7 highly anticipated books for summer reading

Colson Whitehead's follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Underground Railroad" is "The Nickel Boys," which follows a young African American man in the early 1960s who is sentenced to do time at a "reform school."
(Garcia / EPA/Shutterstock)

Summer is coming up fast, and it’s never too early to plan which books you’ll be taking with you to the beach or the swimming pool. While there’s never any shortage of light, breezy books to choose from, sometimes you want something a bit more substantial to keep you enthralled while you take in (or escape from) the sun.

Whether you’re a fan of true crime, short stories or historical fiction, there’s definitely a summer book with your name on it. These seven highly anticipated books are likely to have people talking through the hot months to come.

“American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century,” Maureen Callahan (July 2): Israel Keyes might not be a familiar name to most Americans, but he was one of the coldest and most horrifying serial killers in modern American history. New York journalist Callahan’s book about the murderer, who died by suicide in 2012, tells the story of the FBI investigation that eventually led to Keyes’ arrest after several years on the loose.


“Vincent and Alice and Alice,” Shane Jones (July 9): Jones’ bizarre and beautiful debut novel, “Light Boxes” became something of a cult classic not long after its 2009 release. His latest book, from celebrated indie press Tyrant Books, is an office comedy about a bureaucrat trying to get over his recent divorce, only to fall in love with what may or may not be a clone of his ex-wife.

“Three Women,” Lisa Taddeo (July 9): The debut book by journalist Taddeo is one of the season’s most hotly anticipated nonfiction books. Taddeo spent eight years following three women in different parts of America as they grapple with issues of sexuality and desire. Dave Eggers called Taddeo’s book “one of the most riveting, assured, and scorchingly original debuts I’ve ever read.”

“The Nickel Boys,” Colson Whitehead (July 16): Possibly the single most anticipated novel of the year, Whitehead’s follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Underground Railroad” follows a young African American man in the early 1960s who is sentenced to do time at a “reform school” that’s actually run by a staff of sadistic abusers.The novel is based on a true story.

“Marilou Is Everywhere,” Sarah Elaine Smith (July 30): The debut novel from author Smith follows a teenage girl, Cindy, in rural Pennsylvania whose mother is frequently absent, leaving her and her brothers to fend for themselves. When another girl from a rich family suddenly goes missing, Cindy decides to try to replace her. Author Elif Batuman called the book “funny, lyrical, sexy, sad [and] humane.”

“The Hotel Neversink,” Adam O’Fallon Price (Aug. 6): The sophomore effort from Los Angeles native Price tells the story of three generations of a family who own a once-grand hotel in the Catskills. A young boy disappears shortly after the hotel opens, and the unsolved mystery reverberates within the family for decades afterwards.

“Everything Inside: Stories,” Edwidge Danticat (Aug. 27): A new book by Danticat, the Haitian American author of “Breath, Eyes, Memory” and”Krik? Krak!,” is always a publishing event. Her latest is a collection of short stories that explore the human condition through themes such as divorce, family, love and death.