Summer is here, and it's time to savor the longer, warmer days and crack open a beach read. Maybe you’ve been planning to dip your toes into learning more about societal issues or need a juicy story full of the glitz and glam of too much money to slurp down while relaxing poolside. Whether your plans are to unwind in the backyard with a cold beverage or wait at an airport for your next destination, you can be assured that with us, you’re always going to be Fully Booked.
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Recommended for: Tough mothers and those interested in multigenerational stories about strong women.
Our reviewer says: “Garcia’s dexterous debut chronicles the travails of a Cuban immigrant family.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Fans of The Great Gatsby. This is The Great Gatsby but with magic and an Asian-American lead. Not convinced? The main character is also queer. Hello, American Dream? People of color and the queer community get to live your narrative too.
Our reviewer says: “Vo’s extraordinary full-length debut draws readers into a fantastical reimagining of the world of The Great Gatsby.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Book buffs, publishing professionals, and anyone who thinks a person’s skin color doesn’t affect their opportunities and how they must operate around their surrounding world. Because it does.
Our reviewer says: “Harris debuts with a dazzling, darkly humorous story about the publishing industry and the challenges faced by a Black employee.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you’re a little burnt out from reading a bunch of politically charged books yet want something that still touches on societal issues. This is that, but with a strange and magical twist.
Our reviewer says: “Peynado probes the limits of reckoning with such dilemmas as otherness, loss, and love in her glorious debut, a collection of inventive and fabulist stories.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When it feels like you’ve been circling the drain and need a reminder that despite how bad things get, there is always a chance at self-redemption.
Our reviewer says: “National Book Critics Circle Award winner Quade’s penetrating debut novel tells of a man’s quest for self-acceptance through the metaphor of the five wounds Jesus suffered during crucifixion.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those who love watching generationally rich people’s problems—or Desperate Housewives—and the over-the-top solutions they have for those problems.
Our reviewer says: “The dispiriting latest from Weisberger is a paint-by-numbers tale of two wealthy sisters’ self-generated problems.” Read more here.
The book: The Ensemble by Aja Gabel (Riverhead)
Recommended for: Musicians and those who are curious about the professional classical music industry.
Our reviewer says: “Gabel’s wonderful debut centers on the talented members of the Van Ness String Quartet over the course of the 18 event-filled years following 1994.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those who are intrigued by the lives of celebrity families and want an invite to the hottest, most exclusive party of the year.
Our reviewer says: “Reid unfurls a fast-paced and addictive story of a group of celebrity siblings in Malibu.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Hip hop fans and those wanting to delve into the history of why the genre is so important to the African American experience.
Recommended for: Those wanting to learn more about Black performers in America and the layers of resonance for the Black community and people of color that comes along with each great act.
Our reviewer says: “In this staggeringly intimate meditation, essayist and poet Abdurraqib chronicles Black performance in American culture.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Anyone who believes the Emancipation Proclamation did its job in absolving America of its original sin.
Our reviewer says: “Harris’s ambitious debut explores the aftermath of the Emancipation Proclamation in rural Georgia.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Writers who are hopeless romantics, those who believe their soulmate is another writer, and anyone who is still holding out hope that that person will someday return.
Our reviewer says: “Williams explores how trauma affects relationships in this emotional romance.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When you’re tired of your gossipy aunt oh-so-subtly slipping the “when are you going to get married? do you have a significant other yet?” questions into the conversation for the umpteenth time.
Our reviewer says: “In Sutanto’s bonkers debut, a series of disasters befalls a family wedding catering business.” Read more here.
Recommended for: When your vacation plans are ruined by a canceled reservation or rain and think your world is ending. Hint: in this one, it actually is.
Our reviewer says: “In Alam’s spectacular and ominous latest, a family’s idyllic summer retreat coincides with global catastrophe.” Read more here.
Correction: This article initially mistakenly included Ashley C. Ford's memoir as an Oprah's Book Club pick.