We sifted through stacks of new reads for this list of fun, smart, page-turners guaranteed to please. Pair any of these new releases with sand, surf, and a side of sunscreen for an absolutely perfect day at the shore.
Tangerine, by Christine Mangan
All is not as it seems when a man goes missing after an estranged friend of his wife’s shows up at their home uninvited. Set in 1950s Morocco, this twisty, tense tale is told from alternating points of view.
The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner
Master storyteller Rachel Kushner takes you inside a woman’s prison where a stripper is incarcerated for killing her stalker. It’s a bleak and harrowing world, but the author writes with humor and grace about women in a prison-industrial complex.
An American Marriage, by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy have been married for a year and are enjoying life in Atlanta when Roy is arrested and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. You’ll be on the edge of your beach chair while you wait to see what happens next to this couple ripped apart by a flawed justice system.
Red Clocks, by Leni Zumas
In this stunning debut, the U.S. government has passed the Personhood Amendment, giving full constitutional rights to fertilized eggs at conception. The story follows five women in a small Oregon town as they navigate life in this terrifying new world. It’s a cautionary tale that feels ripped from the headlines a few weeks into the future.
The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer
In this coming-of-age novel, shy college student Greer Kadetsky meets her hero, 63-year-old feminist icon Faith Frank, who is an elegant, dazzling pillar of influence. At its heart, the book is about the desire to be given permission to be the person we long to be.
Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje
Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister are left by their parents in bombed-out London right after World War II, where they fall into the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. Years later, Nathaniel begins unraveling the mystery of his parents’ secrets and lies.
The Art of the Wasted Day, by Patricia Hampl
This odd, counterculture book celebrates the anti-self-help art of drifting into a dreamy day of leisure and solitude. It is a celebration of the letting go of the to-do list and making repose a goal. May we all get lost in the lost art of daydreaming — and realize it’s time well-spent.
The Death of Mrs. Westaway, by Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware is called the Agatha Christie of our time, and her latest is full of menace and suspense. Hal is a tarot card reader who accidentally receives a letter bequeathing her a large inheritance. Things do not get better from there.
Educated, by Tara Westover
Tara Westover’s memoir is an account of her harrowing upbringing in a survivalist family who didn’t believe in modern medicine or any kind of education. After breaking from her family she eventually earns a PhD from Cambridge. Educated is about the struggle to reinvent oneself no matter the cost.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara
You’ll want to keep the lights on while you read this true story about one woman’s hunt to unmask a serial-rapist-turned-murderer who terrorized California in the 1980s. The author obsessively pored over police records, determined to find the identity of the Golden State Killer. She died before her book was published and the case was solved in April 2018.
Florida, by Lauren Groff
This new collection of short stories by the beloved writer is set in the Sunshine State and include mysteries and portraits of a human and psychological nature. The book is built on unsettling but compelling prose — and it’s hard to put down.