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The 15 Most Anticipated Books This Summer, According to Goodreads Members

Your summer reading list just got longer.

Listen up, class. Here’s your summer reading assignment. We’ve got everything from breezy romantic fare to true crime-y page-turners, bizarro near-dystopian fiction to full-on sci-fi, and everything in between. Some of the most anticipated, buzzed-about 2022 releases are coming out this season, and we can’t think of a more perfect addition to your suitcase than one of these 15 books. These 15 selections actually had the highest amount of “To-Read” clicks (Goodreads virtual version of adding a book to your stack.) Whether you’ll be flipping pages from the friendly skies, a train, or on the beach, pick up one of these Goodreads favorites this summer.

 

1 OF 15

'Woman of Light' by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Publication Date: June 7th

This multi-generational sweeping family saga tells the story of Luz “Little Light” Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, left to fend for herself after her brother is chased out of town (1930s Denver) by a violent white mob. Soon after, she begins having visions about her family’s Indigenous ancestry and past, and the remainder of the novel follows Luz as she uncovers her family’s legacy and fights for her survival.

Fans of multigenerational dramas like Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi will love this beautiful, heart-wrenching, ultimately hopeful novel that draws close connections to the ongoing realities of social and racial justice in the U.S.

 

2 OF 15

'Cult Classic' by Sloane Crosley

Publication Date: June 7th

Essayist and novelist Sloane Crosley is back with another hotly anticipated book this summer, weaving in her signature themes of mystery, romance, and suspense. In a kind of Christmas Carol-esque premise, newly engaged Lola keeps running into exes, making her call into question her current relationship. It turns out she’s been signed up (without her permission) to a cult-like social experiment involving her relationship but according to Crosley herself, that’s not necessarily the main focus of the novel:. “It’s about commitment and thinking about where the past belongs, and it’s hopefully a socially observant and funny novel.”

Already incredibly well-rated, this quirky, funny, and fresh book is an instant ticket to a balmy, romantic NYC night.

3 OF 15

'Carrie Soto Is Back' by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication Date: August 30th

Talented and wildly popular author Taylor Jenkins Reid has been having a bit of a moment. Her novels, Daisy Jones and the Six, Malibu Rising, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo have all been New York Times best sellers and span worlds and decades including the Sunset Strip in the swinging ’60s, a hedonist Malibu beach party in the ’80s, and Hollywood’s glamorous ’50s heyday.

In Carrie Soto Is Back, a legendary tennis pro with every Grand Slam title to her name decides to come out of retirement for one last shot at glory. It’s a familiar comeback story but told with Reid’s ability to craft dynamic, exciting characters (and taking place in the same universe as at least one of her novels), it’s a very much-anticipated addition to her menagerie of page-turners.

4 OF 15

'Nightcrawling' by Leila Mottley

Publication Date: June 7th

Among one of our many mottos here at Fodor’s is: If it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for us.

Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, 20-year-old Leila Mottley, has created a beautiful portrayal of the realities of being young, Black, and poor.

In Nightcrawling, we follow the story of Kiara and her brother Marcus, both abandoned by their parents, attempting to get by in modern Oakland’s soaring housing costs,. Kiara eventually turns to “nightcrawling” (a.k.a. sex work) among the dangerous and exploitive streets of the city, a decision she sees as a temporary means to an end until she is caught by the police. But instead of arresting her, to her horror, they take advantage of her situation, which later turns into a nationwide scandal. The novel beautifully and heartbreakingly examines the connections between police brutality, poverty, and the Black experience. Nightcrawling didn’t have to look far for inspiration⁠—it draws upon on the real-life scandal surrounding the Oakland police department where in 2015, it was uncovered that several Oakland PD officers were tipping off a young, underage sex worker in exchange for sex.

5 OF 15

'Counterfeit' by Kirstin Chen

Who doesn’t love a good scammer story? We sure do. In Counterfeit, we meet Ava Wong, drowning in the duties and boredom of domestication and motherhood. That is until an old friend and college roommate, Winnie Fang, emerges from Ava’s past and ropes her into her counterfeit luxury designer bag empire. With Ava’s lawyer background and straight-laced appearance, no one suspects the scheme. But after Winnie gets spooked and flees the country, Ava is left holding the (literal) bag.

Breezy, juicy, and highly reviewed, you’ll sprint through this book faster than we can spot a fake Prada.

6 OF 15

'More Than You'll Ever Know' by Katie Gutierrez

Publication Date: June 7th

In Katie Guitierrez’s More Than You’ll Ever Know, the main character, Dolores Riviera, has got a bit of a problem with her husband, sorry, husbands. You see, one has killed the other and her double life, erm, double lie, has ended in actual murder.

This suspenseful, sensational, drama-filled true-crime caper spans decades and follows both Dolores as she copes with the fallout from her husband’s murder and jumps to the future, where a young eager reporter is dying to profile her and uncover the why’s and how’s of Dolores tragic story. But what truths will she discover when she goes sniffing around in the past? Dun dun dun! You’ll have to pick up this page-turner this summer to find out.

 

7 OF 15

'The House Across the Lake' by Riley Sager

Publication Date: June 21st

Riley Sager, bestselling author of recent reader favorite Final Girls has penned another thriller, this time in the vein of Rear Window-y crime dramas a la The Girl on the Train. You may be thinking this style of drama has been done to death, but we’re always game for another who-dun-it!

Casey Fletcher, floundering after an embarrassing public meltdown, likes to have a drink (or three) and spy on the uber-wealthy dream couple across the lake, The Royces. Rich and beautiful, they make for perfect voyeuristic entertainment. But then, of course, Casey gets too close after saving Katherine Royce from drowning. And when Katherine goes missing, Casey is determined to find out where and why. You can probably guess where this suspenseful tale might lead, but we’re excited for every twist and turn.

8 OF 15

'The It Girl' by Ruth Ware

Publication Date: July 12th

In this academia-set thriller, a group of friends meets at Oxford, and the luminous, vivacious, and enigmatic April Clouts-Cliveden is the center of their universe. April’s personality and wild child attitude keep the entire group on their toes and pulled together in her orbit, that is until her tragic murder at the end of the second term.

While managing to graduate and move on, the past is pulled into question when a plucky journalist comes ‘a knocking a decade later with a theory that April’s killer may be innocent after all. Reuniting with former friends, everyone’s memories of (and secrets surrounding) April’s death come barrelling into the present. Who’s hiding what? We find out in this electric thriller from emerging English writer Ruth Ware (she wrote recent favorite In a Dark, Dark Wood).

9 OF 15

'You're Invited' by Amanda Jayatissa

Publication Date: August 9th

*To the tune of the Wedding March* “Who killed the brideeee? Who killed the brideeee?” In this My Best Friend’s Wedding-esque tale gone very, very wrong, Amaya is invited to former BFF Kaavi’s ultra-glam Sri Lanken wedding only to realize the groom is none other than her ex-boyfriend. If that’s not insulting enough, how about this for injury? After Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, the finger gets pointed at Amaya. As Amaya realizes everyone at the wedding has their motivations for destroying the union (and getting rid of Kaavi) things start to get very ugly.

Wicked and expertly plotted, we highly recommend bringing this one to your best friend’s wedding or bachelorette party this season. It might make you rethink the whole wanting to secretly kill her for putting you in a strapless, Shrek-green gown thing.

 

10 OF 15

'The Daughter of Doctor Moreau' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Publication Date: July 19th

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau answers the question, “What if we took an H.G Well’s classic but made it feminist?”

Intrigued? This genre-bending drama takes place during real-life events (The Caste War of Yucatan in the mid-1800s) while set against the fictional backdrop of The Island of Doctor Moreau. Carlota Moreau, the only daughter of said doctor, lives with her father and a group of “hybrids,” horrific part-human, part-monster monstrosities in relative (?) peace and harmony until Eduardo Lizalde, son of Dr. Moreau’s patron, comes to visit and stirs up drama and uncovers secrets. Throw in a sweltering jungle, some science-fiction weirdness, and you’ve got an unlikely winner of a novel. Is there anything Silvia Moreno-Garcia can’t do?

11 OF 15

'Babel' by R.F. Kuang

Publication Date: August 23rd

We head back to Oxford’s storied halls for R.F Kuang’s Babel. Kuang called this ambitious novel her “love letter and breakup letter” to her alma mater Oxford, and it’s easy to see why.

Fantasy and historical fiction nerds will eat up this world-building yarn that centers on a prestigious Oxford translation institute, Babel. But by using the entry point of a fictionalized program that’s critical to the power and expansion of the British empire, Kuang examines the issues of colonization and identity.

High level? If you’re looking for a Thrones-y drama, you won’t find it here. What you will find might be even more special. Student revolutionaries, overthrowing the man, and education being weaponized? Historical fiction and fantasy from a female BIPOC writer? Yes, yes, and yes.

12 OF 15

'Upgrade' by Blake Crouch

Publication Date: July 12th

In Beyonce’s “Upgrade U” she belts, “I’ma help you build up your account.” In Blake Crouch’s Upgrade, he simplifies the upgrading process a bit, trading in Beyonce-fiction for just your average human genome hacking. The main character, Logan Ramsey, is feeling better, faster, stronger after being leveled up. But this “hacking” comes at a cost both for himself, and the planet.

Science fiction fans are well versed in the creepy, suspenseful, thrillers Crouch creates, most notably his Wayward Pines trilogy, adapted for TV by M. Night Shyamalan. And reviewers have noted Crouch has a way of not only making you feel deeply for his main character but putting also you right in their shoes. Dystopian, disturbing, and perfect for these seemingly End Times, you’ll love diving into Upgrade this summer.

13 OF 15

'On Rotation' by Shirlene Obuobi

Publication Date: June 21st

It wouldn’t be summer without some steaminess. And that’s just what the heroine of On Rotation, Angela Appia, could use. After ticking off all the boxes of “Perfect Immigrant Daughter”med school, a gaggle of “acceptable and respectable friends,” and a successful boyfriend–she’s swiftly dumped by both her BFF and boyfriend and bombs the most important exam of her career.

Things are looking grim until the sexy, charming, and genuine Ricky Gutierrez enters her world. There’s only one hitch: he doesn’t fit the “Perfect Immigrant Daughter” bill. Will Appia get out of her own way and let her heart lead the way instead of her head? Grey’s fans will love this simmering romance perfect for the season. This charming debut encapsulates so much of the immigrant experience while managing to be fun, romantic, and a breath of fresh air.

14 OF 15

'River of the Gods' by Candice Millard

Publication Date: May 17th

A former writer and editor at National Geographic, Candice Millard’s books manage to capture history’s greatest discoveries without sounding like drab Wikipedia entries. In fact, in her latest, River of the Gods, she illuminates readers on the “discovery” of the Nile, a long-sought-after mystery for centuries. We know much about the two navigators credited with finding the river and making the treacherous voyage to seek it, but little was known of the formerly enslaved East African Sidi Mubarak Bombay, without whom the navigators surely would not have made it to the Nile, let alone survived the journey. Millard manages to not only bring this adventure to life, but give credit to the lesser-known people who were erased by history’s pages, while simultaneously exploring issues of colonialism, race, and ownership.

 

15 OF 15

'An Immense World' by Ed Yong

Publication Date: June 21st 

Planet Earth junkies will love science journalist Ed Young’s exploration into how animals’ keen, highly developed senses reveal hidden worlds existing all around us. Young guides readers through these worlds including turtles using electromagnetic fields, crocodile’s ultra-sensitive skin, and why dogs like stopping to smell the roses so much.

By the time you’re finished reading this endlessly fascinating book, you’ll feel in tune with the right-in-front-of-our-faces worlds surrounding us, and a little more in love with the magical creatures we share our home with.

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