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12 Must-Read Books of July

12 Must-Read Books of July

  • The new books you should read in July 2022.

Hot enough out there for you? As we turn to the season of family BBQs, fireworks, and lounging by the pool, it’s understandable if some of our reading falls by the wayside. Adults don’t get participation stickers from their library programs, after all. But your TBR pile will still be there when you’re ready, and we hope you’ll add some of these twelve fantastic new titles to it. 

Cover of Night of the Living Rez

Night of the Living Rez
By Morgan Talty
Tin House Books

The title might be a clever play on a certain George Romero classic, but there’s nothing undead about the people who populate Morgan Talty’s penetrating debut. Set in the Penobscot Native community in Maine, these twelve interlocking stories are woven together with the care and intimacy of a family heirloom. 

Cover of Human Blues

Human Blues
By Elisa Albert
Avid Reader Press

Elisa Albert has been one of our most fearless chroniclers of the trials of womanhood. In her latest work of fiction, she turns her audacious eye towards fertility and fame with riotous results. Human Blues follows a musician over the course of nine menstrual cycles, captured with a rollicking rhythm that would make Carrie Brownstein proud.

Cover of Venomous Lumpsucker

Venomous Lumpsucker
By Ned Beauman
Soho Press

It’s hard to imagine there will be a more delightful title this year than Ned Beauman’s Venomous Lumpsucker. Luckily the book itself is no less madcap and acerbic, with Beauman holding nothing back as he skewers capitalism, corporate overreach, and the avaricious greed that threatens to ravage our planet and its most vulnerable species and people.

Cover of All Down Darkness Wide

All Down Darkness Wide: A Memoir
By Seán Hewitt
Penguin Press

Seán Hewitt may be young in years but he has already won a slew of prizes in his native Ireland for poetry and criticism. Now this prodigious talent offers up an ambitious, transcendent memoir that effortlessly blends the story of a loved one’s mental illness with a historical excavation of queer figures past. Haunted and haunting.  

Cover of Red Valkyries

Red Valkyries: Feminist Lessons From Five Revolutionary Women
By Kristen Ghodsee
Verso Books

How do you follow up a book titled Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism? In the case of Kristen Ghodsee, host of the popular A.K. 47 podcast and a Guggenheim Fellow to boot: with this lively collection of essays spotlighting prominent socialist women whose work towards emancipation still has the power to galvanize us today.

Cover of Sister Mother Warrior

Sister Mother Warrior
By Vanessa Riley
William Morrow

Speaking of emancipation, Vanessa Riley sweeps readers back to the Haitian Revolution with her latest, a novel based on the true stories of two women who were instrumental in the uprising of the country’s enslaved people. An immersive and vibrant evocation of a period still too often overlooked.

Cover of Carnality

By Lina Wolff; Translated by Frank Perry
Other Press

Winner of the prestigious Aftonbladet Literature Prize in 2019, Carnality arrives on American shores this month. Swedish-born Lina Wolff and translator Frank Perry cast a transfixing spell over readers, as a man on the run tells an unusual story involving a nun missing a thumb, a mysterious TV show, and a murder off the Spanish coast. It’s a wild ride you won’t want to end.

Cover of Golden Age

Golden Age
By Wang Xiaobo; Translated by Yan Yan
Astra House

Chinese author Wang Xiaobo passed away in 1997, but he left the world with a treasure trove of work waiting to be discovered by readers. Yan Yan’s translation of one of his signature novels, Golden Age, is a tour de force satire of the Cultural Revolution, a brave and bawdy work that will appeal to fans of Gary Shteyngart and Michel Houellebecq alike. 

See Also

Cover of Calling for a Blanket Dance

Calling for a Blanket Dance
By Oscar Hokeah
Algonquin Books

Oscar Hokeah, a citizen of Cherokee Nation and the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, makes an auspicious debut with this multigenerational saga. Recalling both Tommy Orange and Gabriel Garcia Marquez in its narrative structure, Calling for a Blanket Dance introduces readers to the Geimausaddle family and their struggles. A book to deeply invest in. 

Cover of Poukahangatus

By Tayi Tibble

With this stunning poetry debut named for the legendary Powhatan princess, New Zealand writer Tayi Tibble announces her willingness to challenge folklore traditions right out of the gate. Fearless and expansive in her range, touching on everything from the Kardashians to Māori mythology, Tibble carves out an exciting space for herself that readers will want to be a part of.  

Cover of How to Read Now

How to Read Now: Essays
By Elaine Castillo

Elaine Castillo’s debut, America Is Not the Heart, was one of our favorite reads of 2018 and we’ve been eager to see what’s next from her. This incisive collection of essays doesn’t disappoint, tossing a bomb into our tired cultural conversations around reading and empathy to ask tougher and more urgent questions about the political potential of this beloved pastime.

Cover of An Honest Living

An Honest Living
By Dwyer Murphy

There’s no better time for a down-and-dirty private eye tale than the dog days of summer, and CrimeReads editor-in-chief Dwyer Murphy delivers that and more with his debut novel. Set in New York in the mid-2000s among the city’s antiquarian booksellers and seedy real estate developers, it’s a smart and stylishly rendered ode to literature lovers everywhere.

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