- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
With pandemic lockdown restrictions lifted amid the first day of summer, this year’s sunshine season marks a celebratory period. Those looking to escape the summer heat may find comfort in a book and be seeking the perfect beach read, literary vacation getaway or an entertaining story to have on hand while lounging by the swimming pool.
This summer, Danny Trejo, Cecily Strong and Hayley Mills share their stories in their debut memoirs; Sally Rooney returns with a new coming-of-age story; Taylor Jenkins Reid takes readers on a trip to 1980s Malibu; Behind the scenes anecdotes of iconic films Raging Bull and Midnight Cowboy and historical Broadway production Shuffle Along are revealed; Sleepless in Seattle‘s screenwriter pens a debut novel; and Stacey Abrams, James Patterson and Bill Clinton offer political thrillers. From mysteries to summer romances and beach reads, readers can journey into various storytelling worlds whether it be already published fiction, thrillers, romances or memoirs — Hollywood’s Julianna Margulies, Sharon Stone, Leslie Jordan and Seth Rogen have already released their debut works earlier this year.
Below, The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of books that readers can have handy this summer. Not all of these selections come out this summer — most are already available, some release at a later date — but, with ties to entertainment and offering escapist pleasures, they are the perfect companions for the warmer months.
Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood by Danny Trejo (Atria, July 6)
Danny Trejo may be a household name in Hollywood having starred in a myriad of films including Machete, Spy Kids and From Dusk Till Dawn, but now the actor is ready to tell his personal story in his words with a memoir, Trejo, written with Donal Logue. Prior to being recognized as the ultra bad guy in his varied roles, Trego had a struggled upbringing and stints in prison. In a raw telling, Trejo details rebuilding his life after finding sobriety reflects on incarceration and the trials and tribulations that led to his journey thus far.
Falling by T.J. Newman (Avid Reader Press, July 6)
A one-time flight attendant pens a thrilling novel that has already inked both a seven-figure book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader and THR exclusively shared that a seven-figure pact for the movie rights landed with Universal. Newman’s novel details the story of passengers on a crowded flight from New York to L.A. who are unaware that their pilot’s family was kidnapped not too long before takeoff and the pilot now must follow orders and crash their plane in order to save their family. Prior to the book’s July release, Newman’s novel was quickly at the center of a bidding war with as many as 14 major studios, networks, streamers and top filmmakers pursuing screen rights. THR exclusively shared the first trailer for the novel. Newman’s debut novel is the first in a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader Press.
Perversion of Justice by Julie K. Brown (Dey Street, July 20)
Last year, audiences were able to dive into the Jeffrey Epstein case with Lifetime’s four-hour documentary Surviving Jeffrey Epstein and Netflix’s Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. Now Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald investigative journalist behind the blockbuster print series centered on Epstein, recounts her investigation of the case in a new book. The upcoming book will offer firsthand interviews with Epstein’s victims, new details about the underage sex trafficking scheme, an examination of how Epstein’s crimes were covered up and more.
This Will All Be Over Soon by Cecily Strong (Simon & Schuster, Aug. 10)
Cecily Strong may be known for delivering memorable impressions and making audiences laugh on Saturday Night Live but now the Emmy Award nominee is ready to get vulnerable in her first novel. In This Will All Be Over Soon, Strong reflects on losing her cousin in early 2020, right before the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In order to write her book, Strong relocated to an isolated home upstate, where she spent months writing as she attempted to process and make sense of both her cousin’s death, the life lessons he taught her and the current state of the world. She also reflects on prominent moments in her life and career and the challenges that took place last year.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead, Aug. 31)
The bestselling author behind The Girl on the Train — which was adapted into the 2016 feature film starring Emily Blunt — returns with a new dark mystery in A Slow Fire Burning. In her latest novel, Hawkins brings readers into the murder investigation of a young man found in his houseboat and introduces the case’s three suspects including the woman who was seen covered in blood after going home with him, his neighbor and his aunt. The three women may have their own separate ties with him but each have their own secrets and resentments.
Forever Young by Hayley Mills (Grand Central Publishing, Sept. 7)
Hayley Mills, star of the original 1961 classic The Parent Trap, chronicles her story in a memoir, Forever Young. In the upcoming memoir, Mills details her upbringing and growing up in a famous family. Mills also shares her journey as a child actor in the 1960s as she was taken under the wing of Walt Disney, starred in iconic roles such as in Pollyanna and The Parent Trap and went on to become one of only twelve actors in history to be bestowed with the Academy Juvenile Award.
Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Sept. 7)
The author behind bestsellers and acclaimed novels Normal People and Conversations with Friends is set to release her third novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You. In her anticipated new novel, Rooney’s first since the success of the Normal People Hulu adaptation starring Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones, the author details a coming-of-age story centered on four young adults including a novelist named Alice, her best friend Eileen, love interest Felix, and childhood friend Simon as they navigate trying times. Rooney’s 2017 novel Conversations With Friends is currently being adapted into a series by the same team behind Normal People.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Ballantine Books, Available now)
Nothing says summer like a trip to the beach but author Taylor Jenkins Reid is offering that with some 80s flair. With her new release Malibu Rising, Jenkins Reid transports readers to 1980s Malibu as she tells the story of the children of fictional famed rocker Mick Riva. When the Riva family throws an annual summer party at their beach house, things unexpectedly turn into chaos as the family must confront not only their family’s past and secrets but themselves. Amid the book’s publication last week, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively announced that it is also in development for a television series at Hulu with Little Fires Everywhere creator, showrunner and executive producer Liz Tigelaar and writer Amy Talkington reteaming for the adaptation.
Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin (William Morrow, Available Now)
Just in time for summer, The View co-host Sunny Hostin takes readers on a trip to Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts in Summer on the Bluffs — the first book in her forthcoming series. The story centers on characters Amelia “Ama” Vaux Tanner and her husband who welcome three “goddaughters” Perry, Olivia, and Billie into their life that visits their Chateau Laveau home every summer. Things immediately change when Ama, nearing seventy-one and widowed, surprises everyone by announcing that she moving to the south of France to reunite with her college sweetheart and invites her goddaughters to spend one last golden summer together with her. But when the season ends, Ama reveals that she is going to give the house to one of them. Though on the surface the novel is summer escapism filled with romance and drama, below the surface Hostin highlights prominent issues such as race, class, identity, and sisterhood that, she told THR, offers a “different type of story.”
Raging Bull – The Making Of by Jay Glennie (Coattail Publications, Available now)
Audiences got to witness Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Jake LaMotta star in the Oscar-nominated film from Martin Scorsese but now readers will get to go behind the scenes of the film in Jay Glennie’s limited edition book. In Raging Bull — The Making Of, Glennie details the film’s six-year-long journey to the big screen, De Niro’s strict fitness regime to portray Jake LaMotta and more secrets of the film. The large-format book was made with De Niro’s cooperation, and Glennie interviews the cast and crew of Scorsese’s iconic film including De Niro, Scorsese, Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, writer Paul Schrader, producer Irwin Winkler and editor Thelma Schoonmaker. THR shared an excerpt that explored Scorsese’s inspiration for filming the fight scenes.
Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic by Glenn Frankel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Available now)
Offering a more behind-the-scenes look at a groundbreaking film is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Glenn Frankel whose book goes behind John Schlesinger’s 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. The film, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight as “Ratso” Rizzo and Joe Buck, took home the Oscar for best picture at the 42nd Academy Awards in 1970. Offering behind-the-scenes anecdotes and featuring interviews with Hoffman and Voight, Frankel explores how the classic film ultimately signaled a historical shift in American cinema, as it went on to be ranked on the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American films of all time. THR shared an excerpt.
Footnotes: The Black Artists Who Rewrote the Rules of the Great White Way by Caseen Gaines (Sourcebooks, Available now)
For readers yearning for theater productions and a return to the stage, author and journalist Caseen Gaines journeys back in time for his book to New York in the roaring twenties to tell the story of the artists behind the revolutionary production Shuffle Along, the first Broadway show with an all-Black cast and creative team. Shuffle Along first premiered on Broadway in 1921 and ran for 504 performances. In his book, Gaines examines how lyricist Noble Sissle, composer Eubie Blake and comedians Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles defied the odds and overcame racism, poverty and violence to break down racial barriers and usher in the Harlem Renaissance and change the Broadway world with their hit show that would leave a legacy. THR shared an excerpt of Footnotes.
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams (Doubleday, Available now)
Though Stacey Abrams has written romantic suspense novels under the pen name Selena Montgomery, the political thriller While Justice Sleeps marks her first book published under her own name. The thriller takes place within the U.S. Supreme Court and centers on a young law clerk who works for Justice Howard Wynn. After the Justice has slipped into a coma, Avery is left to serve as his power of attorney and legal guardian. However, things take a turn when she discovered the Justice was researching a controversial case and theorized a possible conspiracy. Readers can expect to see the Georgia politician and author’s novel come to life on the screen as While Justice Sleeps was picked up for a television adaptation after a bidding war.
The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz (Celadon, Available now)
Jean Hanff Korelitz’s 2014 novel You Should Have Known was adapted as HBO Max’s Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant-starrer The Undoing, and now the author has released a new novel for fans ready for a new suspense thriller. In her new novel, Hanff Korelitz tells the story of a novelist turned professor named Jacob Finch Bonner who is struggling to follow the success of his previous best-selling novel. When he begins teaching an arrogant young writer named Evan Parker who is confident he already has a bestselling story in the works, Jacob dismisses him — until he hears the impressive plot of his student’s novel. But when Evan unexpectedly passes away, Jacob passes his student’s story as his own for a new novel, finally achieving the success he yearned for. However, things take a dark turn when he begins receiving messages from an anonymous person aware of his secret and threatens to tell the world. In an interview with THR, Hanff Korelitz teased that the novel will be getting the adaptation treatment.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams (Grand Central Publishing, Available now)
In the mood for a summer romance? Look no further than Seven Days in June. Tia Williams’ novel centers on successful erotica author Eva Mercy who unexpectedly reunites with her high school sweetheart and award-winning novelist Shane Hall — someone she hasn’t seen in 15 years. When Eva and Shane reconnect, they’re soon left to confront their feelings and address unanswered questions from their past. After reading Eva and Shane’s story, readers can prepare for it to hit the screen. The book is also set to get the adaptation treatment from Will Packer Media and Kinetic Content, a Red Arrow Studios company. Following its release, Seven Days in June debuted on the New York Times bestseller fiction list and was recently selected as a Reese’s Book Club Pick.
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides (Celadon, Available now)
For readers searching for a mystery, the author behind the bestseller The Silent Patient, which will be adapted for a feature film from Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures and Brad Pitt’s Plan B, celebrates the beginning of summer with a new thriller sure to keep readers guessing until the very end. Michaelides’ novel introduces Mariana Andros, a group therapist who struggles to mourn the loss of her former love. When Mariana’s niece Zoe informs her that a friend of hers was found murdered in Cambridge, Mariana is quick to travel to support her. But when the school’s professor Edward Fosca is suspected of being behind the murder, Mariana becomes fixated on the case and will stop at nothing to discover the truth and uncover the secrets behind the secret society of female students known as the Maidens. The Maidens is also reportedly set to get the adaptation treatment.
The President’s Daughter by James Patterson and Bill Clinton (Little, Brown & Company and Alfred A. Knopf, Available now)
James Patterson and former president Bill Clinton are teaming for the second time for a new political thriller. In their new novel, Clinton and Patterson tell the story of President Matthew Keating, who after his teenage daughter is abducted by a madman, embarks on a mission to rescue her. For readers preferring audiobooks, The President’s Daughter enlisted Scandal star Tony Goldwyn to voice the role of President Matt Keating in the audiobook edition — THR shared an audiobook excerpt. Patterson and Clinton first collaborated together in 2018 for The President Is Missing, which became a New York Times bestseller and sold more than 3.2 million copies.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria, Available now)
Even prior to its release, Zakiya Dalila Harris’s debut was quick to garner attention and was described as a “Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada” — only this time in the book publishing world. The novel centers on Nella Rogers, an editorial assistant for Wagner Books, whose work setting changes as soon as new assistant Hazel is hired, leaving Nella to no longer be the only Black woman on staff. Things take a sinister turn when Nella discovers a mysterious note left on her desk warning her to leave Wagner. Soon she’s left to question everyone in the office, including Hazel. Dalila Harris, a former assistant for Knopf Doubleday, presents a thrilling story that keeps readers guessing while also offering social commentary and addressing diversity in the workplace. The Other Black Girl is reportedly getting the adaptation treatment.
Attachments by Jeff Arch (Sparkpress, Available now)
Calling all Sleepless in Seattle fans! The film’s originator Jeff Arch, who went on to receive two Oscar nominations for best original screenplay and original music for the film, released his debut novel to narrate another heartfelt story. In Attachments, Arch tells the story of three students who return to their boarding school in Pennsylvania after their school’s dean is put in a coma after suffering a stroke. Told in alternating points of view and time frames, best friends Stewart (“Goody”) Goodman, Sandy (“Pick”) Piccolo, and Laura Appleby are left to not only grapple with the tragedy but must also come to terms with longtime secrets and revelations being revealed, which could ultimately impact the dean’s 18-year-old son. THR shared an excerpt.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day