New book releases are plentiful in June, so if you’re planning summer holidays, it’s perfect timing as there’s lots to choose from. Just don’t plan on travelling light…
The Silkworm – Robert Galbraith
You may remember that there was a ‘small’ (ahem, huge) amount of media coverage when the true identity of Robert Galbraith was leaked in 2013. J.K.Rowling had secretly penned an adult crime novel under the name Robert Galbraith to avoid preconceptions from readers who only saw her as the author of Harry Potter. Before the great reveal, The Cuckoo’s Calling – the first in the series featuring private detective Cormoran Strike – had received good reviews and was building a fanbase. Now it is, of course, a huge bestseller having sold hundreds of thousands of copies. There has been much anticipation for the second book in the series, The Silkworm which is out in the UK on 19 June.
Described as ‘a brilliant but damaged man who is still clinging tight to one or two principles that he holds sacred’, Cormoran Strike and his determined and detail-orientated assistant, Robin, have been called on to a new case. Acclaimed novelist Owen Quine has gone missing and his wife desperately seeks his safe return. After he discovers Quine’s latest manuscript, which is full of poisonous pen-portraits of friends and contacts, Strike knows he has a limited amount of time before there are devastating consequences for many people.
My Salinger Year – Joanna Smith Rakoff
At 23, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moved to New York City and took a job as an assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. My Salinger Year is Rakoff’s fantastic coming-of-age memoir, describing in fascinating detail how the publishing industry has changed almost beyond recognition at a substantial pace over the past 20 years.
Rakoff finds herself witnessing the razzle-dazzle of literary agent life, full of martini-drenched lunches and a constant clacking of typewriters during the day while returning home to the tiny Brooklyn apartment she shares with her socialist boyfriend at night. The gargantuan contrast begins to weigh on Joanna as she struggles to trust her career, life and artistic choices. So when Joanna is giving the task of responding to letters from Salinger’s fans from around the world, she cannot bring herself to roll out the agency’s standard response but instead begins to personally write back to the readers. Joanna soon loses herself in the world of the acclaimed, established writer discovering how his words have had a profound impact on so many.
The Dress Thief – Natalie Meg Evans
Alix Gower has a dream: to join the ranks of Coco Chanel and become a designer in the high-stakes world of Parisian haute couture. But Alix also has a dark secret that puts everything she wants and wishes for in jeopardy: she supports her poverty-stricken family by stealing designs to create bootlegs for the foreign market. When Alix is offered her dream job at a prominent Parisian fashion house it comes at a price. One that Alix could risk losing everything for.
Set in Paris in the 1930’s, The Dress Thief is full of rich descriptions of Parisian life and glamour. At its core is an intriguing heroine whose determination and desire to make her mark overwhelms her ability to stay safely within the lines of the law. This has all the ingredients of a novel that you’ll be utterly charmed by and absorbed in.
The Wrong Knickers – Bryony Gordon
In the past few weeks The Wrong Knickers has been reviewed or featured in nearly every magazine I have opened. Yes, that is in part down to the hard work of a great publicist but it also shows that this is a book to be taken seriously when debating your next read. Bryony Gordon is a name that may sound familiar to you. For 13 years, Gordon has worked for The Telegraph and writes a weekly column for the publication’s Stella magazine entitled How the Other Half Lives. Over the past four and a half years, she has taken to her column to describe in hilarious, heartfelt and honest detail her journey from single girl about London town to a happily married mum of one. In The Wrong Knickers, Bryony pulls her columns into a collection and snaps the too-tight g-string reality back into place as she describes what it’s really like to be a twenty-something singleton.
With cringe-worthy accounts including being given another girl’s knickers after a one-night stand and picking up a colleague at an STI clinic, Gordon well and truly breaks the hazy myth of the glamorous single life. This sounds like the next book that you’ll be chatting to friends about over a bottle of vino while reminiscing about your own twenties tales.