The weather's getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the #bookstagram competition is fiercer than ever. Enter this summer’s new releases. Whether you’re into linguistics, historical fiction, or family sagas that span countries, there’s a title that’s tailor-made for your beach bag. And for the social media-minded among us, don’t worry; from riotously colorful to minimalist-chic, there’s a cover to match every outfit.
If catching up on the classics is one of your summer to-dos, Random House’s Modern Library Torchbearers collection will add some essential checkmarks to your reading list. Filled with women writers who defied convention centuries before the dawn of Instagram activism, this collection highlights must-reads ranging from Charlotte Bronte (no, not Jane Eyre) to Dakota writer and activist Zitkála-Šá, along with contextual commentary from contemporary writers like Carmen Maria Machado and Naomi Alderman (and museum-worthy covers, to boot). Start with Nella Larsen’s Passing, a book about two light-skinned black women who struggle with the choice to “pass” as white in 1920s America, with an intro from We Love You, Charlie Freeman author Kaitlyn Greenidge. Bonus: The story is set to soon become a movie starring Tessa Thomspson and Ruth Negga. —Julie Kosin