July 5, 2015

June 2015 Reads

June 25 Our Souls at Night Kent Haruf
26 The Jesus Cow Michael Perry
27 Manana William Hjortsberg
28 After the Red Rain Barry Lyga
29 Kitchens of the Great Midwest J. Ryan Stradal
30 The Room Jonas Karlsson
31 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Jesse Andrews
32 Twelve Days Alex Berenson
33 Everything, Everything Nicola Yoon

I'll read just about everything and anything.  I first requirement is good writing.  If a book is well written, I'll read it.  I read very little history, for this reason, few writers of history are good writers.  I just threw that last sentence in, I didn't read any history this month.

I did read three YA novels, After the Red Rain, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Everything, Everything.  They were all great.  I've read Barry Lyga previously and really enjoyed his writing.  After the Red Rain won't be released until next month, and I'd bet money that it'll be a movie.  As soon as I finished it, I sent to my daughter in NC, it's just her cup of tea, a powerful post-apocalyptic novel.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl was published a couple of weeks ago and has already been made into a movie.  It's actually a funny book and I'm looking forward to the movie, which won a prize at the Sundance Film festival.  Read the book, first!

I loved Everything, Everything.  I loved everything about it.  This was one of the Editors' Buzz books at the BEA in May.  It's a marvelous debut novel about a teen who is allergic to everything in the outside world.  She's been kept inside her home her entire life.  Of course, when she becomes enamored with the new boy next door, things change.  In spite of the potentially heavy subject matter, Yoon's writing is fresh and heartwarming.  It'll be released in September, put it on your list.

I have a list of "favorite" authors.  I read too much to just have a single favorite.  Kent Haruf is on this list.  This is his final book, and I'm so sad about his passing.   He writes about real people, the kind who might live next-door to you.   They live in Colorado in the North East portion, in a fictional county called Holt.  This book, Our Souls at Night, deals with two long-time neighbors who have lost their spouses.  This quote is from the publisher and sums up nicely how I feel, "Their brave adventures—their pleasures and their difficulties—are hugely involving and truly resonant, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature."

John Wells is one of my favorite fictional characters.  Twelve Days is Berenson's' ninth novel featuring John Wells and I'm not tired of him, yet.  I have stop reading series when an author has created a great character, but the stories become redundant.  Wells is a complex man who went deep undercover in the Middle East, after 9/11.  He converted to Islam.  He penetrated al Qaeda, he passed.  He's CIA.  Now, he's retired but has been drawn back to the chase.  If you haven't read this series, I recommend you start at the beginning with The Faithfull Spy.

The Jesus Cow by Perry is his debut fiction; his other books have been memoirs.  I can't review this better than the NY Times, so heren's another quote.  "bestselling humorist Michael Perry makes his fiction debut with this hilarious and big-hearted tale, a comic yet sincere exploration of faith and the foibles of modern life that blends the barbed charm of Garrison Keillor, the irreverent humor of Christopher Moore, and the audacious insight of Chuck Klosterman."

The Room by Karlsson is a debut original.  Karlsson is a "Swedish actor and playwright Karlsson’s short novel offers a monologue that builds from simple office satire to a reality-bending psychological profile with insights into the nature and importance of personal space." -- PW.  I really enjoyed reading The Room, it was very visual and I can see it as a film, too.

What are you reading?

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