“You don't need to be familiar with Chesnutt's or Hersh's work to appreciate this phenomenal book, but you will undoubtedly want to be once you've finished it. Hersh is a writer of intense and subtle beauty, and she will make you cry and feel a hundred other things with the power of her style alone. Through the tragic story of her close friend and tourmate, Chesnutt, Hersh evokes the torture of all that artistic genius encapsulates and makes that pain sing in a voice both opaque and elegant, grimy and pristine. Ultimately, this is a deeply affecting meditation on one's thrust toward 'important art' and on how music is a necessary expression of sadness and loneliness but also one of intense and inimitable beauty.” -Donovan
Emma Cline’s new book is about as good as debut novels (or novels in general) get. I’m not kidding. I’d be shocked if this book isn’t the runaway hit of the summer. It’s that good. The writing alone will capture you from the first page, but the impossibly realistic and vivid characters will keep you hooked the whole way through. Evie Boyd comes of age in 1969 California, and her formative experiences are rendered so perfectly that it felt like they were memories from my own life. But when Evie stumbles upon a culty, free-wheelin’ group that challenges all of her previous notions of what life is supposed to be, she is changed irreparably. If you liked Claire Vaye Watkins’ equally cultish Gold Fame Citrus, definitely pick this one up… and join us.
In classic Mary Roach style, Grunt explores the less-traversed side of military science, honoring those who devote their lives to the things us normal folk don’t even think about: penis transplants for wounded vets, military-grade stink bombs, and, of course, diarrhea. Grunt is just as hilarious as any of Roach’s others books, but it also sheds light on some seriously interesting stuff that goes on in hopes of keeping our soldiers safe. This one is great for laughs and is full of quirky scientists, but an important question undergirds much of the book as well: If we go through so much work to keep our soldiers safe, why not try harder to keep them home in the first place?
An intimate portayal of the enigmatic and troubled character at its core, Joe Gould's Teeth is both startlingly perceptive and seductively plotted. While providing a thorough study into the life of Joe Gould and his infamous manuscript, Lepore also transports you back into the NYC literary scene of the 1930s-40s. Don't let the size fool you, this is a great quick read with graceful, fast-paced prose and some serious emotional heft. -Donovan
"I love that it combined historical fiction with a strong female character's search for self." It appealed to both the nerd and the dreamer in me." ~ Nancy Shivers
A new novel by one of the greatest authors of all time, need I say more? I needn’t… but I’m contractually obligated to. With this new book, DeLillo packs the intellectual punch of White Noise or Mao II—big, expansive books that are seemingly about everything—yet this one reads as quick as his slimmer late novels. It’s all about cryogenic preservation of the brain/body, while still managing to be funny and absurdly entertaining. So read it. Death is not the end. -Donovan
Raymie Clarke's world has been turned upside-down and she's come to the conclusion that EVERYTHING depends upon her to fix it all up again. Her father has disappeared with a dental hygienist, and Raymie concocts a plan to get him to come home: She'll win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, get her photo in the paper, he'll see it wherever he's run off to, and just HAVE to come back. Raymie Nightingale is an amazing, sweet, and funny story of family and friendship. I think this is one that kids AND their parents will love reading together. - Amanda