This is The Book Bridge July 2016 edition—we’re connecting each other to great reads!
I’m thrilled to bring this to you, and so excited that some of you were excited to share the books you were most excited about last month. This is our first time here, and I hope it won’t be the last!
We have a mix of brand-new and backlist books, fiction and nonfiction, and a couple of audiobooks to talk about, so let’s get to it!
- All titles are affiliate links to Indiebound.
- Other links are to the contributor’s online review, if available, or to his/her website, if not.
- The commentary about each title was provided by the contributor and was not edited for content.
When I spotted this review I knew it expressed exactly the kind of bookish excitement I wanted to communicate through The Book Bridge, so I requested it from Katie at Words for Worms.
- Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, audiobook read by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Fiction: general (YA); available now)
I’m sure this book would be great to read just with your eyeballs because it’s amazing, but if you want to turn the awesome up to 11? Listen to the audio version narrated by Lin-Manuel Miranda! I’d recommend this book to anyone who has ever been a teenager, anyone who is interested in reading diverse literature, and all fans of Hamilton. Which is basically every single human on planet Earth. I’m prone to hyperbole when over excited, but do yourself a favor and read/listen to this book!
The other audiobook mention this month comes from the 2016 Audiobook Blogger of the Year, Candace at Beth Fish Reads.
- Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel, audiobook read by full cast (Fiction: SF/speculative/fantasy; available now)
One of THE best audiobooks I’ve listened to in a while. It’s a full-cast production and I felt as if I were eavesdropping on actual conversations. Don’t miss. And I understand it’s great in print too. (I wrote about it on Litsy.)
From Unruly Reader, a book I hadn’t heard about before:
- Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act by Barry Yourgrau (Nonfiction: biography/memoir; available now)
Hoarding: it freaks us all out, but still… pretty darn fascinating to read about. This memoir is snarky, self-effacing, and brutally honest, and it’s written by a guy who’s a writer first and a hoarder second.
I had trouble putting the book down. The tone is really engaging, and the subject matter is unusual.
Since I learned about this book from Bybee of Bluehearted Bookworm (who then Mailed Me Her Copy!) it has a Blogger Sisterhood thing going on, too.
And from Heather at Based on a True Story, a book I’ve been “currently reading” since April:
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (Nonfiction: topical; available now)
Poor black people in the southern U.S. are incarcerated in large numbers. Sometimes it is unjust. These are the stories of some of them and the lawyers working for justice.
On My Own Shelves (Or Heading There Soon!)
From Jeanne at Necromancy Never Pays, a novel that’s already in my TBR stacks:
- The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver (Fiction: SF/speculative/fantasy; available now)
It’s an imagined future world in which America has done what the UK did leaving the EU in June, 2016, the month this book was published by a London-dwelling but American-born author. The economic catastrophe is dramatically realized, and will make you want to become more informed about the complicated decisions and revisions that shape our world every day.
Kathy of BermudaOnion brought a book that will definitely be going on my wish list–I’ve really liked Jennifer Haigh’s Bakerton novels.
- Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh (Fiction: general (adult); available now)
I love the way Haigh explores relevant topics with characters who lead ordinary, everyday lives. In Heat and Light, she takes on the subject of fracking (which I knew very little about) and shows that there are no easy answers.
Brand-New and Backlist
Candace/Beth Fish Reads had two books she wanted to talk about this month–this is the one that’s not an audiobook:
- Wintering by Peter Geye (Fiction: general (adult); available now)
No one writes better about fathers and sons, family, love, and how place and your past can mold you. Strong, powerful, writing. Just trust me — read him. (I featured this book on Litsy.)
From the “never give up hope” files: Sarah at Puss Reboots finally got to a backlist title that’s been on her TBR list for over 10 years(!
- PopCo by Scarlett Thomas (Fiction: general (adult); available now)
It’s a wonderful blend of social commentary, mathematics, cryptography and cryptanalysis.
Amy Reads read an anthology that will add a lot to her TBR list:
- Sisters of the Revolution: A Feminist Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer (Fiction: SF/speculative/fantasy; available now)
Why pick just one book or author when you can sample a group of the greatest feminist speculative fiction stories around? This anthology collects an eclectic group of feminist authors of fantasy, science fiction, and horror published between the 1970s and today.
My personal favorite (which I admit I had read previously) is James Tiptree Jr’s (Alice Sheldon’s) “The Screwfly Solution”, but none of the stories disappointed – far from it, they each delighted me in their own way. The stories tackle issues such as misogyny, marriage, surveillance, gender, and power imbalances.
I am now on a mission to read more from each of the authors featured; I can’t think of any better praise for an anthology.
Chilling Reads for Hot Weather
We’ll wrap up this month’s list with a few suspenseful, mysterious novels, starting with this one from Ryan at Wordsmithsonia:
- Security by Gina Wohlsdorf (Fiction: suspense/mystery; available now)
Forgive me if I gush a little bit, but this has quickly become my favorite book of the year, at least so far. Despite the fact that this is a slasher novel, with all the blood and gore that entails, this is one of the most interesting love stories I’ve read in a very long time. It’s an aspect of the book that I’ve seen missing from a lot of the reviews I’ve seen for it, but the narrator of this novel quickly became my newest literary crush, and is a hero in every sense of the word.
Representing the multitudes of enthusiastic readers without book blogs, my friend Kim Tracy Prince:
- The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (Fiction: suspense/mystery; available now)
I judged this book by its cover – creepy, mysterious, intriguing description on the back cover – and it didn’t disappoint. This is a good mystery that jumps among three time periods without confusing the reader. There is a little bit of magical realism thrown in. A sister returns to her small hometown after their childhood best friend is involved in a grisly crime. She helps get to the bottom of why it happened, and the story is revealed to the reader through the memories of several of those involved. It’s a quick read, the kind you can’t put down until you find out what happens.
This month’s only “advance” read comes from Kay’s Reading Life–but the book will be out next month, so the wait won’t be too long:
- Sorrow Road by Julia Keller (Fiction: suspense/mystery; publication date: August 23, 2016)
I’m actually excited about the whole series that Julia Keller writes. SORROW ROAD is the 5th book, but start at the beginning with A KILLING IN THE HILLS.
Set in rural West Virginia, Bell Elkins is the county prosecutor for Raythune County. She has come home to help the people and area she loves so much. Her county has great beauty and serious crime problems – some due to vast poverty. Bell is tough and talented. She and her older sister came from an abusive background, which her sister protected Bell from as much as she could.
SORROW ROAD tells the story of 3 young men, best friends from WV, who participated in D-Day, came home, lived their lives, and now are in danger. Who would want to kill elderly men? What secret do they share? Mystery lovers who enjoy a vivid setting and a strong protagonist should try the Bell Elkins books.
THANK YOU to all of this month’s enthusiastic contributors!
I hope they’ve given you some good suggestions for your TBR pile. Submissions for the next edition of The Book Bridge will open during the first week of next month–I hope you’ll consider joining in to talk about one of the great books you’ve been reading this month!