Apologies to the beach reads crowd, but the following recommendations don’t necessarily fit the bill for a day in the sun.

Unless, of course, you like your sunbathing with a side of Gothic mystery fiction, an unsettling, funny novel about a mom becoming a dog, or ruminations on chemical damage to the ozone — in which case, this sure is the roundup for you.

  • Raising a child can be a beast. Rachel Yoder takes that concept to its extreme in “Nightbitch,” a fable of motherhood in which an artist becomes a stay-at-home mother and then, eventually, a literal dog. Calling the book witty and bizarre, reviewer Jordan Snowden writes, “‘Nightbitch’ is a stunning modern feminist fable that shouldn’t be missed.” Read the full review here.
  • Get a referral for books on the spooky side from Seattle Times arts critic Moira Macdonald, who dishes on TV detectives, the cliffside Scottish boarding school in Phoebe Wynne’s new novel “Madam,” and more, all in The Plot Thickens, her crime and mystery fiction column. Read the full story here.
  • Who needs to get their scares from fiction, though? The real world is plenty terrifying. That much is clear from a conversation with Eric Dean Wilson about his new book, “After Cooling,” a nonfiction work about the legacy of Freon, the gases that replaced it and the environmental cost of keeping folks cool and comfortable. Read the full conversation with Nick Licata here.