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Tertulia Staff Picks: 11 Books Coming in June That We Can't Wait to Read

Tertulia staff •
May 30th, 2024

Every month, we share the books we can't wait to read. Our June staff picks include: a landmark history of hip-hop from the Emmy and Oscar-winning co-founder of The Roots; a thrilling new novel from a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree; a funny novel already snatched up for adaptation by A24 and Nicole Kidman; and a heartfelt memoir by Joan Didion's right-hand man.


The Unwedding by Ally Condie (June 4)

Selected by Romina Raimundo

Picture it: White Lotus (a floating dead body in an idyllic resort) crossed with Lucy Foley's The Guest List (a wedding gone amok) crossed with Agatha Christie (bodies start to fall one by one). This thriller follows a recent divorcee whose vacation plans take a turn, to say the least... I'm already hooked!

Margo's Got Money Troubles by Rufi Thorpe (June 11)

Selected by Lynda Hammes

When I first heard about this book, I learned that A24 and Nicole Kidman had already got their hands on it in a bidding war for adaptation rights, and now I can totally see why. This zany story about a single mom who unwittingly becomes an OnlyFans sensation is going to make for great cinema. But I was completely sold on reading the book after hearing first-hand from the book's editor in Tertulia's most recent First Dibs Editors Salon. "This novel was so much more than a catchy concept," she said. "It’s an empowering portrait of a working class, young mother who’s trying to wrest money and power from a world that has little interest in giving it to her. And Rufi manages to bring such heart, humor, and a light touch to a story that is, ultimately, about struggle."

Bear by Julia Phillips (June 25)

Selected by Laurann Herrington

Two sisters bond over the dream of leaving their crummy, underpaid jobs and their unfulfilling lives on the island for something more. One day a bear appears at their front door and their plans go off the rails. Stories about obsessions, the complicated love between sisters, and our connection to the natural world will always fascinate me. Plus, I'll read anything by Julia Phillips after her debut Disappearing Earth.

Swift River by Essie Chambers (June 4)

Selected by Romina Raimundo

As a new mom, I'm drawn to stories about family more than ever. This is a coming-of-age story about a girl who is dealing not only with the growing pains of teenage life as the only Black girl in her town, but with the mysterious unraveling of family history after her father disappears. I can tell from the publisher's description (and the killer Ann Napolitano endorsement!) that this is a book that's going to make me cry and smile on the same page.

Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi (June 18)

Selected by Laurann Herrington

My friends and I have our own Akwaeke Emezi fan club since reading You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty, which is the wildest combination of hilarious and seductive that you can get in one book. Little Rot sounds equally wild, but with a darker turn through the corrupt yet erotic underbelly of Nigerian inner city. We are all picking this one up as soon as pub day arrives.

Role Play by Clara Drummond (June 4)

Selected by Fernanda Gorgulho

Already a hit in my home country of Brazil, this novella has all the ingredients to kick off my summer reading: art, money, sex, sun and lots of over-the-top cariocas (Rio residents) behaving badly. Bonus points for skewering Rio’s upper crust, which happens to be a favorite Brazilian pastime for the rest of the country (kind of like how making fun of New Yorkers is in other parts of the US). Plus, at a breezy 128 pages, I'm going to tear through it like a caipirinha at sunset!


Better Faster Farther: How Running Changed Everything We Know about Women by Maggie Mertens (June 18)

Selected by Sophia Nash

When the ancient Olympic games were first revived in 1896, women were excluded. But in a fascinating detail of Olympics history, one woman ran the marathon course anyway. I can't wait to dig into this deeply researched book filled with the story of how women have been breaking boundaries through running over history, just in time to cheer a bit louder for the elite female athletes headed to Paris this summer.

I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: (But I'm Going to Anyway) by Chelsea Devantez (June 4)

Selected by lliyah Coles

Just reading the description of this one got a laugh out of me. This confessional memoir, by a comedian and podcaster who has written funny TV for the likes of Jon Stewart, is a series of anecdotes that spill the most embarrassing tea — and I am here to lap it up.

We Refuse: A Forceful History of Black Resistance by Kellie Carter Jackson (June 4)

Selected by lliyah Coles

One of the biggest tools in combating social injustices is our ability to learn from our past. Kellie Carter Jackson aims to create space solely for Black resistance in all its many forms. And, honestly, have you seen a better cover?

Hip-Hop Is History by Questlove (June 11)

Selected by Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

Questlove is tireless. With six Grammys, an Academy Award, several bestselling books, and even a James Beard nomination to his name, The Roots frontman has now written a landmark hip hop history. As a lifelong history enthusiast and hip hop fan, I can't wait for this mash up of history, music and memoir.

The Uptown Local by Cory Leadbeater (June 11)

Selected by Lynda Hammes

What was it like to be Joan Didion's roomie and assistant? Apparently, it was a dream job for Cory Leadbeater, who developed an intimate bond with the iconic writer during the last years of her life. The early reviews of this one reveal the book to be not another book mythologizing Didion, but a beautifully written reflection on mentorship and friendship, which sounds like a great summer read to me!

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