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Warm and Escapist: 10 Novels to Read in July

From a new Sarah Vaughan psychological thriller to a satire in the same vein as "The White Lotus" TV show, here are the books we're adding to our TBR pile this month / BY Nathalie Atkinson / June 30th, 2022


Hammock, lounger, overstuffed chair – whatever your summer reading nook – we’ve got your literary cravings covered in our list of noteworthy new fiction.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 

1Reputationby Sarah Vaughan

The former political journalist from England, author of the novel behind the Netflix hit series Anatomy of a Scandal starring Sienna Miller, returns with another propulsive legal drama about a woman caught in the crosshairs of public opinion as she balances career ambition and family loyalties. After the conscientious MP and single parent, a champion of feminist issues, becomes the target of sustained online harassment and stalking, a tabloid journalist is found dead on her property. (July 5)


2Displacements by Bruce Holsinger

A well-to-do Miami family is upended by a major hurricane that destroys their home and disrupts their pampered lifestyle in this eerily plausible novel of impending environmental disaster. The sudden and total loss of comfort and privilege crescendos into mounting desperation as they live at a Federal Emergency Management Agency shelter with thousands of other evacuees from the American south, and contend with the country’s inequality from the inside. (July 5)


3Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrowby Gabrielle Zevin

This Gen X coming-of-age story by the Los Angeles-based writer (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) will do for video games what Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2001 novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay did for comics. It’s about Sadie and Sam, who meet as children and reconnect years later and become video-game design partners. Fans of Super Mario or Final Fantasy will revel in the milieu, but you don’t have to be a game enthusiast to love a novel about the satisfaction and heartbreak of creative collaboration – the history, business and especially the philosophy of the industry was immersive and fascinating to this non-gamer. Now there’s even an ’80s-style game, a real-life version of the fictional one created by one of Zevin’s characters in the novel. (July 5)


4Night of the Living Rezby Morgan Talty

A woman with Alzheimer’s seeks absolution for a past wrong from her grandson, whom she mistakes for her dead brother. It’s just one of a dozen linked stories by a single narrator, all set in a Native community in Maine, that evokes the landscape of Indigenous identity in the 21st century. By all accounts, Talty, a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation, more than delivers on one of the most highly anticipated story collections of the year. (July 5)


5Confidenceby Denise Mina

Mina’s 2019 bestseller Conviction examined the ethics of true crime podcasts, and the fallout for both makers and fans, and went on to become a Reese Witherspoon book club pick and the New York Times best crime novel of the year. In this entertaining sequel, the Scottish writer brings back podcasters Anna and Fin (and her trademark wit), and takes them on adventure around Europe. As they document their latest podcast series, they’re guided by social media clues on the trail of Lisa Lee, a young urban explorer and YouTube vlogger who’s gone missing. (July 5)


6The Pink Hotel by Liska Jacobs

This bitter satire is for readers who felt The White Lotus finale didn’t take it far enough (i.e. me). To illustrate the obscenity of capitalism and fame, almost every character is (intentionally) awful – including the husband of a newlywed couple, who unwittingly check into the legendary “pink palace” – a.k.a. The Beverly Hills Hotel – on the eve of a heat wave, wildfires and, eventually, blackouts and riots. Yet the grotesquely entertaining devolution of society (and civility, such as it was) around them never feels like a polemic. Not to overhype it, but, in a crowded playing field, this commentary on greed is probably my novel of the summer. (July 19)


7Work Wifeby Alison B. Hart

This vibrant novel unfolds over the course of the day leading up to a Hollywood mogul’s big charity gala. As it chronicles the alternating points of view of three women – the studio boss’s assistant planning the party, his wife hosting it, and a filmmaker looking for a second chance – revelations are peeled back. It’s all very much in the wake of #MeToo, and concerns an ecosystem that caters to every urgent want and need of the rich and famous. (The North Carolina-based author was a former assistant to a billionaire, so the details ring true.) Consider it the gripping fictional companion to a reading sandwich of She Said, about how Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey uncovered and reported on the groundbreaking story of Harvey Weinstein’s years of sexual harassment, and Hollywood Ending, New Yorker writer Ken Aulettas look at the industry systems that enabled the film producer. (July 22)


8The Ruinsby Phoebe Wynne

Every summer there’s at least one novel written in the long shadow cast by the late American author Patricia Highsmith, and this is it. But the flavour of psychological suspense from French-British national Wynne (who wrote the throwback Gothic hit Madam) should also come with a content warning, given that it borrows from recent trauma fiction like the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St. Aubyn. Hedonist parents behaving badly, predatory men and vulnerable young girls populate the summer of 1985 as several posh British families summer together at a château on the Côte d’Azur and it doesn’t euphemize the childhood sexual abuse set among the well to do. (July 5)


9Miss Aldridge Regretsby Louise Hare

An ocean liner voyage from London to New York is glamorous, especially to chanteuse Lena, a hopeful on her way to light up Broadway. This glitzy historical locked-room mystery, set on board the RMS Queen Mary, may seem reminiscent of Agatha Christie, but think again: The Black British author Hare uses flashbacks to delve into why the mixed-race jazz entertainer (who had been passing as white in 1936 London) fled her Soho nightclub gig, and the historical context about the divides of class and race. (July 5) 


10The Orphan Girlby Kurt Palka

This novel, set during the last days of the Second World War, follows the entwined fates of two Canadians in England, Kate and Claire. It’s a rare historical fiction that considers the wider community effects of PTSD, written by the Austrian-born Canadian bestselling author of The Piano Maker. (July 26)


THE SCROLL

Hilary Mantel, Award-Winning British Author of ‘Wolf Hall’ Trilogy, Dies at 70Wolf Hall, published in 2009, and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies, released three years later, both won the Booker Prize, an unprecedented win for two books in the same trilogy and making Mantel the first woman to win the award twice.


Prince William “Cannot Forgive” Prince Harry, According to ‘The New Royals’ Author Katie NichollPrince William “just cannot forgive his brother,” according to Katie Nicholl, author of 'The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.'


Five Finalists Announced for Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for NonfictionThe winner — to be announced on November 2 — will take home the annual $60,000 prize.


Peter Straub, Bestselling American Horror Writer, Dies at 79Friend and co-author Stephen King has said the author's 1979 book, "Ghost Story," is his favourite horror novel.


Rawi Hage, Billy-Ray Belcourt and Sheila Heti Make the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize Long ListThe jury read 138 books to choose 14 titles for the long list, one of which will win the $100,000 prize, one of the richest in Canadian literature


Salman Rushdie, Novelist Who Drew Death Threats, Is Stabbed at New York LectureThe Indian-born novelist who was ordered killed by Iran in 1989 because of his writing, was attacked before giving a talk on artistic freedom.


Raymond Briggs, Creator of Beloved Children’s Tale ‘The Snowman’, Dies at 88First published in 1978, the pencil crayon-illustrated wordless picture book sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world while a television adaption became a Christmas favourite in Britain and was nominated for an Oscar.


Canadian Author Emily St. John Mandel Makes Barack Obama’s 2022 Summer Reading ListObama's list includes everything from fiction to books on politics, cultural exploration and basketball.


Canadian Author Rebecca Eckler to Launch RE:books Publishing House Focused on Female Authors and Fun ReadsThe former National Post columnist says her tagline is ‘What’s read is good, and what’s good is read.’”


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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