What are the best new books for June 2023 – and what’s actually worth reading this month? Grab a cup of tea and get comfy, you’re in the right place.
For my top book of the month (and previous selections), make sure to also check out my Tolstoy Therapy Book Club choice. Happy reading!
The best new books to read in June 2023
Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See
Read Lady Tan’s Circle of Women for… the new historical novel from the bestselling author of The Island of Sea Women about medicine and woman in 15th-century China. (Published June 6)
According to Confucius, “an educated woman is a worthless woman.” But in this gorgeous new novel by Lisa See (which I’m currently enjoying as an audiobook), Tan Yunxian is raised by her grandmother, one of only a handful of female doctors in China.
In her early years, Yunxian unlocks more freedom and knowledge than she thought possible, but when she’s sent into an arranged marriage, she finds herself isolated, powerless, and forced to act like a proper wife.
This captivating book about community, knowledge, and Chinese medicine asks: how might a woman like Yunxian break free of these traditions and treat women and girls from every level of society?
The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand
Read The Five-Star Weekend for… a captivating, sunshine-filled story about friendship, love, and self-discovery from the bestselling author of The Hotel Nantucket. (Published June 13)
In this sun-kissed beach read for 2023, Hollis Shaw seems to have the perfect life: she’s the creator of a popular food blog and married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon.
Although the book is brimming with summer vibes, it begins with loss, exposing the cracks in Hollis’s marriage and relationship with her daughter, Caroline.
When Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”, she decides to host her own to get her life back on track, bringing together four friends from different stages in her life.
Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur
Read Little Monsters for… a riveting new novel for June 2023 about complicated families and long-buried secrets on Cape Cod. (Published June 27)
Ever since Ken and Abby Gardner lost their mother when they were young, they’ve been haunted by her absence. As they grew up and were raised by their father, a brilliant oceanographer, in remote Cape Cod, complications arose between them.
Now, years later, the siblings’ lives are still deeply entwined yet strained. While Ken has a picture-perfect family and is a businessman with political ambitions, Abby depends on her brother’s goodwill to allow her to do the art she loves.
Set over one summer, this is a perceptive story of a family by a writer who knows every nook and cranny of Cape Cod, including both its lushness and its snakes.
Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
In this new summer romance by the bestselling author of Nora Goes Off Script, everything in Sam’s life is on track, including her upcoming marriage to her doctor fiancé, Jack.
But when Sam tours a wedding venue near her family’s Long Island beach house, she bumps into Wyatt, the guy who broke her heart when she was seventeen. As Sam’s memories come flooding back, she wonders if she made the right choice.
In Light-Years There’s No Hurry: Cosmic Perspectives on Everyday Life by Marjolijn van Heemstra
Read In Light-Years There’s No Hurry for… poet and journalist Marjolijn van Heemstra’s musings on viewing everyday life from a cosmic perspective, now translated to English from Dutch. (Published June 20)
Anxious, alienated, and unable to sleep, Marjolijn van Heemstra felt suffocated by the endless stream of notifications, dismal headlines, and daily obligations in her life.
But around this time, she learned about the overview effect – a permanent shift in consciousness many astronauts experience when viewing Earth from outside the atmosphere.
This is her moving meditation on seeking the overview effect without leaving our planet, finding a way to view the world through the eyes of an astronaut to bring wonder and meaning back to her life.
Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World by Christian Cooper
Read Better Living Through Birding for… a journey into the world of Central Park birder Christian Cooper’s avian adventures and lessons learned from a lifetime of looking up.
As a self-described “Blerd” (Black nerd), Christian Cooper is an expert birder who devotes every spring to observing the migratory birds that stop to rest in Central Park.
While watching the birds one morning in May 2020, a routine encounter with a dog walker resulted in a viral video that highlighted the difficulties of being a gay, Black man in America today.
Equal parts memoir, travelogue, and primer on the art of birding, this is Christian Cooper’s much-needed story of the wonderful world of birds and all they can teach us if we only look up.
A Perfect Vintage by Chelsea Fagan
Read A Perfect Vintage for… a relaxed getaway to a French country estate with good food, sun, and an abundance of sparkling wine. (Published June 6)
In this anticipated beach read for 2023, Lea Mortimer is a sought-after consultant who transforms dilapidated French country estates into boutique hotels.
Lea relishes her freedom as a single, child-free woman and thrives in her work. But the families she works for? They’re not always so easy to deal with.
The author, Chelsea Fagan, is the founder of The Financial Diet, the largest women’s personal finance media company.
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Read Love, Theoretically for… the new STEMinist romcom from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis. (Published June 13)
In this fun new romance, Ali Hazelwood delivers her usual nerdy STEM vibes as rival physicists collide in a vortex of academic feuds and fake dating set-ups.
By day, Elsie Hannaway is an adjunct professor in the theoretical physics department. On other days, Elsie boosts her dwindling bank balance by offering her services as a fake girlfriend.
It’s working out well for her – or it was, until the annoyingly attractive older brother of her favourite client turns out to be the cold-hearted physicist who ruined her mentor’s career.
For more of the best books to read this month, you might also like my collections of the best books to read on vacation the best books if you don’t know what to read, and the best new historical fiction books.