The clues for June are here, but I have to preface this post by telling all of you that these clues are DIFFICULT. I mean, on the one hand we have been given the general genre of each title so in that sense its narrowed it down but that’s all we have to work with. We have tried to pick a combination of repeat authors and others are new to Book of the Month.
As always, keep in mind that these are just guesses and we won’t know much more about whether we’re right or not until the picks are confirmed later in the month.
However, it looks like there are nine books to pick from this month which is exciting! We don’t know about you, but we are loving all the extra picks the last month or two!
Riddle #1: “This One Is A Thriller”Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
on June 30, 2020
In the latest thriller from New York Times bestseller Riley Sager, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?
What was it like? Living in that house.
Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.
Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.
Why It Fits: Okay Riley Sager’s new book is basically a shoe in for this clue. Every single one of Sager’s previous books has been a pick. Plus the release date was moved up from July 7th to June 30th a few months ago and, dare I say it, I’m wondering if the release date was changed for Book of the Month so they could make it a June pick rather than waiting for July. I-Haley- have read this one already and will be posting my review in the next day or two so you can get a feel for Sager’s next novel.
Riddle #2: “This One Is A Love Story“Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters, #2) by Talia Hibbert
on June 23, 2020
Talia Hibbert returns with another charming romantic comedy about a young woman who agrees to fake date her friend after a video of him “rescuing” her from their office building goes viral...
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.
When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?
Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his... um, thighs.
Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?
Why It Fits: Honestly, I am not sold on this guess but Take a Hint Dani Brown is the follow up to Get A Life Chloe Brown and it seemed to sell relatively well plus Book of the Month has done sequels to romance novels before (think The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test). HOWEVER, I suppose its possible the latest Katherine Center novel could be an early release or the new Beatriz Williams novel could fit this clue just as easily. Honestly I’ll be happy regardless and probably adding it to my box.
Riddle #3: “This One Is A Medical Thriller”The Patient by Jasper DeWitt
on July 7, 2020
The Silent Patient by way of Stephen King: Parker, a young, overconfident psychiatrist new to his job at a mental asylum, miscalculates catastrophically when he undertakes curing a mysterious and profoundly dangerous patient.
In a series of online posts, Parker H., a young psychiatrist, chronicles the harrowing account of his time working at a dreary mental hospital in New England. Through this internet message board, Parker hopes to communicate with the world his effort to cure one bewildering patient.
We learn, as Parker did on his first day at the hospital, of the facility’s most difficult, profoundly dangerous case—a 40-year-old man who was originally admitted to the hospital at age six. This patient has no known diagnosis. His symptoms seem to evolve over time. Every person who has attempted to treat him has been driven to madness or suicide.
Desperate and fearful, the hospital’s directors keep him strictly confined and allow minimal contact with staff for their own safety, convinced that releasing him would unleash catastrophe on the outside world. Parker, brilliant and overconfident, takes it upon himself to discover what ails this mystery patient and finally cure him. But from his first encounter with the mystery patient, things spiral out of control and, facing a possibility beyond his wildest imaginings, Parker is forced to question everything he thought he knew.
Fans of Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes and Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World will be riveted by Jasper DeWitt’s astonishing debut.
Why It Fits: The Patient by Jasper Dewitt is described as “if Stephen King wrote The Silent Patient” and it sounds so good. The Silent Patient was one of Book of the Month’s most popular thrillers and so it’s unsurprising that this would be a pick. Plus reviewers are declaring it a must read for fans of Alex Michaeledes and Sarah Pinborough, which are both past Book of the Month authors and judges.
Riddle #4: “This Is A Work of Nonfiction”Stray by Stephanie Danler
on May 19, 2020
From the bestselling author of Sweetbitter, a memoir of growing up in a family shattered by lies and addiction, and of one woman's attempts to find a life beyond the limits of her past. Stray is a moving, sometimes devastating, brilliantly written and ultimately inspiring exploration of the landscapes of damage and survival.
After selling her first novel--a dream she'd worked long and hard for--Stephanie Danler knew she should be happy. Instead, she found herself driven to face the difficult past she'd left behind a decade ago: a mother disabled by years of alcoholism, further handicapped by a tragic brain aneurysm; a father who abandoned the family when she was three, now a meth addict in and out of recovery. After years in New York City she's pulled home to Southern California by forces she doesn't totally understand, haunted by questions of legacy and trauma. Here, she works toward answers, uncovering hard truths about her parents and herself as she explores whether it's possible to change the course of her history.
Lucid and honest, heart-breaking and full of hope, Stray, is an examination of what we inherit and what we don't have to, of what we have to face in ourselves to move forward, and what it's like to let go of one's parents in order to find a peace--and family--of one's own.
Why It Fits: Okay, for this clue I am going with something that seems to fit the kind of nonfiction Book of the Month likes feature: think dysfunctional families with women finding themselves and their voices. This one is described as meant for fans of Educated and The Glass Castle (a previous Book of the Month Pick) and is blurbed by Lisa Taddeo (author of Three Women).
Riddle #5: “This One Is Literary Fiction”Broken People by Sam Lansky
Published by Hanover Square Press on June 9, 2020
“Profound and affecting.”—Chloe Benjamin
A groundbreaking, incandescent debut novel about coming to grips with the past and ourselves, for fans of Sally Rooney, Hanya Yanagihara and Garth Greenwell
“He fixes everything that’s wrong with you in three days.”
This is what hooks Sam when he first overhears it at a fancy dinner party in the Hollywood hills: the story of a globe-trotting shaman who claims to perform “open-soul surgery” on emotionally damaged people. For neurotic, depressed Sam, new to Los Angeles after his life in New York imploded, the possibility of total transformation is utterly tantalizing. He’s desperate for something to believe in, and the shaman—who promises ancient rituals, plant medicine and encounters with the divine—seems convincing, enough for Sam to sign up for a weekend under his care.
But are the great spirits the shaman says he’s summoning real at all? Or are the ghosts in Sam’s memory more powerful than any magic?
At turns tender and acid, funny and wise, Broken People is a journey into the nature of truth and fiction—a story of discovering hope amid cynicism, intimacy within chaos and peace in our own skin.
Why It Fits: I haven’t really seen this one suggested by anyone for this pick but Broken People by Sam Lansky is blurbed by Book of the Month darling Taylor Jenkins Reid and is recommended for those who love Salley Rooney (Normal People). Described as difficult but funny, heartwarming but biting this novel asks hard questions about who we are and our acceptance of self.
Riddle #6: “This One Is A Debut”A Burning by Megha Majumdar
on June 2, 2020
For readers of Tommy Orange, Yaa Gyasi, and Jhumpa Lahiri, an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.
Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely--an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor--has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.
Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning has the force of an epic while being so masterfully compressed it can be read in a single sitting. Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism. An extraordinary debut.
Why It Fits: Out the first of June this seems like a pretty popular guess for the debut clue. In a lot of ways, this book fits the typical Book of the Month choice: relevant social commentary featuring marginalized characters. In this case, it is set in contemporary India and follows three distinct characters as they try to make their way in the world. Its an ownvoices novel and it sounds phenomenal.
Riddle #7: “This One Is A YA Novel”The Damned (The Beautiful, #2) by Renée Ahdieh
on July 7, 2020
New York Times bestselling author Renée Ahdieh returns with the second installment of her new sumptuous, sultry and romantic series, The Beautiful.
Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly. But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien.
Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.
Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.
Why It Fits: I honestly have no idea what which book will fill this clue. There are a couple of sequels coming out to previous Book of the Month books coming out during the months of June and July including: This Coven Won’t Break (These Witches Won’t Burn), Rage and Ruin (sequel to Storm and Fury) and The Damned (sequel to The Beautiful). Honestly there are so many repeat authors with book coming out, plus a bunch of great debuts so I don’t really feel like i can nail down what Book of the Month is thinking on this one.
Riddle #8: “This One Is A Mystery”Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
on June 30, 2020
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico -- and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.
He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find -- her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Why It Fits: Okay, this might be a bit of a stretch or wishful thinking but I think its possible that Mexican Gothic could fit this clue. There is plenty of mystery surrounding Noemi and her efforts to save her cousin. What’s more, it is blurbed by past Book of the Month authors Alix E. Harrow (Ten Thousand Doors of January) and Yangsze Choo (The Night Tiger).
Riddle #9: “This one spans several decades”The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
on June 2, 2020
New York Times
-bestselling author of
, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.
As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.
Why It Fits: Brit Bennet’s forthcoming novel follows two sisters and spans decades (though it should be noted that this could also fit the literary fiction clue). Not only is Brit Bennet a previous Book of the Month author but it is blurbed by Candice Cary-Williams (Queenie). Plus it deals with complex family relationships across generations- another staple for Book of the Month picks.
So What Do You Think?
Well, those are our guess. Let us know in the comments what you are thinking of getting!