Seventeen sizzling reads for a South Florida summer


Summer is almost here, and while the warmest months of the year bring long-awaited vacations for some, it also means an extensive list of fiction releases that are likely to make an appearance in many bibliophiles’ reading lists.

Wherever you’re heading to enjoy the dog days of summer — beach, pool, park or patio — consider including one or several of these page-turners in your book bag.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (Berkley, out June 5): Stella Lane is obsessed with numbers, and her groundbreaking algorithms have provided her with substantial money at the age of 30. So why can’t she do the same for her love life? Despite dealing with Asperger’s, Stella decides to hire male escort Michael Phan to teach her the one thing about which she still has no clue: love.

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman (Atria, June 5): The author of “A Man Called Ove” returns with a follow-up to his 2017 novel, “Beartown.” A small community that takes pride in the local hockey team is dismayed when they receive the news that it may be disbanded. In an effort to save their team while battling former Beartown players who are now part of a rival team, the two towns will have to struggle with old grudges, villainous pranks and a resident who turns up dead.

Florida by Lauren Groff (Riverhead, June 5): Sinkholes, a snake farm and strange characters in a tiny town are some of the highlights of this short story collection by Groff (“Fates and Furies”), in which the Sunshine State along with its quirks is the exotic protagonist.

Lady Be Good by Amber Brock (Crown, June 26): This novel takes readers into 1950s New York, Miami and Havana as it follows the story of Kitty Kessler, the only child of a hotel and nightclub mogul. Forced to marry her father’s second-in-command, Kitty devises a plan to secure the future she wants, even though it may cost her everything.

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis (Dutton, Aug. 7): The long-lost art school that once existed inside Grand Central Station is at the center of Davis’ new novel, as she navigates between 1928 and 1974 to tell the story of two women separated by decades, but who refuse to be forgotten.

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding (Gallery/Scout Press, July 10): The author of “The Party” tackles the drama of a stay-at-home mom after an incident forces her family out of the circle of her son’s elite private school. But when she meets Kate Randolph, a powerful, confident woman who seems to take a special interest in her, Frances feels like her life is starting to change for the better. But Kate may not be who she says she is. And, for that matter, Frances might not be either.

Remind Me Again What Happened by Joanna Luloff (Algonquin, June 26): The Florida Keys are the perfect setting for a summer getaway. But not for Claire. She wakes up in a hospital with no idea of who she is or how she got there. Claire’s husband, Charlie, and her best friend, Rachel, are there, but Claire feels that something isn’t quite right.

The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, Aug. 7): When Clare arrives in Havana for a film festival, she catches a glimpse of her husband wearing a white linen suit. The problem? Her husband is supposed to be dead. As Clare follows Richard through the streets, she recalls her childhood in Florida and her marriage to Richard, reliving her part in his disappearance.

Providence by Caroline Kepnes (Lenny, June 19): A dark and disturbing novel about two friends, Jon and Chloe, who share a unique and unbreakable bond. Until Jon is kidnapped, only to be returned by his captors four years later with no memory of where he’s been, and seemingly in possession of dangerous powers.

Open Me by Lisa Locascio (Grove Press, Aug. 7): This bold coming-of-age story of a young American girl and her first time abroad doesn’t shy away from its representation of desire, racism and the exhilaration of youth.

Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, July 3) In this new novel by the author of “The Other Typist” and “Three-Martini Lunch,” two young World War II pilots face some ugly truths and family secrets during the U.S. internment of Japanese citizens.

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pierce (Scribner, July 3): This debut novel about a woman who becomes a secret advice columnist during World War II, is not only witty but also genuinely depicts a story about friendship and kindness during difficult times.

Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose (Atria, Aug. 7): This Jazz Age story has all the elements of a page-turner. A young painter who finds refuge at a selective and somewhat secluded artists colony finds her future in jeopardy when her past suddenly reappears and she is forced to make some difficult choices.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata and translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori (Grove Press, June 12): Published for the first time in English, this work by one of Japan’s notable contemporary writers, tells the story of a sheltered young woman who finds solace in her job at a convenience store. Eighteen years later and still in the same job, Keiko’s solace is interrupted by a sullen new co-worker.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage (St.Martin’s Press, July 17): If you like creepy “bad seed” thrillers that seem like a cross between “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and “The Turn of the Screw,” then this debut novel by Zoje Stage, about a mother’s desperation with her mute daughter’s increasingly strange demeanor, will hit all the right notes.

The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams (William Morrow, July 10): The author of “Cocoa Beach” and “The Wicked City” returns with a postwar story that depicts the deep divisions between class, family and society between the residents of the elite Winthrop Island when society girl Miranda Schuyler falls for Joseph Vargas, the son of the lighthouse keeper and his enigmatic wife.

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan (Little Brown, July 10): The magnificence and splendor of modern Shanghai come to life in Lucy Tan’s debut novel. The plot follows the Zhen family as they move back to China after spending years in America. As they move into a luxurious apartment complex in Shanghai, Wei, Lina and their daughter, Karen, begin to understand the difficulties of adapting to a drastically transformed city.



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