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The 13 New Books On Our Summer Reading List

What Romper editors are looking forward to reading this summer — preferably with a popsicle and one eye on the kiddie pool.

by Romper Editors
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All Fours, Miranda July

Everyone has their own feelings about Miranda July and whatever she represents, and while I am a longtime appreciator of her antics, this book made me a fan for life. This novel, about an artist’s solo roadtrip without her husband and child, is so generous and loving while being jubilant and searching and also very educational about perimenopause. What if midlife was less about falling off some kind of hormonal cliff and more about shaking off old habits and leaping into the unknown? It makes me so curious, even excited, for what’s to come. May 14

Very Bad Company, Emma Rosenblum

This juicy C-suite murder mystery, which takes place over a few days at an executive retreat in Miami, is the follow up to Bad Summer People, a (you guessed it) juicy murder mystery set in an exclusive summer community near New York City. Rosenblum, who also happens to be the Chief Content Officer of BDG, which owns Romper, knows that any compulsively readable summer read has bad behavior in spades, and Very Bad Company has it all: Infidelity, corporate malfeasance, passive aggressive colleagues, and executive brainstorming sessions. This is the book for anyone who has to toil away in the cubicle mines — but would rather be gulping down a novel at the beach.

The Limits, Nell Freudenberger

Set in Mo’orea, a remote and stunningly beautiful French Polynesian island, and New York City, an accessible and mostly disagreeable place, The Limits tells the story of characters navigating new marriages, new babies, climate change, a pandemic, remote learning, and the most daunting challenge of all, parenting a teenager. It’s a beautifully told, tightly woven story of how people find work they believe in deeply while caring for their families, and how fragile everything can seem all of a sudden.

Negative Space, Gillian Linden

Gillian Linden’s sentences worm their way into your brain; after just a few pages, you’ll find yourself channeling her narrator’s wry, skeptical observations of the ordinary. (Far more pleasurable than the brain worms that make you think you’d be a capable President, despite all evidence to the contrary.) This slim book traces a week in the life of a teacher trying to understand her students, her own children, and the ways in which the words and actions of other humans remain inscrutable, even as we love them with our whole selves.

We Were The Universe, Kimberly King Parsons

From the author of the acclaimed short story collection Black Light comes a highly-anticipated debut novel about a young mom who is on a Montana getaway with a friend, longing for her past life. Funny and horny and tinged with grief (and also psychedelics in the desert), this one will get you where you live.

Ambition Monster, Jennifer Romolini

If your psychology is anything like mine you will feel painfully seen by this memoir about work and self-worth. Romolini captures precisely what it is to be a tender little baby who copes with the terror of being in the world via overachieving and external validation. This book is perfect company to spiral with and also doubles as a fun inside look at peak women’s magazine era and the fumbly transition into digital media. Out June 4.

When the pandemic hit, Glynnis MacNicol was in her mid-40s. Unmarried and child free, she spent the many long months of lockdown on her own, and the grinding loneliness of those months was something she wasn’t prepared for. When a chance to live in Paris presented itself in 2021, she jumped at it. This book is her account of finding pleasure — and company — on her own terms, a celebration of friendship, food, and sex that will make every reader wish they had a friend with an apartment in Paris and the freedom to truly enjoy it. Out June 11

More, Please, Emma Specter

Specter’s previous work has us convinced that More, Please will be a loving, urgent and necessary book about food and bodies and being a person in the world. Part memoir and part reportage, More, Please generously follows Specter’s own experience with disordered eating and features other thoughtful voices through their search for insight, peace, and yes, we’ll say it: healing. Out July 9

The Big Freeze, Natalie Lampert

Between 2009 and 2022, more than 100,000 women in the US chose to freeze their eggs. When it was recommended to her by doctors, journalist and writer Natalie Lampert began a personal quest to investigate a technology that has been billed as a way for women to take control of their fertility. This book is part memoir and part users’ manual for a medical procedure that could help thousands of women conceive — or devastate them with broken promises. Out July 16

Liars, Sarah Manguso

From her previous work like The Two Kinds of Decay and Very Cold People, we know Manguso to be the kind of writer capable of walloping you with an insight when you least expect it, so to have her brain trained on the subject of an unraveling marriage after a baby makes us extremely curious and very very eager to read. Out July 24

As someone who has been all aboard the romantasy train for the past year, it has become very clear that the genre authors receiving most of the attention are cis, white women. The Girl With No Reflection, written by a Chinese Australian debut author, has a wholly original premise, and the main character sounds refreshingly layered. We are all in. Out August 6

Plays Well With Others, Sophie Brickman

As my toddler’s daycare classmates migrate to private pre-Ks, I’ve been enjoying the hell out of Plays Well With Others, a satirical novel about Manhattan prep school Kindergarten admissions by journalist Sophie Brickman. It is full of details that make you want to march in the street, like schools that offer sneaker labs and emotional support alpacas. But it also makes sharp psychological observations about how parents’ intellectual insecurities get foisted on their children. That part will probably hit close to home even among those far outside the .001 percent. August 6.

Men Have Called Her Crazy, Anna Marie Tendler

We will always inhale another woman's account of her journey toward understanding her own mental health; that this book is by Anna Marie Tendler, and specifically examines what happens when men interfere at pivotal moments in our lives, is merely a bonus. Out August 13th

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