Let me be frank, July was far from a productive reading month. Between moving (a much greater undertaking than I’m used to) and work and writing and everything else, I had no time to read anything. Then my Book of the Month box went missing at my old place; then I lucked out on an amazing career opportunity, and the final straw was being met with resistance by my property manager trying to secure a space of my own. In all, last month was hell, in the literal sense of the word.
As quickly as it unfolded, however, things started looking up for me. I am almost settled into my new place; I’m more focused on work and writing than I’ve ever been, and thanks to BOTM’s stellar customer service team, I was sent a replacement shipment of books.
Which brings me to my closing statement before we discuss this month’s selections:
Dear Book of the Month, you guys are simply the best.
At a time when I felt defeated and exhausted after thinking someone might have actually stolen my BOTM books and bearing the burden of moving pains, you guys were sweet and generous enough to replace them, which was the kindest, most thoughtful and tear-jerking gesture. (Seriously, I’m tearing up right now…although it’s unclear whether this is due to this new eye cream having seeped into my pupils, but I digress.)
I cannot thank you all enough for showing such compassion to customers who fall on hard times and circumstances as I did last month. It was by no way expected that I would receive another shipment, and free of charge no less, but you all were so graceful and considerate with us, your customers, that I thought it necessary to recognize this amazing experience. Thank you all so much, I knew I made the right choice when I subscribed with BOTM a year ago today; and I am so glad you allow Paperback Paris to work with Book of the Month for our lovely readers.
A tear-stung biblio named Paris
These are Book of the Month’s August 2017 Selections
This post was not sponsored by Book of the Month.
Disclaimer (11/1/17): Please note that Paperback Paris is no longer affiliated with Book of the Month, and that the links mentioned in this post are no longer active.
If you have questions, direct them here.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies, John Boyne
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamorous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.
“As the book moves from 1945 to 2015, we follow sweet, well-intentioned Cyril as he embarks on a series of humorous and heartfelt adventures.” — Judge, Liberty Hardy
Thoughts: The premise of this one seems interesting but one of my greatest difficulties is following stories that date back so far into the past. I mean, yeah, the shifting of past and present narratives is enticing so who knows? It could be a good read, just not now — given the behemoth page count (500+), I probably wouldn’t finish this until the year is over. (I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m a patient reader.) Despite Liberty’s promising judgment, I’m not sure this book is what I am looking for this time around.
The Blinds, Adam Sternbergh
Imagine a place populated by criminals-people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who’ve been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don’t know if they’ve perpetrated a crime, or just witnessed one. What’s clear to them is that if they leave, they will end up dead.
For eight years, Sheriff Calvin Cooper has kept an uneasy peace—but after a suicide and a murder in quick succession, the town’s residents revolt. Cooper has his own secrets to protect, so when his new deputy starts digging, he needs to keep one step ahead of her—and the mysterious outsiders who threaten to tear the whole place down. The more he learns, the more the hard truth is revealed: The Blinds is no sleepy hideaway. It’s simmering with violence and deception, aching heartbreak and dark betrayals.
“Seamlessly mixes the western and thriller genres, crafting a tense and unsettling read that brings to mind Cormac McCarthy.” — Judge, Tyler Coates
Thoughts: This one sounds VERY interesting, and I love the concept of miscreants being given a second shot at redemption, and in the way of a new identity (what’s that about?). Coates’ bend towards McCarthy also makes this one really appealing. I may just grab this one as an add-on if not this go around, definitely in the future.
Fierce Kingdom, Gin Phillips
“The air crackles with malevolence and unbearable tension, as even the zoo animals, locked in their cages, sense the approaching violence.” — Judge, Sarah Weinman
Thoughts: Not sure how to feel about this one. In fact, I had an opportunity to pick this one out of a stack of ARCs eons ago, but I decided against it because of the cover. How horrible am I? There’s some strange, carousel-carnival-like thing to the cover that my eyes naturally averted, but Weinman’s summary is convincing. Even though I’m unsure about Fierce Kingdom at this time, I love thrillers, so it may be a good one to grab from the library at a later date.
Eat Only When You’re Hungry, Lindsay Hunter
In Lindsay Hunter’s achingly funny, fiercely honest second novel, Eat Only When You’re Hungry, we meet Greg—an overweight fifty-eight-year-old and the father of Greg Junior, GJ, who has been missing for three weeks. GJ’s been an addict his whole adult life, disappearing for days at a time, but for some reason, this absence feels different, and Greg has convinced himself that he’s the only one who can find his son. So he rents an RV and drives from his home in West Virginia to the outskirts of Orlando, Florida, the last place GJ was seen. As we travel down the streets of the bizarroland that is Florida, the urgency to find GJ slowly recedes into the background, and the truths about Greg’s mistakes—as a father, a husband, a man—are uncovered.
“Spoiler alert: bad choices outweigh good ones in this novel. And yet the hope is there.” — Judge, Nina Sankovitch
My August Pick: I rarely lean towards humor reads, but this one seems really good. I like the fact that there appears to be a bit of plot pushing and character developing elements to this one — a father quests to locate his missing son, all while having to brave his own regrets amidst his voyage? I can run with that. Thanks, Nina!
Little & Lion, Brandy Colbert
When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.
But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.
“A must-read for anyone who’s ever felt caught in between—places, people, identities, or two entirely different worlds.” — Judge, Katie Cotugno
Thoughts: I want to get involved in reading YA contemporaries with an LGBT curve, but I’m not sure I’m at that point just yet. While, on the surface, Little & Lion seems like it would appeal perfectly to the young, love-stricken youth of our bookish generation, I am not sure it’s something I would cling to right now.
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BOTM Specials for August 2017