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What to Read in June: 10 Books for Warmer Days

This month we’re reading a new Tracy Flick novel from Tom Perrotta, historical fiction about the 19th century racehorse, Lexington, and German filmmaker Werner Herzog’s first novel / BY Nathalie Atkinson / May 31st, 2022


Whether you prefer thrillers, literary fiction or family drama, it’s finally time to take our reading outside. As we prepare our summer reading extravaganza list (stay tuned  – it’s coming later in June!), we couldn’t resist sharing our picks of the month’s most anticipated fiction.

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1The Exhibitionist by Charlotte Mendelson


“The longer the marriage, the harder truth becomes,” writes Mendelson, whose novels have been long listed for the Booker and The Women’s Prize, dissecting the dysfunction of a middle-class London family over the course of a weekend. Friends and adult children are gathered to celebrate artist Ray’s first exhibition in 20 years. Even for a self-styled artistic genius, he’s a monstrously Lear-like patriarch deluded by his own ego. Will this be the day his three submissive children and long-suffering wife (a more talented, but less egotistical artist, who sabotaged her own promising career for his) finally break free? The answer is a feat of darkly comic domestic realism. (June 1)


2How to be Eatenby Maria Adelmann

Jumping on the recent trend for literary retellings, this Copenhagen-based American writer has opted for classic fairy-tale heroines. Inventively transposed into a contemporary setting, five women who have lived through fantastical traumatic events (like Little Red Riding Hood, for one) are part of the same PTSD support group. In this sardonic, funny and dark novel, they bond and dissect how the stories of their personal trauma have been twisted, questioned, sensationalized and commodified by the public (think: the Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial) and may leave readers second-guessing their own casual misogyny and cultural assumptions. (June 1)


3Iona Iverson’s Rules for Commutingby Clare Pooley

Much as she did in her heartwarming bestseller The Authenticity Project, the London-based former advertising executive brings unlikely people together for the pleasure of forging unexpected friendships (and changing their outlook on life). This time, they’re seasoned commuters to Waterloo Station – familiar strangers on a magazine columnist’s daily commute – who come together to intervene during a life-threatening incident. It’s a book to lift the spirits. (June 7)


4The Midcoastby Adam White

It’s a family saga and character study smuggled into a simmering suspense thriller – one where ambition and tensions between middle and working class commingle in a summer tourist town on the coast of Maine. After a local writer moves back to his hometown, he takes an interest in the meteoric rise of the Thatch family’s fortunes and how they became the big fish of their the small town. Unravelling past crimes comes with a great sense of place. (June 7)


5Tracy Flick Can’t Winby Tom Perrotta

In this sequel to his satirical 1998 novel Election, Perrotta revisits his anti-hero, the relentlessly driven candidate for student council president (a character so indelible in the culture that comparisons were made, as insults, to Hillary Clinton during her campaign). Two decades have passed and Flick, now a frustrated assistant principal at her old high school, is back in battle mode when the top job comes up. Given the projects addressing male power and sexism that Reese Witherspoon (who starred as in Alexander Paynes 1999 film adaptation) has been spearheading, the A-lister could easily reprise her pitch-perfect portrayal in this follow-up about the fallout of toxic masculinity and frustrated ambition. (June 7)


6Horseby Geraldine Brooks

Lexington, the famous 19th century American racehorse, is the nominal subject of this historical literary novel that shifts between two main timelines: Smithsonian researchers in 2019 Washington, D.C., who are intrigued by the horse’s story, and an enslaved groom in the 1850s, with a brief stop in the 1950s New York art world. Brooks has an abiding interest in fleshing out the truth in history’s margins (the Australian-American journalist won the Pulitzer Prize for March, her retelling of Little Women from the point of view of their abolitionist father and Union Army chaplain). So the antebellum South, with its reliance on Black-created wealth, is the most rigorously researched in what is, at its core, a novel about the legacy of structural racism. (June 14)


7The Twilight Worldby Werner Herzog, trans. by Michael Hofmann

Publishing his first novel at the age of 79, the celebrated German filmmaker (who has made more than 50 films since 1968) fictionalizes the quixotic story of real-life legend Hiroo Onada. Beginning in 1944, the Japanese commando spent 30 years living on the small island of Lubang in the Philippines, convinced the Second World War was ongoing and that the island needed defending. It’s a new and fascinating chapter in Herzog’s career of examining solitary characters gripped by compulsion. (June 14)


8Lapvonaby Ottessa Moshfegh

This Southern California writer earned a cult following for My Year of Rest and Relaxation, her bestselling 2018 twist on the classic metamorphosis tale. The new novel, set among the denizens of a village in a medieval fiefdom, is a weird and wild ride about the tragic things that happen to a 13-year-old boy whose parents and community neglect him. The sin, hell, corruption and even pandemic themes of her timely and disturbing latest could be plucked out of a Hieronymus Bosch painting, and are just as unsettling. (June 21)


9The Goldenacreby Philip Miller

The novel gets its title from the watercolour that was, reputedly, the final work of renowned Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The painting is at the crux of this literary noir drama of crime and inheritance, in which an embittered investigative reporter and the government official called in to authenticate it follow separate investigative threads until their stories converge in Glasgow. (June 28)


10Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

The Massachusetts writer’s 2020 debut Saint X, about the disappearance of a teenage girl on Caribbean vacation, was a New York Times notable book of the year.

She uses the set-up of her new speculative tale (described as Shirley Jackson meets Margaret Atwood) – about a remote mountain community where children and parents alike await “the affliction,” a ritual phenomenon in which random mothers in the community simply vanish – to explore what it means to be a mother. (June 28)


THE SCROLL

Brian Thomas Isaac’s “All the Quiet Places” wins $5,000 Indigenous Voices AwardThe B.C. author, a retired bricklayer, drew on his childhood growing up on the Okanagan Indian reserve for his coming-of-age story set in 1956


Canadian-American Author Ruth Ozeki Wins Women’s Book Prize for “The Book of Form and Emptiness”The UK judges said her fourth novel, inspired in part by the Vancouver Public Library, contained "sparkling writing, warmth, intelligence, humour and poignancy."


The Bill Gates Summer Reading List Includes a Sci-Fi Novel On Gender Inequality Suggested by His DaughterBill Gates' summer reading list includes fiction and non-fiction titles that cover gender equality, political polarization and climate change.


American novelist Joshua Cohen wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Netanyahus”The 2022 Pulitzer prizes include this satirical look at identity politics, focused on the father of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a crucial time in the Jewish state’s history


Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro Among Canadian Authors Recognized in Commemorative Reading List Marking Queen’s Platinum JubileeThe authors are among six Canadian scribes included on the The Big Jubilee Read list.


Queen Elizabeth II’s Aide Reveals Details of Life in Royal Pandemic Lockdown in New Addition to BookAngela Kelly, who's worked for the Queen for 20 years, discusses everything from cutting the Queen's hair to "the light and laughter that was shared ... even in the darkest moments."


New Leonard Cohen Story Collection, ‘A Ballet of Lepers,’ Set for October ReleaseThe collection features a novel, short stories and a radio play written between 1956 and 1961.


Archived Letters Reveal How Toni Morrison Helped MacKenzie Scott Meet Future Husband Jeff BezosBezos hired Scott at the hedge fund where he worked after receiving a recommendation from Morrison. Shortly thereafter, the pair married and Scott helped Bezos launch Amazon.


Prince Harry’s Memoir is Set to Rock the MonarchyFriends say the California-based royal got a million-pound book deal to write "an intimate take on his feeling about the family."


European Jewish Congress Asks Publisher to Pull Anne Frank BookThe Congress says 'The Betrayal of Anne Frank' has "deeply hurt the memory of Anne Frank, as well as the dignity of the survivors and the victims of the Holocaust."


Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.


Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.


Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.


Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro


“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.


Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories


Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel


South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 


Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.


Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events


Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards


Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde


Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 


Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations


Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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