Illustration by EW Our picks for the best new books of June 2022 include Sloane Crosley's 'Cult Classic' and Kirstin Chen's 'Counterfeit'
Summer is always a boom time for publishing. But even by the breezier standards of the season, not all beach reads are created equal: Below, we've selected 10 of the best tomes to pick up as the temperatures rise — from deeply reported nonfiction to future book-club classics, plus a few sandy outliers.
<em>Horse</em>, by Geraldine Brooks
The enduring, mystical bond between horse and human has pretty much become its own genre by now, but journalist-turned-novelist Geraldine Brooks (March, Year of Wonders) goes well beyond soft-focus Seabiscuit tales in her sprawling latest — a story spread across nearly two centuries and centered on the lost narrative of a real-life Black equestrian.
<em>Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks </em>, by Patrick Radden Keefe
A king of contemporary nonfiction — it's hard today to find a well-stocked modern bookshelf that doesn't contain his Say Nothing or Empire of Pain — Patrick Radden Keefe is also still a regular New Yorker staff writer. The wait for his next brick-sized exposé can be sated by the 12 previously published profiles compiled here covering rogues of all stripes, from a vintage-wine forger to El Chapo. (June 28)
<em>Counterfeit</em>, by Kirstin Chen
A good-girl lawyer named Ava Wong reconnects with her felonious college roommate, Winnie Fang, and tumbles headlong into an international scheme involving duped luxury handbags. Or does she? That's both the question and the trick in Kirstin Chin's debut — a clever, fizzy inversion of all kinds of Asian stereotypes, Crazy Rich and otherwise.
<em>These Impossible Things</em>, by Salma El-Wardany
Three best friends grapple with faith, romance, and identity in Salma El-Wardany's tender coming-of-age debut, already chosen for the Today book club. Malak, Kees, and Jenna are modern Muslim British girls, though the vagaries of fate and the choices they make send them spinning in and out of one another's orbits in a novel that doesn't trade its heavy subjects (rape, domestic violence, generational culture gaps as wide as the Thames) for beach-tote readability.
<em>The Shore</em>, by Katie Runde
The seaside of the title here is the Jersey Shore, but gym-tan-laundry is hardly the target in Katie Runde's deeply felt family saga, told largely via three female members of the Dunne clan. A father's growing brain tumor, a hectic real-estate business, and a blossoming queer romance all coalesce in one summer season of love, loss, and emotional awakening.
<em>Cult Classic</em>, by Sloane Crosley
It is one of Newton's less-discussed laws that a woman in New York City has a better chance of running into an ex when she is bra-less at a bodega buying oat milk than if she is standing inside his actual home, fully groomed. But the number of run-ins the recently engaged Lola keeps having with men from her past seems too bizarre to be called coincidence in Classic, the second novel from the wildly witty, why-isn't-she-your-best-friend-already brain behind The Clasp and I Was Told There'd Be Cake.
<em>Hurricane Girl</em>, by Marcy Dermansky
Tired of her flailing, failing L.A. existence, thirtysomething Allison decides to ditch it all for a bungalow of her own on the East Coast. When a Category 5 hurricane and a possible brain injury leave her life in shambles once again, Demansky (Very Nice) traces the fallout in caustically clever, refreshingly unfussy prose.
<em>Girls They Write Songs About</em>, by Carlene Bauer
The current crush of '90s nostalgia finds novel form in Carlene Bauer's heady, intimate tale of two young women who meet in the halcyon days of a New York music-magazine career circa 1997 — then turns its focus to all that follows when the coming-of-age glow gives way, inevitably, to the deeper shades and complications of grown adulthood.
<em>Local Gone Missing</em>, by Fiona Barton
Sometimes all you need is a smart, swift mystery you can knock out in one too-hot afternoon. Fiona Barton, the author of best-sellers The Widow and The Child, pivots here to a sleepy British seaside town where a detective on medical leave finds herself pulled back onto the job when two teenagers overdose at a local music festival, and a man goes missing in the night.
<em>Ghost Lover</em>, by Lisa Taddeo
Her 2019 nonfiction phenomenon Three Women is set to debut as a Showtime series this fall, starring Betty Gilpin, Shailene Woodley, and DeWanda Wise. In the meantime, Lisa Taddeo returns with more ruthless explorations of the feminine mystique in Ghost Lover, a raw, searching collection of nine short stories.