I have approximately zero memories of the entire month of June. Just so you know. I’m fairly sure I took a lot of people’s exams and corrected a bunch of portfolio’s. But that’s about it. Did I even read any of the new books I talked about last month? Probably not. But none the less: here are the new releases July 2018 I’m most looking forward to reading!
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1. The Late Bloomers’ Club
Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her younger, free-spirited sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson.
Kit, an aspiring–and broke–filmmaker needs to generate funding for her latest project, and is particularly keen when they find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided–some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change–and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.
Time is running out, and the sisters need to make a decision soon. But Nora isn’t quite ready to let go of the land, complete with a charming farmhouse, an ancient apple orchard and clues to a secret life that no one knew Peggy had.
Troubled by the conflicting needs of the town, and confused by her growing feelings towards Elliot, the big-box developer, Nora throws herself into solving the one problem that everyone in town can agree on–finding Peggy’s missing dog, Freckles.
When a disaster strikes the diner, the community of Guthrie bands together to help her, and Nora discovers that doing the right thing doesn’t always mean giving up your dreams.
I don’t know why, but it feels like every single book I want to read, these days, at ome point features the phrase “disaster strikes”. That being said, this book does sound kind of nice, doesn’t it? 🙂
2. America for Beginners
Pival Sengupta has done something she never expected: she has booked a trip with the First Class India USA Destination Vacation Tour Company. But unlike other upper-class Indians on a foreign holiday, the recently widowed Pival is not interested in sightseeing. She is traveling thousands of miles from Kolkota to New York on a cross-country journey to California, where she hopes to uncover the truth about her beloved son, Rahi. A year ago Rahi devastated his very traditional parents when he told them he was gay. Then, Pival’s husband, Ram, told her that their son had died suddenly—heartbreaking news she still refuses to accept. Now, with Ram gone, she is going to America to find Rahi, alive and whole or dead and gone, and come to terms with her own life.
Arriving in New York, the tour proves to be more complicated than anticipated. Planned by the company’s indefatigable owner, Ronnie Munshi—a hard-working immigrant and entrepreneur hungry for his own taste of the American dream—it is a work of haphazard improvisation. Pavil’s guide is the company’s new hire, the guileless and wonderfully resourceful Satya, who has been in America for one year—and has never actually left the five boroughs. For modesty’s sake Pival and Satya will be accompanied by Rebecca Elliot, an aspiring young actress. Eager for a paying gig, she’s along for the ride, because how hard can a two-week “working” vacation traveling across America be?
Slowly making her way from coast to coast with her unlikely companions, Pival finds that her understanding of her son—and her hopes of a reunion with him—are challenged by her growing knowledge of his adoptive country. As the bonds between this odd trio deepens, Prival, Satya, and Rebecca learn to see America—and themselves—in different and profound new ways.
This story sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? It’s not #OwnVoices, which is something I’m trying to read more of, but I still feel like this could be a really interesting look into migration? Especially as the author does have that in her background as well 🙂
3. Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went From Being Scared of Everything to Only Being Afraid of most Things
For most of her life (and even during her years as the host of a popular radio show), Courtenay Hameister lived in a state of near-constant dread and anxiety. She fretted about everything. Her age. Her size. Her romantic prospects. How likely it was that she would get hit by a bus on the way home.
Until a couple years ago, when, in her mid-forties, she decided to fight back against her debilitating anxieties by spending a year doing little things that scared her–things that the average person might consider doing for a half second before deciding: “nope.”
Things like: attending a fellatio class. She did that. She also spent an afternoon in a sensory deprivation tank, got (legally) high in the middle of a workday, had a session with a professional cuddler, braved twenty-eight first dates, and (perhaps scariest of all) actually met someone who might possibly appreciate her for who she is.
Refreshing, relatable, and pee-your-pants funny, Okay Fine Whatever is Courtenay’s hold-nothing-back account of her adventures on the front lines of Mere Human Woman vs. Fear, reminding us that even the tiniest amount of bravery is still bravery, and that no matter who you are, it’s possible to fight complacency and become bold, or at least bold-ish, a little at a time.
Coming from someone who spends a lot of her time being afraid of things, people and situations? This sounds like the type of book I probably should (want to) read!
4. The Romanov Empress
Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in the final years of its long reign.
Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done, moving to England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir and becomes empress once he ascends the throne. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.
Her husband’s death leaves their son Nicholas as the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has lead her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.
From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.
You may or may not know this, but I have a “small” love for history. The English and Russian monarchies especially. I mean, my sister gave me a book about the Romanov’s literally just yesterday. Like, it’s a given to that extent. All of this to say: this sounds like just the kind of historical fiction I could just like!
5. The Impossibility of Us
When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.
But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?
I mean, I don’t know. It’s a romance, but with the kind of twist I’m quite curious about and this just sounds like the kind of book that could be really interesting? Even just the context of the brother’s death is something that I know nothing about. Cue me reading, right?
6. I can’t date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and other reasons I’ve put my faith in Beyonce
In the style of New York Times bestsellers You Can’t Touch My Hair, Bad Feminist, and I’m Judging You, a timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul‑searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.
It hasn’t been easy being Michael Arceneaux.
Equality for LGBT people has come a long way and all, but voices of persons of color within the community are still often silenced, and being black in America is…well, have you watched the news?
With the characteristic wit and candor that have made him one of today’s boldest writers on social issues, I Can’t Date Jesus is Michael Arceneaux’s impassioned, forthright, and refreshing look at minority life in today’s America. Leaving no bigoted or ignorant stone unturned, he describes his journey in learning to embrace his identity when the world told him to do the opposite.
He eloquently writes about coming out to his mother; growing up in Houston, Texas; that time his father asked if he was “funny” while shaking his hand; his obstacles in embracing intimacy; and the persistent challenges of young people who feel marginalized and denied the chance to pursue their dreams.
Perfect for fans of David Sedaris and Phoebe Robinson, I Can’t Date Jesus tells us—without apologies—what it’s like to be outspoken and brave in a divisive world.
#OwnVoices and a collection of essays? Just what I need for my summer reading!
7. 30 Before 30: How I made a Mess of my 20s, And You Can Too
Something was nagging Marina. As a freshly minted adult with student loan payments, a barely hospitable New York apartment, a “real” job she hated that paid her enough to get by if she also worked two other jobs, something needed to change. Over a few bottles of Two Buck Chuck, Marina and her friend each made lists of thirty things they’d do before the age of thirty. The first thing on Marina’s list was, “Quit My Shitty Job.” So she did, and just like that the List powered her through her twenties.
In 30 Before 30, Marina takes readers through her list and shares personal stories about achieving those goals. Ranging in scope from the simple (Ride A Bike Over the Brooklyn Bridge, Donate Hair) to the life-changing (Move to A Different Country, Become internet Famous), each story shows readers that we don’t all have it figured out, and that’s okay. But for Marina, she did become internet famous (a viral video of her quitting her job after moving to Asia has nearly 19 million views on You Tube) and now writes for Comedy Central’s hit show @Midnight, is also an in-demand stand up, and had a very popular Modern Love column published in the New York Times. None of that would have happened if she didn’t start her list that night. Thank you, Two Buck Chuck.
Told with humor and heart, 30 Before 30 will entertain, motivate, and challenge readers to get out of their comfort zones and live their best lives.
Hello from the girl that’s in her mid twenties and fairly sure she’s doing everything wrong. I’m basicaly just hoping this book will make me feel better about myself? And if not – that it’ll be vastly entertaining. Both are definitely possible, right?
And to think – when I started looking up books for the new releases July 2018, I felt like I wouldn’t be able to find any I liked. And now, instead, I’ve just gone and made my TBR even more unnecessarily big. Happy Summerreading, I guess? 🙂