What’s the Buzz: 40 of the Best Summer Reads for 2022

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

Believe it or not, it’s time for summer reading again! But what to read??? To paraphrase LFO: “In the summer books come and summer books go, some are worthwhile and some are so-so.” There are so many books coming out in the next few months that it can be hard to choose. That’s why I’m here to highlight 40 of the best summer reads 2022 has to offer, so you get get right down to reading, instead of lying on the floor, wondering where the kids from ALF are now, because you can’t pick a book. (Er, that’s a totally made up example.)

As far as summer releases I am personally excited about (besides the ones in this list), I can’t wait to get my hands on Vera Kelly: Lost and Found by Rosalie Knecht — even though I am sad the series is ending. I’m looking forward to the debut novels Greenland by David Santos Donaldson, On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi, and The Catch by Alison Fairbrother. I’m delighted Nevada by Imogen Binnie is being reissued by a larger publisher, because it deserves a bigger audience. And I feel it is my duty to let you know that there is a Bunnicula graphic novel coming out in August, and it is adorable.

Really, that was just my way of sneaking in even more recommendations to this list of summer reads for 2022. I can’t stop talking about books! These books are all coming out in June, July, and August. I have read many of the buzzy, exciting titles you’ll find below, and I can’t wait for you to read them too! So get your TBR ready and let’s get to it!

cover of Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen; illustration of young Asian woman tipping down sunglasses which are reflecting a red shopping bag

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen (June 7)

Who doesn’t love a good caper novel? This one is about two Asian American women who decide to go global with their counterfeit handbag operation. Will they succeed or should they — wait for it — knock it off?

Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane (June 7)

Mythology retellings have been so popular the last few years! There have been a ton of great ones, and here’s a new one to add to that list. It’s an epic reimagining of The Illiad, in which Achilles is a trans woman, and the gods are just as fickle and cruel as always.

Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley (June 7)

Crosley, author of I Was Told There’d Be Cake and The Clasp, returns with one of the most anticipated books of the year. It’s about a young woman named Lola, her past and current boyfriends, and the mysterious events that tie them all to her former boss, a magazine editor turned guru.

cover of Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine; illustration of Indigenous woman in a red dress riding a brown horse in front of a setting sun sky

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (June 7)

Fajardo-Anstine took the literary world by storm with her first book, the National Book Award finalist, Sabrina & Corina. Now she returns with this multigenerational saga about the Lopez family, an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West.

Nuclear Family by Joseph Han (June 7)

Han was just named one of the 5 Under 35 honorees by the National Book Foundation. This debut novel is about a Korean family living in Hawai’i in the months leading up to the nuclear missile false alarm in 2018.

After the Lights Go Out by John Vercher (June 7)

Vercher’s first novel, Three-Fifths, was a critically acclaimed hit. His second is about a mixed-race MMA fighter suffering the beginnings of pugilistic dementia, who is offered a chance at a last-minute high-profile comeback fight.

Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler (June 7)

In this YA romance, when a young woman replaces the high school football team’s quarterback after he dies, it shakes up the school. Jack’s teammates are angry about playing with a girl, and the cheerleading squad is upset about the change in tradition. Only cheerleader Amber thinks Jack is brave, and it’s possibly the start of something more.

cover of Ordinary Monsters by J. M. Miro; black with castle window cutout in the center with image of a raven flying by

Ordinary Monsters by J. M. Miro (June 7)

The true identity of the author is a mystery, but the book is the first in an epic Dickensian fantasy series. It’s starts with a jaded detective who must get two children with special powers to safety in Victorian London as they are hunted by a man made of smoke.

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez (June 7)

This family saga is getting so much buzz! It’s about a woman named Lore whose secret second marriage is revealed when one husband murders the other. Will a reporter with secrets of her own get Lore to tell her story decades later?

Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta (June 7)

Thirty years later, Tracy Flick of Election is getting a sequel! Life didn’t work out the way the high school overachiever expected. But she’s filled with a renewed purpose when she has a chance to become the principal.

A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables) by Alix E. Harrow (June 14)

In the fantastic fantasy novella, A Spindle Splintered, professional fairytale fixer, Zinnia Gray, helped Sleeping Beauty. This time around, she’s going to have to decide if she’s up for helping Snow White’s Evil Queen get a better ending to her story.

cover of Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky; image of pink and orange polka dots around blue waves, with yellow font

Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky (June 14)

This is a dark comedy about a producer whose life is shattered in more than one way when a hurricane bears down on her home and she must figure out where to turn to for help.

Lapvona by Ottessa Moshfegh (June 21)

The author of the critically acclaimed novels, Eileen and My Year of Rest and Relaxation, returns with a historical fantasy about a motherless shepherd boy and a midwife with powers in a medieval fiefdom.

The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager (June 21)

Summer reading isn’t complete without some chills and thrills! Sager’s newest offering is a tale of a widowed actress mourning in seclusion who thinks her neighbor has murdered his wife.

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong (June 21)

Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist, Ed Yong, returns with his first book since I Contain Multitudes. It’s a rare glimpse into our immense world as it is viewed by animals.

Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America’s Woods by Lyndsie Bourgon (June 21)

And this is a true crime book about…tree theft? That’s right, it sounds wild, but as you’ll learn in Bourgon’s book, tree theft is a billion dollar industry.

cover of Invisible Things by Mat Johnson; illustration of a city far in the distance under a bright blue dome

Invisible Things by Mat Johnson (June 28)

Johnson is one of my favorite writers, so I can’t wait for his new novel! It’s an allegory about a hidden human civilization, an upcoming election, and an invisible force.

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert (June 28)

Albert is back with her first YA novel since the conclusion of her exciting Hazelwood series! This one is a witchy supernatural thriller about a young woman, her mother, and the past.

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe (June 28)

This is the highly anticipated new collection by the award-winning author of Say Nothing and Empire of Pain, featuring 12 stories about people on both sides of the law.

The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay (July 5)

From the author of The Cabin at the End of the World and Survivor Song comes a new psychological thriller. It’s about a teen boy who makes friends with the coolest girl in school, only to discover she has a real morbid side. And she doesn’t appreciate him sharing her secrets.

cover of Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty, pastel font over illustration of night sky seen from the forest floor

Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty (July 5)

This is one of the most highly anticipated story collections of the year! In 12 incendiary stories set in a Native community in Maine, Talty illustrates what it means to be Native in America in the 21st century.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (July 5)

From the author of the much-beloved The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (soon to be a movie!) comes a tale that takes two childhood friends turned creative partners in the world of video game design through highs and lows from coast to coast.

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher (July 12)

If you loved the humor-horror blend of Kingfisher’s previous novels, The Hollow Places and The Twisted Ones, then hold on to your butts, because this delivers more of that in a retelling of The Fall of the House of Usher — plus fungi!

The Crane Wife: A Memoir in Essays by CJ Hauser (July 12)

The author of the acclaimed novel, Family of Origin, returns with her first nonfiction collection. It’s a brilliant memoir-in-essays, starting with her time studying whooping cranes in Texas after calling off her wedding.

cover of Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield; peach background with rocky ocean bottom terrain at the bottom

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (July 12)

Sorry other books, but this is my favorite book of the summer! It’s a tender and surreal love story about a woman whose wife goes missing on a submarine expedition, and what happens when she returns.

Harry Sylvester Bird by Chinelo Okparanta (July 12)

This is the long-awaited follow-up to Okparanta’s debut novel, Under the Udala Trees. The title character grows up with racist parents in a small, racist town and dreams that life in New York City will be different. But when he arrives, he will have to confront his roots.

The Man Who Could Move Clouds by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (July 12)

From the author of the highly acclaimed novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, comes a memoir/biography about the author’s family in Colombia and their otherworldly legacy.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (July 19)

Book Riot favorite, Moreno-Garcia, author of Mexican Gothic and Velvet Was the Night, returns with a reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set in 19th century Mexico.

cover of Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey; pink with a red house in the middle dripping blood

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey (July 19)

They’ve covered such fun things as outlaw librarians, clones, magic schools, and hippos! Now, Gailey is back with a scary tale of the daughter of a famous serial killer who returns to the home where he committed his crimes to care for her mother.

Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional by Isaac Fitzgerald (July 19)

Literary champion and writer Fitzgerald shares the many stories of his life — from an unhappy home, to the streets of Boston, to bartending in San Francisco, to smuggling in Burma — as he seeks to find peace within himself.

Twice a Quinceañera by Yamile Saied Méndez (July 26)

The author of the marvelous Reese Witherspoon YA book club pick, Furia, is back with her first romance! When Nadia Palacio breaks up with her cheating fiancé just a month before her wedding, she decides to use her nonrefundable venue hall to throw herself a second quinceañera for her 30th birthday!

Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra (August 2)

It has been nine years since Marra’s amazing debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, but it was worth the wait! This is an incredible tale of a woman at a Hollywood studio as America begins its entry into World War II.

cover of The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk Wallace Johnson; photo of fishing boats tinged bright orange

The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk Wallace Johnson (August 2)

Fans of The Feather Thief will be delighted to learn the author is back with more nonfiction. This one is the true story of struggling fishermen, racism and xenophobia, and environmental disaster on the Texas Gulf Coast in the 1970s.

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid (August 2)

From the acclaimed author of Exit West (soon to be a movie with Riz Ahmed!), comes a gripping reimagining of Kafka’s classic, The Metamorphosis, about a world where people’s skin begins to change color.

Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis by Beth Macy (August 16)

In Dopesick (recently released as a movie with Michael Keaton!), Macy covered the growing opioid epidemic in America. In her new book, she delves further into the repercussions of the crisis, but also offers stories of hope and justice.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood (August 23)

From The New York Times best-selling author of the runaway hit, The Love Hypothesis, comes another “STEMinist romcom” in which a scientist is forced to work with her nemesis and hijinks ensue!

cover of Babel by R.F. Kuang; black and white pen illustration of a very high tower in a city with birds flying around it

Babel: Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang (August 23)

A dark historical fantasy from the author of The Poppy Wars? About students at Oxford University working in magic and translation? And it’s being compared to The Secret History and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell? GIMME GIMME GIMME.

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid (August 30)

From one of the biggest authors of the last decade — The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Malibu Rising, Daisy Jones & The Six — comes a tale of a phenomenal tennis player looking to make a comeback, even though the world has written her off as past her prime.

The Spear Cuts Through Water by Simon Jimenez (August 30)

Jimenez’s last novel, Vanished Birds, is a Book Riot favorite, so we are eagerly anticipating this new novel! It’s about two warriors and an ancient god who work together to try to bring about the end of a reign of terror from a royal family.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney (August 30)

And last but not least: From the author of Rock, Paper, Scissors, comes this locked room mystery about a family reunion on an island cut off from civilization for eight hours that ends in murder. I have read this, and here is my one-word review: BANANAPANTS.

Whew! Has your TBR cried uncle yet?? If not, here are more books to add to your reading list in this post of 22 Great New Books To Read in 2022 (which is actually over 40 titles, because can’t stop, won’t stop.) And you can always sign up for the New Books newsletter and get great new release recommendations right in your inbox!