Shelf Life

Summer book recommendations.


Ceaseless, circular, self-sabotaging anxiety is what permeates Monkey Mind (Simon & Schuster), Daniel Smith’s very funny and occasionally bizarre memoir of his nettlesome neuroses, out July 3.

Lisa Cohen’s book All We Know: Three Lives (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), out July 10, focuses on a trio of brilliant women who ultimately didn’t deliver on their promise: the Wharton-era intellectual Esther Murphy, whose unparalleled gift for conversation has never parlayed into the groundbreaking books expected of her; the playwright Mercedes de Acosta, lover of Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich, whose own identity was subsumed by her devotion to others; and Madge Garland, the editor of British Vogue who championed Virginia Woolf and Cecil Beaton but considered her own work to be less than enduring. They each helped shape their era—and now are given their due.

In Liza Klaussmann’s debut novel, Tigers in Red Weather (Little, Brown), the tennis matches and cocktail hours of Martha’s Vineyard’s well-heeled residents are disrupted by the grisly discovery of a dead body. Told from five points of view across three decades—from just after World War II until the late sixties—the slow-burning, elegantly woven story, out July 17, has elicited comparisons to Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. But then, for Klaussmann, who is the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville, masterly storytelling runs in the family.

Photos: Monkey Mind: Simon & Schuster, All We Know: Farrar, Straus And Giroux, Tiger In Red Weather: Hachette Books