The 12 Most Popular Books of June

June 30 2021
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For the second consecutive month, Laura Dave’s newest book THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME is the most popular on our site! But the other top books aren’t too far behind. Check out all the books your fellow readers keep ploppin’ in their beach bags.  

The Last Thing He Told Me
by Laura Dave

This book is a whirlwind of adventure and mystery, but Laura Dave manages to include a lot of heart along with the chilling action. Hannah loves her life and her new husband, Owen. But when Owen goes missing and Hannah receives a note that just says “Protect her,” she immediately knows something is wrong. After his boss gets arrested, it becomes clear that Owen isn’t who he says he is. But his teen daughter Bailey might be the only person able to help Hannah find the truth. Bailey wants nothing to do with Hannah, but together they set out to solve this puzzling mystery. The characters are the best part of this book, and the growing dynamic between them is fantastic.

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The Last Thing He Told Me
Laura Dave

From internationally bestselling author Laura Dave comes a riveting new suspense novel about a woman’s search for the truth about her husband’s disappearance—no matter the cost.

We all have stories we never tell.

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

With its breakneck pacing, dazzling plot twists, and unforgettable characters, The Last Thing He Told Me is bestselling author Laura Dave’s finest novel yet, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn. This propulsive thriller with a heart is for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jojo Moyes.

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Whistling Past the Graveyard
by Susan Crandall

In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother’s Mississippi home. Starla’s destination is Nashville, where her mother went to become a famous singer, abandoning Starla when she was three. Walking a lonely country road, Starla accepts a ride from Eula, a Black woman traveling alone with a white baby. Now, on the road trip that will change her life forever, Starla sees for the first time life as it really is—as she reaches for a dream of how it could one day be.

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Whistling Past the Graveyard
Susan Crandall

In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla runs away from her strict grandmother’s home in Mississippi and embarks on a life-changing road trip.

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The Brideship Wife
by Leslie Howard

Canada isn’t often the setting for historical fiction. What’s more, it’s not often used as the backdrop to a forgotten chapter of history like British “brideship” wives. Leslie Howard’s THE BRIDESHIP WIFE uncovers the plot by the British government to make newly inhabited areas of its colonies—located near Victoria, Canada—more “British” by sending ships of young, marriageable women to an area almost entirely populated by American men drawn by a gold rush. Howard’s debut boldly takes on this little-known topic to teach us the meaning of freedom and adds another debut to the unique historical fiction canon.

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The Brideship Wife
Leslie Howard

Inspired by the history of the British “brideships,” this captivating historical debut tells the story of one woman’s coming of age and search for independence—for readers of Pam Jenoff's The Orphan's Tale and Armando Lucas Correa’s The German Girl.

Tomorrow we would dock in Victoria on the northwest coast of North America, about as far away from my home as I could imagine. Like pebbles tossed upon the beach, we would scatter, trying to make our way as best as we could. Most of us would marry; some would not.

England, 1862. Charlotte is somewhat of a wallflower. Shy and bookish, she knows her duty is to marry, but with no dowry, she has little choice in the matter. She can’t continue to live off the generosity of her sister Harriet and her wealthy brother-in-law, Charles, whose political aspirations dictate that she make an advantageous match.

When Harriet hosts a grand party, Charlotte is charged with winning the affections of one of Charles’s colleagues, but before the night is over, her reputation—her one thing of value—is at risk. In the days that follow, rumours begin to swirl. Soon Charles’s standing in society is threatened and all that Charlotte has held dear is jeopardized, even Harriet, and Charlotte is forced to leave everything she has ever known in England and embark on a treacherous voyage to the New World.

From the rigid social circles of Victorian England to the lawless lands bursting with gold in British Columbia’s Cariboo, The Brideship Wife takes readers on a mesmerizing journey through a time of great change. Based on a forgotten chapter in history, this is a sparkling debut about the pricelessness of freedom and the courage it takes to follow your heart.

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The Other Passenger
by Louise Candlish

It all happens so quickly. One day you’re living the dream, commuting to work by ferry with your charismatic neighbor Kit in the seat beside you. The next, Kit hasn’t turned up for the boat and his wife, Melia, has reported him missing.

When you get off at your stop, the police are waiting. Another passenger saw you and Kit arguing on the boat home the night before and the police say that you had a reason to want him dead. You protest. You and Kit are friends—ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your lives?

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The Other Passenger
Louise Candlish

The “queen of the sucker-punch twist” (Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author) and author of Our House weaves “a stunning masterwork of style and suspense” (Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author) about a commuter who becomes a suspect in his friend’s mysterious disappearance. Perfect for fans of the unputdownable page-turners by Christina McDonald and Lisa Jewell.

It all happens so quickly. One day you’re living the dream, commuting to work by ferry with your charismatic neighbor Kit in the seat beside you. The next, Kit hasn’t turned up for the boat and his wife, Melia, has reported him missing.

When you get off at your stop, the police are waiting. Another passenger saw you and Kit arguing on the boat home the night before and the police say that you had a reason to want him dead. You protest. You and Kit are friends—ask Melia, she’ll vouch for you. And who exactly is this other passenger pointing the finger? What do they know about your lives?

No, whatever danger followed you home last night, you are innocent, totally innocent.

Aren’t you?

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The Last Garden in England
by Julia Kelly

Five women. Three time periods. One amazing book. In THE LAST GARDEN IN ENGLAND, Julia Kelly tells the story of how the lives of five women are irrevocably changed over the course of a century because of one garden. Spanning 1907 to the present, the sweeping novel shows the life-changing impact of one special place in England. If you want to make the reading experience extra delightful, make sure to grab a chair or blanket and find a garden to relax in.

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The Last Garden in England
Julia Kelly

From the author of the international bestseller The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes a poignant and unforgettable tale of five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special place.

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her ambitious work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

In this sweeping novel reminiscent of Kate Morton’s The Lake House and Kristin Harmel’s The Room on Rue Amélie, Julia Kelly explores the unexpected connections that cross time and the special places that bring people together forever.

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Florence Adler Swims Forever
by Rachel Beanland

Growing up in the coastal Atlantic City in 1934, Florence developed a fondness for swimming. Her ultimate goal: to swim the English Channel. Florence is set to train for this mission in France on this particular summer while her sister Fannie is nearing the birth of her third child, after the tragic loss of her second. The commotion among the Adler family kicks off an unusual summer, and then, tragedy strikes as Florence suffers an unimaginable accident. Her mother makes the authoritative decision to keep this a secret from Fannie, to spare her the anguish while pregnant. But as the months pass and the mourning becomes unbearable, the concealment starts to unravel.

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Florence Adler Swims Forever
Rachel Beanland

“The perfect summer read” (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.

*A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice * One of USA TODAY’s “Best Books of 2020” * One of Good Morning America’s “25 Novels You'll Want to Read This Summer” * One of Parade’s “26 Best Books to Read This Summer”

Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now, Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

“Readers of Emma Straub and Curtis Sittenfeld will devour this richly drawn debut family saga” (Library Journal) that’s based on a true story and is a breathtaking portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.

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Forever, Interrupted
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

On a rainy New Year’s Day, Elsie Porter picks up a pizza for one, never suspecting that she’ll meet the love of her life, Ben, along the way. Before long, they’ve eloped, embarking on a whirlwind romance that’s out of a fairy tale, until Ben is killed in an accident and Elsie is brought face to face with his mother, a woman she’s never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists. Forced to grieve alongside one another, the pair confront their new reality and heal in touching and powerful ways. The eBook is currently discounted for a limited time.

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Forever, Interrupted
Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Such a Quiet Place
by Megan Miranda

Maybe it’s that I grew up in a suburban neighborhood where, for a while, everyone knew one another. We’d all have big picnics at the park, and the kids could be found running together through backyards and eating snacks in one another’s kitchens. So the idea that the people in these supposedly perfect little subdivisions could be hiding terrible secrets is always a fun one. That, mixed with my love for Megan Miranda, makes SUCH A QUIET PLACE a wonderful read. Hollow’s Edge was the perfect place to live, until Brandon and Fiona Truett were murdered. Now no one wants to live there, but the current residents can’t leave. Everyone is suffocated by the empty house and the fact that they implicated one of their own in the crime. But Ruby Fletcher’s conviction was overturned and, since she has nowhere else to go, she’s back. She moves in with her friend Harper, who’s always looked at her as a troubled younger sister. Everyone is suspicious, and secrets wind their way through Hollow’s Edge. Harper realizes that not everyone told the truth about what happened the night the Truetts were murdered, and she must find out what really happened before the killer strikes again.

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Such a Quiet Place
Megan Miranda

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last House Guest—a Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection—comes a new riveting suspense novel about a mysterious murder in an idyllic and close-knit neighborhood.

We had no warning that she’d come back.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truett’s murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Pulsating with suspense and with the shocking twists that are Megan Miranda’s trademark, Such a Quiet Place is Megan Miranda’s best novel yet—a twisty locked-box thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night.

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When the Summer Was Ours
by Roxanne Veletzos

War is on the horizon in Hungary in 1943, and Eva César is counting down her last days of being single as she waits for her upcoming nuptials to a Red Cross doctor. But as Shakespeare said, “the course of true love never did run smooth” and while she waits for her wedding, Eva falls in love with Aleandro, a Romani artist and fiddler. Eventually Eva and Aleandro are torn apart, but Eva never forgets their summer together as World War II rages on and tensions mount. Roxanne Veletzos beautifully captures both the trauma of war and the resilience of love in WHEN THE SUMMER WAS OURS.

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When the Summer Was Ours
Roxanne Veletzos

“This compulsively readable tale of loss and love during and after the Second World War is a masterpiece.” —Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author

“A gorgeously written, impeccably researched historical novel, spanning decades and continents, and filled with a richly drawn cast of characters.” —Jillian Cantor, USA TODAY bestselling author

This epic World War II tale of star-crossed lovers separated by class, circumstance, and ​tragedy—from the international bestselling author of the “gripping…filled with passion and hope” (Kate Quinn, New York Timesbestselling author) The Girl They Left Behind—explores the impact of war on civilian life and the indestructible resilience of first love.

Hungary, 1943: As war encroaches on the country’s borders, willful young Eva César arrives in the idyllic town of Sopron to spend her last summer as a single woman on her aristocratic family’s estate. Longing for freedom from her domineering father, she counts the days to her upcoming nuptials to a kind and dedicated Red Cross doctor whom she greatly admires.

But Eva’s life changes when she meets Aleandro, a charming and passionate Romani fiddler and artist. With time and profound class differences against them, Eva and Aleandro still fall deeply in love—only to be separated by a brutal act of hatred.

As each are swept into the tides of war, they try to forget their romance. Yet, the haunting memory of that summer will reshape their destinies and lead to decisions which are felt through generations.

From the horrors of the Second World War to the tensions of the 1956 Hungarian uprising and beyond, When the Summer Was Ours is a sweeping story about the toll of secrets, the blurred lines between sacrifice and obsession, and the endurance of the human spirit.

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The Forest of Vanishing Stars
by Kristin Harmel

For a unique and harrowing take on a survivalist story, check out Kristin Harmel’s latest WWII historical fiction, THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS, publishing this July. As a child, Yona was kidnapped from her German parents, and was taught by her kidnapper to survive in the Polish forests. But when her kidnapper dies in 1941, Yona must fend for herself. She hunts, forages, finds shelter, and grows used to living in isolation, but when she discovers Jewish refugees hiding from the Nazis, she opens up her heart (at great risk to herself) and teaches them all she knows. Along the way she discovers some things herself about trust, friendship, and her own past. This is one heartbreaking narrative based on true stories and impeccable historical research.

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The Forest of Vanishing Stars
Kristin Harmel

The New York Times bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.

After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

Inspired by incredible true stories of survival against staggering odds, and suffused with the journey-from-the-wilderness elements that made Where the Crawdads Sing a worldwide phenomenon, The Forest of Vanishing Stars is a heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author whose writing has been hailed as “sweeping and magnificent” (Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author), “immersive and evocative” (Publishers Weekly), and “gripping” (Tampa Bay Times).

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Iron Lake
by William Kent Krueger

Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota, is having difficulty dealing with the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children. Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, he is getting by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt. Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on this complicated and perplexing case of conspiracy, corruption, and a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

The first in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series follows Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor as he delves into the dark side of small-town Minnesota while investigating a tangled web of corruption and danger.

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Iron Lake
William Kent Krueger

The first in the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series follows Corcoran “Cork” O’Connor as he delves into the dark side of small-town Minnesota while investigating a tangled web of corruption and danger. “A brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate” (Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Aurora, Minnesota, is having difficulty dealing with the marital meltdown that has separated him from his children. Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, he is getting by on heavy doses of caffeine, nicotine, and guilt.

Once a cop on Chicago’s South Side, there’s not much that can shock him. But when the town’s judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on this complicated and perplexing case of conspiracy, corruption, and a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

With white-knuckled suspense and unforgettable characters, Iron Lake demonstrates why “among thoughtful readers, William Kent Krueger holds a very special place in the pantheon” (C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author).

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I Found You
by Lisa Jewell

There is nothing better for summer than a stormy beach read. And when you mix that with Lisa Jewell’s dark and moody prose, you won’t be able to put this book down. Set in both London and the British seaside, I FOUND YOU unravels three mysteries. In London, Lily’s husband, Carl, never returns home, but when the police get involved, they tell her that the man she married never existed. Meanwhile, Alice Lake finds a man on the beach of Ridinghouse Bay with no memory of who he is or how he got there. The book also tells the story of Gray and Kristy as they vacation with their family in Ridinghouse Bay twenty years earlier. Suddenly, a disturbing man starts paying too much attention to Kristy, making Gray incredibly uncomfortable. There are so many secrets and chilling turns, this book is sure to cool you down more than any air conditioner could.

Read more of 10 Chilling Summer Thrillers to Cool You Off in No Time

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I Found You
Lisa Jewell

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

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Photo credit: iStock / Robby Fontanesi

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