June signals the official start to summer, filled with sunshine, beach vacations, and relaxing activities — like reading June’s best new books and audiobooks.
This month’s new releases offer many debuts by up-and-coming authors, plus the return of some literary favorites. Debuts include celebrity memoirs by Juno actor Elliot Page (perfect for Pride Month) and NBA “Point God” Chris Paul. You can also dive into an essay collection by Natalie Beach (of the viral essay “I Was Caroline Calloway”), a cli-fi escapade influenced by Hinduism, and a moving story of brotherhood from a Mexican American perspective. Acclaimed authors delivering their latest hits include crime writer S.A. Cosby (Razorblade Tears), Booker-finalist Deborah Levy (The Man Who Saw Everything), historical fiction maven Lisa See (The Island of Sea Women), and BookTok sensation Agustina Bazterrica (Tender Is the Flesh).
No matter how you spend those long, lazy summer days, they’re always better with one of Scribd’s newest books and audiobooks by your side.
In one of the most anticipated celebrity memoirs of the summer — and perhaps the year — Page reveals the complex process of shaking off outside expectations and embracing one’s true self. The Oscar-nominated actor (Juno, The Umbrella Academy) came out as transgender in 2020, but his memoir begins much earlier, allowing readers to follow along with Page’s vulnerable and powerful journey.
Elsa is an acclaimed concert pianist who abruptly ditches her career to travel across Europe. Her quarter-life crisis gets more confusing when she bumps into a woman who looks, sounds, and behaves exactly like her. This mysterious doppelganger makes continual reappearances as Elsa grapples with her past and future. A Booker-finalist multiple times over, Levy (The Man Who Saw Everything, The Cost of Living) explores identity, heritage, and how the truth haunts us in this surreal and captivating novel.
Farrell Covington, the flashy but good-hearted heir to a family dynasty, and Nate Reminger, a Jewish writer from New Jersey (loosely based on the author), meet at Yale in the 1970s and begin a decades-long, on-again off-again relationship. With his signature hilarity, author (It's All Your Fault), playwright (Jeffrey), and screenwriter (Sister Act) Rudnick traverses major milestones in American history while unspooling a love story we can laugh at, cry over, and relate to.
Can a progressive Black woman and a conservative white man ever get along — let alone get together? This question keeps readers hooked throughout Rabess’ novel, which follows Jess and Josh from college into competitive careers and through multiple presidential elections. Despite opposing worldviews, they’ve got undeniable chemistry. But it may not be enough to keep them together as cultural and political tensions escalate. Everything’s Fine has the trappings of an enemies-to-lovers romance, but it’s so much more.
To say that Hoke’s latest is unique is an understatement. To say that it's unforgettable only scratches the surface. Open Throat unfolds from the perspective of a queer mountain lion living under L.A.’s Hollywood sign. The unnamed creature’s interpretations of people are endearing, and his reflections on loneliness are as melancholy as they are relatable. Called “compassionate, fierce, and bittersweet” by Kirkus Reviews, this poetic story runs the gamut of human emotion.
Pedro and Daniel are gay, neurodivergent Mexican American brothers who face abuse at home and beyond. As they navigate coming-of-age, pursuing their dreams, and the devastating effects of the AIDS crisis, their bond is a source of steadfast strength. Erebia’s debut is a YA story of resilience and the power of brotherhood, with interconnected stories told through prose, poetry, and Mexican proverbs. Pedro and Daniel is based on Erebia’s relationship with his late brother.
Does pop culture mirror the real world, or vice versa? Harris, of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, explores this question and more in her debut. An essay collection on how movies, TV shows, and music shaped the author as a Black woman and critic, Wannabe takes on stereotypes, internalized racism, and performative politics in prose that’s sharply entertaining.
Floundering journalist Sal Cannon reads an excerpt by late author Martin Keller and is shocked to realize it's about an encounter they shared years ago. She becomes preoccupied with learning more about Keller’s work, slowly infiltrating his widow’s life in the hopes of reading his full manuscript. Weir, a Vanity Fair editor, delivers an engaging first novel about how ownership and entitlement intersect with art.
Two students at an all-girls music observatory in 18th-century Venice flirt with power and desire in this lush gothic tale by Fine (The Upstairs House). Orphan Luisa longs to be a premier violinist; wealthy Maddalena must escape a family scandal. They forge a deep relationship that eventually turns destructive when they uncover an avenue to have their greatest wishes granted. As Luisa’s musical fame grows, so does Maddalena’s obsession with her friend.
Cinnamon Haynes, a Black woman who’s secretive about her tumultuous childhood, and Daisy Dunlap, a white woman who’s 19 and pregnant, strike up a friendship at their local park. When Cinnamon finds Daisy’s abandoned newborn, she takes the infant under her care, sparking backlash from all sides. Authors Pride and Piazzo, who penned the Good Morning America book club pick We Are Not Like Them, deliver a story sure to raise vital discussions on systemic racism, interracial adoption, and the complexities of motherhood.
Heritage and legacy are at the forefront of this evocative memoir by Myers, a member of the Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe and the last of her genealogical line. She reflects on four generations of women in her family, weaving personal stories with essays on S’Klallam culture. By documenting her family history, Myers’ builds a larger narrative on the rapidly diminishing Native American experience.
A married couple living on a floating jungle city far above now-uninhabitable Earth are at odds. Husband Iravan is an architect, the most respected profession in this world. Wife Ahilya, an archeologist, despises her husband’s superiority, but they must work together to save their planet from impending demise. Rao’s extraordinary world-building draws on Hindu concepts as she explores themes like oppression, forgiveness, and jealousy. This cli-fi, science fantasy debut is a heady adventure.
Adler (Home Field Advantage) serves up two rom-coms in one with this dual-timeline tale about a girl torn between summer plans. Natalya can stay home in N.Y.C. with her dad (and secret crush, a cute redheaded girl), or she can travel to L.A. to reconnect with her mom (and meet the mysterious boy her mom’s been talking about). Both options unfold simultaneously, featuring well-developed plots and characters. Queer and Jewish representation round out this heartfelt story of young love and taking chances.
After making waves on BookTok with her 2017 novel Tender Is the Flesh, Argentine writer Bazterrica returns with a haunting short story collection that moves from dark comedy to body horror to fantasy. Morbid yet beautifully written, these stories use bizarre scenarios to dissect death, grief, desire, and other painful human experiences.
Called “required reading” by Publishers Weekly, Oliva’s affecting memoir-in-essays chronicles her work as a translator for migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. Witnessing firsthand how America’s detention centers and immigration policies strip the hungry, terrified, and hopeless of their dignity, Oliva presses for empathy and a more humane future. This is fuel not only for righteous anger but also for immediate action.
You may recognize Beach’s name from her viral 2019 essay, “I Was Caroline Calloway,” which chronicled the ups and downs (mostly downs) of ghostwriting for infamous influencer Caroline Calloway. In her memoir-in-essays, Beach’s wit and authenticity shine as she reflects on the horrors of low-rise jeans, grieves the loss of a loved one, and incisively critiques pop culture. Calloway’s name makes an appearance, but doesn’t overshadow other themes.
Paul delivers far more than a sports memoir in Sixty-One (co-written with ESPN commentator Wilbon). The Phoenix Suns “Point God” discusses family and faith, with a major focus on how his late grandfather, Nathaniel “Papa” Jones, shaped the very values that led to Paul’s success on the court at Wake Forest and now in the NBA. Jones, a valued community member in Winston-Salem, was tragically murdered at the age of 61, but his legacy endures, as seen in this moving debut.
After the death of her beloved grandmother, Minh, Ann Tran reconnects with her estranged mother, Huơng, at their family home, a gothic-style manor on the Gulf Coast. Banyan House, like the Tran family, has many secrets that could either permanently sever Ann and Huơng’s relationship or help rebuild it. Told from three perspectives, Thai’s first literary foray is a family saga about Vietnamese American women whose choices echo through generations.
Menéndez (Loving Che) explores the lives, losses, and ruminations of a series of residents who’ve lived in the same apartment over the last seven decades. Nestled within a Miami Beach residential building, unit 2B-dwellers have included a newlywed couple, a gay concert pianist, a war vet, an immigrant, and a refugee. Themes of home, isolation, and longing tie their disparate lives together and illustrate the importance of community.
Yolanda Alvarez sees foreboding visions when a new student arrives at Julia De Burgos High School, and she must draw on the wisdom of her family, friends, and bruja ancestors to prevent the worst. Avila uses Yolanda’s singular voice as a deaf, queer, Afro Latina teen to explore vital themes like gun violence in America and how certain perspectives are ignored. The Making of Yolanda la Bruja celebrates community and legacy.
Through personal stories from surfing’s icons and pioneers, this Scribd Original provides a breathtaking look beneath the surface of surf culture. “Birth of The Endless Summer” takes a deep dive into the lasting impact and influence of surfing’s most famous movie, “The Endless Summer.”
About the Author: Lanie Pemberton
Lanie is a San Diego-based freelance writer with many Scribd Snapshots and recommended reading lists under her belt. She loves reading about animals and the natural world, with plenty of murder mysteries peppered in. When she needs a break from writing and reading, Lanie can be found taking long walks under the SoCal sun, usually alongside her husband and pampered pittie, Peach.