The Summer 2022 Reading Group Guide Preview

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The American Booksellers Association’s Summer Reading Group Guide will continue as a free e-newsletter delivered to customers by email via Matchbook Marketing. This summer’s guide will be sent on August 11.

This guide includes the following categories: Dazzling Debuts, Family and Coming of Age, Historical Fiction, Other Worlds, and Thrills & Chills. The tiles are also available as an Edelweiss collection. All titles are trade paperback unless otherwise noted.

The titles appearing in the Summer Reading Group e-newsletter are:

Dazzling Debuts

Afterparties by Anthony Veasna SoAfterparties: Stories (Indies Introduce)
By Anthony Veasna So
(Ecco, 9780063049895, $18.99, June 7)

Afterparties is akin to an awkward family affair with stifling aunties and a slate of not-quite-relatives with questionable business ties. So’s caring voice express his clear adoration for the chaos and conciliation with certainty.”
—Thu Anh Doan, East Bay Booksellers, Oakland, CA

Bewilderness: A Novel
By Karen Tucker
(Catapult, 9781646221264, $16.95, June 28)

“Written with a certain vulnerability as things fall together and fall apart, Bewilderness is beautifully realistic in its ability to strip away a glorified drugstore cowboy opioid mentality. A story that is sorely needed right now.”
—Berkley McDaniel, Chop Suey Books, Richmond, VA

Damnation Spring: A Novel
By Ash Davidson
(Scribner, 9781982144418, $17.99, May 3)

“The year is 1977 in a Pacific Northwest logging town. A mystery threatens to derail a community clinging to a vanishing way of life. A compassionate portrait of a community and the peril of environmental decay and devastation around them.”
—Linda Kass, Gramercy Books, Bexley, OH

The Elephant of Belfast: A Novel
By S. Kirk Walsh
(Counterpoint, 9781640095113, $16.95, April 5)

“Based on true events, this story details the first female zookeeper Hettie and her determination to care for Violet, a three-year-old elephant, in the 1940s. A testament to the connection between species that overcomes any dark period.”
—Gerard Villegas, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship (Indies Introduce)
By Catherine Raven
(Spiegel & Grau, 9781954118119, $18, June 28)

“Pushed by life to prefer solitude, trained by profession to focus on data, Raven learns to trust her instincts and a wild fox. She reveals her world with clear-eyed creativity and sensitivity. When your world needs a little grace, open this up.”
—Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

House of Sticks: A Memoir (Indies Introduce)
By Ly Tran
(Scribner, 9781501118821, $17.99, May 10)

“This is an intimate book, quiet but powerful. The writing sweeps you into the tumultuous life of the author — a life of poverty, generational trauma, war, depression — yet is a striking testament to the power and triumph of the human spirit.”
—Grace Rajendran, University Book Store, Seattle, WA


Family & Coming of Age

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth OzekiThe Book of Form and Emptiness: A Novel
By Ruth Ozeki
(Penguin Books, 9780399563669, $18, June 14)

“An incredible narrative about coming of age in the shadow of grief, Ozeki is again in fine form with this new novel, which combines zen wisdom with intricately structured prose.”
—Bennard Fajardo, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

I Will Die in a Foreign Land: A Novel
By Kalani Pickhart
(Two Dollar Radio, 9781953387301, $18.95, May 10)

“With a bold narrative style that joins reportage and deep character study, Pickhart underscores the weight of historical memory and the toll of Russian domination in Kyiv in 2013. An eye-opening novel by a stunningly talented writer.”
—Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

Morningside Heights: A Novel
By Joshua Henkin
(Vintage, 9780525566632, $17, May 24)

“A bittersweet story of the complicated and imperfect love between family — both blood and chosen — dealing with grief and loss. I was drawn in by Pru and Spence’s whirlwind courtship, but their romance over decades really touched my heart.”
—Rebecca Doel, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

One Two Three: A Novel
By Laurie Frankel
(Holt Paperbacks, 9781250236791, $17.99, June 7)

“This is an incredible story of fortitude as well as love and devotion to one’s community. I loved the way that Frankel deals with the subject of disability in a way that is empowering without going into inspiration porn territory.”
—Libby Monaghan, Twice Told Tales, McPherson, KS

Unsettled Ground
By Claire Fuller
(Tin House Books, 9781953534170, $16.95, April 26)

Unsettled Ground is why we read. Claire Fuller has crafted two unforgettable characters in 51-year-old twins Julius and Jeanie, on their own after their mother passes away. Written with tenderness and beauty, this is not to be missed.”
—Sherri Gallentine, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

We Are the Brennans: A Novel
By Tracey Lange
(Celadon Books, 9781250796219, $16.99, June 14)

“A last-minute change in plans sets the tone for an unforgettable story. Returning home with her tail between her legs, Sunday begins her life all over again. After all, home is where you might just belong. A debut novel to sink your teeth into.”
—Jean Lewis, Copperfish Books, Punta Gorda, FL


Historical Fiction

The Book Woman’s Daughter: A Novel by Kim Michele RichardsonThe Book Woman’s Daughter: A Novel
By Kim Michele Richardson
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728242590, $16.99, May 3)

“Honey comes alive on the page, and her incredible capacity for love — for books, nature, neighbors and strangers — shines. It’s an excellent standalone, but you will miss another superb read if you skip The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.
—Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Island Queen: A Novel
By Vanessa Riley
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063002852, $16.99, June 14)

“Dorothy Kirwan Thomas was born into slavery, freed, and created a legacy for herself. This fictional account of her life paints an unbreakable woman willing to prove that Black is beautiful and capable; always has been, and always will be.”
—Lily Hunter, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

Our Woman in Moscow: A Novel
By Beatriz Williams
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063020795, $16.99, June 28)

“Through the riveting pages of Our Woman in Moscow, Beatriz Williams plunges readers behind the Iron Curtain into the world of espionage. An addictive page turner full of twists, turns, and complex characters that will keep readers guessing!”—Anderson McKean, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL

The Personal Librarian
By Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
(Berkley, 9780593101544, $17, June 7)

“Belle Da Costa Greene left Washington, DC as ‘colored’ but entered New York City as white. That began the amazing story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, who had to keep her secret or lose her place in society. This book vindicates Belle’s years of hiding behind her genius.”
—Sharon Larson, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu: A Novel
By Tom Lin
(Back Bay Books, 9780316542142, $16.99, June 21)

“If you like Westerns and revenge stories, this is for you. Ming is on a quest to find his wife and punish those who took her. Along the way, we meet a man called the prophet, a traveling magic show, and other gritty characters. A great debut novel!”—Derrick Brunner, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, ID

Velvet Was the Night
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
(Del Rey, 9780593356845, $17, May 3)

“Moreno-Garcia flexes her impressive chops and effortlessly combines classic noir and a unique setting — 1970s Mexico City. Mexican Gothic readers may be a little thrown by the change in style, but the writing will keep them reading.”
—Rosie Lee-Parks, Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA


Other Worlds

Dare to Know by James KennedyDare to Know: A Novel
By James Kennedy
(Quirk Books, 9781683693161, $16.99, June 7)

“Our narrator predicts death for a living, but according to his calculations, he died 23 minutes ago. Part Death of a Salesman, part Slaughterhouse-Five, this cerebral thriller will leave you with more questions than answers.”—Miranda Nowell, Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore, Middletown, CT

By Angela Mi Young Hur
(Erewhon, 9781645660422, $18.95, May 10)

“This ghost story about family, generational trauma, and mythology is elegiac and simply gorgeous. Like stitching up a wound, Angela Mi Young Hur weaves Korean myth, physics, and aching trauma into something impossible and healing.”
—Nicole Szmyd, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina: A Novel
By Zoraida Córdova
(Atria Books, 9781982102555, $17, July 5)

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina brings everything, from strange things that must be magic to absolutely dazzling fallen stars. When Mamá Orquídea says come collect your inheritance, you come; when I say read this book, read it.”
—Dora Ahearn-Wood, Scrawl Books, Reston, VA

Meet Me in Another Life: A Novel
By Catriona Silvey
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063020214, $16.99, April 26)

“Catrina Silvey takes you on a delightful journey of love, loss, hope, and fear, igniting questions and curiosity for the meaning of life itself. Journey into the many lives of the two main characters and into an entire world most could not fathom.”—D'Arcy Valverde, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

She Who Became the Sun: A Novel
By Shelley Parker-Chan
(Tor Books, 9781250621818, $18.99, June 28)

“This historical fantasy debut lives up to its hype with characters working to change their destiny by overcoming war, societal norms, and their own fate. This powerful, brutal, queer high fantasy will leave you wrecked and begging for more.”
—Kristin Saner, Fables Books, Goshen, IN

The World Gives Way: A Novel
By Marissa Levien
(Orbit, 9780316592376, $17.99, May 3)

The World Gives Way gave me so many things: a crime novel, a science fiction epic, and an exploration of the beauties of love and the strive to survive through it all. This is an adventure that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.”
—Christian Vega, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY


Thrills & Chills

Clark and Division by Naomi HiraharaClark and Division
By Naomi Hirahara
(Soho Crime, 9781641293693, $16.95, June 28)

“Hirahara offers a slow-burn thriller of Japanese-American communities struggling to resettle in the Midwest after being held in internment camps. A good mystery that widens the lens on understanding Asian American history in Chicago.”
—Mrittika Ghosh, Seminary Co-Op Bookstores, Chicago, IL

The Guide: A Novel
By Peter Heller
(Vintage, 9781984898968, $17, May 10)

“I’m not remotely interested in fishing, but Heller writes so lyrically that I was transported to the cool rivers. Set three years after The River, something is not quite right at this exclusive lodge, and someone must figure things out.”
—Lois Hanson, Paragraphs Bookstore, Mount Vernon, OH

Mrs. March: A Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Virginia Feito
(Liveright, 9781324091967, $16, June 14)

“An amazing debut. The writing of Mrs. March’s paranoia — and her alternate reality — is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson. This book is uncomfortable and unputdownable as you are drawn into the mind of a privileged, yet very scarred woman.”
—Joanne Berg, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

Sorrowland: A Novel
By Rivers Solomon
(Picador, 9781250849267, $18, May 3)

“A  brutal and beautiful reinvention of the Gothic tradition, on bodies, religion, identity, power, sex, and transformation. A tale as fresh as a bleeding cut and dark as a moonless night. Think Toni Morrison meets Stephen King or Octavia Butler meets Flannery O'Connor.”
—Jonathan Hawpe, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

We Begin at the End
By Chris Whitaker
(Holt Paperbacks, 9781250759689, $17.99, April 12)

“Chris Whitaker has written a big, sweeping novel — filled with heart-and-soul characters, a vividly imagined landscape, and a meticulously crafted mystery."
—Susan Hans O'Connor, Penguin Bookshop, Sewickley, PA

While Justice Sleeps: A Novel
By Stacey Abrams
(Anchor, 9780593310939, $17, April 12)

“I started this book because Stacey Abrams wrote it; I finished it because it was an utter ride. Avery Keene goes from her job as a law clerk to the center of a transnational conspiracy, decrypting clues to re-balance scales of justice.”
—Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC