This Month in Adult Books: June 2024

Reading recommendations for adults
June 18, 2024
What We're Reading
Every Time I Go On Vacation Someone Dies by Catherine Mack
This is a very self-aware mystery that has a decidedly frenetic energy about it. Our narrator is a bestselling mystery author who feels trapped in her current series and is plotting the (fictional) demise of her hero, based on the very real con-artist ex-boyfriend who is blackmailing her. On a promotional tour of Italy, accompanied by other authors, a group of fans, plus her con-artist ex, she relays the events of the story at a brisk pace, tossing in snarky asides to the reader in the footnotes found on nearly every page. It’s quite the vacation; her insufferable ex claims someone is trying to kill him. Then someone tries to kill her. And then someone actually drops dead and the police want to arrest her for murder! Can the collected literary minds figure out who before the police? It won’t be easy given that one of them is definitely the killer. Eleanor, our narrator, gives the reader plenty of prompts to bring them in on the fun, breaking the 4th wall in several chapters and in the footnotes, pointing out the structure of the genre and relating it to the story, making this a book that is as much about the mystery on the page as it is about the mystery genre itself. Readers who want to escape into the pages of a relaxing cozy mystery might not enjoy this, but those who want something light and funny, peppered with Taylor Swift references, along with a satirical look at mystery writing and publishing, will be absolutely delighted.

What's Hot This Month
If you enjoyed watching Shogun, check out these great books.

Featured Title
Long Island Compromise by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
In 1980 businessman Carl Fletcher is kidnapped and held for ransom. His wife Ruth pays the ransom, but 40 years later the family must confront the fact that though life continued on, no one really got over anything. Addiction, fear, and disassociation from reality dominates the lives of the children, while Ruth is overwhelmingly protective, keeping Carl from the closure he needs. When they learn the family fortune they’ve come to depend upon is gone, the time has finally come for a reckoning. It sounds bleak, but this is a hilarious social satire full of witty dialogue and characters from a master observer. It’s a perfect choice for those who enjoy family sagas, and tales of modern day life.

What's New This Month
July brings several eagerly anticipated sophomore novels. From Chris Whitaker, author of We Begin at the End, comes All the Colors of the Dark, about two best friends and their lives after one is abducted in 1975 Missouri. It’s part mystery, part thriller, and part love story. From Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck, comes This Great Hemisphere, a speculative novel about an invisible woman and her quest to find and protect her brother in the midst of a dystopian society.
If you enjoy true crime there are several interesting historical options available. The Talented Mrs. Mandelbaum by Margalit Fox, tells the story of Fredericka Mandelbaum, a German immigrant who became one of the most successful organized crime bosses in New York History. A Gentleman and a Thief by Dean Jobb is about Arthur Barry, a charismatic jewel thief who pulled off some of the biggest heists of the Jazz age, stealing from Rockefellers and royalty alike.  
For More Reading Suggestions:
  • 18 New Novels You Need to Read This Summer from LitHub
  • Book Recs for (Nearly) Every Kind of Summer Reader from Goodreads
  • June Earphones Award Winners from Audiofile
  • The Summer’s Most Anticipated Books from Bustle
  • Best Books of the Year So Far from Barnes & Noble