What could be better than a lazy summer day with nothing to do but read a great book? Here are eight recommendations for your literary pleasure.

Isabel and the Rogue by Liana De la Rosa (Berkley, June 4): In 1865, Isabel Luna is in England trying to drum up support for Mexico in its fight against the French invasion—and gather intelligence at balls and parties. Captain Sirius Dawson is doing secret work for the English home office. Their paths cross and fireworks erupt. Our starred review says this book will delight fans of historical romance; if you’re not one already, this is a fine place to start.

Blue Ruin by Hari Kunzru (Knopf, May 14): Kunzru takes two old friends/rivals from art school in London, places them on an estate in upstate New York during the early days of Covid-19, and explores what our starred review calls “the complications of art, money, and identity.…A dark, smart, provocative tale of the perils of art making.”

You Like It Darker by Stephen King (Scribner, May 21): Could it be that King’s short stories are even better than his novels? In these 12 tales, “King gives the reader a host of things to fear,” according to our starred review. “Deadly snakes, ghoulish ghosts of long-dead children, man-eating alligators, stealthy serial killers, plummeting airplanes, mad scientists.” You’ll need a bright sunny day to read this one.

The Stardust Grail by Yume Kitasei (Flatiron, June 11): Maya Hoshimoto, a reformed interplanetary thief, has settled down in Princeton until she discovers a notebook that could help her save the nodes connecting Earth to other planets. “This is a luminous work, vacillating between the highs and lows of human experience,” according to our starred review. “Wondrous, new, and altogether alien.”

The Memo by Rachel Dodes and Lauren Mechling (Harper Perennial, June 18): Have you ever thought you were the only one who didn’t get the memo? This razor-sharp novel—in which a 35-year-old woman gets a do-over, with instructions—will have you thanking your lucky stars. 

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday, May 21): This time around, the author of Crazy Rich Asians combines impoverished English aristocrats, a Scandinavian royal wedding, a volcano, and true love that never did run smooth. “Still more brilliant escapism,” according to our starred review.

Sandwich by Catherine Newman (Harper, June 18): Sandwich describes a town in Cape Cod, the lunches Rocky makes every day during her family’s beach vacation, and the way she feels smushed (in a mostly good way) between her parents and new-adult kids. Expect lots of sun and sand in this “moving, hilarious reminder that parenthood, just like life, means constant change,” as our reviewer observes.

One of Our Kind by Nicola Yoon (Knopf, June 11): Yoon’s first novel for adults is a doozy: When Jasmyn Williams moves with her family to a community for affluent Black people near L.A., she discovers that something strange is going on. It’s a trope that runs from Rosemary’s Baby to The Stepford Wives to Get Out, and Yoon puts her own stamp on it in what our starred review calls “an artful page-turning thriller.”

Laurie Muchnick is the fiction editor.