Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading, whether you’re on the beach, on the plane, or just lazing on the couch. We’ve prepared a new and upcoming titles to keep you busy from here to Labor Day.
What are you reading? Share your recommendations in the comments below.
“Hi, Gorgeous!: Transforming Inner Power into Radiant Beauty” by Candis CayneHi Gorgeous/Guinevere Press
Cayne may have risen to national fame when she appeared as Caitlyn Jenner’s best friend on I Am Cait (incidentally, Jenner writes the introduction here), but she’s been a staple of the cabaret scene for decades.
As a trans performer, she continually breaks new ground in how we think about gender and beauty. Expect humor, wisdom, make-up tips, and lots of photographs from her new empowerment manual. (Guinevere Press, June 20)
“Make Trouble” by John WatersMake Trouble/Algonquin Books
The king of filth follows up his 2014 bestseller Car Sick with an inspiring call to action that will resonate with activists and recent grads alike. Make Trouble started as a commencement address for the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design graduating class.
Waters’ unique brand of encouragement is, unsurprisingly, tailored to folks living on the margins of respectability. There’s plenty to enjoy here, though, even if you’re more Hairspray than Serial Mom.. (Algonquin Books, out now)
“Since I Laid My Burden Down” by Brontez PurnellSince I Laid My Burden Down/Amethyst
Punk rocker, dancer, and writer Purnell has long been a fixture of the Bay Area arts scene. With his debut novel, a wider audience has the opportunity to experience his uninhibited style.
This short and incisive look at what it means to grow up gay and black in 1980’s Alabama is a well-timed example on how to find optimism in the face of adversity. It’s also hilarious and filled with enough erotic encounters to keep the pump primed while you wait out your summer travel layover. (Amethyst Editions, May 22)
“Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)” by David SedarisTheft by Finding/Little Brown and Co
America’s favorite humorist has kept notes on all the oddball comings-and-goings that have captured his attention for the past 40 years. In Theft, the first of two planned volumes of his diaries, Sedaris finally gives us a peek at the raw material behind his best-known works.
Expect to laugh, learn, and question just how true some of his more outlandish observations really are. (Little, Brown and Co., May 30)
“It’s Not Like It’s a Secret” by Misa SugiuraIt's Not Like It's a Secret/HarperTeen
This coming-of-age tale about two girls falling in love may be meant for teens, but readers of all ages will find themselves smitten with Japanese-American Sana and Latina Jamie’s budding romance.
Secrets play a big role here, as do feelings of displacement and culture shock, but Sugiura’s deft hand keeps the tone light and the plot moving at a nice clip. (HarperTeen, out now)
“We: A Manifesto for Women” by Gillian Anderson and Jennifer NadelWe: A Manifesto/ Atria Books
Inspired to create the roadmap they never had as young women, X-Files star Anderson and longtime journalist friend Nadel offer up nine important principles for enacting change.
This practical guide is a source of inspiration and action for women of all ages (and their allies) interested in bringing about lasting change at the local and global levels. (Atria Books, out now)
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh SatyalNo One Can Pronounce My Name/Picador
Harit, an Indian immigrant in his mid-40s, lives with his mother in the suburbs of Cleveland. To ease his mother’s grief after the death of his sister, he begins dressing in her clothing every night. Meanwhile, his budding friendship with a paranormal romance novelist who suspects her husband is cheating on her opens the door to a larger exploration of ambition in the face of cultural expectations.
By turns funny and poignant, Satyal’s latest novel has all the trappings of an instant classic. (Picador, out now)
More Page Turners
New Yorker writer Levy’s memoir of loss is a candid exploration of grief reminiscent of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
Corporations run the state and gender is fluid in this dystopian sci-fi retelling of the story of Joan of Arc.
My Brother’s Husband, Vol 1 by Gengoroh Tagame
Massive creator Tagame’s first all-ages manga is a sweet story of acceptance and coming to terms with grief.
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
A gut-wrenching story about how far we’re willing to go for the people we love. Widely considered one of the best books of last year.