Your commute is sweltering and the idea of wasting a sunny summer day in a savagely air-conditioned office is brutal. What if you just . . . didn’t? Hop on the subway to Coney Island or the Rockaways for a much-deserved day on the sand, where your subway read does double duty as a beach read. Dip into the ocean to soak off whatever mysterious goo dripped down your arm right after you swiped your MetroCard, block your boss on Instagram stories and take advantage of your summertime alternate commute with these new books.
‘Sex and The City and Us’
By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
Streaming “Sex and the City” at the beach would be a little extra, so take a break from your screen and page through the engaging history of Candace Bushnell’s legendary Observer column turned book turned HBO series turned movie franchise. This deeply researched, engaging read will teach even “SATC” trivia champions even more about how and why Carrie Bradshaw and her crew were and are so formative to a generation of New Yorkers.
By David Sedaris
The thing about reading Sedaris on public transit is that at some point you’re going to end up giggling to yourself in a way that makes all your seatmates uncomfortable. Avoid all that social awkwardness and take the humorist’s newest collection of personal stories straight to the great outdoors, where you can laugh as loudly as you want. The audiobook is also narrated by Sedaris himself, should you be in more of a headphones-and-sunglasses mood.
‘When Katie Met Cassidy’
By Camille Perri
Kentucky-born-and-raised Katie is a 28-year-old lawyer fresh out of a broken engagement and into the type of West Village apartment heartbroken rom-com characters are supposed to have. Cassidy is a native New Yorker, who bides her time at a West Village lesbian bar between affairs with “hot Sarah from hot yoga” and at her high powered law firm. Katie mistakes Cassidy for a man when the two first meet at a negotiation table, but sparks soon fly between the two unlikely partners in this woman-powered rom-com. (Out June 19)
‘Number One Chinese Restaurant’
By Lillian Li
Decades ago, Jimmy Han inherited the Beijing Duck House, a relic of his immigrant father’s aspirations, where Jimmy has worked most of his life. At 40, he’s ready to move on, but negotiations are never as easy as slipping a family friend/foe an envelope of cash. Inspired by Li’s time working in a restaurant before earning her MFA, this debut novel blends delicious writing with intricate family dynamics, the perfect recipe for a page-turner to devour in the summer sun. (Out June 19)
‘Playing with Matches’
By Hannah Orenstein
It’s summer in New York City and recent college graduate Sasha has yet to find a full-time job (a nice apartment with a friend whose parents are willing to subsidize the rent, she does have). With little dating experience herself — Sasha is already dating who she thinks is her dream guy — she takes a gig at an elite matchmaking agency, where she couples women years her senior with men she meets via — where else? — Tinder. (Out June 26)