Entertainment Summer reading preview: New novels by Elizabeth Gilbert, Ocean Vuong, Colson Whitehead and more By Cory Oldweiler Special to amNewYork June 2, 2019 5:24 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email Different readers want different things from their summer reads. These eight novels will make you laugh, cry, fall in love, mourn, think, escape and revel in the written word. 1. ‘Mostly Dead Things’ Photo Credit: Tin House Books By: Kristen Arnett One-line plot: Jessa learns taxidermy from her father and finds first love with her brother’s wife. Why you should read it: Arnett’s wonderful debut is bizarrely beautiful, alternatingly humorous and absolutely heartbreaking, as Jessa yearns for life while surrounded by and consumed with death. Out: June 4, Tin House Books 2. 'On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous' Photo Credit: Penguin Press By: Ocean Vuong One-line plot: Little Dog, born outside Saigon, comes to America in 1990 with his mother and grandma. Why you should read it: Vuong's lyrical first novel highlights his skill as a poet, particularly the surpassingly tender passage about Little Dog's boyfriend, who is an addict. Out: June 4, Penguin Press 3. City of Girls' Photo Credit: Riverhead Books By: Elizabeth Gilbert One-line plot: This sprawling tale set in the theater world of 1940s NYC follows the growing pains and ultimate growth of the spoiled -- and hilarious -- 19-year-old Vivian Morris. Why you should read it: Halfway through this delightful read, a character writes, "in these dark times, we could all use some more flapdoodle." Amen. Out: June 4, Riverhead Books 4. 'The Nickel Boys' Photo Credit: Doubleday By: Colson Whitehead One-line plot: Elwood, impassioned by civil rights icons, strives to rise above his Jim Crow-era neighborhood; caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, he is sent to the notorious Nickel Academy. Why you should read it: A brutal and powerful story, with a concussive late twist. Out: July 16, Doubleday 5. 'Costalegre' Photo Credit: Tin House Books By: Courtney Maum One-line plot: Written as the diary entries of earnest and precocious teen Lara, whose art collector mother (based on Peggy Guggenheim) has dragged her and a group of artists to the Mexican jungle in 1937. Why you should read it: Enthralling take on the hopes, thrills and despairs of youth. Out: July 16, Tin House Books 6. 'Turbulence' Photo Credit: Scribner By: David Szalay One-line plot: Love and death run through these interrelated chapters, where one character carries over from each previous vignette. Why you should ready it: It sounds like exercise, but Szalay pulls it off with a magical assurance, realizing a satisfying, globetrotting narrative. Out: July 16, Scribner 7. 'The Memory Police' Photo Credit: Pantheon By: Yoko Ogawa One-line plot: A young writer builds a hidden room for her editor, one of the few residents immune to the titular police force's efforts to systematically "disappear" aspects of society. Why you should read it: Thoughtful entry in the vein of Bohumil Hrabal's "Too Loud a Solitude," about writing, memory and control. Out: Aug. 13, Pantheon 8. 'Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead' Photo Credit: Riverhead Books By: Olga Tokarczuk One-line plot: A series of mysterious deaths plague a small Polish town. Why you should read it: Tokarczuk never tells a simple story; she is also writing about animal rights, human rights, William Blake and much more in another genre-melding tour de force. Out: Aug. 13, Riverhead Books By Cory Oldweiler Special to amNewYork Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.