Editors’ Picks

Summer Reading, 2015

Josué Goge/Flickr

By Our Editors

July 1, 2015



Independence Day is nearly upon us—the perfect time to spend some quality hours with a book. If you’re like us, you might not have gotten around to certain titles that appeared earlier this year (blame spring cleaning or the weather). And with many promising books set to be published this summer, our reading list is growing longer by the day. Here are some of the titles we’re most looking forward to. We aren’t expecting any book reports, but we would love to hear your thoughts, as well as what recent or forthcoming books happen to be on your list.



In the Country by Mia Alvar

This debut collection spans the globe from Manila to the Middle East to the United States, encompassing nine tales from the Filipino diaspora.


The Man in the Monster by Martha Elliott

Elliott draws on a decade’s worth of conversations and letters to paint a portrait of serial murderer and rapist Michael Ross, who after two decades in prison requested the death penalty for his crimes.


Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

The conclusion to Ghosh’s bestselling Ibis Trilogy, which brings the 19th-century Opium Wars to life.


The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Ishiguro’s first novel in a decade spins together Arthurian legend and fantasy to explore our capacity for memory and guilt, trauma and loss.


The Star Side of Bird Hill by Naomi Jackson

In a reversal of the coming-to-America story, two sisters are shipped off from Brooklyn to Barbados to spend a summer with their grandmother.


Let Me Tell You: New Stories, Essays, and Other Writings by Shirley Jackson

Previously unpublished and uncollected pieces from the author of “The Lottery” and The Haunting of Hill House.


Negroland by Margo Jefferson

A memoir about growing up in Chicago, in “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.”


The Pawnbroker’s Daughter by Maxine Kumin

The memoir of the late poet and Scholar contributor, beginning in Depression-era Philadelphia and exploring Kumin’s intellectual awakening as a “poet of witness.”


Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker by Thomas Kunkel

A profile of the legendary writer—and noted sufferer of writer’s block.


H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

While grieving after the death of her father, the author decides to train a goshawk, a frightening bird of prey, using T. H. White’s The Goshawk as a guide.


The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

The latest from the author of cult favorite Bluets and The Art of Cruelty is a love story—about Nelson’s partner, her son, her family, and the limits of language itself.


Nabokov in America: On the Road to Lolita by Robert Roper

Roper follows the hardy Russian’s quest for butterflies and the literary life in his adopted country. An excerpt from his book, “Net Gains,” appeared in our Summer 2015 issue.


On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks

In February, the noted writer and neurologist revealed that he is dying of liver cancer: “I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. … Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”


Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War by Susan Southard

August 9 marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki. Southard tells the story of the bombing and its survivors, the so-called hibakusha, who deal daily with the challenges of post-atomic life.


My Documents by Alejandro Zambra

A collection of short stories set before and after the time of Pinochet, from a writer whose first novel “marked a kind of bloodletting in Chilean literature,” according to one Santiago newspaper.


Mislaid by Nell Zink

Zink’s second published novel, which has gained even more weight after the Rachel Dolezal scandal broke, cracks open the perennial topics of American racial identity, sexuality, and family.

Our Editors include Robert Wilson, Sudip Bose, Bruce Falconer, Stephanie Bastek, and Charlotte Salley.

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