Summer is officially in full swing. With the heat growing oppressive and the beach calling your name, it’s time to stock up on a few new titles to throw in your tote bag. Take a look at these ten reads, all new to paperback this month, for a little distraction from the heat waves. From page-turning horror to heartbreaking family dramas, this list is action and emotion-packed, ensuring that your summer reading can be as engaging and thought-provoking as it is entertaining and transportive.
The Montoya family has never questioned the magical occurrences that happen around their reclusive matriarch Orquídea Divina—that is, until they attend her funeral to find she has become a ceiba tree that infuses three of her descendants with unexplainable gifts. But years later, when a mysterious figure begins destroying Orquídea’s bloodline one at a time, Marimar, Rey and Rhiannon must travel to Ecuador to discover the secrets of Orquídea’s past in this spellbinding family saga.
Perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Isabel Allende, and Sarah Addison Allen, a family searches for the truth hidden in their past in this “expertly woven tale of family power, threaded with as much mystery as magic” (V.E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author).
The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—not for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed into a ceiba tree, leaving them with more questions than answers.
Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings and powers. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, her descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.
Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is a “spellbinding tale, both timeless and fresh, that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Prepare to fall in love” (Kim Liggett, New York Times bestselling author).
Greg Taylor has an aggressive form of cancer, but he is determined to overcome it with his trademark focus. But Greg and his family aren’t the only ones in their community who find themselves struggling. As Greg attempts to find new footing, the stories of his friends and neighbors reveal their own attempts to overcome loss and find forgiveness: a widow misses her partner, a man loses his wife’s trust, and a boy struggles with addiction. A LITTLE HOPE is a portrait of a community under stress that finds hope, love, and survival through connection with one another.
A Read with Jenna Bonus Selection
An “immersive…illuminating” (Booklist) and life-affirming novel following the residents of an idyllic Connecticut town over the course of a year, A Little Hope explores the intertwining lives of a dozen neighbors as they confront everyday desires and fears: a lost love, a stalled career, an illness, and a betrayal.
Freddie and Greg Tyler seem to have it all: a comfortable home, a beautiful young daughter, a bond that feels unbreakable. But when Greg is diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, the sense of certainty they once knew evaporates. Throughout their town, friends and neighbors face the most difficult of life’s challenges and are figuring out how to survive thanks to love, grace, and hope.
“A quietly powerful portrait of small-town life…told with wisdom and tenderness” (Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes) A Little Hope is a deeply resonant debut that immerses the reader in a community and celebrates the importance of small moments of connection.
In 1941, Emmy Lake is excited to be the new wartime advice columnist for Woman’s Friend magazine in London. And while her best friend, Bunty, is still recovering from the Blitz, she’s determined to be optimistic. Then, the Ministry of Information calls on women’s magazines to recruit their readers for the war effort. While Emmy at first wants to do what she can, a mother soon shows Emmy and Bunty what really faces women wartime recruits, leaving Emmy struggling between her responsibility to her country and her love for her friends.
From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird comes a charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky young journalist and her adventures as wartime advice columnist.
London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the new challenges as a wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.
When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young mother who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must confront a dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.
As funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. Bird, Yours Cheerfully is an endearing portrait of female friendship and “a fruitful exploration of the solidarity among women in times of grief, love, and hardship” (Publishers Weekly).
LIGHTNING STRIKE is the emotionally resonant prequel to William Kent Krueger’s powerful Cork O’Connor series. Twelve-year-old Cork lives in the small Minnesota town of Aurora in the summer of 1963. It’s a time ripe for change, but a quiet life in Aurora is enough to make it seem like change will never come for Cork. That is, until he stumbles onto the hanging body of a man he once admired. As his sheriff father, Liam, begins to investigate the death, Cork’s belief in his family, hometown, and way of life are rocked.
An instant New York Times bestseller, this prequel to the acclaimed Cork O’Connor series is “a pitch perfect, richly imagined story that is both an edge-of-your-seat thriller and an evocative, emotionally charged coming-of-age tale” (Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author) about fathers and sons, small-town conflicts, and the events that shape our lives forever.
Aurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1963, it is the whole world to twelve-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself.
Cork’s father, Liam O’Connor, is Aurora’s sheriff and it is his job to confirm that the man’s death was the result of suicide, as all the evidence suggests. In the shadow of his father’s official investigation, Cork begins to look for answers on his own. Together, father and son face the ultimate test of choosing between what their heads tell them is true and what their hearts know is right.
In this “brilliant achievement, and one every crime reader and writer needs to celebrate” (Louise Penny, #1 New York Times bestselling author), beloved novelist William Kent Krueger shows that some mysteries can be solved even as others surpass our understanding.
Agent Stephanie Plum knows her unmatched understanding of human nature will help her outwit a cruel and brilliant computer hacker named Oswald Wednesday and his most recent threat to the country. But when she starts working on the case, she learns that a fellow estranged apprehension agent, the ill-tempered and enormous Diesel, is also on Wednesday’s tail. Uncertain if Diesel is a partner or competition, Stephanie begins to set her trap for Wednesday in this twenty-eighth installment of the fan-favorite Stephanie Plum series.
Stephanie Plum returns to hunt down a new kind of criminal operating out of Trenton in the 28th book in the wildly popular series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Janet Evanovich.
When Stephanie Plum is woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of footsteps in her apartment, she wishes she didn’t keep her gun in the cookie jar in her kitchen. And when she finds out the intruder is fellow apprehension agent Diesel, six feet of hard muscle and bad attitude who she hasn’t seen in more than two years, she still thinks the gun might come in handy.
Turns out Diesel and Stephanie are on the trail of the same fugitive: Oswald Wednesday, an international computer hacker as brilliant as he is ruthless. Stephanie may not be the most technologically savvy sleuth, but she more than makes up for that with her dogged determination, her understanding of human nature, and her willingness to do just about anything to bring a fugitive to justice. Unsure if Diesel is her partner or her competition in this case, she’ll need to watch her back every step of the way as she sets the stage to draw Wednesday out from behind his computer and into the real world.
The first book in a rollicking new series, GRAVE RESERVATIONS follows psychic travel agent Leda Foley and her quirky group of bar patron friends in solving a series of cold case mysteries. When Leda inexplicably rebooks Seattle detective Grady Merritt’s flight, only for the original flight explode on the runway, Grady realizes that Leda’s abilities may be able to help him crack the cold case that’s haunted him for years. Leda herself is eager to help given her own haunting past, which includes the unsolved murder of her fiancé years earlier.
A psychic travel agent and a Seattle PD detective try to solve a murder in this “ebullient tap dance of a mystery” (Christopher Moore, New York Times bestselling author)—perfect for fans of Lisa Lutz’s The Spellman Files and Elle Cosimano’s Finlay Donovan series.
Meet Leda Foley: devoted friend, struggling travel agent, and inconsistent psychic. Impulsively re-booking Seattle PD detective Grady Merritt’s flight, she has no idea that her life is about to change in ways she could have never foretold.
When his original plane blows up on the runway, Grady begins to suspect that Leda’s special abilities could help him with a cold case he just can’t crack. Despite her scattershot premonitions, she agrees to join the investigation for a secret reason: her fiancé’s murder remains unsolved.
Leda’s psychic abilities couldn’t help that sad case, but she’s been honing her skills and drawing a crowd at her favorite bar’s open-mic nights, where she performs her klairvoyant karaoke—singing whatever song comes to mind when she holds people’s personal effects. Now joined by a ragtag group of bar patrons and pals, Leda and Grady set out to catch a killer—and learn how the two cases that haunt them have more in common than they ever suspected.
A groundbreaking, heart-pounding work of metafiction, CHASING THE BOOGEYMAN follows Richard Chizmar’s account of a serial killer’s rampage through his small hometown in the summer of 1988. When several girls are found dead and mutilated, Maryland police decide they have a serial killer on their hands, but local teens are convinced that the creature stalking them isn’t quite human. As the community becomes absorbed in fear and paranoia, Chizmar embarks on a new marriage and a writing career that soon become haunted by the horrors at hand.
The acclaimed New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novel of small-town evil that “is genuinely chilling and something brand-new and exciting” (Stephen King) and “unforgettable” (Harlan Coben).
In the summer of 1988, the mutilated bodies of several missing girls begin to turn up in a small Maryland town. The grisly evidence leads police to the terrifying assumption that a serial killer is on the loose in the quiet suburb. But soon a rumor begins to spread that the evil stalking local teens is not entirely human. Law enforcement, as well as members of the FBI, are certain that the killer is a living, breathing madman—and he’s playing games with them. For a once peaceful community trapped in the depths of paranoia and suspicion, it feels like a nightmare that will never end.
Recent college graduate Richard Chizmar returns to his hometown just as a curfew is enacted and a neighborhood watch is formed. Amid preparing for his wedding and embarking on a writing career, he soon finds himself thrust into a real-life horror story. Inspired by the terrifying events, Richard writes a personal account of the serial killer’s reign of terror, unaware that these events will continue to haunt him for years to come.
A clever, terrifying, and heartrending work of metafiction, Chasing the Boogeyman is the ultimate marriage between horror fiction and true crime. Chizmar’s “dazzling work of fresh imagination and psychological insight” (Caroline Kepnes, New York Times bestselling author of You) is on full display in this truly unique novel that will haunt you long after you turn the final page.
Akash and his wife, Auralice, grew up in the enclosed, international utopian community of Auroville in India. Founded in the 1960s by Auralice’s parents, Diane and John, Auroville is still there in 2004 when Akash and Auralice return from living in New York. As they begin to re-establish themselves in their community, they must confront the mysterious deaths of John and Diane that happened years earlier. BETTER TO HAVE GONE is a heartbreaking, insightful novel about the quest for a more perfect world.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, New Statesman, Air Mail, and more
A “haunting and elegant” (The Wall Street Journal) story about love, faith, the search for utopia—and the often devastating cost of idealism.
It’s the late 1960s, and two lovers converge on an arid patch of earth in South India. John Walker is the handsome scion of a powerful East Coast American family. Diane Maes is a beautiful hippie from Belgium. They have come to build a new world—Auroville, an international utopian community for thousands of people. Their faith is strong, the future bright.
So how do John and Diane end up dying two decades later, on the same day, on a cracked concrete floor in a thatch hut by a remote canyon? This is the mystery Akash Kapur sets out to solve in Better to Have Gone, and it carries deep personal resonance: Diane and John were the parents of Akash’s wife, Auralice. Akash and Auralice grew up in Auroville; like the rest of their community, they never really understood those deaths.
In 2004, Akash and Auralice return to Auroville from New York, where they have been living with John’s family. As they reestablish themselves in the community, along with their two sons, they must confront the ghosts of those distant deaths. Slowly, they come to understand how the tragic individual fates of John and Diane intersected with the collective history of their town.
“A riveting account of human aspiration and folly taken to extremes” (The Boston Globe), Better to Have Gone probes the underexplored yet universal idea of utopia and portrays in vivid detail the daily life of one such community. Richly atmospheric and filled with remarkable characters, spread across time and continents, this is narrative writing of the highest order—a “gripping…compelling…[and] heartbreaking story, deeply researched and lucidly told” (The New York Times Book Review).
In 1944, Maren enlists as a nurse to serve her country and escape her small hometown. While enlisted, she meets and falls in love with Dr. Oliver Demarest. In 1970, as the country grapples with the Vietnam War, Maren and Oliver wrestle with their daughter Annie’s new interest in the wrong man. When tragedy strikes, Annie leaves Haven Point, vowing never to return. In 2008, Annie’s daughter, Skye, comes back to Maine to scatter her mother’s ashes and, despite her reservations, reconnect with her grandmother in this poignant debut perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand.
In this page-turning domestic thriller by bestselling author Shari Lapena, three siblings are left to wonder if someone in their family might be capable of murder. Fred and Sheila Merton, who live in the wealthy enclave of Brecken Hill in upstate New York, are found brutally murdered after a contentious Easter dinner with their three adult children. Each of their children have reasons for being bitter—they all also each stand to inherit a fortune. But is one of them more unhinged than the rest thought possible?
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