June brings a slew of new paperback releases that are sure to break your heart in the best way possible. From new voices like Stephen Markley and Thea Lim to fan favorites like Stephen King and Signe Pike, our June picks are a diverse collection of stories that explore love and loss, family and friendship, trust and deception. You’ll be on the edge of your beach towel with these excellent summer reads.
Historical fantasy fans, rejoice! The June Book Club Favorites pick, Signe Pike’s THE LOST QUEEN is the first installment in a stunning trilogy. THE LOST QUEEN brings a forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland back to life, and fans can’t get enough of Languoreth and her twin brother, Lailoken. The pair fight to preserve the old world of their ancestors on a changing continent. Part romance, part political intrigue, and part myth, THE LOST QUEEN rightly restores Languoreth’s place in the legend of Merlin.
“Outlander meets Camelot” (Kirsty Logan, author of The Gracekeepers) in the first book of an exciting historical trilogy that reveals the untold story of Languoreth—a powerful and, until now, tragically forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland—twin sister of the man who inspired the legendary character of Merlin.
Intelligent, passionate, rebellious, and brave, Languoreth is the unforgettable heroine of The Lost Queen, a tale of conflicted loves and survival set against the cinematic backdrop of ancient Scotland, a magical land of myths and superstition inspired by the beauty of the natural world. One of the most powerful early medieval queens in British history, Languoreth ruled at a time of enormous disruption and bloodshed, when the burgeoning forces of Christianity threatened to obliterate the ancient pagan beliefs and change her way of life forever.
Together with her twin brother Lailoken, a warrior and druid known to history as Merlin, Languoreth is catapulted into a world of danger and violence. When a war brings the hero Emrys Pendragon, to their door, Languoreth collides with the handsome warrior Maelgwn. Their passionate connection is forged by enchantment, but Languoreth is promised in marriage to Rhydderch, son of the High King who is sympathetic to the followers of Christianity. As Rhydderch's wife, Languoreth must assume her duty to fight for the preservation of the Old Way, her kingdom, and all she holds dear.
“Moving, thrilling, and ultimately spellbinding” (BookPage), The Lost Queen brings this remarkable woman to life—rescuing her from obscurity, and reaffirming her place at the center of the most enduring legends of all time. “Moving, thrilling, and ultimately spellbinding, The Lost Queen is perfect for readers of historical fiction like The Clan of the Cave Bear and Wolf Hall, and for lovers of fantasy like Outlander and The Mists of Avalon” (BookPage).
Stephen Markley’s debut explores in lyrical prose many of our hot-button topics: financial recession, the opioid crisis, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, climate change, and increasingly tense racial and political dynamics. One night in summer 2013, four former classmates find themselves together again in their small Ohio town, each haunted and harrowed by the reality of life in our day and age. Murder, drugs, depression, love, and loss will keep you turning the pages of this not-to-miss novel.
Alexia Arthurs makes her literary debut with HOW TO LOVE A JAMACIAN, an extraordinary short story collection that will break your heart and leave you wanting more. From a story about an estranged twin brother, to a wild teenager brought back to Jamaica, to a ghost haunting an athlete at his Iowa college, the stories in the collection give voice to the myriad, complex, beautiful, and strange experiences of Jamaican immigrants and their families back home.
THE GREAT BELIEVERS tells two interwoven stories of heartbreak in the wake of the AIDS epidemic. In 1985, Yale Tishman is working as the development director for an art gallery when the virus disrupts his life. Thirty years later, a woman tracking down her estranged daughter discovers photographs of her brother, whose life was claimed in the 1980s by AIDS, a coincidence that brings the characters together in their shared loss.
An unforgettable debut from a refreshing, nuanced storyteller, AN OCEAN OF MINUTES is about the endurance of human beings and the complexity of love. When Polly’s boyfriend, Frank, is diagnosed with a deadly strain of the flu, she decides to travel twelve years into the future in exchange for a life-saving treatment for Frank. Polly finds herself five years too far in the future, alone, poor, and forever changed in a country that she does not recognize. Can love persist in such dire circumstances?
Stephen King’s tome of a book, THE OUTSIDER, is finally available in a commute-friendly size. Terry Maitland is a beloved teacher, husband, father, and coach in Flint City. When the town is rocked by the news that Terry’s fingerprints are found on the violated body of a dead eleven-year-old boy, everyone is shocked. The investigation leads to more horror and more questions as the town—and readers—begin to wonder just who can be trusted.
Soon to be an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!
Evil has many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens—Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King’s story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.