What to Read This Summer

Steph Opitz at Bookshop.org — where every purchase supports local bookstores — recommends these upcoming titles.


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The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

Keane zeroes in on a small Irish community to ask big questions. In a literal blizzard, the patrons of fledgling local bar The Half Moon worry about owner Malcolm and his failing marriage, a regular is missing, and other relationships seem fraught.

The Postcard by Anne Berest, translated by Tina Kover

When the subject of antisemitism comes up at home, a fictional Berest is reminded of a mysterious postcard she had received years earlier, launching an absorbing and harrowing tale of family secrets that trace back to Auschwitz.

The Last Animal by Ramona Ausubel

In a warm, weird, wonderful novel, scientist Jane and her daughters head to Siberia to help a team attempt to revive the extinct woolly mammoth. After research takes an unfortunate turn, Jane pairs up with a millionaire and hatches a new plan.

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

A pop-star host on an SNL-like show seems interested in Sally, one of the show’s writers. Hit by a COVID-19 lockdown, she must navigate quarantine and maybe love in this tenderhearted and hilarious novel.

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

A multi-generational story set on the coast of India follows a family through decades of hardships — conventional and otherworldly — and the mystery of their relationship to the water that surrounds them.


A Living Remedy by Nicole Chung

Against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic, Chung examines her experience as a Korean adoptee in mostly white spaces to explore questions about the intrinsic relationships between class, race, and healthcare.

The Wager by David Grann

A captivating historian and bestselling author (The Lost City of Z) returns with a tall tale … at least according to one part of the British crew who survived a 1741 shipwreck. Batten down the hatches and brace yourself for this fantastical, true account of murder and mutiny at sea.

Traffic by Ben Smith

Now it’s commonplace to see a misleading headline for the sake of a click, but it wasn’t always like this. Smith reports on the current landscape by chronicling critical decisions at HuffPost, BuzzFeed, Gawker Media, and other outlets.

Monsters by Claire Dederer

This book poses a question that feels particularly loaded in this age: Can you separate the art from the artist? While looking at a range of problematic artists, Dederer rigorously considers how the receiver of the art might grapple with the decision.

Thinning Blood by Leah Myers

Using the idea of a totem pole to structurally organize this collection of essays, Myers charts her connection to the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe as the community diminishes, capturing a living history of a Native woman’s identity.

This article appears in the March/April 2023 issue of The Saturday Evening PostSubscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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