BookBrowse trawls through tens of thousands of books and book reviews each year in order to shortlist the most notable 80-100 publishing each month. Then we gather together all available reviews for each book so our members know about the best and most interesting books well ahead of the crowd.
Below you will find highlights from our list of best books publishing in June 2014.
Debuts abound in June! Set in Lima, Peru, Chasing the Sun, Natalia Sylvester's debut, is a mix of domestic drama and suspense, as one man tries to rescue his kidnapped wife. Another debut, We Are Called To Rise is Laura McBride's intimate but global novel about four people's lives that come together in an instant, and, faced with utter despair, how each of them chooses to rise up to meet that challenge. A third debut, A Replacement Life, from Belarus émigré Boris Fishman, is an immigrant story about family, honor and justice.
Another immigrant story (and yet another debut!), Susan Jane Gilman's The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street, introduces Malka Treynovsky, a Russian immigrant who transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, the "ice cream queen" - the story is about her rise to fame and fortune, and the way her past just might catch up with her. One more debut, Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You, explores race and gender as it tells the compelling story of one girl's tragic death and how it forces her parents and siblings to re-examine their understanding of family and the meaning of home.
Finally, Tim Winton, Australia's most decorated and beloved literary novelist (winner of a record four Miles Franklin Awards for Best Australian Novel and twice short-listed for the Booker Prize) is back with Eyrie, the story of a man struggling to accomplish good in a world crumbling around him.
Historical Fiction and Short Stories
Kimberly Elkins' What is Visible offers a portrait of real-life Laura Bridgman, the first American deaf and blind person to learn language (fifty years before Helen Keller); also best-selling author Lisa See is back with China Dolls, a story about three young women who meet at the Forbidden City nightclub in 1930s San Francisco, and how their fast friendship helps them survive. Set in North Africa and Sicily at the end of World War II, In the Wolf's Mouth by Adam Foulds is full of poetic simplicity and immediacy; while Lily King's Euphoria, set in the Territory of New Guinea, is inspired by Margaret Mead's life and tells the tale of three anthropologists who end up caught in a passionate love triangle.
FaceOff is an unprecedented collaboration between twenty-three of the world's bestselling and critically acclaimed thriller writers who have paired their series characters in an eleven-story anthology edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.
Michael Koryta, known for his cross-genre stories, is back with Those Who Wish Me Dead, a wilderness western meets crime fiction meets horror, about a boy who is hidden in a wilderness program for troubled teens as a pair of killers search him out. Stephanie Kuehn's page-turning psychological thriller, Complicit, is about a girl who is coming out of juvenile detention...and coming after her little brother.
Biographies & Memoirs, History & Science & Current Affairs
Helen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters explores the lives of the four royal sisters set against the backdrops of Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. PEN/Hemingway award winner Brando Skyhorse's stunning memoir Take This Man tells the story of his turbulent childhood growing up with five stepfathers and the mother who was determined to give him everything but the truth.
Ari Goldman lets readers sit in on his Late Starters Orchestra rehearsals, as well as his son's Suzuki music lessons, in The Late Starters Orchestra as he attempts to master the cello once and for all; and finally, The Dog Who Could Fly by Damien Lewis, is the unforgettable story of Ant, an orphaned German Shephard puppy, and Robert Bozdech, a Czech airman, and their unshakable bond.
Rounding up the highlights of the nonfiction section are The Grapes of Math by Alex Bellos, a fantastically entertaining look at the world of numbers; and Jordan Ellenberg's How Not To Be Wrong, a reminder that math isn't relegated to abstract concepts only found in a classroom or lab but is, instead, in every single thing that we do.
Told in alternating perspectives between a pregnant girl and the boy who offers to pretend to be the baby's father, Non Pratt's debut Trouble explores empathy and compassion and how they can create hope. Also Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock is a hilarious and moving story of one girl's quest to venture out and find her true self.
For sci-fi and fantasy fans: S. E. Grove's remarkable debut, The Glass Sentence, takes readers into a time full of cartologers and explorers, a place where continents have been flung into different time periods, and one girl is on a quest to find her family. Lastly, Corinne Duyvis' debut Otherbound mesmorizes with a story about a boy who, when he closes his eyes, is transported into the mind of a girl living in a different world.
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