Posted May 26, 2014 by in Book Lists

10 June Books Worth Anticipating

Through websites like Goodreads, NetGalley and Edelweiss, I get a bit of a sneak peek at some of the biggest titles set for release in upcoming months. Here are ten of the books being published this June that I’m most looking forward to:


Sixteenth of June

1. The Sixteenth of June by Maya Lang (June 3rd)

Lang’s debut novel is a sly homage to James Joyce’s Ulysses. (June 16th is “Bloomsday,” and her characters share the Joycean names Stephen, Nora and Leopold.) Like that Irish classic, her novel takes place all on one day – but this time in an ordinary Philadelphia neighborhood in 2004. According to her Goodreads page, the author “wishes to assure readers that they need not have read Ulysses to read her novel.”


twee spitz

2. Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film by Marc Spitz (June 3rd)

What is “twee”? Well, it’s a primarily British slang word that refers to something cutesy, or consciously quirky and nice. Apparently, it’s a shortened form of the word “tweet,” as in a child’s mispronunciation of “sweet.” Other dictionary synonyms for “twee” include quaint, dainty, sentimental, and pretty. Music journalist Spitz’s wide-ranging critique will take in everything from Wes Anderson movies and Belle & Sebastian to Zooey Deschanel.


we are called to rise

3. We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride (June 3rd)

In four interlinking narratives, this debut novel traces the surprising ties between an immigrant boy, a social worker, a returning soldier, and a suburban housewife. All of these characters are traumatized by their losses, but empathy might just make their lives easier. McBride teaches at a community college in Las Vegas, where part of the novel is set.


brutal youth

4. Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican (June 10th)

A harrowing yet humorous debut novel about Peter Davidek’s freshman year at St. Michael’s Catholic high school. To triumph over the bullies and the corrupt staff, he may have to resort to some unorthodox behavior. Breznican is known as the Oscars prediction expert for Entertainment Weekly.


i am having so much fun

5. I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum (June 10th)

Richard Haddon is a 34-year-old British artist with a French wife and daughter – and an American mistress. This debut novel sounds like it will be the sweet, funny tale of how a semi-failure puts his life back together after the sale of one of his favorite paintings. The blurb describes it as “Where’d You Go, Bernadette meets Beautiful Ruins,” which certainly sounds like a winning combination. Maum is married to a French filmmaker and writes satirical advice columns.


we make the road

6. We Make the Road by Walking by Brian D. McLaren (June 10th)

A popular theologian from what’s sometimes known as the “Emerging Church” movement, McLaren has been one of the most important authors in my spiritual development. This new book is a bit different: it’s set up in 52 sections and thus can be read as a weekly devotional. One title McLaren originally considered was “Catechesis,” which reveals what he’s hoping for this book to be – a thorough, methodical introduction to Christian faith in daily practice.


shirley merrell

7. Shirley by Susan Scarf Merrell (June 12th)

If you know the mid-century author Shirley Jackson at all, it’s probably for that creepy story you were made to read in high school, “The Lottery,” in which a town’s members enact an annual ritual for managing their population. In this novel, characterized as a “captivating psychological thriller,” a young couple spends the year of 1964 with Jackson and her husband at Bennington College, Vermont. This is Merrell’s first work of fiction; she is also the author of a textbook on sibling relationships.


going somewhere

8. Going Somewhere: A Bicycle Journey Across America by Brian Benson (June 24th)

In this debut memoir, Benson tells how he and his girlfriend Rachel set off from Wisconsin on bikes and rode west, eventually ending up in Portland, Oregon, where Benson lives today. The joys and hardships of a strenuous journey will surely make this as delightful as Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods or Cheryl Strayed’s Wild (indeed, Strayed calls this book “as poignant as it is gripping, as hilarious as it is wise”). Benson is currently writing a novel set on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


let the tornado

9. Let the Tornado Come by Rita Zoey Chin (June 24th)

A raw and powerful debut memoir about the poet’s teenage years as a runaway – and her adult struggles with panic attacks. Help comes in an unexpected package: an ill-behaved horse named Claret. Chin received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland and has taught creative writing at Towson University. She teaches memoir classes at Boston’s Grub Street, and is the recipient of a Katherine Anne Porter Prize and an Academy of American Poetry Award.


fracking king

10. The Fracking King by James Browning (June 24th)

There’s just two things boarding school student Winston Crwth wants: to be a Scrabble champion, and to stop the fracking that’s coming to his hometown in Pennsylvania. At less than 200 pages, this sounds like it will be a breezy yet worthwhile meeting of two worlds: YA geekery and environmental activism. Browning is a spokesman for government watchdog group Common Cause.




Maybe I’ll even manage to review a couple of these for you next month! Stay tuned…

10 June Books Worth Anticipating 5.00/5 (100.00%) 2 votes

Rebecca Foster

An American transplant to Reading, England – a fitting place for a fiendish bibliophile. After six years as a library assistant, I am recklessly embarking on a freelance writing career. I review books for Kirkus Indie, The Bookbag, For Books' Sake, We Love This Book, and Bookmarks magazine, and also volunteer with Greenbelt Festival's literature program. I read everything from theology to popular science, but some favorite genres are literary fiction, biography and memoir, historical fiction, graphic novels, and nature writing. Check out all my articles.