s not A-list while recalling snubs by paparazzi, being pushed aside on photo shoots, and getting the second-tier invite to parties. She’s humble and hilarious through it all – a dynamic character made for her own show.