Summer Reads

Every time summer comes back around, it seems everyone rushes to the bookshelf to create a stack of summer reads. Sitting by the pool, warm evenings after the kids go to bed, and lazy days in the air conditioning are all reasons to have new reads on hand. As a bookseller, I am lucky enough to be your Ghost of Publishing Future! Here are some of Summer 2024’s most highly-anticipated reads—a little something for everyone and available to preorder from our friendly neighborhood bookstore, Bookshop Benicia

Romance

A Novel Love Story by Ashley Poston

Publish Date: June 25, 2024

I got my hands on the Advance Reader’s Copy of this romance and this gentle story of healing is perfect for anyone who has turned to books to escape from life’s obstacles. Magical realism immerses the protagonist—and the reader—in a storybook town which becomes the backdrop of her healing journey… and someone else’s. 

Fantasy

The Bright Sword: A Novel of King Arthur by Lev Grossman

Publish Date: July 16, 2024

Camelot has fallen in this twist on the well-known legend. A ragtag team sourced from the dregs at the bottom of the round table’s barrel must join together to restore balance and reignite Camelot. Imperfection guides the narrative that will surely be an exciting voice added to the conversation around Arthurian legend. 

Science Fiction

Rakesfall by Vajra Chandrasekera

Publish Date: June 18, 2024

“Some stories take more than one lifetime to tell.” This sci-fi epic traces the reincarnations of Annelid and Leveret as they tumble through time. You, too, can fall through different worlds and lives under the guided hand of Rakefall’s prose and explore what stories can be. 

Mystery/Thriller

One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon

Publish date: June 11, 2024

If you are a fan of Jordan Peele’s films, this thriller is cut from the same cloth. A utopian society for Black Americans isn’t exactly what it seems and the new couple next door are in for a rude awakening. This gothic, psychological thriller is meant to be devoured in one sitting. If you crack it open in the sun, don’t forget your sunscreen or you’ll get burned twice. 

Literary Fiction

Bear by Julia Phillips

Publish Date: June 25, 2024

What would you do if a bear knocked on your door? Two sisters, deep in financial woes at the feet of rich vacationers, have to answer. Fear and awe, action and reaction, toe the balance in this mythical novel of sisterly love. The main protagonists are enchantingly easy to root for through a fairytale come to life. 

Historical Fiction

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

Publish Date: July 2, 2024

Friendship, betrayal, and redemption circle the narrative through thirty years of Tehran, Iran. The beauty of Iranian culture comes into full view as the nation, and the book’s characters, come of age. Growing pains are evident, however this historical novel is sure to be an emotional and informative read. 

Young Adult

Trespass Against Us by Leon Kemp

Publish Date: July 16, 2024

Horror has slowly taken over the Young Adult age group and Trespass Against Us is a worthy addition. Four friends visit an abandoned school—Dominic House—which was really a religious reform school. Who will make it out? Full of secrets and ghosts, this story is utterly thrilling for teens and adults alike. 

Non-Fiction

The Demon of Unrest by Erik Larson

Publish Date: April 30, 2024

The five months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the Civil War are the subject of this History and Politics read. The fluke of Lincoln’s victory through the events of Fort Sumter builds an intricate timeline of mistakes, miscommunications, and rampant egos with ambitions to match. This true account of our nation’s history reads as a thrilling narrative and serves as a timely reminder. 

Alexa’s Pick:  

Lady Macbeth by Ava Reid

Publish Date: August 6, 2024

Okay, I’ve already read this one. I am an Ava Reid superfan and have read everything she’s published. This Fantasy is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth from the Lady’s perspective. Extremely fresh and unique, this novel was a riveting read from cover to cover with a truly original take on one of the most infamous villains of English Literature.