“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James

Mr. James, I can’t help but agree with you. July passed by in a whirlwind, as it always does and always will. Here’s what you may have missed during the heatwave. I went on an epic journey through the internet jungle of Canadian, American, and Kobo bestseller lists, to update you on some great new summer reads.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

‘A book that blazes, glitters and cuts to the heart of who we are. I’m not sure that a book can do much more’ The Sunday Times ⁠— Lisa Taddeo’s debut novel is a record of unmet needs, unspoken thoughts, disappointments, hopes and unrelenting obsessions. Based on years of immersive reporting, Three Women is a groundbreaking portrait of erotic longing in today’s America, exposing the fragility, complexity, and inequality of female desire with unprecedented depth and emotional power.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

In this follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize, and National Book Award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating and driven historical narrative.

The Need by Helen Phillips

“This story showcases an extraordinary writer at her electrifying best.” Publishers Weekly — When Molly, home alone with her two young children, hears footsteps in the living room, she tries to convince herself it’s the sleep deprivation. But then the footsteps come again, and she catches a glimpse of movement. Suddenly Molly finds herself face-to-face with an intruder who knows far too much about her and her family. Molly slips down an existential rabbit hole where she must confront the dualities of motherhood: the ecstasy and the dread; the languor and the ferocity; the banality and the transcendence.

Costalegre by Courtney Maum

Voted a Best Book of July at The Washington Post and TIME Magazine. It is 1937, and Europe is on the brink of war. In the haute-bohemian circles of Austria, Germany, and Paris, Hitler is circulating a most-wanted list of “cultural degenerates”—artists, writers, and thinkers whose work is deemed antithetical to the new regime.  To prevent the destruction of her favorite art (and artists), the impetuous American heiress and modern art collector, Leonora Calaway, begins chartering boats and planes for an elite group of surrealists to Costalegre, a mysterious resort in the Mexican jungle, where she has a home. 

Only the Bold by Morgan Rice

In the final volume of The Way of Steel series, Royce finds himself transformed after looking into the magic mirror. Has he gained the ultimate wisdom? Or has he gone mad? Genevieve and Royce’s tragic romance finally comes to a head, culminating in a surprise twist that will change both of their lives forever. And amidst all of this comes the epic battle with the king’s armies, one that will determine the fate of the land—and the kingship—once and for all.

Child’s Play by Angela Marsons

In the latest installment of Marson’s bestselling detective series, Kim Stone arrives at Haden Hill Park to the scene of a horrific crime: a woman in her sixties tied to a swing with barbed wire and an X carved into the back of her neck. The victim, Belinda Evans, was a retired college Professor of Child Psychology. Then two more bodies are found bearing the same distinctive markings, and Kim knows she is on the hunt for a ritualistic serial killer. Linking the victims, Kim discovers they were involved in annual tournaments for gifted children and were on their way to the next event.

The Silent Ones by K.L. Slater

For lovers of The Wife Between Us and Gone Girl, comes K.L. Slater’s newest psychological thriller. When ten-year-old cousins Maddy and Brianna are arrested for a terrible crime, Maddy’s mother Juliet cannot believe it. How could her bright, joyful daughter be capable of such a thing? As the small village community recoils in horror, the pressure of the tragedy blows Juliet and her sister’s lives apart. And things get even worse when their daughters retreat into a self-imposed silence. Can anyone reach Maddy and discover the truth before her fate is sealed?

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger

‘Wise and addictive… a suspenseful, laugh-out-loud page-turner and an incisive inspection of privilege, race and class.’ The New York Times ⁠— Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. The story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate.

The New Girl by Daniel Silva

Daniel Silva fans can rest assured, his new thriller is electric. At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the beautiful raven-haired girl who arrives each morning in a motorcade fit for a head of state. She is said to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. In truth, her father is Khalid bin Mohammed, the much-maligned crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Once celebrated for his daring social and religious reforms, he is now reviled for his role in the murder of a dissident journalist. And when his only child is brutally kidnapped, he turns to the one man he can trust to find her before it is too late.

Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts delivers with another riveting romantic suspense novel. Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Everyone sees his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade and Zane escapes for college. Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own.

In Other News…

  • Romance Writers of America announced its 2019 RITA winners, 5/13 authors having been self-published! Check out the winners here
  • A rare original Harry Potter book, once bought for £1, sold for £28,500 at auction (BBC News)
  • Story time! The Guardian recommends that all adults read these children’s books: The Paddington Bear series by Michael Bond, His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

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