Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Best 3 Books of July

I feel like I'm constantly behind, but even more so this summer. As a reader who wants to stay as current as I can with new releases, the sheer volume of incredible books coming out this fall is causing me anxiety! (But not real anxiety. Readerly anxiety. Which is different.)  Yes, there are so many amazing books on the horizon this fall, and I'm slowly starting to dig in -- the first of which wound up on July's best 3 (Ann Patchett's new novel). 

(Side note: I just started the new Lauren Groff, The Vaster Wilds, that's out in September, and oh my goodness. I'm only 70 pages in, but they're 70 of the best pages I've read this year.)

Here's the list of the best three of July:

Good Night, Irene, by Luis Alberto Urrea: If you read only one WWII novel this year, let this be it. Urrea is a consummate storyteller, and this novel inspired by his mother's service in the Red Cross, truly is the story he's been preparing his whole life to tell. It shows! 

The Celebrants, by Steven Rowley: Though the overarching conceit here isn't original -- the blurb copy even calls it a Big Chill for our times (though I'd suggest Matthew Norman's All Together Now is a better example) -- Rowley definitely makes this his own. The schtick here is that college friends gather for funerals, but the twist is that they person they're celebrating is still alive. The idea, and it's a good one, is to say everything you ever wanted to say to this person while they're still alive, to let them know what they mean to you while they can still take it to heart. This novel is sweet and funny and just downright charming. I even cried a little. It's a just a terrific way to spend a few summer afternoon hours.

Tom Lake, by Ann Patchett: Ann Patchett's writing is a warm blanket on a cold winter day. It's soothing. It's comforting. It makes everything okay. Some writers, for whatever reason (probably because they're very, very good) you just connect with. Patchett is one of those writers for me. So when Ann Patchett tells a story about a story being told, you know it's going to be good. And it is. Very good.

No comments:

Post a Comment