Summer Fridays are finally here, which means it’s time to start loading your tote bags with all the books you can carry. There are plenty of fabulous new releases to choose from, and many of them are looking mighty Instagrammable. (You know exactly what I mean—they’re fave-bait.) Tuck any or all of these eight titles into your oh-so-cool Joan Didion tote, raise your iced coffee high, and artfully arrange to your heart’s content because there’s substance to these stylish books.
1. Modern Lovers by Emma Straub (Riverhead)
This book has been showing up everywhere for months, despite being officially released just two weeks ago. The cover art is delightfully bright and playful, so it’s no surprise that the artist, Leah Goren, has also designed items like my favorite Anthropologie cat mug (no, seriously). The content’s just right for the season, too: the Washington Post proclaimed of Modern Lovers, “Summer in the city has never felt so good.”
2. Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday by Christine Reilly (Touchstone)
This adorable book has created quite a fan following—check out #SundaysOnThePhoneToMonday on Instagram. Readers have taken to showing off the book with flowers, candles, lattes, #socksunday, and even custom nail art. As a story that pays loving tribute to the art that inspired it (ahem, The Beatles), it’s fitting that so many readers have in turn shared their photographs with the author. It definitely doesn’t hurt that the cover is equal parts quirky and sweet, just like Christine Reilly‘s enchanting prose.
3. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (Knopf)
When an author sells her debut for a cool six figures, it’s hard not to be intrigued. But when it’s finally published to loud fanfare from the likes of Vogue and a striking cover to boot—well, it’s irresistible. Here’s one to read just to be in on the conversation. Hot tip: for extra ‘grammability, pair Sweetbitter with the latest issue of the Paris Review; they’re fans.
4. The Girls by Emma Cline (Random House)
Set in the summer of 1969 and loosely based on the Manson Girls, this debut novel is terrifying, made even more so when told through Ms. Cline’s brilliant lens. Cline writes with a great understanding of the vulnerabilities of young women and the magnetic pull of a charismatic leader –those little steps of undoing that can then lead to unfathomable consequences. I found myself reading over certain passages several times, amazed at Ms. Cline’s psychological acuity, providing a vivid and searing image of a time and place that we so often romanticize. This title is already the talk of summer – @elizabethlane63's review of #TheGirls: bit.ly/quarterlanesummerbox #quarterlanesummer #reading #beach #bookstagram #books #emmacline
With its provocative hook and that striking cover art, Emma Cline‘s debut is another hotly anticipated book of the summer. For those of us who have already read (and reread) The Virgin Suicides, what better to complement our Esalen-inspired summer garb than an atmospheric novel set in 1969? Hippie vibes aside, the New York Times wrote that The Girls is “told in sentences at times so finely wrought they could almost be worn as jewelry.” Swoon.
5. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Atria)
"I guess that’s why true love is so alluring in the first place. It’s hard to find and hold on to, like all beautiful things." 📖 . . 3 weeks until ONE TRUE LOVES by @tjenkinsreid is out in the world and I probably won't stop talking about it until then (I ain't sorry #lemonade🍋) . . Preorder this beauty — link is in my bio! There's a reason I have a line from this book tattooed on me!!
6. Square Wave by Mark De Silva (Two Dollar Radio)
A new book I bought yesterday that I can't wait to finish. I've started just this morning and I do not want to put it down. It is the debut novel by #MarkDeSilva who writes with a lens on sharp focus – so precise, it doesn't miss anything. Everything is in the foreground. It's about a writer moonlighting as a night watchman who then uncovers some shady business conducted by a militarized state aiming to weaponize the weather. All this while researching 17th century imperialism in Sri Lanka… for a writing project he's working on. I know, sounds crazy right? It is ambitious and connections are seemingly tenuous, but de Silva is a capable and crafty writer. Although at times, it can get obvious that de Silva is giving it all to impress with his first novel, his baby. There are a few moments when it seems he just couldn't resist the writerly cadenza. Nevertheless, #SquareWave is a brilliant read. His perspectives so far are fresh, unique and really intelligent. You wonder how it all works… But the writing is so smart that de Silva will totally have you convinced that it does. Also I want to note that this #book is not only beautiful, kudos must go out to #TwoDollarRadio for the design and layout, but it is printed on "Enviro 100% post-consumer EcoLogo certified paper, processed chlorine free & manufactured using biogas energy." ♻️👍 How cool is that?
If you haven’t read anything from Two Dollar Radio yet, hop to it. This Ohio-based publisher’s cover design is continually on point, as is their list. In addition to putting together this handy flowchart, they’ve also helpfully instructed that Square Wave is “Don Delillo + Robert Bolaño + Fargo” (SOLD). The beautiful cover is just a bonus. French flaps, yo.
7. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (Simon Teen)
Book + Outfit Of The Day #bohobookfest . . . I would like to use this as an entry for @bibliophilia.marks's rep search!😊 I would LOVE to promote their shop! Their bookmarks are AMAZING. The edits are on point👌 I also want to be their rep because I would love to tell everyone how beautiful their designs are! More people need to see their products! When I am chosen as a representative, I share their products with my friends and anyone here in the Bookstagram community! Also, if you need any suggestions for designs, I would gladly help!😊😊 #BibliophiliaMarks1stRepSearch . . . #bookworm #bookstagram #yalovin #bookish #booknerd #booknerdigan #booklover #bookaddict #bookaholic #booklion #bookgeek #biblio #bibliophile #bookgram #instabook #booktography #bookphotography #books #igreads #bookstagramfeature #bibliomania #booklr #teenreads #morganmatson #theunexpectedeverything #booksofinstagram #tumblr #ootd
I love reading YA in the summer because so many of the books are actually set within the season. It’s the perfect setting for drama to unfold and resolve in just three months—or, for the reader, over the course of an afternoon spent binge-reading. The Unexpected Everything is an extremely satisfying case in point, and the cover just screams “summer break” to me. Ice cream truck + group of adorable dogs + cute summery outfit = I’d definitely hold this book in front of a pool for a picture with zero shame.
8. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson (Graywolf Press)
The Argonauts may well have been the to-read book of 2015, and that was BEFORE Emma Watson graced us with this beautiful book selfie and selected it as the May read for her feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. Basically, if you haven’t read it yet, you have no excuse to put it off any longer. Read it, love it, ‘gram it; just as much for the attention-grabbing design as for the breathtaking, genre-bending writing (and maybe just a little bit for the indie cred).
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