Looking for something to read? Here are a few things I have been reading this summer. Check out the new releases and notes on what I read last month and see if you can’t find something that tickles your fancy.
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage In this terrifying domestic drama, stay at home mom Suzanne is pitted against her mute but psychotic daughter. Who will come out on top when nothing will stop Hannah from getting her mother out of the way? This is basically a horror novel masquerading as a domestic thriller. It is super suspenseful and very, very dark. At times I had to read a little bit ahead just to make sure the events that were coming up ahead would be ones that I could stomach. That being said, I don’t know if “enjoy” is the right word for this book. I do know that I definitely could not put it down. Not for the faint of heart. Proceed at your own risk.
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin Literary fiction sometimes suffers from extreme navel gazing, lack of compelling plot lines, and lack of action. With Bearskin, McLaughlin shakes up the usual subtle musings found in more literary novels. He proves that literary fiction can be both compelling and action-packed. This rich and environmentally erudite novel takes place on a wildlife preserve maintained by Rice Moore. Moore is a reluctant caretaker, running from a questionable past that he hopes won’t catch up with him. When poachers start systematically slaughtering bears on the land he’s responsible for, Rice starts to suspect that it might have something to do with is cheered past. He sets out to find a way to save the bears, himself, and to finally put his troubles behind him once and for all. This is a suspenseful and thrilling page turner that I read in just a few days.
When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri When Katie Met Cassidy is a cool drink of water, perfect for a day of lounging by the pool or chilling at the beach. This light and perfect storyline follows the unexpected romance of down on her luck Katie, recently jilted by her fiancé with her best friend. Katie is trying to make the most of her circumstances by staying on top of her career and settling into her small, poorly furnished West Village apartment. Hoping to escape her loneliness she accepts an invitation to a hole-in-the-wall watering spot with an attractive lesbian work colleague and much ti her surprise she feels a spark. This is confection, pure and simple. Though unsurprising, I enjoyed the characters and the relaxed and fun writing style.
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
This book has gotten a lot of buzz and while my book club debated plot holes and its merits, I was enraptured. Set in Morocco in the late 1950s its the very atmospheric story between two college roommates that abruptly ends after an unforeseen tragedy, but picks up a year later when they meet agin in Morocco. This books has many flaws, some of the plot was pretty thin. I discussed it with my book club and it didn’t seem to hold ups to very close scrutiny, but I loved it. It was so atmospheric and maintained this creepy sort of gothic feeling throughout.
Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
Ghosted is a lovely and absorbing novel with a uniquely modern twist on the oft told tale of doomed lovers. Walsh has written a mesmerizing page turner that seamlessly marries romance, humor, and pathos with a compelling mystery. I loved these characters and was eager to see how, and if, their love story could have a satisfying resolution in the face of deeply held secrets.
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
This novel will draw inevitable and deserved comparison to The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Two young women meet and become fast friends. One has it all, and is seemingly willing to share it, and the other has almost nothing. One introduces the other to society and all its excesses- and it goes so well between them, until it doesn’t.Even though I could anticipate everything that was coming, I couldn’t put it down.
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
I loved this novel and I read it very quickly on a flight back from Las Vegas. It’s about a woman who fakes her own death and moves to a small western town after her father dies. His death is as mysterious as the disappearance of his fortune and that of his business partner (his daughter’s fiancé). This book meanders quite a bit and delves into the lots of history and minutiae but it’s so interesting. It has that gilded age/ Edith Wharton vibe.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
A man says goodbye to his wife and son when he goes to a bar to have a drink with an old friend, but is kidnapped before he makes it back home. What happens next and whether he gets back to his family, and who is behind his kidnapping are the questions to be resolved in this novel. This reads quickly, but I was more interested in the storyline and its flirtation with string theory that I was enamored with Crouch’s writing. I loved Good Behavior, and I imagine that I like his screenplays and how they translate on the small screen than reading his novels.