The Best Books of June 2017: From Arundhati Roy to Eddie Izzard

Every month, Signature combs through the upcoming releases across nonfiction and literary fiction to provide a look at the most exciting titles rounding the bend.

If fast-paced mysteries and thrillers are what you like to bring to the beach, the new releases this month will have you covered for summer. New gripping tales from John Grisham and Fiona Barton are hitting shelves (Camino Island and The Child), and we won’t be surprised if we see Karen Dionne’s heart-stopping The Marsh King’s Daughter peeking out of many a beach bag.

But if memoir is more your game, June has got you set as well: new memoirs from Alan Alda (If I Understood You), Eddie Izzard (Believe Me), Roxane Gay (Hunger) and Sherman Alexie (You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me) are all out this month.

And June’s got much more on offer, from new Arundhati Roy (The Ministry of Utmost Happiness) to an exploration of the science that goes into why we like the food we do (Gastrophysics). What are you waiting for? Pick a book, and hit the beach.

  • The cover of the book Camino Island

    Camino Island

    A Novel

    John Grisham’s latest thriller is set in Princeton, and follows a gang of thieves as they try to pull off a heist: looting a vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. This summer is the perfect time to get into Grisham if you’re a newcomer, and to revel in his always-suspenseful mysteries if you’re a long time fan.

    Out June 6

  • The cover of the book If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

    If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?

    My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

    Award-winning actor and bestselling author Alan Alda enlightens us with his knowledge on how to communicate with others more effectively. In this witty and humorous book, Alan strives to teach others to listen and learn from each other, and explores how all human connection and understanding stems from empathy.

    Out June 6

  • The cover of the book Kennedy and King

    Kennedy and King

    Steven Levingston’s revelatory new book, Kennedy and King, dives deep into the stories of two of our lifetime’s greatest leaders and how their legacies shaped one another’s during the Civil Rights movement. As much as they’re a part of our history, they are as much a part of our present, and Levingston, the nonfiction books editor of the Washington Post, sheds new light on the worlds in which they lived – and the world they created.

    Out June 6

  • The cover of the book The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

    The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

    A novel

    Arundhati Roy, internationally renowned author of The God of Small Things, intertwines the lives of individuals as they make the journey across India. Each page takes readers through the villages of Old Delhi and the new city, exploring the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is constant, and fear is always present.

    Out June 6

  • The cover of the book Believe Me

    Believe Me

    A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens

    Eddie Izzard, a critically acclaimed, award-winning British comedian and actor, reminisces on his childhood, his first performances on the streets of London, his rise to worldwide success on stage and screen, and his comedy shows which have won over audiences around the world.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book Blind Spot

    Blind Spot

    You may know Teju Cole as the photography critic for The New York Times Magazine, the author of Known and Strange Things, or perhaps as the man behind one of the best accounts you follow on Instagram. In his first published collection of photographs, Teju Cole invites us to travel the world with him, from Berlin to Lagos to Brooklyn. But make no mistake—he’s not inviting us on museum tours or double-decker buses. Teju Cole captures the often unseen corners of the world for us in Blind Spot, and invites us to look where we’d never thought to before.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book The Chalk Artist

    The Chalk Artist

    A Novel

    Art and love intermingle in The Chalk Artist, the latest novel by Allegra Goodman. Within, we meet Collin James, a sort of chalk-wielding Picasso who makes the streets of Cambridge his canvas. When his path crosses that of high school teacher Nina Lazare, their worlds take a turn. Their story, interwoven with the tales of those around them, make for a perfect novel with which to kick off summer.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book Hunger


    Roxane Gay, the author of the bestselling Bad Feminist, explores her relationship with food, self-care, and body image in American society with searing honesty in her new memoir. Gay examines the difference between self-care and self-comfort, and the role that food plays on both sides of that coin. She discusses weight, body image, and food in a way that is sorely needed and painfully honest.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book The Marsh King's Daughter

    The Marsh King's Daughter

    The Marsh King’s Daughter is sure to thrill fans of The Girl on the Train and The Widow, and is the perfect summer thriller, in our opinion. It takes a different approach to the thriller narrative: instead of telling the story of the woman who is abducted and of the cold-hearted psychopath who kept her in a cabin for years, Karen Dionne tells the story of the woman who is the product of that abduction, born in that very cabin. More than twenty years later, Helena has buried her past as deep as possible, but it’s now resurfacing, and she won’t be able to ignore it.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book Night Thoughts

    Night Thoughts

    You may recognize him as the villain Vizzini in the modern-day classic “The Princess Bride,” or perhaps he grabbed you as Cher’s oft-agitated professor in “Clueless.” His voice may ring a bell as Rex in the “Toy Story” franchise, and he’s also had a recurring role in the quiet hit “Mozart in the Jungle.” Regardless of where you know him from, Wallace Shawn is more than the sum of his characters, as you’ll find in his new book, Night Thoughts, wherein he turns his inner self to his thoughtful, unique perspective on civilization and his place within.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book So Much I Want to Tell You

    So Much I Want to Tell You

    Letters to My Little Sister

    In this moving essay collection, YouTube-famous Anna Akana tells her own coming-of-age story. She talks about her experiences with self-doubt and poor self-esteem after the tragic loss of her little sister. Anna offers uncensored advice for young women everywhere, on everything from dating, to friendship, to the working world— all things she wishes she could tell her own sister.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

    You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

    Since his publishing debut in the early 1990s, Spokane-born Native American author Sherman Alexie has been nothing short of bold in his writing, and his latest promises no departure from that trend. In You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, Alexie brings us through memoir back to life with his mother, Lillian, a hard-drinking woman. His book examines the devastation of her death and the road it set him on immediately following. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is a must-read for fans of memoir.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book Young Radicals

    Young Radicals

    In the War for American Ideals

    Jeremy McCarter is the co-author of the bestselling Hamilton: The Revolution, and he’s back with yet another history of inspiring Americans fighting for the America that they believe in. In Young Radicals, he follows five young revolutionaries who fought for freedom and equality in the years preceding World War I, and continued to even as the world as they knew it was disrupted in every way by the horrors of war.

    Out June 13

  • The cover of the book Gastrophysics


    The New Science of Eating

    Oxford professor Charles Spence has coined a term for the sensory science behind a good meal: gastrophysics. In this book, Charles takes an in-depth look at all the sounds, sights, and tastes that make us enjoy what we’re eating, and want to eat more.

    Out June 20

  • The cover of the book Into the Gray Zone

    Into the Gray Zone

    In his new book, Into the Gray Zone, cognitive neuroscientist Adrian Owen invites readers into that oft-explored but little-understood space in our minds that exists between full consciousness and brain death. By lending us insights from his research with people who exist in vegetative states, Owen reveals how many of these minds, previously thought inactive, are actually quite the opposite. Much like Oliver Sacks before him, Owen’s work is as mind-blowing as it is intelligent.

    Out June 20

  • The cover of the book Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud

    Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud

    The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman

    Buzzfeed culture writer Helen Anne Petersen examines the rise of the “unruly woman” in pop culture today in Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud. She takes a look at personalities like Lena Dunham, Nicki Minaj, and Kim Kardashian and asks the question: what does it mean to be an “acceptable” woman through the lens of the media? Women, like those three, are pushing those boundaries, and the public loves to watch them do it.

    Out June 20

  • The cover of the book The Child

    The Child

    If you loved Fiona Barton’s 2016 thriller The Widow, you’ll love The Child, too. When a small skeleton—the skeleton of a baby—is discovered at the demolition site of a house in London, journalist Kate Waters knows this is a story that deserves attention. She digs into the past of the surrounding neighborhood, and as she searches for clues that may lead her to the identity of the baby skeleton, and bit by bit is drawn into a great and buried mystery.

    Out June 27