Julian and Jess’s Sweet Saturday Night Summer Picks
1. Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
-Debut. Tin House Books. Historical. Fiction. Lev Termen. Inventor of Theremin. Soviet Spy. First line: “I was Leon Termen before I was Dr Theremin, and before I was Leon, I was Lev Sergeyvich.”
2. Nevada by Imogen Binnie
-Truth is I haven’t read this yet, but it’s on my summer read list! Let’s just quote Michelle Tea here, “I want to stay in Maria’s brain forever as she rides her bike through the streets of Brooklyn, doggedly hashing out her existence with humor and befuddled honesty.” Also, a finalist for a Lambda literary award. Pretty excited about this one!
3. Happiness, Like Water By Chinelo Okparanta
-Debut. Short stories like my favorite stories that are full of hope, but often with a tint of sadness. Also expectations. Won a Lambda Literary award this year.
4. Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
-Comes out on THURSDAY! (July 10) First Novel. Really love this one. Told through different voices about several generations of the Bradshaw family and the men they love. Ocean and water are big themes as are captains.
5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
-Any author who gives a slideshow presentation on how he wrote a book and all the detours he took is on my fascination list. Father/ daughter and the father works in the Museum of Natural History in Paris. Yes. Stolen jewels. WWII. Besides someone came in and had to buy it because someone they knew fell down the stairs while reading it. Maybe I embellished that.
6. Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz
- Language so dreamy, so grotesquely vivid with syrupy sentences you’ll be re-reading for weeks. Don’t miss the chapter exploring the soul of a puppy.
7. Animal Wise by Virginia Morell
- Accessible yet thorough account of today’s research into the minds of animals. Loaded with stories that are amazing on their own, but with profound implications that will deepen your connection to animals and nature.
8. Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan
- Haunting and heartwarming picture book with gorgeous illustrations you’ll want to rip out and put on your walls. “Never ruin a perfect plan.”
9. Perfume by Patrick Süskind
- Creepy, sensuous, and engrossing with a protagonist both despicable and sympathetic. You’ll come out of this book feeling like an expert in conjuring scents… and corpses.
10. The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi
- Magical, eco-conscious English-language debut about a tsunami that slams a massive island of trash into the Taiwanese coast. “The trickling of water through the fissures in the subterranean rock was suddenly drowned out when the mountain made an immense but also somehow distant sound. Everyone fell silent.”