On the bookshelf
10 July books for your reading list
If you purchase linked books from our site, The Times may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookstores.
Reviewer Bethanne Patrick recommends 10 promising titles, fiction and non-fiction, to consider for your July list.
Beach readings, more than ever, are in the eye of the beholder. An unusually thoughtful and fun romance? Sure. An old-school novel about land preservation in Maine, or a chilling tale of “The Island of Dr. Moreau”? Why not. How about a deep dive into the life and crimes of Harvey Weinstein? Or the tribulations of a Hasidic woman with an Internet porn habit? Whatever your taste or mood, July offers something to meet you where you are – or where you want to be.
Honey & Spice
By Bolu Babalola
Tomorrow: 368 pages, $28
(July the 5th)
This smart and sexy summer read, which hits your brain and your romance buttons in one fell swoop, stars Kiki Banjo, whose radio show “Brown Sugar” at a British university keeps her busy in the shadows – until she accepts a fake relationship with a new student and discovers that overexposure can be even worse than darkness.
stock market point
By Alice Elliott Dark
Scribner/Marysue Rucci: 592 pages, $29
(July the 5th)
Fancy an old-fashioned 19th-century novel – but without the time travel? “Fellowship Point” wins its nearly 600 pages with a quietly complex structure, featuring two women in their eighties whose lifelong friendship is tied to their families’ landholdings in coastal Maine. As they seek to save the acreage from development, Agnes Lee and Polly Wister must also confront their past choices and find some peace in the present.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
By Gabrielle Zevin
Knopf: 481 pages, $28
(July the 5th)
Zevin (“The Storied Life of AJ Fikry”) evokes a novel about game designers that has little to do with gaming – and a fierce love story between two people that has nothing to do with romance. Sam Masur and Sadie Green created their first hit game, Ichigo, when they were still in their twenties. Now incredibly wealthy, they have yet to figure out how to live a wealthy life, and their bond informs every step of a narrative that is, in fact, very much like a game.
By Felicia Berliner
Earpieces: 272 pages, $27
Step aside” Mrs. Fletcher. Take your seats, women of “Unorthodox”. It’s Raizl’s turn. prepare for an arranged marriage; instead, she stays awake at night watching muted steamy sites so as not to wake her sister Gitti. Transgressive and hilarious, Raizl’s story challenges everything we think we know about women, desire and religious faith.
The daughter of Doctor Moreau
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Del Rey: 320 pages, $28
Moreno-Garcia rewrote gothic (“Mexican Gothic”), noir (“Velvet Was the Night”) and now sci-fi in this take on HG Wells’ 1896 classic, “The Island of Doctor Moreau.” Carlota Moreau lives in the Yucatán with her father and his human/animal “hybrids”. Between the increasingly indiscreet patron Hernando Lizalde, his son Eduardo and a newly arrived alcoholic Englishman mayorthings are about to change for Carlota in surprising ways.
Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoirs of Politics and PTSD
By Jason Kander
Mariner: 224 pages, $28
(July the 5th)
PTSD can erupt months or years after the trauma experience, as was the case for Kander, a former Army officer whose first memoir, “Outside the Wire,” describes his experiences of active duty. . “Invisible Storm” details Kander’s long depression after pursuing a political career, leading to what he hoped would be a 2020 presidential bid. Will Kander attempt public office again? It doesn’t say here, but it does indicate that it works to heal, and for now, that may be enough.
End of Hollywood: Harvey Weinstein and the culture of silence
By Ken Auletta
Penguin Press: 480 pages, $30
Auletta first wrote about Harvey Weinstein in The New Yorker two decades ago, portraying it as a professionally unpleasant job at the time — but it wasn’t until the last decade, in which women have come forward and their stories of sexual abuse and rape culminated in his arrest in 2017, which Auletta was able to conduct and compile the interviews that make up this comprehensive and horrifically painful look at what makes monstrous behavior possible.
Normal Family: On Truth, Love, and How I Met My 35 Siblings
By Chrysta Bilton
Small, Brown: 288 pages, $29
This remarkable and wise book is actually two memoirs, woven together with so much tenderness that readers will come to seriously believe the tongue-in-cheek title. Born via a turkey baster to a lesbian mother with countless relationships and even more schemes, Chrysta and her younger sister only learned decades later that their family secrets included one that would change everything, including including their definition of “family”.
Crying in the bathroom: a memoir
By Erika L. Sanchez
Viking: 256 pages, $27
She’s already an award-winning poet, essayist, and novelist, with an acclaimed YA book, “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” made into a film by America Ferrera. Now Sánchez is also a memoirist, her smart, bristly voice animating connected essays about growing dark and depressed — but also obsessed with comedy. You’ll yearn for a sequel before you’ve even turned the last page.
Dirtbag, Massachusetts: a confessional
By Isaac Fitzgerald
OUP: 496 pages, $30
Is a dustbag a place, a person or even a profession? Fitzgerald, whose stations in life range from underprivileged working class to privileged boarding school to jaded sex worker, doesn’t just tell us about these things and more. He reflects on how his journey both shaped him as a man and helped change his view of masculinity, race and identity. And though his memories are steeped in considerations of manhood, he never excludes other genders or ways of being.