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It’s time for my book club picks for June 2022!
Summer is my favorite season! I love the longer, warmer days and of course, plenty of beach time. I also am always so excited about the books publishing in summer months. I just feel there’s something special about this time—people take vacation and want more beach reads, it’s just an overall more relaxed vibe all around.
I just started one of my most-anticipated summer novels, More than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez, which is already fantastic. Definitely have that one on your radar, I have a feeling it’s going to be one of the big novels of the season.
And there’s plenty of other books to read as well! So I put together a list of three new releases plus two previously released novels for your book club to consider to read for June. And bonus, the older novels have book club questions already written for them so you’ll be all set with those.
Let’s get to it!
Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick
Phaedra Patrick is known for writing charming and heartfelt fiction including The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and The Library of Lost and Found. Her latest novel, Messy Lives of Book People, sounds so compelling and ideal for all of us book lovers. It features the house cleaner of a famous author—they develop a friendship and after the author passes away, her dying wish is for the house cleaner to complete her novel. I can’t wait for this one. Here’s the synopsis:
Mother of two Liv Green barely scrapes by as a maid to make ends meet, often finding escape in a good book while daydreaming of becoming a writer herself. So she can’t believe her luck when she lands a job housekeeping for her personal hero, megabestselling author Essie Starling, a mysterious and intimidating recluse. The last thing Liv expected was to be the only person Essie talks to, which leads to a tenuous friendship.
When Essie passes away suddenly, Liv is astonished to learn that her dying wish was for Liv to complete her final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie’s shoes. As Liv begins to write, she uncovers secrets from the past that reveal a surprising connection between the two women—one that will change Liv’s own story forever…
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
A mystery-within-a-mystery? Yes, please! I’ve seen the cover for The Woman in the Library everywhere on social media and I’m so curious about this one! The synopsis is brief and to the point but without revealing much. If you’re a fan of mysteries, I would give this one a try. Here’s the synopsis:
The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.
Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.
These Impossible Things by Salma El‑Wardany
I will always be such a fan of stories about female friendships. These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany follows three Muslim friends who are navigating love, sex, faith and secrets. Here’s the synopsis:
It’s always been Malak, Kees, and Jenna against the world. Since childhood, under the watchful eyes of their parents, aunties and uncles, they’ve learned to live their own lives alongside the expectations of being good Muslim women. Staying over at a boyfriend’s place is disguised as a best friend’s sleepover, and tiredness can be blamed on studying instead of partying. They know they’re existing in a perfect moment. With growing older and the stakes of love and life growing higher, the delicate balancing act between rebellion and religion is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate.
Malak wants the dream: for her partner, community, and faith to coexist happily, and she wants this so much she’s willing to break her own heart to get it. Kees is in love with Harry, a white Catholic man who her parents can never know about. When he proposes, she must decide between her future happiness and the life she knows and family she loves. Jenna is the life of the party, always ready for new pleasures, even though she’s plagued by a loneliness she can’t shake. Through it all, they have always had each other. But as their college years come to a close, one night changes everything when harsh truths are revealed.
As their lives begin to take different paths, Malak, Kees, and Jenna—now on the precipice of true adulthood—must find a way back to each other as they reconcile faith, family, and tradition with their own needs and desires. These Impossible Things is a paean to youth and female friendship—and to all the joy and messiness love holds.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
I recently finished Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus and I so enjoyed it! Very moving and also quite funny but not without its serious moments too. Elizabeth Zott is a scientist in 1960s California who ends up becoming the star of a beloved TV cooking show. A quirky and impactful story, your book club will really enjoy reading this one. Here’s the synopsis:
Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.
But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.
Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.
We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz
I was thinking about favorite authors the other day and Andrea Bartz is for sure an auto-buy author for me! I love her thrillers—they’re intelligent and introspective. If you haven’t read her buzzy novel (and a Reese book club pick), We Were Never Here, I highly recommend you check it out! It’s an engaging novel about the complicated nature of friendships and unreliable memories. Here’s the synopsis:
Emily is having the time of her life—she’s in the mountains of Chile with her best friend, Kristen, on their annual reunion trip, and the women are feeling closer than ever. But on the last night of the trip, Emily enters their hotel suite to find blood and broken glass on the floor. Kristen says the cute backpacker she brought back to their room attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Even more shocking: The scene is horrifyingly similar to last year’s trip, when another backpacker wound up dead. Emily can’t believe it’s happened again—can lightning really strike twice?
Back home in Wisconsin, Emily struggles to bury her trauma, diving headfirst into a new relationship and throwing herself into work. But when Kristen shows up for a surprise visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent past. The more Kristen tries to keep Emily close, the more Emily questions her motives. As Emily feels the walls closing in on their cover-ups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can Emily outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom—even her life?