14 New Books for June

This month, we’ve got our eyes on Husbandry: Poems, Invisible Things, Nightcrawling, and 11 other titles by writers on the West.

june 2022 book pick
Alta
1 AURORA, BY DAVID KOEPP
aurora, david koepp
Harper

In Koepp’s novel, a solar storm knocks out power everywhere, leaving Earth in darkness. To protect herself and her ex-husband’s headstrong teenage son, Aubrey Wheeler heads from Aurora, Illinois, to a desert bunker that her estranged brother has prepared for the apocalypse. Harper, June 7

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2 BLITHEDALE CANYON, BY MICHAEL BOURNE
blithedale canyon, micahel bourne
Regal House Publishing

Soon after returning to his hometown from rehab, Trent Wolfer lands a gig at a fast-food joint and immediately starts drinking again. His downward trajectory is disrupted when a former flame visits his work with her two children. Bourne’s first novel explores the painful and sometimes darkly comic reality of trying to care for someone who won’t care for themselves. Regal House Publishing, June 30

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3 BROWN NEON, BY RAQUEL GUTIÉRREZ
brown neon, raquel guitierrez
Coffee House Press

The American Southwest is Gutiérrez’s home terrain and the source of inspiration for this book of essays on place and self. Gutiérrez contemplates what it means to be queer on the U.S.-Mexico border, recalls an interaction with an ex-lover on the street, and examines the art and practicality of adobe. Coffee House Press, June 7

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4 COUNTERFEIT, BY KIRSTIN CHEN
counterfeit, kristin chen
William Morrow & Company

Straitlaced Ava Wong, who is desperately trying to balance a new marriage, a baby, and a dream home, is caught off guard by the arrival of her old college roommate, Winnie Fang, who has blossomed into a mogul of counterfeit luxury goods. Wong is swept into Fang’s scheme and then left to face the music in Chen’s fascinating novel, which explores Asian American stereotypes, designer stores, and Chinese factories. William Morrow & Company, June 7

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5 HUSBANDRY: POEMS, BY MATTHEW DICKMAN
husbandry poems, matthew dickman
W.W. Norton & Company

The poems in Dickman’s new collection portray parenting in a beautiful and heartbreaking light, eschewing traditional tropes to celebrate child-rearing and homemaking. W.W. Norton & Company, June 7

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6 JOAN DIDION: THE LAST INTERVIEW, EDITED BY MELVILLE HOUSE
joan didion the last interview, melville house
Melville House

This edition of the Last Interview series features many interlocutors in conversation with Joan Didion. The lesser-read works from the middle of her career get particular attention, but little about her writing goes undiscussed. The Last Interview highlights the complex person behind both the image and the pen. Melville House, June 28

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7 INVISIBLE THINGS, BY MAT JOHNSON
invisible things, mat johnson
One World

Johnson’s novel imagines the city of New Roanoke on Jupiter’s moon Europa, which is much like any metropolis on Earth—except that it is covered by a dome. Its population, though, is made up mostly of abductees from other planets. When a rescue mission for the abductees is launched from Earth, an Albuquerque chauffeur named Chase Eubanks eagerly joins the effort, believing that his wife has been kidnapped by aliens. One World, June 28

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8 LAPVONA, BY OTTESSA MOSHFEGH
lapvona, ottessa moshfegh
Penguin Press

From the author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Lapvona is a psychological medieval fantasy that confronts power, poverty, and the blurred lines between the real and the imaginary. Lonely and abused Marek finds solace in village midwife Ina, who can communicate with nature. After she is exiled for her godlessness, Marek has a chance encounter with the upper echelons of societal power. Penguin Press, June 21

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9 MORE THAN YOU’LL EVER KNOW, BY KATIE GUTIERREZ
more than you’ll ever know, katie guitierrez
William Morrow & Company

Gutierrez’s novel tells the story of Lore Rivera, who once mastered the double life with two husbands—one on each side of the U.S.-Mexico border. Her fantasy crumbles when one husband discovers her secret and, in a jealous rage, murders the other. Two decades later, true-crime aficionado Cassie Bowman tracks down Rivera. But in stirring up the past, both women discover they have a lot to lose. William Morrow & Company, June 7

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10 NIGHTCRAWLING, BY LEILA MOTTLEY
nightcrawling, leila mottley
Knopf Publishing Group

Teenage Kiara focuses on finding work to pay the bills and feed their abandoned neighbors, while her brother dreams of stardom as a rapper. A late night on the streets lands her at the center of an Oakland Police Department scandal. Kiara’s distinct, vulnerable voice shines in this debut novel by a young Oakland writer. Knopf Publishing Group, June 7

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11 NORA EPHRON: A BIOGRAPHY, BY KRISTIN MARGUERITE DOIDGE
nora ephron a biography, kristin marguerite doidge
Chicago Review Press

This biography of the late writer and filmmaker gathers stories and anecdotes from the likes of Martin Short and Tom Hanks and analyzes the pervasive themes of Ephron’s work as well as her personal life and struggles. Chicago Review Press, June 7

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12 NUCLEAR FAMILY, BY JOSEPH HAN
june 2022 book pick
Alta

In Han’s novel, Mr. and Mrs. Cho dream of franchising their Korean restaurant across Hawaii, only to have these plans disrupted when their eldest son, Jacob, is caught crossing the demilitarized zone. Believing Jacob has been possessed by the spirit of his grandfather, who left behind his family in North Korea, the Chos must grapple with the past to save themselves and their business from disaster. Counterpoint LLC, June 7

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13 VERA KELLY: LOST AND FOUND, BY ROSALIE KNECHT
vera kelly lost and found, rosalie knetch
Tin House Books

Knecht’s Vera Kelly series has followed the character as she rose through the ranks of the CIA, survived an Argentinean coup, investigated a disappearance in the Dominican Republic, and fell in love with her girlfriend, Max. But her latest case hits close to home when Max disappears amid her parents’ messy divorce. Vera’s search for her missing girlfriend takes her all over Southern California, where she must decide how much her relationship is worth. Tin House Books, June 21

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14 WOMAN OF LIGHT, BY KALI FAJARDO-ANSTINE
woman of light, kali fajardo anstine
One World

When her snake charmer brother is driven out of 1930s Denver by a hostile white mob, Luz “Little Light” Lopez must learn to survive on her own. Visions of her Indigenous family’s forgotten history flood her mind, helping her navigate her present troubles. Such secrets, however, force Lopez to choose a painful but necessary path to save her lineage from complete annihilation in this novel by Fajardo-Anstine. One World, June 7

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