August book picks!
Summer started out with a lot of activity and my reading was a hodge-podge. I try to expose myself to a variety of authors, subjects and styles but I admit to avoiding sci-fi and fantasy. That said, here are some selections for August and I hope you will try something outside your comfort zone.
A past favorite was “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal. A life chronicle of the surprising and talented Eva Thorvald as she becomes a renowned chef by gift and grit. This is a lovely book and I can’t wait for his next novel which is to be released this week.
Two offerings for Anglophiles this month, “The Sentence is Death” by Anthony Horowitz is his usual multi-character, social norm skewering mystery. Similar only in that it is contemporary British crime drama, “Big Sky” by Kate Atkinson. This is the fifth in her Jackson Brodie series, but my first and it is excellent. You will go back and read the first page after you finish.
“The River” by Peter Heller was not quite the thriller I expected, but will have great appeal to outdoors aficionados. Canoeing on an isolated river, a wildfire, murder, treachery- it is a fast paced 250 pages by a well-known writer of articles in Outside magazine and others.
For a return to urban deception, infidelity and bad faith try “How Could She” by Lauren Mechling. Three female frenemies navigate life and career in the current world of media which has become akin to the gladiator games.
Taffy Brodesser-Akner has a cult following for her stories and profiles in The New York Times Magazine. “Fleishman is in Trouble” is her first novel and it is a corker. Her main character is an academic physician and she nails the pomposity of the doctors as well as the scurrilous politics. Adding in dating apps for adults, she has a sure-fire contemporary comedy. Don’t be too “judgey” about characters before you hear both sides of the story.
A far more lyrical book is “The Murmur of Bees” by Sophia Segovia. A runaway hit in Mexico, kudos to the translator for this stunningly written story of a mysterious boy raised by a well to do farming family in Mexico and his effect on their lives. Our book club read this and everyone agreed it was special.
“Lanny” by Max Porter was well reviewed. I tried it both written and as an audiobook but could not get through it. It was in another galaxy outside my comfort zone. If someone else read it and enjoyed it, I would love to hear from them.
Stay tuned- I have fabulous reads for next month queued!
Becky Bechhold is a Daniel Island resident who describes herself as “a voracious reader.” Prior to moving to the island, she was part of a book club that had met for over 20 years. She has a record of all the books they read!