18 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Summer
THIS BODY OF DEATH, Elizabeth George (April 20)
George has once again delivered a thick, knotty, densely plotted mystery. As always, it isn't a book to tear through in an hour, but one to read slowly, over many sittings, and savor. This time out, George, turning to her usual characters, highlights Scotland Yard inspector Thomas Lynley — still grieving the senseless deaths of his wife and child — as he takes a tentative step back to his old job by investigating the murder of a young woman found in a cemetery.
HALF LIFE, Roopa Farooki (April 27)
Farooki's novel follows the life of a troubled Indian doctor who marries without coming to terms with her past relationships — something which she decides, finally, that she must do. A lovely, graceful, and utterly compelling love story.
GIRL IN TRANSLATION, Jean Kwok (April 29)
Though the plot may sound mundane — a Chinese girl and her mother immigrate to this country and succeed despite formidable odds — this coming-of-age tale is anything but. Whether Ah-Kim (or Kimberly, as she's called) is doing piecework on the factory floor with her mother, or suffering through a cold New York winter in a condemned, roach-infested apartment, or getting that acceptance letter from Yale, her story seems fresh and new.
THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE, Julie Orringer (May 4)
Orringer's debut story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, was greeted with fanfare several years ago; this novel, her first, is the tale of Hungarian brothers during World War II.
THE LAST STAND, Nathaniel Philbrick (May 4)
If anyone can breathe life into the oft-told tale of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer, it's Philbrick, who evoked the Pilgrims in 2006's Mayflower and 19th-century whale traders in 2001's In the Heart of the Sea.
SLOW LOVE: HOW I LOST MY JOB, PUT ON MY PAJAMAS AND FOUND HAPPINESS, Dominique Browning (May 9)
When Browning, the hard-charging founding editor of House & Garden, found herself suddenly, unexpectedly unemployed, she literally did not know how to fill her days — at first. But the enforced vacation, she found, had unexpected benefits.
WAR, Sebastian Junger (May 11)
A riveting account of the 14 months Junger (The Perfect Storm) spent embedded with a platoon in one of the bloodiest, most remote pockets of Afghanistan.
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST, Stieg Larsson (May 25)
The third and final installment in Larsson's Lisbeth Salander series (after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire).
THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE, Aimee Bender (June 1)
When Rose Edelstein turns 9, she realizes she can taste emotions in food. In the lemon-chocolate birthday cake her mother has baked, for example, there is nothing but despair and sadness. A magical novel from the author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.
THE SHORT SECOND LIFE OF BREE TANNER, (June 5)
She's not done with Twilight...yet! This novella will chronicle some key Eclipse scenes from the point of view of fledgling vampire Bree Tanner. As Meyer explained to USA Today, ''There's only so much stuff you can tell when what Bella sees and hears is all you can tell.'' Millions of fans are waiting with bated breath.
THE PASSAGE, Justin Cronin (June 8)
Probably the most buzzed-about novel of the summer, this post-apocalyptic epic will inevitably draw comparisons to Stephen King's The Stand.
SO COLD THE RIVER, Michael Koryta (June 9)
An edgy, seat-of-your-pants thriller with a supernatural edge that's set in an immaculately restored grand old hotel in the Midwest.
THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR, Allegra Goodman (July 6)
Fans of Goodman's lovely, nuanced novels have a treat in store with this tale of two sisters, one the CEO of a much-hyped data storage start-up, the other a grad-school dropout working in an antiquarian bookstore.
LUCY, Laurence Gonzales (July 13)
A fast-paced Crichtonesque thriller about a half-human, half-ape girl.
RED HOOK ROAD, Ayelet Waldman (July 13)
The setting: an idyllic town in Maine. The scene: a local wedding. The tragedy: The bride and groom are killed as they drive from the church to the reception. What happens to the families left behind, then, is the stuff of Waldman's moving novel.
I CURSE THE RIVER OF TIME, Per Petterson (Aug. 3)
A poignant mother-son story from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses.
YOU LOST ME THERE, Rosecrans Baldwin (Aug. 12)
A much-hyped debut novel that tells the story of a marriage from the point of view of the husband.
MOCKINGJAY, Suzanne Colllins (Aug. 24)
The final volume of Collins' dystopian trilogy, following The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.