July is a hot month – we’re talking weather and new releases! But what is summer if not a time for extensive reading? Beach reads, book festivals, lazy days in the park – the opportunities to dig into a good book are plentiful.

Here’s our roundup of the titles we’re most excited about this month, featuring fiction, poetry, and more from South Asian writers.

A Thousand Times Before by Asha Thanki (Viking, July 9) – Fiction

How does all that has come before shape all that is now? And what if we could do it all again but differently? As Ayukta and Nadya debate having a child together, Ayukta takes her wife on a journey through her family’s history to understand what they will inherit. Part multi-generational saga, part historical fantasy, A Thousand Times Before promises to be an emotional one. – Nadya

The Lucky Ones by Zara Chowdhary (Crown, July 16) – Memoir

Zara Chowdhary’s beautifully, forcefully written memoir begins with a fiery trail of incidents occurring February 27. First: a sighting of Halley’s comet in 837 CE. Last: the 2002 burning of two train carriages in Gujarat, which then-CM Narendra Modi used as justification for a genocide against Muslims in the state. The inciting incident. As a 16-year-old in Ahmedabad, Chowdhary grew up through it. Her memoir is a personal account of a much-censored time, also evoking the twining histories of her family, divided Ahmedabad, and subcontinental Islam. As Modi begins his third term as PM, what began in Gujarat continues to unfold. Yet, as Muslim women – from Chowdhary to the grandmothers of Shaheen Bagh – make clear, belonging is ours, and cannot be undone lightly. – Sana

The Design of Us by Sajni Patel (Berkley, July 16)  – Romance

This enemies-to-lovers book has it all: an impulsive lie that throws two workplace rivals into a pretend relationship, parents and friends consistently meddling at a destination wedding, and a romantic resort that promises to turn every snarky comment or heated argument into a pathway to irresistible intimacy. I’ll probably read this in one sitting! – Jeevika

Instructions for Banno by Kiran Bath (Kelsey Street Press, July 16)  – Poetry

A celebration of women’s lyrical voices – whether coming together or standing apart – this debut is playful and earthy. Familiar with the discursive codes structuring South Asian womanhood, it is capable of ignoring them. Field notes at the end of prose poems manipulate authority. With praise from poets like Bhanu Kapil, Tarfia Faizullah, and Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Instructions for Banno is one to watch. – Sana

First Comes Marriage by Laila Rafi (Orion, July 25) – Romance

For lovers of forced proximity and marriages of convenience, here’s the South Asian spin: can perfect son Zafar and hopeless romantic Reshma find the peace in their arranged marriage and, dare I say, love? This fun and light romance sounds like a perfect summer read. – Nadya

Others We’re Excited For

A Magic Fierce and Bright by Hemant Nayak (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, July 9) – YA Fantasy

Unbecoming by Seema Yasmin (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, July 9)  – YA

The Spice Gate: a Fantasy by Prashanth Srivatsa  (Voyager, July 16) – Fantasy

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