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The 10 most anticipated books of the summer, according to Goodreads

New York showgirls and murderous smart homes: your summer reading, chosen by Goodreads.

Left, Elizabeth Gilbert’s City of Girls. Right, Sarah Gailey’s Magic for Liars. Riverhead; Tor Books
Constance Grady is a senior correspondent on the Culture team for Vox, where since 2016 she has covered books, publishing, gender, celebrity analysis, and theater.

Summer is here, and for book lovers, that can mean only one thing: It is time for something fun to read. We’ll save our heavy history books and worthy classics for fall! Summer is the season for reading something engrossing, and ideally something as fizzy and accessible as pink champagne.

To find out what book lovers are really excited about this summer, I turned to the folks at Goodreads, the website where obsessive readers can track what they’ve already read and what they want to read, and share their ratings and reviews. By analyzing the number of times its 90 million members have added a book to their “Want to Read” shelves, Goodreads was able to put together a list of the top 10 most anticipated books of the summer, as determined by what its users are excited about.

“For readers, summer is the season of escape,” says Goodreads editor Hayley Igarashi. “The biggest books right now promise readers a trip to other places and other time periods.”

Goodreads users tend to skew young and female, and that’s reflected in the titles you’ll see below. Half of its members are age 30 or younger, and 68 percent are female. (Goodreads points out that its gender breakdown reflects larger readership demographics: according to a 2016 Pew Research Center study, women are 13 percent more likely to have read a book in the last 12 months than men are.) Accordingly, this list also tends to lean toward women’s fiction.

Here are the 10 new books that the devoted book lovers of Goodreads are most looking forward to loving this summer.

1. City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert

Before 2006’s Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert was best known as a literary novelist. City of Girls is her first novel since Eat, Pray, Love became a phenomenon (and a Julia Roberts movie!), and it’s a glamorous historical novel about showgirls living and dancing and partying in New York City during the 1940s.

Release date: June 4

2. The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad was an instant hit even before it came out in 2016. It won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, Oprah picked it for her book club, and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins signed on to adapt it for television. So Whitehead’s follow-up novel, about two young boys surviving Jim Crow-era Florida, has a lot of heat going in.

Release date: July 16

3. The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware

This one’s a classically spooky thriller involving a potentially murderous nanny and a smart house gone wrong in the Scottish Highlands. Ruth Ware is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author, and her fans are legion and loyal.

Release date: August 6

4. Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, Roselle Lim

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune is a debut novel, but its considerable buzz has propelled it onto this list. It’s women’s fiction filled with magic and recipes, about a woman who has to save San Francisco’s Chinatown by cooking three dishes from her grandmother’s cookbook.

Release date: June 11

5. The Testaments, Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale sequel comes out during the transition period between summer and the start of the prestigious fall book season. In a statement, Atwood says, “Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.”

Release date: September 10

6. Mrs. Everything, Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is a mainstay of women’s commercial fiction for a reason: her books are smart and heartfelt and as taut as a drum. The new one deals with two sisters trying to make their way in the world from the ’50s into the present.

Release date: June 25

7. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong is already an accomplished poet and essayist, and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is his debut novel. It takes the form of a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read.

Release date: June 4

8. Recursion, Blake Crouch

Recursion enters the word heavily pedigreed: It’s been blurbed by The Martian author Andy Weir, and it’s already been tapped for a Shonda Rhimes Netflix adaptation. The book is a sci-fi thriller about a cop and a neuroscientist who team up to try to figure out why people are being tortured with memories of lives they never lived.

Release date: June 11

9. Magic for Liars, Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey has been a finalist for both the Hugo Awards (which celebrate the sci-fi and fantasy literary genres) and the Campbell Awards (which honor science fiction novels), and her publishers are pitching Magic for Liars as “Jessica Jones meets The Magicians.” It centers on the decidedly unmagical Ivy Gamble, private eye, who’s investigating a murder at the school where her magical sister magically teaches. There’s magic and noir, but mostly it’s a story about what to do when you’re not the Chosen One.

Release date: June 4

10. The Wedding Party, Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory broke out with her 2018 debut romance novel, The Wedding Date, and her follow-up, a loose sequel centered around side characters from The Wedding Date, promises to be just as sweet and just as fun. In The Wedding Party, two members of Alexa’s bridal party hate each other — but they also can’t quite keep their hands off each other. The only thing to do is to keep their relationship secret and put an expiration date on it. Hijinks ensue.

Release date: July 16