Goodbye, July. It was a busy month of travel, family reunion, and not-so-fun adulting, but overall there was some great reading to be had amongst the gorgeous weather here in Seattle. I’m sorry for you lovelies who struggled with sweltering. One week in Colorado in the 90s was enough to make me overjoyed to return to days in the 70s and nights in the 50s. My favorite kind of July.
When you want the truth and nothing but the truth, no matter how intimate it gets AND you want to laugh out loud then Samantha Irby is the writer for you. A Black, queer, aggressively introverted essayist Irby has chronicled her life in each of her books. The latest, Quietly Hostile, encompasses midlife in a small midwestern town and all the annoyances that brings. Including a new friend asking how she’s feeling:
then I have to watch you struggle to be polite as I launch into a laundry list of my physiological issues while you try not to say “Have you considered dying?” to my face.
Perpetually irritated, raunchy, I love her.
A Fever in the Heartland by Timothy Egan: More American history we never learned in school. This time about the Ku Klux Klan. Review to follow
Love the wilderness and like thrillers? Then, Have You Seen Her is a combo novel you might like. Cassie is part of Yosemite’s Search & Rescue team as well as having a personal connection to the park. One of her closest friends died there when she was a girl. She’s back as an adult looking for some kind of redemption. The novel is told from the viewpoint of three women, all unreliable narrators. Given last year’s Gabby Petito murder the plot feels overly familiar, but it’s a quick read.
Kala by Colin Walsh: Review to follow
From a title (and cover) that demanded reading When Women Were Dragons had a marvelous premise: in the 1950s after WWII as women were relegated back to traditional roles in America there was an extraordinary occurrence. In one day, over 600,000 women turned into dragons and left behind their lives. Sadly, this premise and the author’s insightful portrayals of female anger didn’t pan out and felt silly enough that I discarded the novel at 80%. Whatever was left to learn had fizzled.
Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent: Wow. Review to follow
I’m ashamed to include this book here because a novel this beautiful deserves a full, careful review, but I couldn’t manage it in July. I Could Live Here Forever is about a young woman attending graduate school far from home who falls in love with the wrong guy. Not because he’s abusive, but because his own issues are too much. Tender, painful, poignant, Helperin’s writing is the kind that makes you deeply invested in the characters and their lives.
That’s a wrap on July, readers. I hope August brings great books to you all.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase of any kind, I get a small commission (at no cost to you).
*I received a free copy of I Could Live Here from Viking in exchange for an honest review.*