My Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2017

May 23, 2017 Book Lists 34

Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2017


In case you missed it last week, I posted my 2017 Summer Reading Guide, which is chock full of awesome books for summer that I’ve already vetted. Today’s Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2017 list focuses on upcoming releases that I’m excited about, but (for the most part) have not yet read. I hope I’ll be adding many of these to my Summer Reading Guide as the summer goes on.

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June

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (June 6, Riverhead)
Bookpage included this novel on its 2017 preview and Ann Patchett (one of my favorite authors, most recently of Commonwealth) called it “smart and thrilling and impossible to put down.” I’ve almost finished this one and it’s a perfect page-turning beach read…as long as you’re not traveling with kids in a foreign country! 

From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation and the children go missing.

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Grinder (June 6, Flatiron Books)
I’ve got to be honest…I put this book on my TBR list mostly because of the title. And, also because it sounds a bit like Seating Arrangements (my review) and Jennifer Close (author of The Hopefuls) called it “family dysfunction at its best” (and ya’ll know I can’t resist that). 

A bitingly funny, hugely entertaining novel in which a fractured family from the Chicago suburbs must gather in London for their eldest daughter’s marriage to an upper-crust Englishman, proving that the harder we strain against the ties that bind, the tighter they hold us close.

Stephen Florida by Gabe Habash (June 6, Coffee House Press)
Ya’ll know how much I love sports fiction and this novel has a bit of a John Irving ring to it. Not to mention Hanya Yanigahara (author of A Little Life, one of my favorite books of 2015) called it “a coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity.”

Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding, Stephen Florida follows a college wrestler in his senior season, when every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from sanity. Profane, manic, and tipping into the uncanny, it’s a story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.

The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs (June 6, Simon & Schuster)
I realize trying to match When Breath Becomes Air (see below) could be a fool’s errand, but I’m still intrigued. Especially since it’s gotten starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly, and a blurb from Lucy Kalanithi (Paul Kalanithi of When Breath Becomes Air‘s widow). 

An exquisite memoir about how to live—and love—every day with “death in the room,” from poet Nina Riggs, mother of two young sons and the direct descendant of Ralph Waldo Emerson, in the tradition of When Breath Becomes Air.

July

Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam (July 4, Random House)
When Meg Wolitzer (author of The Interestings) calls a book “funny, dark, big, and bold,” that’s all I need to hear. Plus, blurbs from Jonathan Tropper and Curtis Sittenfeld. 

Two people, who are married to other people, meet at a conference for artists and writers in a charming seaside village. Rich, a formerly sort-of-famous cartoonist, and Amy, a student of narrative painting, shared a moment of passion the summer before, and have returned to see what happens next. In the wicked events that follow, both of their lives completely unravel.

What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons (July 11, Viking)
This debut novel has been compared to The Mothers (one of my favorite books of last year) and was #1 on Buzzfeed’s list of 22 Exciting New Books You Need to Read this Summer

From a debut author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age—a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country.

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (July 11, Henry Holt)
Another debut novel that made Buzzfeed’s list of 22 Exciting New Books You Need to Read this Summer! And Stephanie Danler (author of Sweetbitter) said this about it: “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a more candid portrait of love between family members.” 

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she’d realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth’s father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Final Girls by Riley Sager (July 11, Dutton)
I’m desperately searching for a satisfying thriller and Stephen King called this one “the first great thriller of 2017.” If Stephen King is wrong, then I’m give up. It also got a starred review from Kirkus.

An intense and imaginative horror story, Final Girls follows the lone survivor of a massacre, who must reclaim her locked-away memories when faced with another threat ten years later.

August

The Lauras by Sara Taylor (August 1, Hogarth)
I loved Taylor’s 2015 debut novel, The Shore (my review), and have been looking forward to her follow-up! 

The gritty, fierce, and winning story of an unforgettable pair on a road trip across the United States, and their shared journey into the past.

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (August 1, Atlantic Monthly Press)
Yay – fiction based on true crime! I went through a period of loving these a few years ago, but haven’t read one in awhile. I’m looking forward to this!

In this riveting debut novel, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time (the Lizzie Borden case) into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.

The Futilitarians by Anne Gisleson (August 22, Little, Brown)
Gisleson has been compared to Cheryl Strayed (Tiny Beautiful Things, one of my absolute favorite memoirs) and Jami Attenberg (author of All Grown Up) said it was her favorite memoir of the year. 

A memoir of friendship and literature chronicling a search for meaning and comfort in great books, and a beautiful path out of grief.

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (August 22, Algonquin Books)
Zevin’s previous novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (my review) was my favorite book of 2014. And, I love the focus of her latest on the double standards between men and women facing public scandal. 

Young Jane Young‘s heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss‑‑who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married‑‑and blogging about it.

*All book summaries (in block quotes) are from Goodreads.

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34 Responses to “My Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2017”

  1. Lynn

    Nice list! I also enjoyed The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and I’m looking forward to reading Zevin’s newest book when it comes out! Have a great week and happy reading!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I understand it’s pretty different from Fikry, but I’m really looking forward to it and the topic sounds intriguing!

  2. RK

    Great list! I’m also really looking forward to Goodbye Vitamin and Young Jane Young.

  3. renee

    Love this post, thank you for highlighting some books I didn’t know about….The Bright Hour, Goodbye,Vitamin and Young Jane Young I’ve immediately requested on Netgalley! I’ve also got The People We Hate at the Wedding, Final Girls and Who Is Rich on my summer TBR, I’m super excited about all of them.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Yay! I actually tried People We Hate at the Wedding yesterday and ended up putting it down, but I may pick it up again later.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I just found out somewhat recently too – but was thrilled with the news!

  4. Carrie

    Added several of these to my to read list! The people we hate at the wedding sounds awesome! I agree about the title, how can you not want to read a book with a title like that!?

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I know, right?! I started it yesterday, but ended up putting it down. I may pick it up again…I think I’m just burned out of lighter books from reading so many for my summer reading guide. Had to switch gears for a bit. Am now reading Beartown b/c my library hold came in.

  5. Kate @ Parchment Girl

    I’m most looking forward to Daring to Drive and The Marsh King’s Daughter myself. I have such a huge backlog of reading to do this summer, I don’t know if I’ll have time for much new stuff, but those two I will definitely make time for.

    What I Have Done looks good too, in fact, I almost included it in my summer preview list, but I wasn’t thrilled with the early reviews I saw.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I must have missed your summer preview…I’ll hop on over and check it out!

  6. Megan -- booksandcarbs

    Fantastic list! I was already looking forward to The People We Hate at the Wedding and Young Jane Young, but this post has put several other new titles on my radar!! Eager to learn more about Who Is Rich? and Goodbye, Vitamin and The Futilitarians. Stephen Florida sounds like a book my husband would really like.

    Thanks so much!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Thanks! I tried Wedding yesterday and ended up putting it down, but I might pick it back up again. I kind of realized I was burned out of super light books from reading so many of them for my summer reading guide. Just had to switch gears for a bit and my library hold of Beartown just came in.

  7. Donna @ OnDBookshelf

    I’m looking forward to lots of these. Regarding Gabrielle Zevin, I’ve also enjoyed her YA books, particularly the trilogy about the future when coffee and chocolate are forbidden (Birthright series).

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I didn’t realize she wrote YA too! Interesting. I’m not normally a fan of YA, but maybe I would enjoy hers.

  8. Michelle

    Final Girls is on my list too, along with many, many others that I can only hope I finish reading before they expire.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Haha! So – question – I always hear you talking about getting to galleys “before they expire.” What do you mean by that? I just download my galleys from Edelweiss and Netgalley as soon as I’m approved…then they just live on my Kindle forever. Am I missing something?

    • Sarah Dickinson

      If you’re looking for a pure page turner that’s interesting, but also easy reading…Do Not Become Alarmed is perfect!

    • Michelle

      I don’t have a Kindle. I use Bluefire Reader to download galleys onto my phone and my iPad. They do expire, sometimes on the book’s release date, sometimes 60 days after you download it. As long as the book has not been archived by the publisher, you can download it again, but once you hit that expiration date and archive date, there is nothing you can do. There are few things more frustrating than being halfway through a novel only to have it expire on you, and you cannot download it again. Or find out that the publisher changed the archive date and a book you had scheduled to read is no longer available for download. I tend to download books and read them about a month before their release date. Since I started doing this, I have not been caught short very often. It does make it very difficult to read anything else though knowing you have a hard deadline in which to finish it.

      • Sarah Dickinson

        Aaah – I see. Super frustrating! I don’t think I’d ever read galleys if I had that setup. Galleys sometimes sit on my Kindle for months before I get to them (mostly for stuff I’ve requested super early).

  9. Catherine

    I’m with you on The Lauras and Goodbye, Vitamin (I know 2 booksellers who raved about it).

    I’m looking forward to Fitness Junkie (now that I’m becoming one), The Address (about the Dakota bldg in NYC!), and Mrs Fletcher (Tom Perrotta’s new one).

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Oh yay! I hadn’t actually heard from anyone who’d read them yet…even second hand info. But, I was obviously going to get Lauras b/c of The Shore.

      You can vet the others for me and tell me what I need to read! All look interesting, but the kind of books that could totally flop too.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Unfortunately, I put it down around 20% in 🙁 I could possibly go back to it if I hear some good things from bloggers I trust, but haven’t yet so far.

      • Katie @ Doing Dewey

        When I get to it, I’ll let you know if I think it’s worth picking back up, but I don’t have high hopes for it since it was a DNF for you. We’ll see!

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