Now Read This

Top 10 books to watch for in June

There are lots of great books hitting shelves in June, including the latest from Annie Proulx, Yaa Gyasi, and Mary Roach (who will be at The Music Hall in Portsmouth later this month). Here are the top-10 highlights coming up this month.

The Girls
by Emma ClineThe Girls by Emma ClineInspired by events involving the Manson family back in the 1960s, “The Girls” is narrated by a woman who was loosely involved with a nefarious cult when she was a teen. It’s a gorgeously written account of adolescent longing and the desire to belong.

by Natashia DeónGrace by Natashia DeónA runaway slave from Alabama finds shelter in a brothel in Georgia in this brutal, striking, debut novel. Fifteen-year-old Naomi has left her family behind in return for freedom, but difficulties follow her to Georgia, where she finds herself falling for a troubled gambler. The result of their relationship is Josie, who grows up never knowing her mother.

by Yaa GyasiHomegoing by Yaa GyasiArguably the best book of 2016, “Homegoing” is a breathtaking epic about a family in Ghana and their descendants, spanning 300 years and several countries. This is a tremendous novel, and will be sure to win awards.

by Michael HarveyBrighton by Michael HarveyA successful journalist must face his past in this suspenseful Boston thriller. Kevin Pearce managed to avoid punishment as a teen when he and his friend, Bobby, committed a crime. But 23 years later, he’s going to have to protect that secret when he learns of a string of unsolved murders in his hometown.

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers
by Max PorterGrief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max PorterThis novella, winner of the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize, is unlike anything else I’ve read. It’s about a man and his young sons dealing with the grief of losing their mother, who begin seeing crows in the house. This is a powerful meditation on loss, and a beautiful, beautiful read.

by Annie ProulxBarkskins by Annie ProulxA new Annie Proulx novel is cause for celebration! This is a fantastic, multi-generational saga following two penniless young Frenchmen who arrive in America in the late 17th century and their descendants. This novel is positively dazzling.

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War
by Mary RoachGrunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary RoachMary Roach has one of the most interesting brains in the business. Whether discussing sex, death, ghosts, or outer space, she never fails to make her subjects fascinating. Her latest is a look at humans when they go to war. (Roach will be at The Music Hall in Portsmouth on June 30 — I highly recommend checking her out!)

The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047
by Lionel ShriverThe Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel ShriverShriver (“We Need To Talk About Kevin”) is back with a fantastic near-future novel about the effects of an economic collapse on four generations of a once-prosperous family. The Mandibles have always relied on their sizeable family fortune, but when the U.S. engages in a bloodless war that wipes out the nation’s finances, they must scramble to make ends meet, igniting old rivalries and jealousies.

Marrow Island
by Alexis M. SmithMarrow Island by Alexis M. SmithSmith’s gorgeous, atmospheric second novel is about a young journalist who returns to the town she grew up in, where her father was killed in a factory explosion when she was young, to settle her affairs. Once home, she discovers her old best friend is now part of a sketchy environmental cult and decides to investigate on her own.

Super Extra Grande
by Yoss (translated from Spanish by David Frye)Super Extra Grande by YossCuba’s most successful science-fiction writer returns with a new novel about the invention of faster-than-light space travel, and the resulting problems that occur when humans, not quite up to speed with the implications of such technology, decide to investigate the corners of the galaxy.