The Pallbearers Club Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod Happy-Go-Lucky Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty The Book Eaters The Half Life of Valery K
Nuclear Family Happy-Go-Lucky His Name Is George Floyd (Pulitzer Prize Winner): One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice A Mirror Mended Nuclear Family A Mirror Mended His Name Is George Floyd (Pulitzer Prize Winner): One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow Last Summer on State Street You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty The Book Eaters A Mirror Mended Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow Happy-Go-Lucky
Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional The Pallbearers Club The Half Life of Valery K How to Read Now: Essays How to Read Now: Essays Last Summer on State Street

Brittany’s Summer Reading List Part 1: New Releases/Hardcover

By A Sanctuary Cafe: Coffee, Books & Cats

Brittany’s Summer Reading List Part 1: New Releases/Hardcover

By A Sanctuary Cafe: Coffee, Books & Cats
Happy-Go-Lucky

Happy-Go-Lucky

David Sedaris

$29.00 $26.97

In my “Why I’m Excited to Read This” preview I wrote: “It is a testament to my deep, deep love of everything David Sedaris writes that I brought this nightmare-inducing book cover into my house.” I’ve loved his work for nearly 20 years; his ability to sniff out the absurd in every situation and make me laugh out loud makes me eagerly anticipate each new essay collection. I also deeply admire and appreciate his growth as a writer, as over time his essays have included more and deeper layers of meaning and poignancy to go with his signature humor. I think this may be his best, most honest book yet. Every line feels exactly right and effortless as he expertly navigates the funny and the dark moments in a collection that grapples with both the pandemic and the death of his extremely difficult father. “Unbuttoned” and “Pussytoes” are particular standouts for me. P.S. I still can’t handle the deeply creepy cover image, but I discovered the book underneath is a lovely sky blue if you remove the dust jacket! (Memoir/Essays, Publication Date: May 31)

A Mirror Mended

A Mirror Mended

Alix E. Harrow

$18.99 $17.66

Much like A Spindle Splintered (the first book set in this quirky and delightful fairy tale metaverse), I was immediately and completely sucked into this book; its witty lines and lively characters were exactly what I needed after one particularly long week. I was also pleasantly surprised that such a slim, fun volume found space to tackle big ideas like finding one’s place in the world and what it means to be “good.” A Mirror Mended makes a strong (and enjoyable) case for reconsidering the “facts” in classic fairy tales like Snow White, particularly who the real heroes and villains might be—or how easily those roles might flip. (Fantasy, Publication Date: June 14)

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty

Akwaeke Emezi

$27.00 $25.11

This was the first book on my summer must-read list, so it’s not surprising it’s the first one I’ve finished. I am a very big fan of Akwaeke Emezi’s work, and they are one of the few authors (the only right now?) where I actually follow through on my plans to reread their work. I’ve come to expect beautiful prose, gorgeously developed characters, and to being personally stretched and challenged in unexpected ways. What I love about this book: it is the most brilliant blend of fantasy and realism. The fantasy is big and fun, with beautiful, interesting people, Yefi having her “hot girl summer” with multiple appealing men, and even includes Yefi being whisked away to a spectacular mansion set within lush rainforest on a Caribbean mountainside. But there is also deeply moving, heartbreaking realism in Jonah, Yefi’s former husband, who she will not call her ex because they never broke up, he died. I loved that this isn’t a book about a broken person being “fixed” by a new love, because Yefi isn’t looking to replace her experience with him. This book is about finding the good things in life that can settle in next to the broken, scarred places—and in that way, Emezi writes something both more real and more unbelievable/fantastic than possibly any romance I’ve read before. If you’re looking for a new read that channels the essence of summer and delivers on steamy romance, check this one out. Additionally, if you’re “not a romance novel person” (I used to label myself this way), check this one out and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. (Romance, Publication Date: May 24)

Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod

Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod

Casey Sherman

$26.99 $25.10

Mixed reviews are always the hardest for me to write. Even though I was fully warned that this is a true crime novel rather than nonfiction, I didn’t appreciate Sherman’s imagined internal dialogues between serial killer Tony Costa and his “alter ego” Cory, or his attempt to reimagine the extremely gruesome murders. (Warning: there are multiple instances of human and animal mutilation in this book, though I appreciated the decision to not include crime scene or autopsy photos.) All of that being said, I cannot fault it for being good, entertaining company during a long holiday weekend. The author’s fairly deep dive into the biographies of Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut (both obsessed with the case) and the major historic events and politics of the time was an unexpected pleasure to read about. And at the end of the day, I can never regret reading a book that pairs a lesser known serial killer with local history. (True Crime/Historical Fiction, Publication Date: July 12)

His Name Is George Floyd (Pulitzer Prize Winner): One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

His Name Is George Floyd (Pulitzer Prize Winner): One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice

Toluse Olorunnipa and Robert Samuels

$30.00 $27.90

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I really enjoyed an interview the co-authors did and I think this book will help my own process of better understanding not just an historic turning point but also George Floyd as a real person, not just a symbol. (Biography/Social Justice, Publication Date: May 17)

Nuclear Family

Nuclear Family

Joseph Han

$26.00 $24.18

Why I’m Excited to Read This: This debut novel about a Korean-American family living in Hawaii went from intriguing to a must-read for me when I learned it would involve the ghost of a long-lost grandfather possessing his grandson to try to complete unfinished business in North Korea. (Literary Fiction/Supernatural, Publication Date: June 7)

Last Summer on State Street

Last Summer on State Street

Toya Wolfe

$27.99 $26.03

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I have particular personal interest in this book having lived on State Street in Chicago for four years (though a different section) and having worked in a school with students who were losing their homes due to a different housing project tear-down. (Fiction, Publication Date: June 14)

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Gabrielle Zevin

$28.00 $26.04

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I’ve tried to resist the pull of this book because I feared it was over-marketed and over-hyped, but trusted local booksellers have assured me it deserves all of the attention it’s getting, so I’m going to give it a try. (Fiction, Publication Date: July 5)

The Pallbearers Club

The Pallbearers Club

Paul Tremblay

$27.99 $26.03

Why I’m Excited to Read This: This book checks a lot of boxes for me: local author, MA setting, the 80s, possible vampires, scribbled comments by the protagonist’s friend all over the text…Also, while it is still technically horror, I don’t think this premise has the power to scar me as deeply as the pandemic in Survivor Song (not your fault but too real, Tremblay, too real). (Fiction/Horror, Publication Date: July 5)

How to Read Now: Essays

How to Read Now: Essays

Elaine Castillo

$27.00 $25.11

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I hope this will help me to identify assumptions and limitations that I bring to reading, particularly by underrepresented authors. For example, when am I guilty of reducing them to their category as “other” and what can I do about it? (Essays, Publication Date: July 26)

Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional

Isaac Fitzgerald

$27.00 $25.11

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I liked his picture book (How To Be a Pirate) and liked his book talk at an event (for that picture book), so I’m very curious to read about his unusual life. (Memoir, Publication Date: July 19)

The Half Life of Valery K

The Half Life of Valery K

Natasha Pulley

$28.00 $26.04

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I adore Natasha Pulley and her novels’ unique blend of historical fiction and the fantastical (always with winning characters and a brilliant, intricate plot—how can one person be so talented?). This time Pulley is tackling Cold War/nuclear history with a science fiction twist, and I can’t wait to read it! (Historical Fiction/Science Fiction, Publication Date: July 26)

The Book Eaters

The Book Eaters

Sunyi Dean

$27.99 $26.03

Why I’m Excited to Read This: I’m confident this book will find the right people, and I am confident that I am one of those people. I *absolutely* want to read about a community that eats books instead of food, and I *absolutely* want to find out what happens when one of them is born wanting to eat human minds instead of stories. (Fantasy, Publication Date: August 2)