Summertime, when the living is said to be easier and vacations beckon, can favor us with more reading time. But heat doesn’t necessarily mean light — and not all our book suggestions, split evenly between new releases in fiction and nonfiction, are typical beach fare.
Though cineplexes fill with frothy comedies and special-effects epics, publishing houses remain eclectic. We’ve tried to reflect that diversity in a Jewish-themed list that includes satire (“The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.” and “The Unknowns”), historical romance (“Freud’s Mistress”), biography (“Super Boys” and “Kafka: The Years of Insight”) and the autobiography of the inventor of the word “genocide” (“Totally Unofficial: The Autobiography of Raphael Lemkin”). Not exactly light.
We’ve even found a Holocaust memoir with an improbably happy ending (“I Kiss Your Hands Many Times: Hearts, Souls, and Wars in Hungary”), and a fictional account of the postwar life of Anne Frank’s older sister (“Margot”).
So dive in.
● The Unknowns
By Gabriel Roth
Reagan Arthur Books, $26,
Out July 2
The London-born Roth is both a writer and a software developer. And the protagonist of his debut novel is a young Silicon Valley millionaire better at seduction than at love. This coming-of-age story is also a satirical comedy of manners about the tech universe and contemporary romance.
● Memories of a Marriage
By Louis Begley
Nan A. Talese, $25, 208 pages
Out July 9
The author of “About Schmidt” (1997), which became a 2002 Jack Nicholson film, invents a tale about an upper-class woman unhappily wed to a garage owner’s son who made it on Wall Street. They divorce; he dies, and the narrator, who once knew them both, sets out to unravel the mystery of why the widow remains so bitter.