11 Excellent Summer Reads for Your Book Club

Originally published on Kirkus. For more from Kirkus, click here.

  • 'Invincible Summer' by Alice Adams
    "Breezy with substance; an absorbing summer read."
Adams’ sensitive debut follows a tightknit quartet of college friends as
    "Breezy with substance; an absorbing summer read." Adams’ sensitive debut follows a tightknit quartet of college friends as they navigate their shifting relationships—and evolving identities—over the course of two decades. Read full book review.
  • 'Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man's Education' by Mychal Denzel Smith
    "Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersection
    "Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous." As black men are cut down by the police and self-appointed vigilantes, an activist wrestles with competing claims—from his family and community, his historically black university, the media, and white America—on his blackness and how it is to be lived. Read full book review.
  • 'Everyone Brave is Forgiven' by Chris Cleave
    "Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout, with irresistibly enga
    "Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout, with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality." Privileged young Londoners lose their sense of entitlement and their moral innocence in Cleave’s (Gold, 2012, etc.) romantic but very adult World War II love story. Read full book review.
  • 'My Father & Atticus Finch: A Lawyer's Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama' by Joseph Madison Beck
    "A poignant and warmly engaging memoir."
A distinguished Atlanta attorney remembers his lawyer father, who defended a black
    "A poignant and warmly engaging memoir." A distinguished Atlanta attorney remembers his lawyer father, who defended a black man against charges that he raped a white woman in pre–civil rights era Alabama. Read full book review.
  • 'We Could Be Beautiful' by Swan Huntley
    "An intoxicating escape; as smart as it is fun."
Posh Manhattanite Catherine West has everything but the family she’s always
    "An intoxicating escape; as smart as it is fun." Posh Manhattanite Catherine West has everything but the family she’s always wanted. But when she falls for the man of her supposed dreams, she unravels a web of deception that upends life as she knows it. Read full book review.
  • 'In the Darkroom' by Susan Faludi
    "A moving and penetrating inquiry into manifold struggles for identity, community, and authenticity."
A Pulitzer Prize–winni
    "A moving and penetrating inquiry into manifold struggles for identity, community, and authenticity." A Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist investigates the “fluidity and binaries” of “modern transsexuality.” Read full book review.
  • 'The Girls' by Emma Cline
    "Vivid and ambitious."
An award-winning young author uses Charles Manson and his followers as the inspiration for her first
    "Vivid and ambitious." An award-winning young author uses Charles Manson and his followers as the inspiration for her first novel. Read full book review.
  • 'Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty' by Ramona Ausubel
    "Ausubel’s magical, engrossing prose style perfectly fits this magical, engrossing story."
Fortunes and hearts are lost and
    "Ausubel’s magical, engrossing prose style perfectly fits this magical, engrossing story." Fortunes and hearts are lost and found in a modern fairy tale set in the 1960s and '70s. Read full book review.
  • 'June' by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
    "A lightly gothic tale of hearts broken and mended in small-town America."
Love between a small-town girl and one of Hollywo
    "A lightly gothic tale of hearts broken and mended in small-town America." Love between a small-town girl and one of Hollywood’s leading men leads to murder, blackmail, and secrets. Read full book review.
  • 'Sweetbitter' by Stephanie Danler
    "As they say at the restaurant: pick up! "
An ingénue from the Midwest learns the ways of the world, and the flesh, during h
    "As they say at the restaurant: pick up! " An ingénue from the Midwest learns the ways of the world, and the flesh, during her year as a back waiter at a top Manhattan restaurant. Read full book review.
  • 'Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide' by Charles Foster
    "A splendid, vivid contribution to the literature of nature."
In which an English author, tired of the high street, takes to
    "A splendid, vivid contribution to the literature of nature." In which an English author, tired of the high street, takes to the fens and burrows to learn how animals live. Read full book review.