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The Hottest New Reads of 2023

summer read

Looking for your next beach book, or a page-turner to bring on a flight? If you’re in the market for your next literary fix, check out these hot new reads. Whether you’re in the mood for a romance, a thriller or even nonfiction, we’ve got you covered.


Happy Place
by Emily Henry

Emily Henry, queen of the romance summer read, returns with “Happy Place.” Harriet and Wyn might have broken up five months ago, but they don’t want that to ruin their annual friend group vacation. In an effort to try and keep the peace, they’ve decided to pretend they’re still together for the duration of the trip. It can’t be that hard, right?

“Just in time for summer, Henry’s latest rom-com is a charming, heartwarming read about second-chance romance,” writes USA Today. Buy it here.

Romantic Comedy
by Curtis Sittenfeld

Sally Milz, a sketch comedy writer for a show similar to “SNL,” is sick of seeing her drab and dorky male coworkers pairing off with supermodels and celebrities. She’s never seen anything like that happen for any of the women working at the show. That is, until pop star Noah Brewster guest-stars on an episode. Could Noah really be interested in someone like her? And is she actually falling for him too? “Romantic Comedy” is a love letter to the genre, and a sweet love story to boot. Buy it here.

The Neighbor Favor
by Kristina Forest

Shy book editor Lily Greene starts up a friendly online correspondence with a pseudonymous fantasy author, but is crestfallen when he suddenly stops responding to her messages. When she needs a date to her sister’s wedding a few months later, she enlists the help of her new neighbor, Nick Brown. There’s something really familiar about him, but she can’t quite put her finger on it.

The New York Times Book Review calls “The Neighbor Favor” a “warm and welcoming new contemporary… the book breathes easily and pulls you right into its world.” Buy it here.


Bad Summer People
by Emma Rosenblum

The privileged summer residents of Salcombe, Fire Island, are embroiled in personal drama every year, but this time, they also found a dead body. “Bad Summer People” by Emma Rosenblum is a comedic thriller packed with twists, turns and delicious satire.

“Come for the twisted murder mystery and stay for the guaranteed drama amongst the group,” writes ELLE. Buy it here.

by R. F. Kuang

June Hayward is a young author, struggling in the shadow of her much more successful former classmate, Athena Liu. But when Athena dies in a freak accident, June sees her chance. She steals the manuscript for Athena’s novel about Chinese laborers in World War I and passes it off as her own, under the name “Juniper Song.” “Yellowface” by R. F. Kuang situates the reader deep in June’s psyche as she rationalizes her plagiarism, celebrates her success and weaves an inescapable web of lies. You won’t be able to put it down. Buy it here.

Beware the Woman
by Megan Abbott

Jacy is a newlywed with a baby on the way when she and her husband go on a trip to visit her father-in-law, Dr. Ash, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The isolated cottage is a welcome escape at first, until Jacy experiences a mysterious health scare. Jacy starts to feel like she’s trapped in the cottage, but is she being paranoid, or is she actually in danger?

CrimeReads calls “Beware the Woman” a “stylish, sensual thriller that unfolds like a fever dream.” Buy it here.

I Have Some Questions for You
by Rebecca Makkai

When Bodie Kane returns to her old boarding school as a guest teacher, she becomes obsessed with a murder that happened during her senior year. Did they actually convict the right person all those years ago? Could the real killer still be on the loose? And could Bodie, deep in the recesses of her memory, know something that could change the entire case? “I Have Some Questions For You” is a rich novel in the spirit of “The Secret History,” another riveting work of dark academia. Buy it here.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Lone Women
by Victor LaValle

Adelaide Henry is burdened with a dark secret, and a mysterious trunk that she must carry with her wherever she goes. In 1915, she travels from California to Montana to try and make it as a lone woman homesteader. But of course, she has to bring the trunk with her.

Lone Women” by Victor LaValle is a chiller full of suspense. The Root calls it “a blend of historical fiction and horror that you won’t be able to put down.” Buy it here.

The Ferryman
by Justin Cronin

Prospera is a utopian island paradise where no one ever really dies. When residents of Prospera get old enough, they are “retired” to an island known as the Nursery, where their bodies are restored and their memories are erased before they are returned to Prospera, completely renewed. Proctor Bennett, a ferryman who assists in the retirement process, starts to question the laws of the land when he’s tasked with retiring his own father. Is everything in Prospera truly as it seems?

“This was not just a novel, but an experience,” raves The Fantasy Review. Buy it here.


Hello Beautiful
by Ann Napolitano

In this modern take on “Little Women,” lonely misfit William Waters finds his people in the Padavano sisters: Julia, Sylvie, Cecelia and Emeline. But when he marries into the family, William finds that the darkness from his past is still following him.

“Napolitano is a master of examining what binds us to family, what makes family, and how to love in difficult times,” writes Literary Hub. Buy it here.

The Last Animal
by Ramona Ausubel

When teenage sisters Eve and Vera wander off during their mother’s scientific expedition in Siberia, they make a discovery that could change the world. It’s the perfectly intact, four-thousand-year-old body of a baby woolly mammoth. “The Last Animal” catapults the girls and their mother on a whirlwind journey through biology, science and grief. In a world where everything eventually goes extinct, is it wrong to try and bring something back?

“Splicing wit and wisdom, ‘The Last Animal’ is a bright-eyed meditation on what animates us, biologically as well as emotionally – but most of all, familially,” raves NPR. Buy it here.

The Rachel Incident
by Caroline O’Donoghue

Rachel might be a bit of a hot mess, but she’s still figuring life out. When she falls in love with her married English professor, she enlists the help of her roommate and best friend, James, to think of ways to entice him. Suddenly, she and James are enmeshed in the lives of the professor and his wife.

Vogue calls “The Rachel Incident” a “sneakily philosophical book about growing up that offers its insights with charming, effervescent ease.” Buy it here.


Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood
by Maureen Ryan

With writers and actors striking in solidarity, “Burn it Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood” couldn’t have come out at a better time. This searing book by Maureen Ryan examines abuses of power and worker exploitation that took place on shows from “Lost” to “SNL.” Ryan weaves together fresh reporting, exclusive interviews and incisive commentary to argue that Hollywood has to change, and soon.

“Ryan has the experience and insight to explore Hollywood’s dark underbelly, and she finds plenty of monsters,” writes Kirkus Reviews. Buy it here.

Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs
by Jamie Loftus

What could be more suited to summer than a book about hot dogs? “Raw Dog: The Naked Truth About Hot Dogs” is a travelogue that follows comedian and journalist Jamie Loftus on “hot dog summer,” a grand tour of America’s most famous hot dogs. Detours include a deep dive into how the sausage gets made, extensive thoughts about pickle packaging and a complete history of the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.

“Raw Dog will leave you nourished,” writes BuzzFeed. Buy it here.

The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder
by David Grann

When the survivors of HMS The Wager were found in 1742, everyone believed the story they had to tell about how they were shipwrecked and marooned. That is, until 6 months later, when three additional survivors appeared with a much different story to tell. “The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder” uncovers the secrets of this historic mystery, and the dramatic court martial that followed.

“‘The Wager’ reads like a thriller,” raves Time Magazine. Buy it here.

What’s your favorite summer read? Let us know in the comments below.

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