Mrs. Biblioracle and I are heading to the mountains of Western North Carolina for the holiday weekend, so a couple of updates, some links, a reading companion, and of course, some recommendations is all I’ll have time for this week.
I have you, the Council of Wise Readers, to thank for this week’s column on why we should hold on to old books.
This same council of wise readers came up with some amazing recommendations of short story collections in last week’s newsletter comments. I’ve compiled all the ones available through Bookshop.org into an online storefront that I have creatively named: Short Stories Recommended by Me and the Council of Wise Readers. Pass it around, and let’s generate some donation money for Open Books.
The Washington Post tells you 20 books to read this summer.
The New York Times has 15 books you should look out for in June alone.
Roxane Gay will have her own imprint with her publisher, Grove Atlantic. This is a fantastic idea that other publishers should do more of. This smells like next week’s column topic to me.
I believe caution should be used when using review aggregators because what will move the individual reader is not something that can be tallied and quantified. That said, if you don’t know BookMarks put out by Lit Hub, it is kind of cool to get a snapshot of what folks are saying about different books.
Reading companion of the week
This is Houston, who is the store dog at my local indie, The Village Bookseller of Mount Pleasant, SC. I am assured that this is not a staged photo, that the books were propped on a chair and Houston decided it was a good spot and time for a nap.
Send a picture of your favorite reading companion to Biblioracle@substack.com.
All links to books on these posts go to The Biblioracle Recommends bookshop at Bookshop.org. Affiliate income for purchases through the bookshop goes to Open Books in Chicago. The tally stands at $66.90 for the year. If the amount grows at its current rate of around 10% per week, we’ll have over $700 at the end of the year. (I think, I’m not great at math.)
As always, recommendations are open for business. Follow the instructions at the link below.
1. Subdivision by J. Robert Lennon
2. Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer
3. The Cactus League by Emily Nemens
4. Memorial by Bryan Washington
5. Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner
Doug S. - St. Louis, MO
Doug seems to not mind a bit of the supernatural in his stories, which leads me to think of Lauren Beukes and The Shining Girls.
1. Titled Americans: Three American Sisters and the British Aristocratic World into Which They Married by Elisabeth Kehoe
2. Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork by Reeves Wiedeman
3. The Hospital, Life, Death and Dollars in a Small American Town by Brian Alexander
4. Slow Horses by Mick Herron
5. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stewart
Janet C. - Chicago, IL
Okay, it doesn’t take much to recommend this book because everyone has been talking about it, but sometimes I will get turned off by a book because everyone is talking about it, so I need reassurance that it really is worth my time. If you’re one of those, by reassured that Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Raddon Keefe is worth your time, and even if you think you know the story, you don’t.
1. The World-Ending Fire by Wendell Berry
2. Raft of Stars by Andrew Graff
3. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
4. The Holy Earth by Liberty Hyde Bailey
5. Under the Wave in Waimea by Paul Theroux
Dan B - Holland, MI
Wish You Were Here by Stewart O’Nan has the right emotional temperature for what I think Dan is drawn towards.
Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday.