Book Club / Culture

Booked and busy: the new releases we’re reading in June

book releases june 2023

After a new book for yourself or looking to pass one on as a gift? Keep scrolling. Below, RUSSH curates a list of the best new book releases coming your way in June 2023. From tales of a queer mountain lion stalking Angelenos and stories of literary theft, as well as the highly anticipated memoir from Elliot Page and fresh fiction from Lorrie Moore, these are the books we'll be buying and borrowing this month.


Open Throat, Henry Hoke

Release date: June 6

One of the most anticipated books of 2023 revolves around a hungry queer mountain lion. Henry Hoke introduces us to the giant cat, which inhabits the drought-devastated land below the Hollywood sign and spends its days guarding a nearby homeless encampment. When a man-made fire breaks out, the mountain lion is forced from the hills into the sprawling city below, from where they can better observe the stark inequalities and anxieties wrought by LA's inhabitants.


Lucky Dogs, Helen Schulman

Release date: June 6

The paths of two women cross when one night, while lining up for ice cream in Paris, when they are harassed by two male tourists. The actor in disguise falters, the blonde woman pulls out a knife, and a sisterhood is born. But when both women are caught up in a high profile Hollywood scandal, in which they sit on opposite ends, Helen Shulman confronts the insidious ways misogyny and abuse to warp the lives of all women, even the most fortunate. Set at a thriller pace, Lucky Dogs seeks to answer how one woman could betray another.


On Women, Susan Sontag

Release date: June 6

In truth, On Women dropped earlier this year in May, but you can pick up a hardcover copy this June. The book comprises a collection of essays written mostly in the 1970s during the height of second wave feminism. On Women remains relevant to our current day, with its interrogation of the division of labour, ageing double standards and power.


Pageboy, Elliot Page

Release date: June 6

Two months before the world premiere of JunoElliot Page found himself in a queer bar for the first time about to kiss a girl. On the precipice of self-discovery, Page was catapulted to fame and subjected to the pressures of the Hollywood circus. Two steps forward, one step back as he sees it. In his debut memoir, the actor shares his experience being forced to perform the 'young starlet' to the public, and the freedom that comes with disentangling ourselves from the expectations of others, and the joy in embracing his queer, trans self.


Big Swiss, Jen Beagin

Release date: June 6

It's telling when a book lands a movie deal, starring Jodie Comer no less, before it even hits the shelves. Jen Beagin writes a comedy about Greta, a newly single 45-year-old audio transcriptionist for a sex therapist, who is slowly becoming infatuated with one of her boss' clients she has nicknamed Big Swiss. Granted, Greta has never seen a photo of Big Swiss, nor have they ever met, but all that is set to change when the two bump into each other at a local dog park. Thus sparks a relationship, one that is not entirely honest...


Yellowface, Rebecca F. Kuang

Release date: June 7

June Hayward and Athena Liu were supposed to succeed together. They both attended Yale at the same time, and had their publishing debut in the same year. However, Athena is now a cross-genre literary darling and June didn't even get a paperback release. "Nobody wants stories about basic white girls," June tells herself. But when Athena dies in a freak accident, June steals her just-finished masterpiece and submits it to her agent as her own work. When her publisher rebrands June as ethnically ambiguous, she goes along with the whole farce, willing to hold onto this newfound success whatever the cost.


Sad Girl Novel, Pip Finkemeyer

book releases june 2023

Release date: June 7

Pip Finkemeyer explores self-delusion in this book about best friends Kim and Bel. The former is an aspiring novelist, intent on writing a bestseller, the latter is a historian who is pregnant and hoping her current act of creation is more fulfilling than her career. The two are constantly trying to gauge their own place and the value of their contributions; is it self-confidence or self-delusion? How can you tell, when your external world appears unreliable and bent on cutting you down?


I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home, Lorrie Moore

book releases june 2023

Release date: June 20

When the announcement came early this year that a beloved female author was gearing up to publish their first work of fiction in over a decade, plenty of names were thrown into the ring. Was it Donna Tartt or Mary Gaitskill (it couldn't be)? Turns out it was Lorrie Moore. In her latest novel, the great American author wanders through grief, longing and devotion, beginning with a teacher visiting his sick brother at a hospice in the Bronx.


The Rachel Incident, Caroline O'Donoghue

book releases june 2023

Release date: June 27

Caroline O'Donoghue, host of Sentimental Garbage and author of Scenes of a Graphic Nature and Promising Young Women, returns with The Rachel Incident, which follows students Rachel and James around Cork before the 2008 global financial crisis. When Rachel falls in love with her professor, Dr. Fred Byrne, James and her conspire to strike up an affair. But Fred is married and harbours other desires. Set in Sally Rooney's Ireland, with equally solipsistic characters, the book has received kudos from Gabrielle Zevin, Sloane Crosley and Lauren Fox.


First Nations Classics

Release date: June 30

University of Queensland Press has unearthed eight essays, memoirs, works of fiction and feats of poetry for its inaugural First Nations Classics collection. Helming the project is Yasmin Smith, a South Sea Islander, Northern Cheyenne, Kabi Kabi and English writer, editor and poet, who dug into UQP's backlist of First Nations writing from authors like Ellen Van Neerven, Tony Birch and incredibly, Graeme Dixon who wrote Holocaust Island from Fremantle Prison, as well as Nugi Garimara, who pens the story of her mother Molly, a Stolen Generations survivor. Each title arrives with an introduction from prominent Indigenous voices, including Ali Cobby Eckermann, Alison Whittaker, Larissa Behrendt, Nardi Simpson, Kev Carmody, Ernie Dingo, Evelyn Araluen and Tara June Winch.


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