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Staff Picks: Our Favorite Books Coming Out in June

Every month, we share the books we can't wait to read. From the first-ever book from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint, to Deborah Levy's surreal new novel, to a nonfiction dive into the life of a master art thief, there's something here for every reader.
Tertulia Staff •
Jun 1st, 2023


A Quitter's Paradise by Elysha Chang (out June 6)

Sarah Jessica Parker never fails to make a grand entrance, so I was excited to see her new imprint being published by Zando, the hot publishing upstart responsible for Gillian Flynn Books and John Legend's Get Lifted. SJPLit will kick off with A Quitter's Paradise, a family saga about a young woman from a second-generation immigrant family coping with her mother's passing, which Parker called "a glorious, pondering, heartbreaking, extremely funny, VERY special book." — Fernanda Gorgulho

August Blue by Deborah Levy (out June 6)

An elite pianist fumbles a Rachmaninov recital, dyes her hair blue and starts seeing her doppengager throughout her compulsive wanderlusting through Europe. I want to be her best friend. Or next best thing: Let two-time Booker Prize finalist Deborah Levy guide me through her protagonist's introspective journey in this new Freudian dream of a novel, August Blue, which the Wall Street Journal's Heller McAlpin described as encompassing "the cerebral and the sentimental, realism and surrealism, love and loss." — Erica Landau

Girls and Their Horses by Eliza Jane Brazier (out June 6)

The minute I saw the cover of Girls and Their Horses, with its pitch-perfect avatar of toxic horse-girl foreboding, I told my editor I had to interview author Eliza Jane Brazier. You can read my longer, fawning review of this psych thriller and the accompanying interview here.

The TL:DR version: There are few settings more ripe for roasting than the world of rich people and their horse problems. In Girls and Their Horses, Brazier, no stranger to writing about badly behaved rich people, deftly braids observations of the showjumping elite with insights into the cutthroat ambition of the horsey have-nots — some of whom don't for a moment wince at being as vicious as they need to be to make it on billionaire barn row. If ruthless moms, tyrannical trainers, mean horse-girls and pimped-out heartthrobs — how else do you get lonely trophy wives to dole out millions on these beautiful beasts — sound like a murder-suspect dream team to you, you'll soak this book up like a self-medicated barn mom throwing back a flute of champagne. I certainly did. — Erica Landau

The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende (out June 6)

I am intrigued by the hint of Pan's Labyrinth in this book by bestselling and acclaimed author Isabel Allende, which weaves the magical qualities of imagination into the tale of two young children from different eras and continents, both separated from their families while fleeing violence and persecution in their homelands. — Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

Nineteen Claws and a Black Bird by Agustina Bazterrica (out June 20)

You'll be hard-pressed to name an Argentine writer I don't love — Ricardo Piglia, Manuel Puig, César Aira, the list is long — so my ears prick up whenever I hear about a new talent from Argentina. I didn't get around to reading Bazterrica's Tender Is the Flesh when TikTok went nuts about it a few years back, but I won't make that mistake with this new collection of macabre and strange short stories. — Fernanda Gorgulho

Banyan Moon by Thao Thai (out June 27)

I'm a big fan of family dramas, so this debut by Ohio-based author Thao Thai about a complicated mother-daughter-grandmother relationship, where family secrets hide in a house bequeathed to the two later generations sounds like the riveting read I'm looking to kick off summer with. — Romina Raimundo

The Apartment by Ana Menéndez (out June 27)

I once lived in a Miami Beach apartment complex full of interesting characters, so this novel about a collection of South Beach tenants, each with their own compelling backstories – a Cuban concert pianist, a building manager with a secret identity, an intelligence officer’s widow, a greencard marriage begging for divorce – who float in and out of an old art deco building over the course of decades is giving me déjà vu in the best way. Who knows, maybe I’ll recognize one of my old Miami neighbors! — Fernanda Gorgulho


Thinking with Your Hands: The Surprising Science Behind How Gestures Shape Our Thoughts by Susan Goldin-Meadow (out June 13)

Gestures are, I believe, the most universal way of communicating. Being someone who’s constantly – and unintentionally – using my hands to convey an idea, I really want to better understand this aspect of human behavior. So who better to explain it than the 2021 Rumelhart Prize winner in cognitive science, Susan Goldin-Meadow? After reading this, I’ll be watching everyone’s hands! — Romina Raimundo

Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me by Aisha Harris (out June 13)

Anyone who listens religiously to NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour like I do has got to have an appreciation for how our most beloved pop culture obsessions can influence in complex ways — on a personal level as well as a societal level. The show's co-host Aisha Harris brings that lens to this debut collection of essays that offer entertaining critiques of TV shows that I personally can't get enough of, like New Girl and PEN15. I'm so excited to take a deeper dive into her opinions and insights! — Laurann Herrington

In Light-Years There's No Hurry: Cosmic Perspectives on Everyday Life by Marjolijn Van Heemstra (out June 20)

There's only one thing that really cures my existential dread: thinking about my smallness relative to the vastness of the universe. Journalist Marjolijn van Heemstra seems to know my pain. Her new book follows the pursuit of the "overview effect," a shift in consciousness sparked by the feeling of awe and interconnectedness that many astronauts experience when viewing our planet from outer space, here on Earth. It’s a fascinating premise which speaks directly to both my anxieties and fears, and the places where I find peace. — Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession by Michael Finkel (out June 27)

Stéphane Breitwieser carried out more than 200 successful art heists over eight years, stealing more than 300 pieces in total. Unlike most thieves, Breitwieser never sold any of them. He instead kept them hidden in safe rooms where he could admire them in all their glory in private. The Art Thief retells this master criminal’s fascinating tale. I can’t wait to dive in. — Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

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