7 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in June

What do French spies, narcotics detectives and Punjabi widows have in common? Honestly not much, other than being the subjects of some truly wonderful books out this month. Whether you’re into murderous suspense or silly eroticism, pick up one of the following seven titles and prepare to be dazzled.

THE WIDOW NASH BY JAMIE HARRISON

A young woman on the run from her ex-fiancé assumes a new identity as a wealthy widow in Montana in this historical feminist novel set in the early 1900s. With loads of drama (murder! theft!) and an empowering message, this guy is pretty unputdownable.

UNSUB BY MEG GARDINER

Inspired by the never-caught Zodiac killer, Gardiner’s psychological thriller is about a Bay Area narcotics detective shaken by the apparent reappearance of the murderer (or “unsub,” an unknown subject) who terrorized the community during her childhood. Bring on the nightmares.

GASTROPHYSICS BY CHARLES SPENCE

Why do we eat 35 percent more food when dining with another person? How do our surroundings affect the way we taste food? Why does Chinese takeout pair best with Taylor Swift music? These are the types of questions Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford, poses in this fascinating new book about sensory science. He considers everything from marketing and cognitive neuroscience to design and behavioral economics to get the scoop on how our brains process the food on our plate.

THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING BY GRANT GINDER

Paul and Alice’s half-sister is getting married. What’s supposed to be a lavish, elegant affair is, to these curmudgeonly siblings, their idea of hell. They attend, reluctantly, but naturally chaos ensues. Got a wedding on your summer calendar? Bring this fun novel in your carryon.

SURPASSING CERTAINTY BY JANET MOCK

This new memoir from a noted writer, TV host and transgender rights advocate chronicles Mock’s 20s, from her time as a first-generation college student in Hawaii to her first sexual encounter and move to New York after graduation. Bracingly honest and super-smart.

THE ALICE NETWORK BY KATE QUINN

Set alternately in 1915 and 1947, Quinn’s engrossing historical novel follows a woman working for the Alice Network (a large collection of spies on behalf of the British Army) and an American socialite in Europe searching for her cousin.

EROTIC STORIES FOR PUNJABI WIDOWS BY BALLI KAUR JASWAL

Nikki is the black sheep in a strict British, Sikh family. After dropping out of law school, she begins teaching a writing class for Punjabi widows that quickly evolves into an erotic storytelling workshop…which is as kooky as it sounds. Part mystery, part romance, Jaswal’s terrific third novel will inspire you to topple the patriarchy.

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