The 10 Books You Should Be Reading This July

Absorbing fiction, thoughts on baseball and a whole lot more

July 2023 Books of the Month
If you're in need of a new read, you've come to the right place
Ecco/Penguin Random House/Bloomsbury

What are you in the mood to read this July? A brief rundown of new books out this month covers a lot of ground, from a novel by one of the country’s most acclaimed writers to a pair of titles that offer in-depth explorations of recent baseball history. An incisive examination of crypto, a literary debut and a trip into true crime are among the other new books out in July. Here are 10 selections that might be your next summer read.

"Astros and Asterisks" cover
Jonathan Silverman, “Astros and Asterisks”
University of Texas Press

Jonathan Silverman, editor, Astros and Asterisks: Houston’s Sign-Stealing Scandal Explained (July 18)

The Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal had repercussions felt throughout the world of Major League Baseball long after the team’s 2017 World Series win. This new anthology offers a host of perspectives on the scandal itself and what it reveals about the team and the sport as a whole. It makes for a fascinating read on one of the most revealing moments in professional sports in recent memory.

"Crook Manifesto" cover
Colson Whitehead, “Crook Manifesto”
Penguin Random House

Colson Whitehead, Crook Manifesto (July 18)

Colson Whitehead is one of the country’s most lauded authors — whether he’s chronicling haunting variations on history or revisiting New York in memories, he’s never less than absorbing. His latest book, Crook Manifesto, returns to the setting of his earlier novel Harlem Shuffle. Here, Whitehead takes his characters through 1970s New York, chronicling shifting alliances and reversals of fortune.

"Easy Money" cover
Ben McKenzie and Jacob Silverman, “Easy Money”
Abrams Press

Ben McKenzie with Jacob Silverman, Easy Money: Cryptocurrency, Casino Capitalism, and the Golden Age of Fraud (July 18)

There was a moment not long ago when cryptocurrency looked like the answer to countless investors’ prayers. Those heady days have fallen away, with a more jaded skepticism supplanting that earlier optimism. In their new book, Ben McKenzie and Jacob Silverman look at the flaws inherent in the crypto system from the outset — and how things rapidly took a turn for the worst.

"Nothing Special" cover
Nicole Flattery, “Nothing Special”
Bloomsbury

Nicole Flattery, Nothing Special (July 11)

It’s not surprising that plenty of writers have found Andy Warhol’s Factory to be fertile ground as a setting for their fiction. The latest to do so is Nicole Flattery, whose Nothing Special transports the reader to 1964 where her protagonist takes a job working for Warhol. She gains a front-row seat to the creation of revolutionary works of art and finds herself developing her own thoughts on art, observation and interpersonal connections.

"Evidence of Things Seen" cover
Sarah Weinman, “Evidence of Things Seen”
Ecco Press

Sarah Weinman, editor, Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning (July 4)

We live in an era of true crime; we also live in an era where true crime clichés are ripe for critique. Where does journalism end and exploitation begin? Is it possible to tell certain narratives without sensationalizing them? And how does structural inequality factor into these narratives? In this new anthology, editor Sarah Weinman and an impressive array of contributors wrestle with those very questions — and a lot more.

"Still Laughing" cover
George Schlatter, “Still Laughing”
Unnamed Press

John Schlatter as told to Jon Macks, Still Laughing: A Life in Comedy (from the Creator of Laugh-In) (July 11)

Before Saturday Night Live brought sketch comedy, catchphrases and unexpected guests to the national airwaves, there was Laugh-In. Alumni of the show include Lily Tomlin and Goldie Hawn, and the show’s legacy lives on decades after it left the air. In this new book, the show’s creator looks back on Laugh-In’s time on the air and the creation of something genuinely new on network television.

"62" cover
Bryan Hoch, “62”
Atria Books

Bryan Hoch, 62: Aaron Judge, the New York Yankees, and the Pursuit of Greatness (July 11)

What does it take to break one of baseball’s most venerated records? In the case of Aaron Judge’s pursuit of Roger Maris’s single-season home run record, the answer is vast enough to fill a book. And that’s precisely what Bryan Hoch — who’s written extensively about all things Yankees — does in the new book 62

"Someone Who Isn't Me" cover
Geoff Rickly, “Someone Who Isn’t Me”
Rose Books

Geoff Rickly, Someone Who Isn’t Me (July 25)

Odds are good that, if you recognize Geoff Rickly’s name, you do so because of his long career in music — notably, for his time as vocalist of the band Thursday. But he’s also had a foot in all things literary for a while now; every once in a while I’d catch sight of his name on a cover blurb, and the fact that he’s releasing his first novel this year seems like the next logical step. The novel follows a character struggling with his own demons — and reckoning with the paradise, purgatory and hell lurking in one man’s mind.

"Under the Eye of Power" cover
Colin Dickey, “Under the Eye of Power”
Penguin Random House

Colin Dickey, Under the Eye of Power: How Fear of Secret Societies Shapes American Democracy (July 11)

Colin Dickey has, in recent years, written about everything from saints to ghosts; with that in mind, it’s probably less than surprising that he’d get around to secret societies before too long. Under the Eye of Power chronicles a nation’s obsession with secret societies, even as it examines the ways in which that belief has altered power dynamics and political systems over time. 

"This Must Be the Place" cover
Jesse Rifkin, “This Must Be the Place”
Hanover Square Press

Jesse Rifkin, This Must Be the Place: Music, Community and Vanished Spaces in New York City (July 11)

If you’ve been going to see live music for long enough, you’ve probably amassed a list of venues where you saw great shows that have since ceased to exist. New York City has plenty of them, whether you’re talking about spaces that were home to folk sets or experimental noise shows. In his new book This Must Be the Place, Jesse Rifkin looks at the spaces intimately connected to different scenes throughout the years, what they said about the city at the time and the music that could be found there.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.