Whether or not you get summer Fridays — take one! There’s so much to read this summer, and really no reason to be working when June brings perfect outdoor weather and a slew of new books to transport you far from the rumbling of the MTA. Take the ferry! Take a walk! And page through one of these new reads:
‘Natalie Tan’s Book Of Luck and Fortune’
By Roselle Lim
Natalie Tan has been traveling the world for years when she returns home to San Francisco after her agoraphobic mother’s death. Now fully on her own, Natalie, a cook by trade and passion, wants to reopen her grandmother’s legendary restaurant, and help save the Chinatown of her youth before gentrification completely obliterates the neighborhood.
‘Mostly Dead Things’
By Kristen Arnett
This highly anticipated debut novel by Florida-based librarian, writer and ravioli tweeter (@Kristen_Arnett), takes readers to sticky Florida, where protagonist Jessa-Lynn finds her father post-suicide in the family taxidermy shop. Those dark first pages turn quirkily comical, however, as readers dive into Jessa’s mind, both past and present.
By Nicole Dennis-Benn
Patsy’s long anticipated visa to leave her native Jamaica and emigrate to America has finally arrived, but embarking on this dream means leaving her mother and young child behind. In Brooklyn, Patsy, an undocumented immigrant, works as a nanny and bathroom attendant as the story unfolds between gritty New York and Jamaica, where her family still lives.
By Jennifer Weiner
Two sisters, Jo and Bethie, experience the same cookie-cutter Midwestern suburban childhood and as they come of age in the 1960s and 1970s, start on their drastically different paths. Weiner’s first novel in four years is one of those smart summer hardcovers that makes a sunny day on the beach fly by.
‘Ayesha At Last’
By Uzma Jalaluddin
Every summer needs at least one solid Jane Austen retelling, and this retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" set in Toronto delivers. Poet Ayesha Shamsi fights the traditions of her Muslim family, unwilling to be placed in an arranged marriage, unlike her nemesis and tradition junkie, Khalid Mirza. And yes, as more drama between their two families puts the two at odds, feelings start to develop in this delightfully unpredictable retelling of a classic.