We love recommending the latest and greatest books to you, but there are always books that slip past us for recommendations because they’re already out, or our space is just too limited. As such we’re thrilled to let you peek onto the nightstands of our editors to see what they are all reading and what prompted them to pick it up.
Gayle Weiswasser, Web Editor: The Lemon Grove by Helen Walsh/ The Lemon Grove is about a family vacationing in Mallorca, where the addition of a new member – the daughter’s boyfriend – unsettles a middle-aged woman and sends her from attraction to obsession over the course of a week. The gorgeous summer beach setting and detailed, evocative writing are making for the perfect July read.
Candace Levy, Contributing Editor: The Girl Who Slept with God by Val Brelinski/ I found the premise of The Girl Who Slept with God to be irresistible. It’s bad enough that the eldest daughter of an Evangelical Christian family comes home from a missionary trip to Mexico pregnant, but when she insists that she’s carrying the child of God, her father reaches his breaking point. With only her younger sister for company, teenage Grace is sent to an isolated farmhouse to wait for the baby to be born. Set in rural 1970s Idaho, this story of sisters, faith, and family promises to be emotional and multilayered.
Jen Karsbaek, Editor-in-Chief: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie and All the President’s Menus by Julie Hyzy/ I’ve been hearing for years that I should read Bet Me, but the cliché-sounding plot dissuaded me. After the last round of enthusiastic recommendations, I finally gave in and MAN am I glad I did. Crusie’s novel is smart, sexy, body positive, and equally addictive and satisfying. Hyzy, on the other hand, I have been reading throughout her entire White House Chef Mystery series. This is without a doubt my favorite cozy mystery series; I adore the setting and the crafting of the mysteries. All the President’s Menus completely lives up to what I’ve come to expect from this series.
Nicole Bonía, Editorial Director: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole/ Another book I’m reading, Michael Knox Beran’s Murder by Candlelight: The Gruesome Crimes Behind Our Romance With the Macabre, sent me down the rabbit hole to read The Castle of Otranto—first published in 1764 by Horace Walpole. Beran says that Walpole “whimsically evoked the very Gothic ghoulishness the reformers of his time were trying to forget.” Others have called this the first gothic novel and have named Walpole as the forerunner to Poe, which made me very curious. I’m not sure just how scary this will prove to be—so far a giant helmet has been dropped on one character’s head, and a few people have seen some really strange things—but I do appreciate how accessible and easy to read it is, especially given how old it is. It may also inspire me to read Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho because I’ve only heard about that book a million times in other classic novels.