Summer releases

Printers Row Journal offers a summer reading preview. (Noah Woods illustration)

This past winter, when temperatures routinely dipped below freezing, the promise of eventual summer was the only thing that kept our spirits afloat. Trudging through a dispiriting "wide landscape of snows" — to borrow a phrase from Herman Melville — we'd daydream of warmer days: a sunny afternoon spent on the edge of the city, perhaps on Lake Michigan, nose in a book, light breezes rustling the pages.

Summer is finally lapping at our shores, and with it comes a steady wave of new releases. Here (and throughout this week's issue) we highlight forthcoming titles in various genres: absorbing suspense thrillers, harrowing memoirs, exciting new fiction – whatever floats your boat.


This piece first ran in Printers Row Journal, delivered to Printers Row members with the Sunday Chicago Tribune and by digital edition via email. Click here to learn about joining Printers Row.


Sailing back in time: historical fiction

In the Wolf's Mouth by Adam Foulds

June 3, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 336 pages, $26

The British writer — praised for both his poetry and poetic prose — situates his latest novel in North Africa and Sicily at the end of World War II, as the Allies attempt to chase the Nazis toward mainland Italy. The story orbits around two soldiers, an English field security officer and an Italian-American GI, who are forced to confront both the vagaries of war and the Sicilian Mafia.

Motor City Burning by Bill Morris

July 15, Pegasus, 288 pages, $24.95

Set in Detroit in the late '60s, Bill Morris' latest novel unfolds amid race riots, social upheaval and Tiger Stadium's Opening Day. It stars Willie Bledsoe, a young former black activist, who must confront the injustice and turmoil that swirl around him.

... And historical nonfiction

The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century by David Reynolds

Out now, W.W. Norton, 544 pages, $32.50

World War I began 100 years ago this summer, and with the centenary comes a battalion of new books. This new release by David Reynolds stands out for its in-depth analysis of WWI's impact — much of which seems to have slipped from American memory, if it ever was truly understood. He discusses broad themes, such as democracy and nationalism across the 20th century, as well as art and poetry, offering a multidimensional portrait of how the War to End All Wars cast a long shadow.

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

Aug. 5, Doubleday, 480 pages, $28.95

In the late 19th century — before everything could be spotted on Google Maps — the North Pole held mysterious appeal as one of the last uncharted places on the planet. The USS Jeannette, carrying a team of 32 men, set out to explore Arctic territory — only to become trapped in pack ice. Forced to abandon ship, the crew trekked over a frozen, unforgiving wilderness in hopes of survival. To vividly recapture the ill-fated voyage, Sides relied on lost letters, diaries, firsthand accounts and his own knack for storytelling.

Cape Fear: crime fiction and suspense thrillers

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

June 3, Scribner, 448 pages, $30