The Masters Review’s Summer Reading List

June 18, 2015

Whether you’re sunning on the beach, sprawled out in the hammock, or lounging in the AC: long summer days offer endless opportunities to crack open a book (and a beer). There is an abundance of exciting new books out this summer, but these seven debuts are at the top of our reading list.

Music for WartimeMusic for Wartime by Rebecca Makkai

Music for Wartime is acclaimed author Rebecca Makkai’s third book, but her debut short story collection. In these stories, two contestants in a reality show are prompted to fall in love; a minister buries an elephant and contemplates his own faith. For a preview, you can check out Makkai’s stories on This American Life and in Michigan Quarterly Review.

Publication Date: June 23

Kitchens of The Great MidwestKitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

J. Ryan Stradal’s debut novel follows a young woman named Eva as she grows into a renowned chef. Each chapter focuses on a particular dish and character, beginning in the Minnesota where Eva’s father first teaches her an appreciation for food.

Publication date: July 28

The Next Next LevelThe Next Next Level: A Story of Rap, Friendship, and Almost Giving Up by Leon Neyfakh

Slate reporter Leon Neyfakh follows the career of the musician Juiceboxxx in this nonfiction book that is at once a profile of an artist and a meditation on contemporary culture and the nature of art and sacrifice.

Publication date: July 7

The Beautiful BureaucratThe Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

In Helen Phillips’ debut novel, we step into an increasingly surreal world in which a woman is employed to enter numbers into a mysterious database. If that was not enough to pique your interest, Ursula K. Le Guin offers this praise: “Told with the light touch of a Calvino and the warm heart of a Saramago, this brief fable-novel is funny, sad, scary, and beautiful. I love it.”

Publication Date: August 11

EileenEileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

After Stegner fellow Ottessa Moshfegh’s much-lauded McGlue, we are anxiously awaiting her novel Eileen, out this August from Penguin Press. Eileen is narrated by a young woman who works in a boys prison in the 60s and is involved in a harrowing crime.

Publication Date: August 18

You Too Can Have A Body Like MineYou Too Can Have A Body Like Mine by Alexandra Kleeman

You Too Can Have A Body Like Mine, the debut novel from up-and-coming author Alexandra Kleeman, offers a thrilling critique of contemporary culture. For a taste of Kleeman’s work, check out her fiction in Guernica, Gulf CoastBOMB, and  Zoetrope.

Publication Date: August 25

The Anglerfish Comedy TroupeThe Anglerfish Comedy Troupe: Stories from the Abyss by Colin Fleming

The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe is Colin Fleming’s debut short story collection, out from Dzanc books. These eighteen stories explore the dynamics of failed relationships in worlds of the author’s own making. People living inside a noise machine discuss romance. A small group of musicians plays the background track to a couple’s life. We can’t wait to get our hands on this dark and inventive collection.

Publication Date: August 11

by Sadye Teiser


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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