Part 2 Summer Book Preview 2022
In this episode, Nicole and Gayle share the remaining books that have caught their eye and are coming out in June and July! As always, they also update us on what they’ve been reading during these two weeks.
As always you can find below the whole booklist they run through during the episode:
Strangers on A Train by Patricia Highsmith | Amazon | Bookshop
Memphis by Tara Stringfellow | Amazon | Bookshop
Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter | Amazon | Bookshop
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub | Amazon | Bookshop
You Have a Friend in 10A by Maggie Shipstead | Amazon | Bookshop
Any Other Family by Eleanor Brown | Amazon | Bookshop
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown | Amazon | Bookshop
Shmutz by Felicia Berliner | Amazon | Bookshop
Not Safe For Work by Isabel Kaplan | Amazon | Bookshop
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabirelle Zevin | Amazon | Bookshop
The Pink Hotel by Liska Jacobs | Amazon | Bookshop
The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid | Amazon | Bookshop
Reputation by Sarah Vaughan | Amazon | Bookshop
Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka | Amazon | Bookshop
Keya Das’s Second Act by Sopan Deb | Amazon | Bookshop
Joan: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Katherine J. Chen | Amazon
Corinne by Rebecca Morrow | Amazon | Bookshop
Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens | Amazon | Bookshop
When Were Bright and Beautiful by Jillian Medoff | Amazon | Bookshop
Haven by Emma Donoghue | Amazon | Bookshop
*Books linked above are our affiliate links through Amazon. There’s no additional expense to you, but if you make a purchase through us a small portion of that contributes to the costs associated with making our podcast. Thanks so much for listening and for your support.
[00:00:00] Nicole: Welcome to another edition of the readerly report. So today we are going to be finishing up with our look preview at summer, and there were a lot of books that we did mention. I think we only got through June. So just talking with Gayle briefly in pre-show, she mentions that, you know, she’s got a lot for July.
Uh, I’ve got a lot for July, so. After we talk about what we’ve been reading. I think we’re just gonna jump on into it. Um, and actually I’m not gonna talk about what I’ve been reading because it’s a book that’s coming out in July. So I’m gonna save that for our later talk, but I will ask Gayle, what have you been reading?
And maybe I’ll let you know what I’m thinking about reading next.
[00:00:46] Gayle: So I think when we left off, I had finished cover story. Is that the one that, um, I don’t know if, if I talked about that, the one that. Kind of like, yes, you did my friend, Anna. Okay. Mm-hmm I finished reading Memphis, which I think I also had mentioned on the show.
Memphis is a book about three generations of black women living in Memphis and kind of about like the trauma and resilience that they experience kind, that pattern of trauma and resilience among these women. It’s a mother, two children, and then their children. So three generations, it’s the type of book I really feel like I should have loved.
And. It’s you know, family drama and it’s beautifully written for whatever reason. It just, it kind of just didn’t grab me. It was sort of a bit of a chore to get through. I, and I, I think I’m really in the minority on this one. I know a lot of people love this book and I think one reason I didn’t love it was I did it on audio.
Every chapter, it jumps around a different year, a different person, a different narrator, a different. you know, rotating among these three women. And I think that that as much as the narrators were great, I think that it’s not a book that lends itself well to audio. So that may be why I didn’t like it as much.
That’s a bummer. Yeah. It is a bummer because it really, it really got great reviews. It’s a debut novel by terror string fellow. And I just, I wanted to love it and I just kind of felt like it. I don’t know, it was just a little hard to get through, but you know, it, I think if you are interested in this book, I would definitely recommend trying it in.
and then I read a romance. I don’t know why. I don’t know what prompted me, but I liked the story, the idea of it. So I read it. It’s called Mr. Wrong number by Lynn painter. And it’s about this woman who is living with her brother and her brother’s roommate because she like lost her job and had to move home from Chicago to Omaha, which is where they’re from.
And she gets a missed. MIS dial like a missed a text to the wrong number, comes to her phone. And it is a very suggest suggestive text. So she responds with this guy to this guy, and then they end up kind of bantering back and forth and she calls him Mr. Wrong number. And he calls her MIS MIS dial they’re texting back and forth and, you know, flirting and all this stuff.
And then of course it turns out that the guy who wrote the text is her brother’s roommate. I know who’s, you know, of course who’s like been kind of an asshole to her, their whole life. She’s known them since growing up and whatever. And so then of course, you know, what happens to them in real life and what happens to them on the text and did they figure it out?
And it was cute. Okay. Sounds like you enjoyed it. I did. I mean, it was, you know, it’s like follows the classic romance pattern, but it was, it was a cute book. It definitely kept my attention. And I’m almost done with the new Emma job, which is called this time tomorrow. We’ve
[00:03:30] Nicole: discussed how you are 50, 50 mm-hmm Emma job.
Is this going to be more like a 7 25 75 now or
[00:03:41] Gayle: I think it will. And I think it will tip in favor of Emma job, cuz I like, this is probably my favorite of hers yet. Interesting. Okay. So it involves time travel. Oh yeah. That’s why yeah. Involves time travel and um, but I do. I am liking it. It’s not perfect.
It’s definitely not perfect. And like, I dunno, time travels so hard to write because it’s, so we’ve talked about this, that it’s so intellectually complicated and like strenuous, like you have to really think about it and it doesn’t logically work because time travel doesn’t really exist, but it’s it either.
There’s a lot to like about it. And I, I would say I’m two thirds done and so, or three quarters done maybe. And so I’ll, I’ll give a full report on our next show.
[00:04:25] Nicole: Okay, but
[00:04:26] Gayle: I’m, I am liking
[00:04:27] Nicole: it. That sounds good. Yeah. Maybe I’ll try that. I read, was it modern romance that I read by her? I think modern lovers, modern lovers that I read by her and I enjoyed it.
Yeah. I really like that book, but yeah, I’m not, I’m not sure about some of her others. Maybe I’ll try the time travel one. Did you read, um, all adults here? No, that was the one that came out last year, right? Yeah, I did not like that
[00:04:53] Gayle: one. and I had read the vacationers before that. Um, oh, you didn’t like that?
[00:05:00] Nicole: It was no, I did like that. I met in my
[00:05:02] Gayle: Orca. yeah, I did like that one. I don’t remember modern lovers at all. Oh yes, I do. They live in Brooklyn and one of like used to be a singer. Uh, yeah.
[00:05:13] Nicole: Yeah, there was some, yeah. One was a singer. There was a band or someone, something like that.
[00:05:17] Gayle: Yes. Yes. There is a band and now they’re like young parents living in Brooklyn.
Yep. This one is, um, this one is different. It’s about a woman who’s single and she is turning 40 and she, um, I don’t think I’m giving away anything. Cuz I think any of this would be like on the dust jacket. She goes to bed the night of her 40th birthday. Oh yeah. She wakes up and she’s 16 and she’s 16.
Yeah. Cause I’m just
[00:05:43] Nicole: like why 16? Why not 19 or,
[00:05:46] Gayle: well, I think that, that it, I think the 16 is really intentional because she’s still living at home. With her dad who is in real and, and when she’s 40, her dad is pretty sick and he’s in the hospital. And so she wants to go back in time. Once she finds herself back in time, she wants to see if she can figure out how to prevent his illness.
Prevent him from like, you know, ending up where he is at 70, which is where she’s left him. Also. She kind of wants to, well, she’s in her 16 year old body, but with thick sort of confidence and knowledge of a 40 year old woman, she wants to see if she can change the course of her own life. Like as far as like her dating relationships, things like that.
Right. And then of course, the question is if she does that, will she like what she ends up with? So I won’t say anymore than that, it’s it’s good. Like it’s, I it’s really good again. It’s not perfect. And I’m sure I’m gonna have complicated feelings about it when I’m done, but like, I, I am really liking it and I’m glad I’m reading it.
[00:06:43] Nicole: Well, that’s the important thing. Blow dry book. Blow
[00:06:46] Gayle: dry book is still marrying the ketchups. And I have no idea why that’s my blow dry book, because I really like it. And I should just like sit and read it, sit and read it. So maybe what I’ll do when I finish, uh, Emma Strub is just switch to fulltime on, um, marrying the ketchups , which is a, it’s a cute book.
I don’t know, for whatever reason it ended up on that counter. And then I just never moved it. Um, I also am gonna read from my book club. True biz. Have you seen that one out? It was. A book of the month pick like last month or the month before, it’s about, it takes place in a boarding school for deaf students.
And it’s kind of just all about deaf culture. And I think the author is deaf, so it’s like an own voices, um, perspective. And that’s scattered throughout the book. There’s like sign language put in there. So I’m excited to read that one. It looks. Okay. Yeah.
[00:07:39] Nicole: Well, looks like you got some good stuff coming up.
[00:07:41] Gayle: Um, yeah, what’s on tap for you after you finish. Can you tell us which book is the July release or you wanna just keep that a surprise? Okay.
[00:07:48] Nicole: So I read reputation by Sarah Vaughn and I don’t know, did you watch notes on the scandal, which is her, which is the Netflix adaptation of her book with Michelle Dery and.
Other people. No,
[00:08:00] Gayle: but I want to, I think we’ve talked about, this is the one about the politician. Yes, no, but you said it was really good. Yeah. I really
[00:08:06] Nicole: enjoyed it. And I had forgotten, I had read the book a while ago and so I had forgotten the twist. So it was, it was, it was nice to have some surprise there too.
Okay. I think some of the B beauty of watching book to movie adaptations is to just, just curious curiosity on my part to see how everything fleshes out, like how they’ve chosen to translate where people live and what they wear and what they look like. Um, but yeah, there were some, there were some surprises with this story.
So that’s the book that I read. It’s coming out July 5th. So I’ll talk about it a little bit in a minute. I’m still reading strangers on the train by Patricia Heis. Okay. I think that there is a disconnect with when I read books that are, you know, clearly set in a different time, like the seventies or the sixties.
Like it’s so different to read about a book written now and written in those time periods, as opposed to reading a book from those actual time periods. And I think this book came out in 1952 and I don’t know, I think one of the one of the big things that. Can kind of be a turn off or when I’m reading this book.
I mean, besides the fact that I’m just kind of like, you know, that these guys meet on a train, one wants his, I think he doesn’t like his dad. The other has been having problems with his wife and, you know, one of them is more driving this, you know, let’s kill each other’s people because there would be no way to connect us.
And so the guy who. Kind of, um, instigating all of this, they does, the way he’s described, he’s just kind of really gross. And he’s got this boil that’s in the middle of his head that they’re always talking about and drawing attention to. I don’t know. So, I don’t know if she’s trying to personify ugly in that particular way, but I’m about halfway through.
So I’m gonna get through that. And then I want to read this book called notes on an execution by Donya KA Kafka. Mm-hmm . I read her first. Her debut novel girl in snow, which I really liked. And this one is about a guy who’s on death row. Um, and I think he is, he’s been charged with like these crimes against women.
So the entire book is kind of told through the lens of women whose lives that he has affected as he is. I think he’s like 24 hours or 12 hours away from. Being executed. So it’s like told through the lens of his sister or a girlfriend or other women who’ve been pivotal in his life. So I’m kind of really curious to read, um, I guess this, that curation of this man and what they think of him and what their experience with him has been.
So that’s what will, that’s what I will be reading. Okay. I think at this point, because we do have quite a few books that we should jump into. Yes, and to our list. So why didn’t you catch us up? I think I had mostly July and a couple of August books. So why didn’t you tell us about the may and the June books
[00:11:14] Gayle: you have?
Yeah, it’s just one from may, which I didn’t mention. I don’t think I mentioned it on the last show. Although we might have talked about it is that Maggie Schad has a new book of short stories that came out a week ago. Did we talk about that already?
[00:11:27] Nicole: I feel like we did talk about short stories, but I am not completely certain.
[00:11:31] Gayle: Okay, well, I’ll just mention it briefly. Um, I’m a big Maggie ship’s dead fan. Although I still haven’t read the great circle. I’m a little daunted by how big it is, but I’ve heard. It’s great, but she has a book of short stories, um, called you have a friend in 10, a I’ve read good reviews of this. And a couple of, I don’t know, a couple of the, uh, Little premises sound good.
A love triangle plays out over decades on a Montana ranch, a hurdler and a gymnast spent a single night together in the Olympic village on the slopes of an unfinished ski resort. A young woman searches for her vanished lover. I don’t know, just sound very like, like intriguing, I think is the best word for it.
So I’m a big fan of hers. I really liked seating arrangements and I really liked astonish me, which is the one she wrote about, um, She’s kind of this web of relationships among a professional ballet company. And I think she wrote, um, what was the one she wrote before that maybe, um, seating arrangements astonish me.
Great circle. I’m trying to remember if there’s other ones, but I just, I just really like her books. I just love her, just her storytelling and her use of detail. And so I’m kind of curious to see, as we’ve talked about many times, I don’t love short stories just cuz I always find them a little unsatisfying in the end, but I don’t know.
I think I would take a chance with Maggie stead.
[00:12:48] Nicole: One thing I sometimes look at with short stories is to see how long they are. Um, sometimes it is. I don’t know. It’s just a little bit more helpful when you look at them. And if they’re a little bit longer, I kind of feel like maybe that will mean I’m gonna get a little bit more.
Mm. A little more heft. Yeah. A little bit more heft, a little bit more detail. Like maybe they will be a little bit more complete because like you with short stories, sometimes I feel like I start reading them and then. I’m left wanting, like, I want it more mm-hmm
[00:13:24] Gayle: I was, um, gonna look I’m on Amazon looking to see, you know, the preview, if the preview shows you like any kind of a table of contents or anything mm-hmm that would give you a sense of how long they are, but they don’t.
[00:13:37] Nicole: Yeah. And usually sometimes they’re shorter 10 to, you know, 20 to 30 pages and then you have the big novel that right. Anchors it.
[00:13:46] Gayle: Okay. Yeah, it looks like the good reads reviews are a little varied. so I’ve seen a five, a four, a couple threes. Okay. So mostly four. So sounds about right. Yeah. Yeah. So anyway, that came out on may the 17th.
So that’s my only may book since we, you and I have already covered may in June, but I somehow that alluded me when I made my list last time. So I just wanted to make sure I mentioned it here.
[00:14:13] Nicole: Okay. What do you got? All right. So my book that I finished reading, uh, when I was away with my family was reputation by Sarah Vaughn.
As I mentioned before, she has the Netflix, um, mini series on her that’s for her first book notes on a scandal, which I really like the adaptation mm-hmm. What’s really interesting about this book is okay. So Sarah Vaughn was a journalist and I think that she covered a lot of women’s issues when she was a journalist.
I think she wrote for the guardian before she became a novelist. And so her first novel was kind of about politicians behaving badly and it was all linked to this school, like the elite schools that they have in England and the bad behavior there and just, you know, how it’s a boys’ network and. the effect that it has, you know, when, when the politician is accused of rape.
So it looks at what happens to his story and it goes back and it looks at what happened, um, when he and his wife were in college. So this one is kind of interesting because this time she is also writing about a politician, but this is a female politician. So a lot of the focus is a bit different because it’s about how, when women are in power, They face a lot of vitriol in the form of comments or text messages, or just there is just an outpouring, um, that makes them really vulnerable and people dis expressing their opinions.
And, you know, I think there’s a power dynamic of whether people actually really want them to be involved in politics. So it’s looking at it through that lens, like the bullying and the sexism and. Um, just being attacked. And the story also is mirrored with her daughter facing similar issues in terms of being bullied in school.
Now all of this comes to a head when the politician walks in and she finds, um, that someone ha has died in her house. Like, it seems like he has fallen from the top of the stairs and. This is of course an issue. Um, at first she feels like she’s been broken in on, but as the story unfolds, we see that there’s like just more to everything that meets the eye.
And you wonder how her family is involved. And, you know, there’s a situation with her daughter and just what really happened that night. And I think it’s another good one. Uh, I enjoy her novels. I will caveat them with saying that. I think that there is. Sometimes she can get really into a lot of detail that can be on the dryer side or just like.
I feel like every day this woman came home and it was what she was doing for dinner and having to call her daughter, which of course are things that you do. Mm-hmm . But I think that I notice this with notes on a scandal. I don’t know if it’s like her journalism, the fact reporting that’s kind of getting in there.
And I do admit that I do love some of those details. I just don’t need them for every day. If you give them to me for one day, I’m good. But I know I have said that in the past to complaining about, well, how did they do this and how did they do that? Well, she’s gonna tell you right. She’s gonna have that detail there for you.
But I think it was really interesting to have, you know, the issues that women face when they’re older juxtaposed to the issues that younger women face when they are just. Kind of forming themselves and their identities. So to have that overlap, you know, she always approaches subject matter in an interesting way.
And it definitely became, um, probably halfway through the book, I will will say that there is a bit of a setup of their lives and stuff, but halfway through is when it really gets to rocken. It’s like what, what happened here? So I recommend it. I really, I really like her work overall.
[00:18:12] Gayle: and it fit you cuz you’ve read
[00:18:13] Nicole: by her books by her before I’ve read books.
I, yes, I read anatomy of a scandal. So I might end my whole experiment. Six, six months. I don’t know. This is not the year for it. I feel like things have popped up that I just need to read through lawyers by people I’ve never have not necessarily read their word before.
[00:18:31] Gayle: Got it. I was wondering what it might be that sucked you back out of it.
And it sounds like it’s the lore of thrillers that you find appealing. Yeah.
[00:18:39] Nicole: I’m still. Yeah, I’m not back on the really, really serious fiction yet. Or if I do read it, it takes me a long time and sometimes I just, you know, I don’t know. I find thrillers to be kind of mindless thrillers or romance romance.
[00:18:54] Gayle: Yeah. Got it. Okay. All right. Well, my next book is by Eleanor brown. It’s called any other family. She wrote a book called the weird sisters, which I did not read. I have
[00:19:05] Nicole: that on my list. I read the weird sisters.
[00:19:07] Gayle: Oh, oh, you’ve got this book on your list. Yep. Oh, okay. Uh, well this premise sounds irresistible.
So there are four siblings from one biological mother that get adopted by three different mothers. There’s a set of twins and then two others. And so there are, the kids are adopted into very different types of families. I think one is a single mother one. Um, a woman who has struggled with in, um, infertility for a long time.
And then the one, then there’s one who adopts the twins. And so they make a pact that they’re gonna try to give these kids a semblance of their family by staying in close touch and maintaining the relationship between the siblings. And I believe that when the book in building up in the book, they’re all going on vacation together.
And it’s all about, um, how these different adoptive mothers, you know, help sort of create this family when they all have a very different approach to family. And then I guess the birth mother, they find out that the birth mother is pregnant again. So there’s gonna be another sibling, which just adds more complication.
So, um, I don’t know. That sounds really good to me. Doesn’t it?
[00:20:18] Nicole: Yeah. I had highlighted that too. I was going to say that Eleanor brown, I, I feel like she really wants to explore those bonds between women. You know, it was sisters and it’s like, this is kind of a family of women who are trying to make a family out of their adopted children.
It sounds really interesting. Did you read the weird sisters? I did. Oh, and how was that? Okay. Yeah, I thought it was. What’s it about, do you have anything by Eleanor brown? I have not. Um, it, it is about three sisters. I believe they’re all named after characters in Macbeth. Maybe. um, I don’t know. I read that book so long ago that I’m sketchy on the details, but it was, it was, yeah, it was a novel of sisters.
They don’t all get along. Uh, for some reason I think they are called back into the orbit of their family. And maybe I wanna say that maybe the mother is sick or one of the parents is sick or has just died. And. That’s kind of like the issue that is forcing them back together, whether it’s, it might have been that they’re trying to take care of a sick parent and they have to come together to do that.
But yes, she definitely, I love the way she explores the bond of, of motherhood. And I do remember finding that book really touching. Okay. All right. What else you got? Oh yeah, that was not mine. sorry. Well, it was, and I stole it. I’m sorry. Oh, that’s okay. So the weird sisters though, but I wanna say it’s.
Sisters have returned to their childhood home. And I was trying to see what the oh yeah. Faced with their parents frailty. So they get together, they start examining their life. My next book also comes out on July 5th. It’s called Kia DASA. Second act. This sounds really heartwarming. It is about the bely family, or it becomes about this family.
It’s about this father though, who has regrets. He’s separated from his wife of many years. They’ve just gotten a divorce. He’s kind of at loose ends. He regrets the fact that he did not welcome his daughter more. when she told him that she was gay, but what happens is they go to clean out the attic in the house and he finds a book, um, that basically his daughter had written with her lover.
I believe. and he gets a second chance to like see what her life is like and, and to connect with her in that way that he finds really rewarding. Like he tells his wife about it and he’s super excited about it. And then they decide that they would like to, um, as an, as an homage to their daughter, he wants to put on a play based on.
Her, the book that they discovered in the attic that she had written, the only thing is they have to get permission from the Sy, um, his daughter’s lover. And so, you know, it’s just kind of all about the dynamics of this family and what happens as they try to get this play produced, you know, like what secrets come out, like what really drove the dissolution of.
His marriage and, and he gets to resolve some of his feelings and it says that it’s her second act, but it’s like, he gets a second chance to get to know his daughter. So sounds really good.
[00:23:35] Gayle: I had seen that book around when I was researching for this episode. Okay. My next book is called schmutz by Felicia Berliner.
It is a book about a woman in a Hasidic Jewish community who is. You know, supposed to follow all the rules of Hasidim and, you know, have an arranged marriage and kind of go by, you know, do the right thing, be the dutiful child. And she has a secret computer I guess, and becomes addicted to online porn. So while she’s kind of trying to live this life, she’s also sort of discovering like her own sexuality and exploring all these worlds that are very different and contrary to a strict Hasidic lifestyle.
So, um, it says a singular stirring and compulsively readable debut novel. It explores what it means to be fully realized sexual and spiritual being caught between traditional and modern worlds. And the cover of this book is hilarious. It’s basically, um, do you know what a Hamin Taschen is? Mm-hmm okay. So it’s a Hamin Taschen cookie, very strategically positioned.
make it look like, oh gosh, female body part Uhhuh. I don’t know. I’m sort of, um, like fascinated, obsessed slash repelled by Hasidic life. Like I find it so misogynistic and. Anti female. It just makes me crazy. And I, whenever I pass, like Hasidic women, sometimes I’ll be like, you know, in the park on a, you know, going for a run or something.
And I think that there are some Hasidic or maybe they’re just, you know, Orthodox. I don’t know if they’re actually Hasidic, but they’re Orthodox Jews that are walking to synagogue in the morning. And I see it’ll be like a beautiful summer day and there’ll be like a little boy who’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
and then the girl is wearing some long, you know, skirt long sleeves and there’s, you know, inevitably a mother pushing a stroller and the mother’s wearing some, you know, heavy clothes. And it makes me crazy that I feel like there’s such a double standard for how women are treated. in the Orthodox Jewish community.
And I’m like, sort of fascinated by it because it makes me angry and so, um, and I started to watch that series, um, Orthodox or unorthodox. Did you ever watch that on HBO or whatever network Netflix? I don’t remember which one it was on. It’s like I thought a woman, I
[00:25:55] Nicole: think Netflix and I did because I read the book as well.
[00:25:59] Gayle: Got it. Deborah Feldman, I think is her name. Yeah. Which is my sister-in-law’s name. Um, and I think I’ve watched a couple episodes of it and I know she escapes from her. She escapes from New York, I think, and goes to like Germany or something. Yeah. She goes from, yeah. Poland. Yeah. This one, I don’t know. This looks really intriguing to me.
This woman lives in Brooklyn also. And I, yeah, I think I, I would like to read this one. All
[00:26:21] Nicole: right. So my next book kind of dovetails with yours a little bit, and that it’s on religion. The name of it is Karin by Rebecca Morrow. And it is about this woman who is basically she’s raised in a fundamentalist church.
And you know, when she leaves she’s cut off from her family, she goes out, she builds herself a good life, but there is a boy that she’s left behind. and they say Enoch Miller ruins everything for her. It was always Enoch Miller. She’ll never get him out from under her skin. So they say the story set over 15 years and explores this relationship.
And you know, she, this is a guy that she knows that she can’t have. She’s been, I guess, in a sense, excommunicated. Um, she has a life that she really enjoys and it’s a good life based on principles that she wants to live, but she just can’t let this guy go. And it says, Corrin is the story of a woman who risks.
Everything she’s built for the one man. She can never have. Hmm. So. It’s supposed to be an unforgettable love story.
[00:27:28] Gayle: okay. Okay. My next one is called N S F w as in not safe for work. vice Paul Kaplan. Okay. Also has a pretty cool cover by Isabel Kaplan and this, uh, I, this is for me the year of the debut novel.
Like just, I keep reading debut novels. I keep being attracted to debut novels. I don’t know what’s up with that. And I guess it’s the opposite for you? Um, so far so far. So, this is about a young woman who, uh, lands an entry level job at a TV network in Hollywood. And it’s all about trying to make it as a woman in the industry and how, um, there’s, you know, so much sort of.
Sexism, you know, sexual harassment going on. Um, and she’s, you know, trying to sort of like create change she’s comes in very idealistic and she’s trying to create change from inside, um, and says when her personal and professional lives collide, threatening both the network and her future, she must finally decide what to protect the career.
She’s given everything for, or the empowered woman she claims to be. So I think it’s, you know, the tension between her ideals as a woman versus the reality of trying to succeed. In Hollywood and I don’t know. It sounds intriguing too.
[00:28:50] Nicole: It
[00:28:51] Gayle: does. Yeah. Since it’s pre it a book about pre me too Hollywood. Oh, yeah.
So it sounds like it’s, this was written, this was set or written before kind of light was exposed on this.
[00:29:07] Nicole: Yeah. I wonder what Hollywood is like now I would like to see a. About pre me to Hollywood or is it just kind of sliding back? Yeah. Um, all right. So let me see, you took my Eleanor brown book, but it’s fine. Katherine J chin. Um, we liked her book, her retelling of pride and prejudice.
[00:29:33] Gayle: Oh, yeah, I saw she has a new one out.
[00:29:36] Nicole: She has a new one out. Um,
[00:29:38] Gayle: what’s her new was the one that we read by her. Um, oh yeah. It’s uh, Mary. Mary
[00:29:41] Nicole: B. Yeah.
[00:29:44] Gayle: wait, is this the one where that involves Mr. Darcy? Yeah. Mary B. Yeah. Where there’s like an alternate ending for Lizzie and yes, Darcy. Yeah. Okay. Got it.
[00:29:57] Nicole: so she’s back. And this time she’s writing about Joanna.
It says it’s a stunning secular reimagining of the epic life of Joan, of arc in the bold tradition of Hillary Mantel’s Wolf hall. So it seems like this will have a decidedly different feel to it. I felt like Mary B, it was interesting. It definitely was an interesting take on. Pride and prejudice, I think, especially when it got more into Mary’s actual story and how she decided to live her life, but there were definitely comedic elements and surprising things on this.
I mean, Joan ARG’s story of course, is, is based on history and is also a tragedy. Um, so I don’t think that there will be those comedic elements. And if it’s, if they’re saying it’s in the vein of Wolf hall, then it there’s a heft and seriousness that would have to be. That I would expect from this. It says that in the myth in Catherine Jason’s hands, the myth and legend of Joan Nova is transformed into a flesh and blood young woman, reckless steel, wired, and brilliant.
It’s a deeply research, novel sweeping narrative of her life. So I feel like she’s gonna really bring us. The details. And I feel like I need to say something because it is Memorial day weekend, which I guess is the start of the summer season. So all of these helicopters are now more active, back and forth going, uh, from Manhattan to the Hamptons.
So , you might hear those in the background. They’re competing with me. It’s it’s ridiculous. This weekend. It’s.
[00:31:31] Gayle: What, um, why? So people are just helicoptering from the city of the Hamptons, all this Richie Richey’s. Yeah. oh, interesting. Basically,
[00:31:41] Nicole: like, I wouldn’t hear a lot during the winter, you know, every now and then I hear something, but the summer season you hear them all the time sometimes.
[00:31:51] Gayle: Oh my God. I just have to say that my dog, like. I I’m doing, I recorded my den at my desk and I did, I either did not hear him come in or he’s been under my desk for quite a long time, because I just felt something on my knee. I was like, what was that? and it was him. He’s been so quiet just sitting
[00:32:08] Nicole: under there.
Oh, that’s nice. He knows that you’re a podcasting yes. He’s
[00:32:13] Gayle: been very, very tolerant by the way. He’s still Hobart. We didn’t change his name. I still want Mr. Darcy, but it’s, you know, we’re like now we’ve had him almost three months. We can call him and. Yeah, I do sometimes call him Hoby and I think, I think Hobart has stuck.
So for those of you who heard us have this conversation where I was talking about, could we name him Mr. Darcy? I’ve been overruled. Can I just say that
[00:32:32] Nicole: it’s really hard to rename? I find it really hard to rename pat. Because I feel like by the time I figure out and try on a few things, yes, they are just who they are.
They’re who they, that’s the thing they are, who they are. I think then if you have a name that right away, that any pet that you have is just, you’re gonna be, I don’t know, Calpurnia or whatever, if you can do it right away, that’s what works. But if you get ’em home, like Walty, he’s a. His name was Walter when I got him.
Yeah. And, uh, he’s a black and white cat. So I was trying for domino or Dom or I don’t know something, but he is wealthy 16 years later.
[00:33:11] Gayle: Yeah. Yeah. no, that’s how it is. Yeah. Hobart he’s Hobart and he’s just, I had no idea he was under my desk. That was really funny. Oh, that is really sweet. Um, wait speaking of Mr.
Darcy, can I tell you, I just read an article that was an interview with Matthew McFadden and Colin first. Yeah. Did you read that? No, I saw it. I didn’t read it though. Yeah. And I guess they’re in a new movie together, but then there, they had a little discussion about both playing Mr. Darcy. And then of course I had to watch like 20 minutes of.
Kira nightly pride and prejudice. The end when she like he comes to her and is like, you know, I still love you. And, you know, tell me if you tell me that your feelings have not changed, I’ll leave you alone forever. And she’s like they have, and then they go to, um, Donald Sutherland and, and get his blessing.
And then, you know, anyway, I just have to watch that
[00:34:04] Nicole: that would be a good women’s pajama party sleepover. If you watch the pride and prejudice. I wanna say Greer Garson back in. Hmm. I don’t know. I don’t even know when that was, was Lawrence Olivia in that I have no idea how old that movie is, but to watch that one, to watch the BBC mini series with Colin fur, and then to watch how many more is it?
Just the one that Matthew Fain has been. Are there just three. I feel
[00:34:35] Gayle: like there could be a fourth and the common fourth one was not a movie. Wasn’t that a mini series? It’s like six episodes or something. Yeah. Yeah. That’s what I said, the BBC. Oh yeah. I right. Mini series. Um, I don’t know if there have been any other ones.
I know there’s been like a lot of retailings and remakes and right. Set in different places
[00:34:52] Nicole: and stuff. Yeah. Well that would be a good eight to 12 hours of .
[00:34:56] Gayle: Yes, it would. I think we’re due for another version of pride and prejudice to be made into a movie.
[00:35:02] Nicole: Right. That’s why I was wondering if there was another one.
[00:35:07] Gayle: I don’t know. Okay. Is it my turn?
[00:35:10] Nicole: I was so busy trying to see how many adaptations there have been, but
[00:35:14] Gayle: I think it’s just three. It is my turn. Okay. So mine, next one is getting lots of attention. So it’s called tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow by Gabrielle Zeon who wrote a book called young Jane Young, which I never read.
Did you ever read that? No. Okay. I have it on my shelf and I never read it. So this one is about a two college students who become best friends and they develop a video game together that makes them fabulously, wealthy and complicates their lives in relationships. Over the following decades, I have. Have this book on my radar for a while, but now that it’s getting closer to publication date, which is July 5th, I’m seeing more and more reviews about it.
And it’s called, I’ve heard it described as an exhilarating epic of friendship, grief and computer game development. This is a one of a kind achievement. So I do think it goes a little bit into the weeds on computer games. So I think that if you have literally no interest in that, that, you know, beware, but that apparently it.
Very well written and very engrosing and I’m just, I don’t know. I wanna read it.
[00:36:23] Nicole: um, so our friends or your friend? Jamie Ford.
[00:36:30] Gayle: Oh yes. Has a new one out. Have you seen it? No. What tell, tell them what’s about, is this on one of the ones on your list? No. Okay. I think you’ve, you’ve just did I kill him for you? I’m sorry.
[00:36:42] Nicole: I don’t think I read. I can’t remember if I read the, what was it? A house on a corner of bitter and sweet or something.
[00:36:48] Gayle: That’s the one I hated. Oh my God. I hated that. Book’s if I read that
[00:36:53] Nicole: or if I just have your memories of it. Oh God, I hated that book. Oh my God. Oh my God. So his new one is called a haunting love story. It’s the mini daughters of a he’s simply transcendent. He’s outdone himself. They say, I. Haven’t read what it’s about, but I did think I was like, oh, I have to bring this up to Gayle.
Just because there is another of his books out, uh, for you, for you not to read. Exactly.
[00:37:22] Gayle: Yeah. I saw, as soon as I saw Jamie Ford, I was like, pass. Mm.
[00:37:26] Nicole: Ding. So my next book comes out July 19th. It’s called briefly a delicious life by N Stevens. And it’s called it’s a, it’s an unforgettable debut. It’s a ghost story.
So it’s about this woman or this young girl in 1473. She’s 14 years old when she dies in a monastery. And then, and it’s a monastery in Myorca. I tell you these, I have to go visit Meor. No, I know to put it on the list. So 400 years later, George San, her two children and her lover come and they decide to live there.
And I guess Blanca, who is the 14 year old who died there in 1473 is kind of obsessed with them. And it, it follows her interactions with them. And you get to know her a little bit more. And the unrequited love story that she. So I can’t resist. I don’t know. I just can’t resist novelization of writer’s lives.
[00:38:23] Gayle: Hmm. Give me some other examples,
[00:38:25] Nicole: anything, anything that’s like a book about a writer like, um, F Scott Fitzgerald, or did, was it Terre? Oh,
[00:38:35] Gayle: Toren Falla. Did she write one?
[00:38:37] Nicole: Yeah, she wrote Zelda. So it’s kind of all about their dynamic and how much he actually plays your eyes from her. Like big sections of his novels came from her diaries or stories that she was, um, writing.
So there have been a number of books like that. I think same thing with Charles Dickens and kind of how he had a lover. And I think his wife would never divorce him or whatever. So he kind of lived with her separately. I think she might have been. With him when he died or maybe he was going to see her Geraldine.
Brooks wrote a really good one when she wrote March, which is kind of about Louise alcot’s life and her wild, wild father, like the religions that he was into, how he basically had them on the brink of starvation, like with his utopias, his utopic communities that really failed and did not work. Um, that was a really good one.
So. I mean this one, of course, veers into the fantastical. Some of the books that I’ve mentioned, there are not ghosts in them. They’re just very much, you know, straight, straight stories of what these authors lies were like or the scandal that was in them.
[00:39:46] Gayle: That’s so funny. That’s a whole genre of books that I would skip over.
[00:39:50] Nicole: Yeah, I guess I
[00:39:51] Gayle: don’t, I don’t know why, like the idea of writers, like maybe because the process of writing is so solitary that it doesn’t sound interesting to me to hear about it. I don’t know. I, I don’t know why, because obviously I’m very intrigued by writing,
[00:40:07] Nicole: but none of these, I don’t think any of these books are about their writing lives.
Like, I mean, Dicken. He. Kind of revolutionized or invented the literary tour, like because of his financial straits or whatever. And like he went on these long tours before anyone else was doing that in order to kind of promote his penny stories and to promote his novels. Um, He was legendary with his affairs.
Like I said, with, with March with, uh, Louisa may alcot’s father, he was just completely wild. Always had them on the brink of starvation and was always into these schemes that never worked out. She writes about like, um, I guess the farm that she writes about, not in little women, not in little women, but it appears in little men when Joe has married and she moves and she kind of starts this farm school with her husband.
It’s kind of like based on a fictionalized and romanticized version of what she used to live with her father.
I’m just saying it’s not so much about the writing as it is about the lives that yeah. Be completely out
[00:41:15] Gayle: there. Right. True. There are interesting personalities. I don’t know. I don’t know. Like I, can I tell you that anything related to FSCO Fitzgerald just kind of bores me. I don’t know why. Um, well
[00:41:25] Nicole: he was, he was kind of terrible, right?
[00:41:27] Gayle: but I just like, I’m not for whatever reason. I’m just not that interested. I don’t know. Maybe it’s
[00:41:33] Nicole: I don’t know why. I think that’s valid. I don’t know
[00:41:37] Gayle: if it’s valid, but it’s, I dunno if it’s rational. It’s just, that is how I feel. Um, okay. My next one is called the pink hotel by Liska Jacobs. And it is a book about a young couple who go to a Beverly Hills hotel on their honeymoon.
They go and stay in this hotel. Um, They are invited by the general manager of the hotel to come and stay there. I don’t think that they can necessarily afford to stay there by themselves, but there’s some reason why the hotel wants to get this guy to come and stay there. Cause I think they wanna hire him.
I’m not sure for what, and soon after they get there, wildfire sweep through the mountains and LA becomes. Um, you know, it says a pressure cooker with rides breaking out across the city. So the pink hotel closes its doors and barricades its guests inside. So you have guests and then you also have staff and the guests are very, very wealthy, you know?
Very sort of eccentric people who are staying there because they like to go someplace that they can that’s discreet, where they can kind of be UN, UN um, bothered. And so you’ve got this kind of little microcosm of, um, people that are stuck in this place. It says a blistering, dark social satire, the pink hotel exposes a tenuous class system within its walls, full of insurmountable expectations and unspoken resentments, which deteriorate as the city burn.
For some reason, this is giving me the leave the world behind vibes. but you like it? Um, yeah, looks good. Okay. Yeah. And that one comes out on the 19th of July.
[00:43:22] Nicole: Okay. How many more do you have? I just have one more. Okay. So then I’m gonna do one more. I’m just gonna briefly mention. Madonna who has a new book out called Haven?
I probably will not read it. I really do like her books. I feel like they get more and more obscure as she goes along. Mm-hmm room was like, I think the one that was pretty mainstream and modern because she writes a lot about. She, I mean, she’s a great historical fiction writer. This one, can I just say it’s about these guys?
Who not guys. I mean, they go to found a monastery. They want to go someplace. That is kind of untouched because they’re living in a time when there’s like plague and there’s lots of stuff going around. So it’s in seventh century Ireland and they want to just find someplace where they can go to kind of leave the world behind and establish their own community.
Um, where they land is like this bear island is not inhabited. Well, it doesn’t seem like it’s very sustainable, but that’s where they choose to kind of set up house. So it, the tagline, I guess, is in such a place. What will survival mean? So. You know, like I said, she’s a great, fantastic writer. I love her writing.
I think that the premises of her books, they just get more out, more and more out there. All right. So. We each have one more book. Mine is coming out August 2nd and it’s called when we were bright and beautiful. And it is a story about this family who lives on the upper east side, Kathy Quinn. It says that she’s 23.
She’s just gotten out of relationship with this older man. That’s kind of been devastating to her. So it talks about the three things that she knows just, um,
and one of them is that her brother has been accused that her brother is a rapist. It says, you know, she, she knows money. Can’t buy happiness, family matters most. And that her younger, oh, her younger brother, Billy is not a rapist, but he has been accused of this and he fits the type, you know, he’s from a wealthy family on the upper east side, he’s involved in athletics.
He goes to a, um, a very fancy school. So is he in high school? I don’t think, no, she he’s a junior at Princeton. Oh, okay. And he’s arrested. That sounds good for assaulting his ex-girlfriend so, yeah, so she is, it’s just like all of these things, he fits a profile. His sister knows that he has not done this, but he fits the profile of someone who would’ve done something like this.
So kind of looking at, you know, what image. I guess, how we interact with images and how this family now comes together, goes back to the upper east side to kind of circle the wagons and to defend their, you know, son, their brother. Mm. And, and it just talks about her, how her own experiences with an older man that she had issues breaking from kind of.
Influence the lens through which she looks at what’s happening in her family and, and her brother. So it does, it sounds really good when we were bright and beautiful by Jillian Madoff. That
[00:46:40] Gayle: sounds good. Is that her first book?
[00:46:42] Nicole: Um, no, I think she’s written quite a few. I’ve seen her name. Huh? That sounds great.
She wrote the national bestseller. I couldn’t love you more as long as well as the novels, this could hurt good girls gone bad and hunger point.
[00:46:58] Gayle: Okay. That’s what I thought she wrote. This could hurt this, that the one about is that a workplace book.
[00:47:03] Nicole: Oh, I don’t know. I’m just looking
[00:47:04] Gayle: at a list. Okay. All right.
Yeah. I think I’ve heard of her before. Okay. My last one is the last white man by Mohamed who wrote the reluctant fundamentalist Hamid. I’m not sure how you say his name. And he wrote exit west, which I did not read, but I did read the reluctant fundamentalist and I thought it was excellent. It’s a book about people’s skin starts changing colors.
So. People who are black start to turn white and people who are white start to turn black. So it’s not everybody, but it’s happening to some people. So people change race. And, um, it’s all about the overturning of an established order. Uh, some people see the transf, some see in the transformations, the long dreaded overturning of an established order to be resisted.
Whereas other people, it says change takes on a different shading, a chance to see each other. Face to face a new, so it’s obviously, you know, about racism and race and what does race mean? If we can change races and become different people says Humin, the last white man invites us to envision a future that dares to reimagine who we think we are and how we might yet be together.
[00:48:15] Nicole: The interesting thing about this to me is that, you know, of course we hear things like this and you think that that’s really wild, but I remember. Maybe three or four years ago, one of my friends went to a conference. She’s an insurance underwriter. And she went to a conference that was talking about, you know, people having pills to change their skin color.
And I was like, is that where we’re going? And I guess, whatever. Liability issues or how that was gonna be managed or whatever. But I think a lot of times novelists have access to information in terms of what’s coming. And so it’s just always, you know, there’s been a few books where it’s like either there was one, there was the black ass one where the, this guy turns complete.
The, the sky turns completely white, except for his butt is still black. I’ve never heard of that. . And then, and there have been others that kind of flirt with this when we do have the ability to change our race or when people wake up for a different race or, um, there’s a book whose name I can’t recall.
That is about a father, I think, who is trying to make sure that his son has access something to something that will change his race, even though he himself as a black man. So. It sounds really wild when you first hear about it and you hear these start these novels. And I almost think that some, in some ways they are to prime us for what is to come.
So on that note, We will continue to keep you apprised of books that are worth checking out as they become available over the summer. I think we just got through July maybe we can revisit again, but this time towards the end of the summer, like yeah. More books that we have discover we’re just at the beginning of summer, I’m sure there’s gonna be things that pop to our attention that maybe didn’t before.
And I’m excited that it seems to be a great summer for books.
[00:50:19] Gayle: Yeah, God so much good stuff out. All right. Well, if you’ve read any of these or you’ve got any of these on your list, let us know, be curious to know how they are, if we should pursue them or not.
[00:50:33] Nicole: Cause we definitely won’t get to them all.
[00:50:36] Gayle: no, we never do.
All right. Well until next time happy.
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