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20 of the most anticipated new books to read this July | CNN Underscored


Looking for a way to fill some of that July vacation time you finally have coming to you? Whether you’re into rom-coms, true crime, edge-of-your-seat thrillers, historical fiction, memoirs or poetry, this month’s new book releases certainly will do the trick.

We’ve rounded up 20 new July book releases to add to your reading lists now, all available to purchase or preorder on Amazon.


‘This Is Your Mind on Plants’ by Michael Pollan

Part science, history, journalism and memoir, the latest from Pollan (“How to Change Your Mind,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“) takes a deep dive into three plant-based drugs — opium, mescaline and caffeine — examining not only their effects but the taboos, cultures, laws and customs that surround them.

'The Comfort Book' by Matt Haig


‘The Comfort Book’ by Matt Haig

If Haig’s bestselling “The Midnight Library” resonated with you, you may want to pick up this collection of short stories, notes and lists written by the author that inspire hopefulness, even when life seems its darkest. “It is important to remember the bottom of the valley never has the clearest view,” he writes. “And that sometimes all you need to do in order to rise up again is to keep moving forward.”

'Falling' by T.J. Newman


‘Falling’ by T.J. Newman

Ready for your next summer thriller? Check out this premise: An airline pilot, about to fly from New York to Los Angeles, discovers kidnappers have taken his family, and unless he crashes the plane, they’ll be murdered. Can he keep everyone on board and his loved ones alive? Give yourself plenty of time for this one — it’s going to be hard to put down.

'Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead' by Emily Austin


‘Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead’ by Emily Austin

Austin’s debut novel takes on the story of an atheist lesbian who finds herself working as a Catholic church receptionist — and quickly becomes obsessed with her dead predecessor. If you could use a little dark humor this summer, this is the perfect quirky pick.

'Dear Miss Metropolitan' by Carolyn Ferrell


‘Dear Miss Metropolitan’ by Carolyn Ferrell

Ferrell’s powerful debut novel tells the fragmented story of three girls who are abducted and kept imprisoned in a Queens house, and local weekly advice columnist Miss Metropolitan is one of the neighbors who missed the signs of the traumatic events happening on her block. Now the women, finally rescued, must come to grips with their notoriety and pain, and why one of them was never found.

'Fox and I' by Catherine Raven


‘Fox and I’ by Catherine Raven

With a fitting release date as many of us begin to emerge from a time of forced solitude, Raven’s touching memoir chronicles her decision to live alone in an isolated cottage in Montana after completing a Ph.D. in biology. She planned to use the time alone to apply for work to ease back into society, but when a fox begins visiting her home daily and the two form a connection, she learns about loneliness, friendship, coping with loss and finding beauty in nature.

'Shoulder Season' by Christina Clancy


‘Shoulder Season’ by Christina Clancy

Don’t head for the beach, pool or lake without this glamorous new read tucked in your tote bag. Set in the early ’80s at a Playboy Resort in small-town Wisconsin, it follows the life of Sherri Taylor, who becomes a Bunny and gets wrapped up in sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, along with a tragedy she still can’t shake 40 years later.

'Carry On: Reflections of a New Generation' by John Lewis


‘Carry On: Reflections of a New Generation’ by John Lewis

This collection of writings from the late civil rights leader and congressman, who passed away in 2020, includes short pieces on topics ranging from justice and forgiveness to policy and faith to protests and the pandemic. Hopeful, courageous and powerful, it’s a moving book worth sharing.

'The Startup Wife' by Tahmima Anam


‘The Startup Wife’ by Tahmima Anam

Faith, fame, love and tech meet up for this feminist take on startup culture. Coder Asha and her new husband, Cyrus, create a new social media platform that replaces religious rituals with personalized ones. It’s a huge hit, but will their marriage survive the pressures all that success brings?

'Such a Quiet Place' by Megan Miranda


‘Such a Quiet Place’ by Megan Miranda

The bestselling author (“The Last House Guest“) returns with a page-turning thriller set in Hollow’s Edge, a quiet, close-knit neighborhood turned crime scene following the murder of a couple. When Ruby, the resident convicted of the crime, is exonerated and returns to Hollow’s Edge, lies begin to unravel as the mystery deepens into who the real killer is — and whether that person will strike again.

'The Final Girl Support Group' by Grady Hendrix


‘The Final Girl Support Group’ by Grady Hendrix

Calling all scream queens and fans of Jason, Freddy, Michael and Leatherface: Hendrix’s new slasher-style thriller, filled with plenty of dark humor, pays homage to the horror genre with a story following a “final girl” who survives a bloody massacre. After meeting with other survivors in a support group for 10-plus years, one goes missing — and they’ll have to fight for their lives once again.

'The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer' by Dean Jobb


‘The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer’ by Dean Jobb

You know of Jack the Ripper, but have you heard of Victorian-era serial killer Dr. Thomas Neill Cream, who murdered at least 10 people over 15 years in Britain, the US and Canada? Jobb’s new nonfiction book examines the doctor’s life, his 1892 trial and how the killer preyed on his victims. A must for true crime fans.

'While We Were Dating' by Jasmine Guillory


‘While We Were Dating’ by Jasmine Guillory

The bestselling “Royal Holiday” author’s latest rom-com puts the spotlight on ad exec Ben, who’s hired to run a campaign featuring the beautiful Oscar-nominated movie star Anna. Will they mix business with pleasure? And will they get a Hollywood ending? Pass the popcorn: We can’t wait to find out.

'China Room' by Sunjeev Sahota


‘China Room’ by Sunjeev Sahota

Taking inspiration from Sahota’s real-life family, this family saga follows two characters: one a newlywed living in rural 1929 Punjab who is sequestered from her husband, along with her sisters and their husbands (they’re all married to brothers), as the women work in the family “china room” serving tea. The other: the woman’s great-grandson, a young English man battling a heroin addiction who moves in with his uncle in Punjab in 1999, and discovers the home’s locked-up china room.

'It Happened One Summer' by Tessa Bailey


‘It Happened One Summer’ by Tessa Bailey

Seriously missing new episodes of “Schitt’s Creek”? Bailey’s rom-com has undertones of the show, featuring Piper, a Tinsel Town socialite whose rich stepdad cuts her off after a champagne-fueled arrest and ships her and her sister off to small-town Washington to run a dive bar. Naturally, there’s a handsome, grumpy sea captain involved who may just get her to appreciate her new life. Should someone just go ahead and order up the TV show now?

'False Witness' by Karin Slaughter


‘False Witness’ by Karin Slaughter

Calling all fans of “Pieces of Her” and “The Silent Wife“: Slaughter returns with another mystery thriller, this time following Leigh Collier, a recently separated defense attorney with a teenage daughter whose painful past comes back to haunt her.

'Intimacies' by Katie Kitamura


‘Intimacies’ by Katie Kitamura

With themes of power, violence and the intimate relationships between men, women, friends and co-workers, this psychological thriller from Kitamura (“A Separation“) follows a translator working in the International Court at The Hague who must interpret for a former president on trial for war crimes.

'When We Were Young' by Richard Roper


‘When We Were Young’ by Richard Roper

Need a feel-good book for your next nightstand read? Roper’s nostalgic, sweet and funny story of two childhood friends is a wise choice. Now turning 30 and having lost touch long ago, Joel, living in London with a successful job and healthy relationship, returns home after receiving troubling news. He visits Theo, who’s back living with his mom and dad, and the two venture out to walk the 184-mile Thames Path they’ve always talked about — a journey toward finding the truth and their old friendship.

'The Women's March' by Jennifer Chiaverini


‘The Women’s March’ by Jennifer Chiaverini

Subtitled “A Novel of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession,” Chiaverini’s historical novel, based on true events, recounts the women’s right to vote movement via the stories of three civil rights activists — march organizer Alice Paul, rights advocate Maud Malone and journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett — in what would be a turning point in women’s rights history.

'Goldenrod: Poems' by Maggie Smith


‘Goldenrod: Poems’ by Maggie Smith

Award-winning poet Smith’s new collection (“Keep Moving“) touches on topics ranging from love and parenthood to memory and solitude, with an eye toward living in the moment and finding beauty in the little things.


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