Summer reading: Fiction, poetry

Busy Monsters

William Giraldi


W.W. Norton: $24.95

When a mediocre writer's bride-to-be leaves him to search for a legendary giant squid, he treks across the continent seeking counsel from nefarious creatures on how to win back her affections. (August)


Selected Late Poems

Charles Wright

Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $30

A selection of the prize-winning poet's spare, lyrical observations on life's essential questions, like the conflict between memory and the past: "It may not be written in any book, but it is written — /You can't go back," he explains in "Littlefoot." (now available)

The Chieu Hoi Saloon

A Novel

Michael Harris

PM Press: $19.95 paper

The lives of a Vietnam vet, a bar owner and a prostitute collide in a haunting story set against the backdrop of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. (now available)

Children and Fire

A Novel


Ursula Hegi

Scribner: $25

The lastest from the author of "Stones From the River" tells the story of a teacher in a German town in 1934 who is quickly being seduced by Hitler's propaganda into a reality circumscribed by fear, hatred and murder. (May)


A Novel

Esmeralda Santiago

Alfred A. Knopf: $27.50

A tale of love, discovery and adventure in 19


century Spain through the eyes of an indomitable, unforgettable woman; by the author of "When I Was Puerto Rican." (July)

Crossing State Lines

An American Renga

Edited by Bob Holman and Carol Muske-Dukes

Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $27

A startling project: A lyrical relay race from coast to coast, linking 54 U.S. poets — including Robert Pinsky, Heather McHugh and Robert Hass — inspired by a classical Japanese poetic tradition. (now available)

The Days of the King

A Novel

Filip Florian

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: $22

It's 1866 and Central Europe is teetering on the brink of war as a bachelor dentist embarks on a dangerous journey to Bucharest with the new prince of Romania. (August)

Double Shadow


Carl Phillips

Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $23

In this 11th collection, the poet delves into the dualities of life — between our desires and reality — that cause him to ask, "What am I, that I should stand/so apart from my own happiness?" (now available)


A Novel

Jennifer Haigh

Harper: $25.99

Haigh's fourth novel, set in Boston in 2002, examines the effect of sexual abuse allegations on one priest's family. (now available)

The Final Storm

A Novel of the War in the Pacific

Jeff Shaara

Random House: $28

In the final book of his World War II series, Shaara tells the story of the struggle for Okinawa and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. (now available)

The GQ Candidate

A Novel

Keli Goff

Atria: $24.99

A scandal puts Luke Cooper, black and Jewish, in the Michigan governor's chair. His decision to then run for president causes turmoil for those close to him. (July)

The Hair of Harold Roux

A Novel

Thomas Williams

Bloomsbury: $15 paper

In 1975, the National Book Award was given to two writers: Robert Stone for "Dog Soldiers" and Williams for this novel, which has been reissued with an introduction by Andre Dubus III. (June)

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine

A Novel

Alina Bronsky

Europa: $15 paper

Three generations of women living in Soviet Russia in the 1980s are reunited in Germany. (now available)

House of Holes

A Book of Raunch

Nicholson Baker

Simon & Schuster: $25

The literary provocateur whose other works include "The Mezzanine" and "The Anthologist" takes on the sex novel. (August)

The Kid

A Novel


Penguin Press: $25.95

The author of "Push" tells the story of Precious' son, Abdul, facing the violence of the world around him and coping with grief as he makes his way to adulthood in the wake of his mother's death. (July)

The Land at the End of the World

A Novel

António Lobo Antunes

W.W. Norton: $26.95

An anguished medic, haunted by memories of war in Angola, spends a feverish night wrestling with his demons and recounting his experiences to anyone who will listen. (May)

The Language of the Sea

A Novel

James MacManus

Thomas Dunne Books: $24.99

An outspoken marine biologist loses his job, but not before taking his students on one last field trip to Cape Cod that takes an unexpected, harrowing turn. (available now)

Millennium People

A Novel

J.G. Ballard

W.W. Norton: $25.95

First U.S. publication of the late author's story of a psychologist who succumbs to a fringe middle-class protest movement in London. (July)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

A Novel

Ransom Riggs

Quirk: $17.99

An odd collection of photographs peppers this tale of a teenager who stumbles upon an abandoned children's home on an island off the coast of Wales and discovers that the occupants may have been more than peculiar — they may have been dangerous too. (June)

A Moment in the Sun

A Novel

John Sayles

McSweeney's: $29

An epic narrative set at the turn of the 20th century against the backdrop of the Spanish American War, the Yukon gold rush and publishers Hearst and Pulitzer's power plays in New York. (available now)

Once Upon a River

A Novel

Bonnie Jo Campbell

W.W. Norton: $25.95

After the death of her father, 16-year-old Margo Crane sets out by boat on the dangerous Stark River to search for her vanished mother. (July)

One Summer

A Novel

David Baldacci

Grand Central: $25.99

Baldacci takes leave from the thriller genre to write the story of a terminally ill family man who tries to reclaim his children after the death of his wife in an automobile accident. (June)

The Secret History of Costaguana

A Novel

Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Riverhead: $26.95

The confessions of a Colombian-born writer who, after Joseph Conrad's death in 1924, reveals how he shared the details of his turbulent, revolutionary life with the great novelist and gave Conrad the idea for his novel of South American unrest, "Nostromo." (June)

Selected Poems

Robert Pinsky

Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $26

A sampling of poems taken from the former U.S. poet laureate's recent collections, including "Gulf Music" and "Jersey Rain." (available now)

Silver Girl

A Novel

Elin Hilderbrand

Reagan Arthur Books: $26.99

A woman who feels she's lost everything because of her Bernard Madoff-like husband tries to find solace with an old friend — and an old flame. (June)

Sisterhood Everlasting

A Novel


Ann Brashares

Random House: $25

In this return of the Traveling Pants sisterhood, a proposed reunion of the far-flung friends in Greece takes an unexpected turn when tragedy strikes one of the quartet. (June)

State of Wonder

A Novel

Ann Patchett

Harper: $26.99

Ann Patchett's novel, set in the Amazon jungle, has a "Heart of Darkness" feel as a research scientist is sent to Brazil to track down a former mentor who disappeared while working on a potentially lucrative new drug. (June)

Ten Thousand Saints

A Novel

Eleanor Henderson

Ecco: $26.99

In her debut novel, set in the 1980s in New York's Lower East Side, the author takes on the timeless issues of youthful rebellion, family dynamics and coming to terms with one's own identity. (June)

Then Came You

A Novel

Jennifer Weiner

Atria: $26.99

The bestselling author's latest looks at how four women are bound by infertility and a hope for the future. (July)

Three Days Before the Shooting…

The Unfinished Second Novel

Ralph Ellison, edited by John F. Callahan and Adam Bradley

Modern Library: $25 paper

A gathering of the portions of Ellison's planned opus — a part of which appeared as "Juneteenth" in 1999 — that he labored over until his death in 1994. (available now)

To Be Sung Underwater

A Novel

Tom McNeal

Little, Brown: $24.99

Twenty years on, a married woman wonders whether she can rekindle the flame with the man she loved in her youth. (June)

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

A Story of Sheherezade and the Arabian Entertainments

Andrei Codrescu

Princeton University Press: $22.95

Codrescu reimagines how Sheherezade saved Baghdad's virgins through a heroic feat of storytelling that lasted for 1,001 nights. (June)

A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion

A Novel

Ron Hansen

Scribner: $25

A woman beseeches her hosiery salesman lover to kill her husband in this Jazz Age tale based on an actual murder case. (June)

The Year We Left Home

A Novel

Jean Thompson

Simon & Schuster: $25

Feminism, antiwar sentiment and the pull of city life shape this saga of a rural Iowa family spanning the last decades of the 20th century. (available now)