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57 Great Books To Read This Summer, Recommended By Our Favorite Indie Booksellers

57 Great Books To Read This Summer, Recommended By Our Favorite Indie Booksellers

By BuzzFeed

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About the list

This book list was created for you by Friendspire on 24 June 2021 based on a list by BuzzFeed.

Have you ever thought about why you like to read? What makes you so interested in reading books vs just "watching" a book? I mean the "Harry Potter" classics and films are about the same, right? (The answer to that question is no. Dear God, the answer is 100% no.) Well then, what makes you a bibliophile? Is it that scent of paperbac
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An Apartment on Uranus

2020 | Paul B. Preciado

A “dissident of the gender-sex binary system” reflects on gender transitioning and political and cultural transitions in technoscientific capitalism. Uranus, the frozen giant, is the coldest planet in the solar system as well as a deity in Greek mythology. It is also the inspiration for uranism, a concept coined by the writer Karl Heinrich Ulrich in 1864 to define the “third sex” and the rights of those who “love differently.” Following Ulrich, Paul B. Preciado dreams of an apartment on Uranus where he might live beyond existing power, gender and racial strictures invented by modernity. “My trans condition is a new form of uranism,” he writes. “I am not a man. I am not a woman. I am not heterosexual. I am not homosexual. I am not bisexual. I am a dissident of the gender-sex binary system. I am the multiplicity of the cosmos trapped in a binary political and epistemological system, shouting in front of you. I am a uranist confined inside the limits of technoscientific capitalism.” This book recounts Preciado's transformation from Beatriz into Paul B., but it is not only an account of gender transitioning. Preciado also considers political, cultural, and sexual transition, reflecting on issues that range from the rise of neo-fascism in Europe to the technological appropriation of the uterus, from the harassment of trans children to the role museums might play in the cultural revolution to come. An Apartment on Uranus is a bold, transgressive, and necessary book.

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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

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2020 | Deesha Philyaw

Rated by 2 people

"Tender, fierce, proudly black and beautiful, these stories will sneak inside you and take root." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "Triumphant." --Publishers Weekly "Cheeky, insightful, and irresistible." --Ms. Magazine "This collection marks the emergence of a bona fide literary treasure." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "Full of lived-in humanity, warmth, and compassion." --Pittsburgh Current "These are stories about Black women that haven't been told with this level of depth, wit, or insight before, so it will not shock me if Oprah gets around to selecting it before the end of the year." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions. There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher's wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta's "same time next year" arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other. With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

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Embassy Wife

2021 | Katie Crouch

"A smart, sparkling novel that is one part social satire, one part travelogue . . . Comical and cool.” —Oprah Daily In Katie Crouch's thrilling novel Embassy Wife, two women abroad search for the truth about their husbands—and their country. Meet Persephone Wilder, a displaced genius posing as the wife of an American diplomat in Namibia. Persephone takes her job as a representative of her country seriously, coming up with an intricate set of rules to survive the problems she encounters: how to dress in hundred-degree weather without showing too much skin, how not to look drunk at embassy functions, and how to eat roasted oryx with grace. She also suspects her husband is not actually the ambassador’s legal counsel but a secret agent in the CIA. The consummate embassy wife, she takes the newest trailing spouse, Amanda Evans, under her wing. Amanda arrives in Namibia mere weeks after giving up her Silicon Valley job so her husband, Mark, can have his family close by as he works on his Fulbright project. But once they’re settled in the sub-Saharan desert, Amanda sees clearly that Mark, who lived in Namibia two decades earlier, has other reasons for returning. Back in the safety of home, the marriage had seemed solid; in the glaring heat of the Kalahari, it feels tenuous. And the situation grows even more fraught when their daughter becomes involved in an international conflict and their own government won’t stand up for her. How far will Amanda go to keep her family intact? How much corruption can Persephone ignore? And what, exactly, does it mean to be an American abroad when you’re not sure you understand your country anymore? Propulsive and provocative, Embassy Wife asks what it means to be a human in this world, even as it helps us laugh in the face of our own absurd, seemingly impossible states of affairs.

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Ghosts

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2020 | Dolly Alderton

Rated by 3 people

***The first novel from the award-winning, bestselling author of Everything I Know About Love*** 32-year-old Nina Dean is a successful food writer with a loyal online following, but a life that is falling apart. When she uses dating apps for the first time, she becomes a victim of ghosting, and by the most beguiling of men. Her beloved dad is vanishing in slow motion into dementia, and she's starting to think about ageing and the gendered double-standard of the biological clock. On top of this she has to deal with her mother's desire for a mid-life makeover and the fact that all her friends seem to be slipping away from her . . . Dolly Alderton's debut novel is funny, tender and painfully relatable, filled with whip-smart observations about relationships and the way we live today. ____________________________________________________ Praise for Dolly Alderton 'Hilarious and moving. Alderton is Nora Ephron for the millennial generation' Elizabeth Day 'I loved it so much, I wanted it to go on forever, Dolly Alderton is so gifted at making people care. A rare talent' Marian Keyes 'A wonderful writer, who will surely inspire a generation the way that Caitlin Moran did before her' Julie Burchill 'Deeply funny, sometimes shocking, and admirably open-hearted and optimistic . . . Mesmerising, brilliant ' Daily Telegraph 'Sensitive, astute and funny' Observer 'Alderton's wise words can resonate with women of all ages. She feels like a best friend and your older sister all rolled into one and her pages wrap around you like a warm hug' Evening Standard.

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Mrs. March: A Novel

2021 | Virginia Feito

“I read Virginia’s novel in one sitting and was so captured by it I knew I had to make it and play Mrs. March. As a character, she is fascinating, complex, and deeply human and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into her.” —Elisabeth Moss A Jenny Lawson "Fantastic Strangeling Book Club" Selection Oprah Daily • Best of the Month USA Today • Books Not to Miss Who is Mrs. March? George March’s latest novel is a smash. No one could be prouder than his dutiful wife, Mrs. March, who revels in his accolades. A careful creature of routine and decorum, she lives a precariously controlled existence on the Upper East Side until one morning, when the shopkeeper of her favorite patisserie suggests that her husband’s latest protagonist—a detestable character named Johanna—is based on Mrs. March herself. Clutching her ostrich leather pocketbook and mint-colored gloves, she flees the shop. What could have merited this humiliation? That one casual remark robs Mrs. March of the belief that she knew everything about her husband—and herself—thus sending her on an increasingly paranoid journey that begins within the pages of a book. While snooping in George’s office, Mrs. March finds a newspaper clipping about a missing woman. Did George have anything to do with her disappearance? He’s been going on a lot of “hunting trips” up north with his editor lately, leaving Mrs. March all alone at night with her tormented thoughts, and the cockroaches that have suddenly started to appear, and strange breathing noises . . . As she begins to decode her husband’s secrets, her deafening anxiety and fierce determination threaten everyone in her wake—including her stoic housekeeper, Martha, and her unobtrusive son, Jonathan, whom she loves so profoundly, when she remembers to love him at all. Combining a Hitchcockian sensibility with wickedly dark humor, Virginia Feito, a brilliantly talented and, at times, mischievous newcomer, offers a razor-sharp exploration of the fragility of identity. A mesmerizing novel of psychological suspense and casebook insecurity turned full-blown neurosis, Mrs. March will have you second-guessing your own seemingly familiar reflection in the mirror.

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