Features

10 Must-Read Books This June

The editors pick their favorite books out this month.

Including insightful, entertaining, and beautifully written novels, memoirs, and poetry collections, here’s a list of the editors’ favorite books hitting shelves this June.

A Burning
By Megha Majumdar
Random House

“For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.”

Block Seventeen
By Kimiko Guthrie
Blackstone Publishing

“In melodic and suspenseful prose, Guthrie leads the reader to and from the past, through an unreliable present, and, inescapably, toward a shocking revelation. Block Seventeen, at times charming and light, at others disturbing and disorienting, explores how fear of the ‘other’ continues to shape our supposedly more enlightened times.”

Echo on the Bay
By Masatsugu Ono; Translated by Angus Turvill
Two Lines Press

“All societies, whether big or small, try to hide their wounds away. In this, his Mishima Prize-winning masterpiece, Masatsugu Ono considers a fishing village on the Japanese coast. Here a new police chief plays audience for the locals, who routinely approach him with bottles of liquor and stories to tell. As the city council election approaches, and as tongues are loosened by drink, evidence of rampant corruption piles up—and a long-held feud between the village’s captains of industry, two brothers-in-law, threatens to boil over.”

Tokyo Ueno Station
By Yu Miri
Riverhead Books

“Kazu is dead. Born in Fukushima in 1933, the same year as the Japanese Emperor, his life is tied by a series of coincidences to the Imperial family and has been shaped at every turn by modern Japanese history. But his life story is also marked by bad luck, and now, in death, he is unable to rest, doomed to haunt the park near Ueno Station in Tokyo.”

The Vanishing Half
By Brit Bennett
Riverhead Books

“The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.”

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water
By Zen Cho
Tor

“A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.”

The Dragons, the Giant, the Women
Wayétu Moore
Graywolf Press

“An engrossing memoir of escaping the First Liberian Civil War and building a life in the United States….In capturing both the hazy magic and the stark realities of what is becoming an increasingly pervasive experience, Moore shines a light on the great political and personal forces that continue to affect many migrants around the world, and calls us all to acknowledge the tenacious power of love and family.”

Magnetized: Conversations with a Serial Killer
By Carlos Busqued; Translated by Samuel Rutter
Catapult

“A riveting psychological portrait for readers of true crime classics such as My Dark Places, The Stranger Beside Me, and I’ll Be Gone In the Dark, one of Argentina’s most innovative writers brings to life the story of a serial killer who, in 1982, murdered four taxi drivers without any apparent motive.”

Seeing the Body
By Rachel Eliza Griffiths
W.W. Norton & Company

“Poems and photographs collide in this intimate collection, challenging the invisible, indefinable ways mourning takes up residence in a body, both before and after life-altering loss.”

You Exist Too Much
By Zaina Arafat
Catapult

“On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: ‘You exist too much,’ she tells her daughter.”

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