What are we looking forward to reading this month? Stories of the uncanny, for one thing. Candid true-life stories, for another. If there’s a running theme here, it might well involve New England, which several of the writers with books out this month have ties to. Does this prefigure us spinning off Vol. 1 New England? We can’t say for sure, but if you read on, we can point you in the direction of some notable July books.
Kyle Muntz, The Pain Eater
(July 5, CLASH Books)
Kyle Muntz’s latest novel is about grief; it’s also about a strange being that devours human emotions. In our recent interview with Muntz, he spoke about wanting to blend a lived-in setting with intrusions of the bizarre and supernatural. That’s a combination we wholly support, and we’re eager to see what he does with it here.
Morgan Talty, Night of the Living Rez
(July 5, Tin House)
The first collection from author Morgan Talty follows the lives of several members of the Penobscot nation living in Maine. Talty’s short fiction up until this point has garnered an abundant amount of critical acclaim; it doesn’t hurt that this book has an absolutely fantastic title. It’s a debut worth seeking out.
Paul Tremblay, The Pallbearers’ Club
(July 5, William Morrow)
Paul Tremblay’s latest novel revisits 1980s New England with a touch of the supernatural, charting an unlikely friendship against the backdrop of an unsettling piece of local folklore – and then taking the narrative up to the present day, where memory and perception clash in unexpected and thrilling ways.
Ned Beauman, Venomous Lumpsucker
(July 12, Soho Press)
Ned Beauman’s heady fiction blends high concepts with wry humor and jarring transitions. His latest novel, Venomous Lumpsucker, is set in a near future where mass extinctions are an even more rapid occurrence than they are now, and an unlikely aquatic dweller is at the center of an unexpected quest. Intrigued? We are.
Natalka Burian, The Night Shift
(July 12, HarperCollins)
Have you ever wanted to find the perfect shortcut from place to place around New York City, crossing avenues and boroughs with a step? That’s the concept at the heart of Natalka Burian’s The Night Shift. Throw in an evocation of the city in the early 2000s and you have a combination that’s hard to resist.
David Leo Rice, The New House
(July 15, Whisk(e)y Tit)
We don’t normally cite blurbs in here, but it’s worth mentioning that Lindsay Lerman compared The New House to “a Jewish magical realist bildungsroman.” That’s certainly a trifecta that catches our eye. It’s an unlikely family saga, a story of life on the margins, and a novel both about and suffused with mysticism.
Isaac Fitzgerald, Dirtbag, Massachusetts
(July 19, Bloomsbury)
File this one under books we’ve been thrilled to read since they were first announced. Dirtbag, Massachusetts is Isaac Fitzgerald’s account of his own coming-of-age, encompassing everything from growing up in Massachusetts to making his way across the globe. It’s a singular story told in a singular voice.
Sarah Gailey, Just Like Home
(July 19, Tor)
This month’s list abounds with writers who blend intriguing concepts with immersive psychology. Sarah Gailey is one of them, with their previous novel The Echo Wife being a haunting chamber drama about cloning and intimacy. Just Like Home is a different kind of family story, dealing with the legacy of a killer and those left behind in his wake.
Jackson Bliss, Dream Pop Origami
(July 26, Unsolicited Press)
Subtitled “A Permutational Memoir About Hapa Identity,” Jackson Bliss’s Dream Pop Origami is a formally inventive exploration of its author viewed from different angles. What that amounts to is an immersive look at one writer’s life in all its complexity; we published an excerpt from it not long ago, if you’d like a preview.
Dwyer Murphy, An Honest Living
(July 26, Viking)
One more theme for this month? New York City in the first decade of the 21st century. That’s the setting of Dwyer Murphy’s debut novel, a decidedly literary mystery abounding with concealed identities, real estate developments, and missing persons. If you’re looking for an engaging summer read, this might just be it.
Note: all release dates and cover art are subject to change.