Books

The Most Anticipated Books Of July, From 'Big Friendship' To 'Must I Go'

We've officially entered beach read season. And while summer 2020 isn't shaping up to be your typical poolside summer, you can still indulge in the most anticipated books of July 2020. These new offerings include collections from Asako Serizawa, Laura van den Berg, and a newly announced anthology from Zadie Smith.

In addition to those choice highlights, July 2020's books calendar has a lot more in store, including not-to-be-overlooked memoirs, as well as highly anticipated debuts. Actor Jim Carrey, Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, and Call Your Girlfriend co-hosts Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman all have new books out this month, which also brings touching new memoirs from Lacy Crawford, Michele Harper, and Natasha Trethewey. Rounding out the list are debuts from Amanda Brainerd, Gabriella Burnham, Kelli Jo Ford, and Kate Stayman-London.

A summer in-doors might having you feeling down, but you can still find your silver lining in one of the titles below.

Here are the most anticipated books of July 2020:

1. Memoirs and Misinformation by Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon (July 7)

Co-written with journalist and Mergers & Acquisitions author Dana Vachon, Jim Carrey's debut novel takes a new look at the actor and comedian's illustrious life. Skewing the details in a way that only Carrey could, Memoirs and Misinformation is a wild and weird ride — but who would expect any less from the actor?

2. Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford (July 7)

New Hampshire's elite, Episcopal boarding school, St. Paul's School, became mired in scandal in 2017, when a report on 13 former faculty and staff, who had allegedly committed sexual misconduct between 1948 and 1988, came to light. That revelation forced novelist Lacy Crawford to reassess her own experiences at St. Paul's, including an alleged assault by two other students, which Crawford alleges school faculty helped to cover up.

3. The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper (July 7)

Michele Harper's memoir revisits the chain of events that led her to move, freshly educated and newly divorced, to take a job working as an E.R. doctor in Philadelphia. Drawing from the author's experiences as a Black woman working in an overwhelmingly white and male field, The Beauty in Breaking is brimming with revelations about the human condition.

4. One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London (July 7)

Invited to star on a romantic reality show that always has people talking, body-positive activist and plus-size blogger Bea swears she won't fall into the pitfalls of dating on live TV. She's going on Main Squeeze to critique it, not to be the subject of fandom gossip. But once she's on the other side of the TV screen, things get complicated in this delightful, debut rom-com.

5. The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama (July 7)

Two men reconnect in the shadow of a catastrophic volcanic eruption in this new novel from The Samurai's Garden author Gail Tsukiyama. Returning home to Hawai'i, Chicago physician Daniel finds himself unwittingly confronted with his family's past. Daniel's Uncle Koji has much that he wants to discuss with his nephew, but Mauna Loa's impending eruption may cause problems bigger than anything they could have imagined in this insightful book.

6. Or What You Will by Jo Walton (July 7)

At the age of 73, writer Sylvia Harrison knows that her 40-year career is close to its end. "He" knows it, too. "He" has lived many lives, as everything from a thief to a dragon to a god, and he knows that his life will end with Sylvia's death. Unless it doesn't. Unless they can escape into their own little world, before Sylvia's long life comes to an end. He's pretty sure it will work. Now he just has to convince Sylvia to go along with it.

7. The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs (July 7)

Following a devastating tragedy that claimed the life of her mother, Natalie Harper assumes caretaking responsibilities for both her grandfather and her mother's bookstore. When Grandpa Andrew's health begins to decline, Natalie decides to move him into a residential facility, but he refuses to sell the store. Forced to make some much-needed repairs in order to drum up new business, she finds herself slowly knitting together a new and different kind of life in The Lost and Found Bookshop.

8. Age of Consent by Amanda Brainerd (July 14)

Set in a Connecticut boarding school in 1983, Amanda Brainerd's Age of Consent centers on Justine and Eve, whose bohemian and metropolitan families couldn't be less alike. Joining forces with Eve's old friend India, the two girls spend a fateful summer in New York City, mingling in one another's worlds and trying to find themselves in this stunning debut.

9. Crooked Hallelujah by Kelli Jo Ford (July 14)

Plimpton Prize-winning Cherokee author Kelli Jo Ford chronicles the lives of four generations of Cherokee women in her debut novel. Crooked Hallelujah follows Justine and her daughter, Reney, as they try to build a life in an oil-dry Texas. Back at home in Eastern Oklahoma, Justine's mom and grandma, Lula and Granny, have their own roles to play in this novel about strained family bonds.

10. Mother Land by Leah Franqui (July 14)

Leah Franqui's Mother Land centers on consummate New Yorker Rachel, who has just decided to pull up stakes and move back to her husband's home country of India. Life in Mumbai isn't exactly what Rachel expected, however, and things get even stranger when her mother-in-law, Swati, arrives on the young couple's doorstep, newly single after decades spent in an unhappy marriage. Can Rachel and Swati learn to live together, or will this spell the end of their happy little family?

11. The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones (July 14)

Years ago, four friends went on a forbidden elk hunt, trespassing on land reserved for the elders of their tribe. They did not land any prey, but instead returned home, chased relentlessly by a disturbing, cervine entity that wants revenge. A hair-raising work of horror full of social commentary, Stephen Graham Jones' The Only Good Indians is one of this summer's must-read books.

12. Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood by Trixie Mattel and Katya (July 14)

Drag Race fans, rejoice! Trixie Mattel and Katya will release their definitive — and definitely satirical — guide to contemporary womanhood this July. Whether you're looking for health and beauty tips or microguides to running your home, you'll find something to love in Trixie and Katya's Guide to Modern Womanhood.

13. Inheritors by Asako Serizawa (July 14)

A collection of interconnected stories from O. Henry Prize winner Asako Serizawa, Inheritors is sure to be the literary hit of the summer. Set across 150 years and two continents, the stories here feature protagonists who must grapple with the painful, and often seedy, details of their pasts, time and again.

14. Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (July 14)

Call Your Girlfriend podcast co-hosts Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman get personal in this new book on women's relationships. Part memoir and part relationship manual, Big Friendship is the perfect book for anyone who finds that their friendships have suffered or become strained due to the events of 2020.

15. Shadow Garden by Alexandra Burt (July 21)

Donna Pryor's husband, Edward, has put her away. Living in a Texas condo with her housekeeper, she spends her days in luxurious isolation. Her husband isn't coming back, and her daughter won't return her calls... but why? Things are not as they seem at Shadow Garden, but Donna's search for the truth will lead her into the dark recesses of her tangled past.

16. He Started It by Samantha Downing (July 21)

Gathered together for the first time in what seems like forever, siblings Beth, Eddie, and Portia reckon with their grandfather's death as they chase down their inheritance. In order to claim what's theirs, the adult grandchildren must take a cross-country trip and make good on their final promises to the late patriarch. But long journeys have a way of bringing out the worst in travelers, and at least one body is already along for the ride.

17. 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon (July 21)

From the author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes 10 Things I Hate About Pinky: Sandhya Menon's new YA rom-com. This time around, There's Something About Sweetie side characters Pinky and Samir have taken center stage. The two of them aren't exactly on the best of terms, but when Pinky needs a fake boyfriend to fool her parents, Samir's the first guy she texts. Will fake romance lead to a real connection, or are they destined to be frenemies forever?

18. F*ck Like a Goddess: Heal Yourself. Reclaim Your Voice. Stand in Your Power. by Alexandra Roxo (July 21)

A sex-positive self-help book for the ages, Alexandra Roxo's F*ck Like a Goddess advocates for total self-assurance on both sides of the bedroom door. If life in quarantine has you feeling less than great about your body and your sex life, you need this book on top of your nightstand, pronto.

19. The Answer Is...: Reflections on My Life by Alex Trebek (July 21)

For more than 30 years, Alex Trebek has been a fixture of American TV life. Facing his 2019 pancreatic cancer diagnosis head on, the Jeopardy! host leaves no stone unturned in The Answer Is..., a memoir containing his reflections on life, love, and everything in between. And yes, Trebek does answer the question of why he shaved his iconic mustache, just in case you're wondering.

20. It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham (July 28)

Brazilian American author Gabriella Burnham makes her literary debut this July with It Is Wood, It Is Stone, a novel that delves deep into the relationship between two women thrust together in São Paulo. Linda's just blown in from the United States, but steadfast Marta has been here — both in Brazil and in Linda's new home — for longer than the expat can imagine. At first at odds, the two grow closer through Linda's seemingly erratic behavior in this lauded debut.

21. This Is My America by Kim Johnson (July 28)

Praised by Dear Martin author Nic Stone and earning comparisons to The Hate U Give, Kim Johnson's This Is My America centers on Tracy, a teenager who has spent years writing to a prisoners' advocacy organization, trying to get her father off of death row. With less than a year left before their father's execution, Tracy finds her world rocked by the sudden arrest of her brother, Jamal, who has been charged with killing a white girl. Can Tracy save both her brother and her dad, or will she be forced to choose between them?

22. Must I Go by Yiyun Li (July 28)

Where Reasons End author Yiyun Li returns to store shelves this year with Must I Go, an all-new novel about one woman's trip down memory lane. After raising five children and nurturing 17 grandchildren, Lilia takes on a new project: annotating an old flame's diary of their time together. Roland's accounting of events differs from Lilia's memories, and as she plumbs the depths of the journal's pages, she begins to reckon with the ghosts of her past.

23. Intimations by Zadie Smith (July 28)

White Teeth author Zadie Smith's new essay collection, Intimations, deals with some of the most pressing, structural issues we're facing today. From the work-life balance to isolation, Smith centers our persistent uncertainties in this new book.

24. Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey (July 28)

After a murderer and one-time family member claimed the life of her mother in 1985, 19-year-old Natasha Trethewey was left unmoored. Now a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Trethewey revisits her mother's life and legacy, and the relationship the two women had, in Memorial Drive.

25. I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg (July 28)

The fact that we're getting a new Laura van den Berg book means not everything about 2020 is terrible. I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is one of the year's most anticipated short-story collections, and it finally arrives this July. Containing 11 stories dealing with gender, violence, and socioeconomics, this timely collection belongs on your nightstand this summer.