Today in Books

The Best Summer 2024 Book Preview

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Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more.

The Most-Anticipated Most Anticipated Summer Reading List

The Millions‘ seasonal preview lists have been a staple of the bookish internet since well before BuzzFeed popularized the idea of the listicle, and they continue to deliver. The summer 2024 preview has landed, boasting more than 80 titles coming out July through September (which is apparently now a summer month?). In standard Millions fashion, the list leans literary and nods to a few of the big names you’ve likely seen all over “most anticipated” lists this season, but where it really shines is its emphasis on the kinds of books that typically fly under the radar: small press titles, higher-brow and arty nonfiction, debuts, and literature in translation. It’s an especially refreshing change of pace in a season that tends to be stacked with genre offerings and a welcome reminder that publishing isn’t actually all romantasy all the time.

Music to My Ears

On the hierarchy of audiobook experiences, listening to a celebrity read their own memoir is near the tippy-top. And when the author is a musician? Chef’s kiss. Rock critic Alan Light recommends four new audiobooks for music lovers, and my millennial heart can’t decide whether to start with Kathleen Hanna’s Rebel Girl or Darius Rucker’s Life’s Too Short. Wu-Tang fans, there’s a pick for you, too. For country fans, I hasten to add my own recommendation, Alice Randall’s My Black Country. It’s a fascinating blend of the history and memoir, and I guarantee you’ve heard some of Randall’s songs.

And now a request/free idea for the folks at Spotify: special-edition audiobooks with snippets of the artists’ songs incorporated. I got spoiled by 60 Songs That Explain the ’90s, and while I’m sure the copyright of it all is complex to say the least, it would be such a great user experience (not to mention, a compelling addition to the Spotify Premium value prop).

Barnes & Noble Reveals July Book Club Pick

Barnes & Noble announced this morning that their book club selection for July is Liz Moore’s The God of the Woods. The thriller set at a summer camp in the ’70s was already in position to be one of the biggest books of the season (you can hear me and Jeff O’Neal discuss it as a contender for the It Book of July), and this all but cements it. Fans can snag an exclusive Barnes & Noble book club edition of the title and tune into a virtual event on August 6th to see Moore in conversation with Kiley Reid.

I’m curious: how much attention do you pay to big book club picks? Holler back in the comments.

This One’s for the YA Readers

Speaking of big ol’ book lists! Book Riot’s resident YA expert Kelly Jensen has rolled out a list of the hottest YA titles of summer. It’s wide-ranging and eclectic in all the ways that matter and is bound to introduce you to some exciting new reads.

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