Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

The Best New Book Releases Out July 2, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

If you’d like to see what other people are reading over on BookTok, I’ve assembled a roundup of books that are popular on the app for summer reading. And, if you want some heroic stories with a bit of a twist, here’s a great list of books where the villain is actually the hero.

In today’s new releases, there’s The Undermining of Twyla and Frank, the follow-up to Megan Bannen’s mystery/romantasy The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy; and the Mulan-inspired romantasy, The Night Ends with Fire by K.X. Song.

For Southern family drama, there’s The Townsend Family Recipe for Disaster by Shauna Robinson, and The Night of Baba Yaga by Akira Otani, translated by Sam Bett
for a queer, Kill Bill-esque thriller set in Tokyo in 1979.

Now, if you want to learn a little something about the first widely known crime boss in America — a Jewish mother in New York — there’s the nonfiction The Talented Mrs. Mandelbaum by Margalit Fox. If the sea calls to you, Deep Water: The world in the ocean by James Bradley offers more understanding.

As for the books below, there are girls coming of age in 1950s Iran, a life-changing heatwave in London in 2019, messy socialites in 1960s Rome, and lots more.

cover of The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

The Lion Women of Tehran by Marjan Kamali

It’s the 1950s in Tehran, and the death of 7-year-old Ellie’s father thrusts her and her mother out of familiar comfort and into a small, downtown house. Her grief and loneliness are fortunately curbed by Homa, a girl she meets on the first day of school, and who she becomes best friends with. Together, the two girls plan on becoming “lion women,” even as they play girlhood games. But then Ellie and her mother are offered some of their old, cushy life back, and Ellie gradually becomes a popular girl at Iran’s most prestigious girls’ school. When Homa reappears in Ellie’s life, it’s just as memories of their childhood together begin to dissipate. Reunited, the girls come of age in a tumultuous Iran and try to make futures for themselves, even after a startling betrayal.

cover of Evenings and Weekends Oisín McKenna

Evenings and Weekends by Oisín McKenna

It’s London in 2019 and hot af. It’s the hottest June ever, actually, and also, a whale is stuck in the Thames River (!?). There’s just a lot going on, and amidst all this, four old friends’ lives change forever because of one party. Maggie, a waitress who’s seeing her dreams of being an artist dashed right before her eyes, is preparing to give birth. Ed, Maggie’s future baby’s father, is just coasting through life — he’s ready to become a father, but has a secret past of hooking up with anonymous men in bathrooms. He also has a little secret past thing with Maggie’s friend, Phil. Now for Phil: things are kind of looking up for him. His office job is boring, but his weekends are poppin’, and he’s about to get into his first real relationship ever. But then The Party happens in the illegal warehouse commune where he and other idealists live in, and nothing is the same.

cover ofMidnight Rooms by  Donyae Coles

Midnight Rooms by Donyae Coles

Fans of books like Catherine House and Crimson Peak will have their little Gothic hearts filled by Midnight Rooms. It’s 1840 in England when Orabella Mumthrope, a mixed-race and orphaned woman with no hopes of marrying well, sees the scruffy Elias Blakersby in her uncle’s parlor. Elias wants Orabella as his wife, and her uncle, broke as he is, is eager to accept the offer. Once Orabella reaches Elias’ family estate, Korringhill Manor, the grandeur she’s expecting is soon dashed by reality — the servants are overly cautious, Elias’ family members are awkward, and the manor itself is greatly deteriorated. As Orabella starts to grow accustomed to life at Korringhill Manor — with its accompanying teas with a catatonic sister-in-law and bougie dinner parties — she begins to become enmeshed with the manor’s darkness. Soon, it becomes hard for her to distinguish between dark dreams and a reality where she wakes up with bruises.

cover of Not About a Boy by Myah Hollis

Not About a Boy by Myah Hollis

This YA novel promises Euphoria plus Girl in Pieces, and follows Amélie Cœur who, so far, has had a life filled with struggle. Now that she’s 17 and trying to put herself back together after losing someone she loved, she’s willing to try to get along with the new, elite Manhattanite family her foster care agency has paired her with. But a relationship with a boy and a sister she doesn’t remember threaten her newly formed resolve.

cover of Teddy by Emily Dunlay

Teddy by Emily Dunlay

I love a messy leading lady, and Teddy’s Teddy is just that. When she and her diplomat husband move to the glamorous Rome of the 1960s, she swears she’ll be good. This time. She’ll be charming and discrete, and prim and proper as she hobnobs with her husband’s colleagues and the other who’s who of Italy’s capital — and she is, for a time. But then the Fourth of July happens, and she’s suddenly knee-deep in a mess of her own creation.

cover of Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

It’s always a treat to see more West African-based fantasy, and Sangoyomi’s Masquerade sounds like a magical blending of 15th-century history and a loose retelling of the myth of Persephone. In it, Òdòdó is already living as an outcast with the other women of her blacksmith guild in Timbuktu when the town gets conquered by the warrior king of Yorùbáland. Then ole girl gets abducted and taken across the Sahara to Ṣàngótẹ̀. It’s in this capital city that she finds out that the stranger who visited her guild a few days ago is her kidnapper, and, what’s more, he’s the warrior king. Turns out he snatched Òdòdó up to make her his wife, and through the forced marriage, she ascends to the very top of society. There, she finds the machinations of battle and court politics too hard to resist.

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!