There’s a variety of appealing books coming out this month, but none more topical than Rufaro Faith Mazarura’s Let the Games Begin (Flatiron, July 9), a debut novel set during the Summer Olympics—here being held in Athens, not Paris. Olivia Nkormo and Ezekiel Moyo, both children of Zimbabwean immigrants to Britain, are fulfilling their Olympic dreams—Olivia as an intern and Zeke as a sprinter—when they meet extremely cute and begin a romance. According to our starred review, “This layered story expertly captures the excitement of the Games while Olivia and Zeke’s developing relationship…serves as a prompt for personal reflection.…This delightful romance is a ray of sunshine.”

For a more astringent take on relationships, try Sarah Manguso’s Liars (Hogarth, July 23), the story of a spiky and difficult marriage. Jane, the narrator, is a writer, and her husband, John, is a visual artist who’s competitive with her. “The tone reflects a kind of bitter self-resentment that an intelligent and self-possessed feminist has been roped into a conventional, sexist gender role,” according to our starred review. “A bracing story of a woman on the verge.”

Following the success of Long Bright River (2020), Liz Moore returns with The God of the Woods (Riverhead, July 2), set in 1975 at an Adirondacks sleepaway camp called Emerson. Barbara Van Laar is a 13-year-old camper there, and her family also owns the place, so it’s particularly shocking when she’s discovered missing from her bed one morning—especially considering that her older brother disappeared from Emerson many years before. “As rich in background detail and secondary mysteries as it is, this ever-expansive, intricate, emotionally engaging novel never seems overplotted,” says our starred review. “Every piece falls skillfully into place and every character, major and minor, leaves an imprint.”

Jenn Lyons’ The Sky on Fire (Tor, July 9) is both a fantasy and a heist novel, a fun combination. Set in a world where dragons are as intelligent as humans, the book follows Anahrod Amnead, who was falsely accused of stealing from a dragon’s hoard—and is later convinced to go back and actually rob that same dragon. Our starred review calls it “a soaringly good read.”

If you’re looking for an immersive saga to last all summer (or at least for your entire vacation), check out Lev Grossman’s The Bright Sword (Viking, July 16), which spends 688 pages exploring the question of what happened to the Round Table after King Arthur died—along with most of the knights whose names you know. “Astoundingly, a fresh take on an extremely well-trodden legend,” according to our starred review.

Ten years ago, Dinaw Mengestu was a finalist for the first Kirkus Prize with All Our Names, and I’ve been looking forward to his next book ever since. Now he returns with Someone Like Us (Knopf, July 30), in which Mamush, a journalist who’s covered conflicts around the world, is pulled between his wife and young son in Paris and an exploration into the life of his father, Samuel, who’s recently died in the U.S. Our starred review calls it “a beguiling tale, fluently told and closely observed, that conceals as much as it reveals.”

Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.