Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

The Best New Book Releases Out July 5, 2023

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Danika Ellis

Associate Editor

Danika spends most of her time talking about queer women books at the Lesbrary. Blog: The Lesbrary Twitter: @DanikaEllis

Generally, new books in the USA come out on a Tuesday — so that’s when these new release posts usually go up, too! This week, though, Tuesday fell on the Fourth of July, so we’re switching things up a bit and posting on a Wednesday. Although the holiday meant there were fewer new releases than usual, there are still some big, buzzy books out this week! That includes the newest romance novel from the author of The Ex Talk, two different books about retired bookish professionals — a bookseller and a librarian, a nonfiction book about how to identify and take down white supremacist groups, and so much more. Let’s jump right in! Here are the new books out the week of July 4, 2023 that you need to know about.

Cover of Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This is the newest romance novel from the bestselling author of The Ex Talk. Chandler is a ghostwriter who showed up to a signing for a book she wrote and was stunned to find the celebrity didn’t even recognize her. So she soothes her ego with a hookup — unfortunately, that also turns out to be an awkward experience. It’s much more uncomfortable, though, when she finds out that the guy she slept with is also the person she’s ghostwriting for next. Their arrangement takes on a different tone when she lets him know that their night together wasn’t exactly mind-blowing. Now, when they’re not writing a book together, she’s tutoring Finn in the “art of satisfaction.” Surprise, surprise: things get a little complicated.

cover of The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt

The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt

This looks like a quiet, heartwarming story about a retired librarian looking back on his life. Bob Comet has felt unmoored since his retirement. When he finds an elderly woman lost and confused in the grocery store, he takes her back to the senior center and begins volunteering there to add some purpose to his days. He shares his life story with the friends he makes there. It promises to be “imbued with melancholy but also a bright, sustained comedy.” This is the newest from the author of The Sisters Brothers, among others.

the cover of Trinity

Trinity by Zelda Lockhart

Trinity follows three generations of a Black family living in the American South. Lottie is determined to unearth the atrocities that have left scars on her family, particularly her father and paternal grandfather, and begin their ability to heal. This is being compared to The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, The Turner House, and The Love Songs of W. E. B. DuBois. Imani Perry explains, “If we are ancestrally haunted, we may also be ancestrally healed. This is the lesson of Zelda Lockhart’s Trinity.”

the cover of Love & Resistance

Love & Resistance by Kara H.L. Chen

Olivia Chang is used to blending into the background. In fact, she prefers it. This is her fourth school in seven years, and she’s determined to keep her head down and get through it. When “it-girl” classmate Mitzi Clarke makes a racist remark about her in class, though, that plan dissolves. She defends herself, and she is then approached by a group calling themselves the Nerd Net who are scheming to stop Mitzi’s reign of terror. They might be able to change the school — but first, Olivia will have to learn to trust other people.

cover of Owner of a Lonely Heart: A Memoir by Beth Nguyen; half pink, half orange with white outline of a woman in the middle

Owner of a Lonely Heart: A Memoir by Beth Nguyen

When Beth Nguyen was eight months old, her family fled Saigon to America. At least, most of her family did: her mother decided to stay behind. She didn’t see her again until she was 19. In this memoir, Nguyen explores her life as a refugee as well as growing up without her mother — and Nguyen’s experience of the handful of meetings she had with her mother as an adult. This relationship becomes even more complicated when Nguyen becomes a mother herself.

the cover of The Door-to-Door Bookstore

The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn

If there’s one thing book lovers can’t resist, it’s a book about books. This sounds like a story that will appeal to fans of Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry! It follows elderly German bookseller Carl Kollhoff, who delivers books to his top customers in the evening after the shop closes. When he loses his job, he finds an unexpected friendship with a 9-year-old girl who helps to remind him about what really matters.

the cover of Pete and Alice in Maine

Pete and Alice in Maine by Caitlin Shetterly

Alice is struggling to reconcile Pete’s betrayal with what she thought of her marriage. So she decides to get away for a while, packing the family up from New York City and into their vacation home in Maine. It’s 2020, though, and things aren’t so simple. Alice is now quarantining with her husband and two kids, and she feels more trapped than ever, especially in the face of hostile neighbors. Christina Baker Kline describes this as a “tender, big-hearted, clear-eyed portrait of a marriage, and a family, in crisis.”

the cover of The Hate Next Door

The Hate Next Door: Undercover Within the New Face of White Supremacy by Matson Browning and Tawni Browning

Matt Browning has spent more than 25 years investigating white supremacist groups, infiltrating them in the hopes of having participants arrested. In The Hate Next Door, Browning explains how these aren’t fringe elements, but an interconnected and powerful movement. January 6th should be a wake-up call that these groups are on the rise. Browning teaches readers how to identify white supremacist groups — and how to fight them.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!