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    26 books out in paperback this July!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    June 30, 2023, 4:54am

    July is just a day away, and, if that seems startling in its suddenness, what shouldn’t be surprising is that a new month is bringing with it a fantastic new list of books in paperback. Below, you’ll find a myriad of intriguing paperback editions of memoirs, novels from famous and new authors alike, short stories, histories, and book-length journalistic explorations of urgent topics.

    Some are playful and fantastical; some blend humor with incisive political commentary; some will make the mundane seem magical, showing you aspects of the world as if for the first time. If you missed these when they first came out, this is a great chance to add some (or many) of these to your to-be-read lists!


    Kaleidoscope - Wong, Cecily

    Cecily Wong, Kaleidoscope

    “Sparkling with sharp observations and deeply wise in its insights, Kaleidoscope is a moving portrayal of the tangled knot of sisterhood and the dizzying spiral of grief. Cecily Wong’s dazzling second novel deftly explores the complex push-pull of family and ambition, and the ways we learn to define ourselves in—and out of—our loved ones’ orbits.”
    –Celeste Ng

    Sirens & Muses - Angress, Antonia

    Antonia Angress, Sirens & Muses
    (Ballantine Books)

    “Donna Tartt’s The Secret History meets Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings in this entrancing portrait of 3 young artists who meet at an elite college at the height of the Occupy movement. Angress so deftly portrays the splendor and squalor of trying to create something great in the face of rampant capitalism, of love and lust in the face of tooth-and-claw competition.”
    Electric Literature

    Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm - Warrell, Laura

    Laura Warrell, Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm

    “Soulful… Structured like a jam session, the novel favors a series of riffs over any one melodic theme. Warrell gives a supporting cast of women their own solos, through close-third-person chapters that detail their entanglements with the elusive Circus… Elegant, unexpected and wrenching.”
    The New York Times Book Review

    The Summer Friend: A Memoir - McGrath, Charles

    Charles McGrath, The Summer Friend: A Memoir

    “To read Chip McGrath’s gentle, elegant memoir The Summer Friend, is to lose yourself in your own past summers, especially the ones of your youth, when you imagined there’d be an infinite number of them, and also friends to share those summers with. That both turn out to be numbered makes this book positively ache with beauty and loss.”
    –Richard Russo

    Calling for a Blanket Dance - Hokeah, Oscar

    Oscar Hokeah, Calling for a Blanket Dance
    (Algonquin Books)

    “Hokeah’s debut will feel familiar to fans of Louise Erdrich and Tommy Orange… A novel that builds in richness and intricacy… Another noteworthy debut in what feels like an ongoing renaissance of Indigenous peoples’ literature, both reflecting this lineage and introducing an exciting, fresh new voice to the choir.”
    Library Journal

    Show Them a Good Time - Flattery, Nicole

    Nicole Flattery, Show Them a Good Time

    “Flattery’s prose—absurd, painfully funny, and bracingly original—slingshots the stories forward. These female characters never say what you’re expecting, and their insights are always incisive… Nervy, audacious stories in which women finally get to speak their minds.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Soundings: Journeying to Alaska in the Company of Whales - Cunningham, Doreen

    Doreen Cunningham, Soundings: Journeying to Alaska in the Company of Whales

    “A striking, brave and often lyrical book that defies easy interpretation… Cunningham adroitly sidesteps much of the male-dominated narratives about whales and whaling, and clearly takes inspiration more from Inuit mythology than from Herman Melville. She and her son make for an unconventionally heroic pair… Her sensuous descriptions of grey whales and humpbacks provide some of the book’s richest passages; she looks at the whales and then looks at her son, looking at whales, which look back.”
    The Guardian

    The Poet's House - Thompson, Jean

    Jean Thompson, The Poet’s House

    “Wry, canny, and delectable… As a tribute to the soul-saving value of art, a cri de coeur for women striving to make authentic lives, and a pipeline of guidance from the elders to the emerging, The Poet’s House offers many rooms, infinitely worth the tour.”
    The San Francisco Chronicle

    Lessons - McEwan, Ian

    Ian McEwan, Lessons

    “McEwan’s new novel is a profound demonstration of his remarkable skill. Lessons progresses in time the way a rising tide takes the beach: a cycle of forward surges and seeping retreats, giving us a clearer and fuller sense of Roland’s life. He becomes a kind of Zelig character passing through momentous changes in the late-twentieth century. Indeed, even more than McEwan’s previous novels, Lessons is a story that so fully embraces its historical context that it calls into question the synthetic timelessness of much contemporary fiction.”
    The Washington Post

    Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America's Overdose Crisis - Macy, Beth

    Beth Macy, Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Opioid Crisis
    (Back Bay Books)

    “Macy’s gripping follow-up to the mega-bestselling Dopesick… turns the lens to the fight for justice, from the prosecution of the Sackler family to the reformers pioneering innovative treatments for the afflicted. Enlightening and exhaustive, it’s at once a damning exposé about greed and a moving paean to the power of community activism.”

    Illegally Yours: A Memoir - Agustin, Rafael

    Rafael Agustin, Illegally Yours: A Memoir
    (Grand Central Publishing)

    “Agustin offers poignant musings on the difficulties of existing in a country where the notion of race ‘is mostly understood as a Black and white paradigm.’ What emerges is an inspiring and often hilarious story that echoes Agustin’s mother’s refrain: “Dreams should not have borders.” Funny as he is, Agustin is a serious talent.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Briefly, a Delicious Life - Stevens, Nell

    Nell Stevens, Briefly, a Delicious Life

    “Exquisite … Though the novel’s most obvious selling point is its reimagining of Chopin and George’s brief and disastrous time on Mallorca, Blanca is the story’s heart. She’s a charming, witty character whose vulnerability and occasional gloom make her an irresistible narrator… The entire novel is imbued with reverence for small moments.”
    The New York Times Book Review

    Human Blues - Albert, Elisa

    Elisa Albert, Human Blues
    (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster)

    “Aviva Rosner is… a woman approaching her mid-thirties who really wants a baby, but seems unable to have one—at least not without the intervention of assisted reproductive technology, to which she is philosophically and even morally opposed. Aviva is the protagonist of Elisa Albert’s Human Blues, a novel told in nine chapters, each corresponding to one turn in the character’s menstrual cycle… Albert’s achievement in Human Blues lies in creating a character so difficult and contradictory that the reader can both love and hate her at the same time, like a friend whose strengths are inseparable from her flaws.
    Chicago Review of Books

    Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return - Mead, Rebecca

    Rebecca Mead, Home/Land: A Memoir of Departure and Return

    “A timely and powerful read… Home/Land certainly has a memento mori quality, but it’s not depressing. In embracing the complexities and paradoxes of home and belonging, Mead also finds solace, even joy. She captures brilliantly the bittersweetness of being far from home… Home/Land is a remarkable exploration of how being mindful of the past can enrich and imbue with urgency our everyday lives.”
    Los Angeles Times

    How to Be Eaten - Adelmann, Maria

    Maria Adelmann, How to Be Eaten
    (Back Bay Books)

    “If not for the title (its innuendo), if not for the cover (its brilliant and naughty heightening of the innuendo), if not for the premise (fairy-tale heroines in group therapy for their traumas), then read it for the question at the heart of the whole thing: Can telling your story free you from reliving your story? Maria Adelmann’s book reads quick and popcorny, like a reality show come to life. But it deepens as it goes, peeking at not just the wolves behind the camera, but those sitting, with popcorn on their laps, in front of the screen.”

    The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir - Rojas Contreras, Ingrid

    Ingrid Rojas-Contreras, The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir
    (Anchor Books)

    “Rojas Contreras brings us along as she is guided through the mesmerizing journey of her family history, which is defined both by the guerrilla warfare that eventually drove them out of Colombia when she was 14 and the lineage of supernatural gifts that she traces back to her grandfather, a curandero, or shaman… She juggles colonial criticism, explorations of marginalized cultures, and intricate analyses of family dynamics and makes it look easy.”

    Elizabeth Finch - Barnes, Julian

    Julian Barnes, Elizabeth Finch

    “Everything Barnes writes changes everything… Barnes’s latest novel, must be read at least twice for the full force of its voltage to be felt… A cryptic crossword of a novel, Elizabeth Finch is a trickier and even brainier version of Flaubert’s Parrot.”
    –Frances Wilson

    The Tatami Galaxy - Morimi, Tomihiko

    Tomihiko Morimi, The Tatami Galaxy (trans. Emily Balistrieri)

    “This is not your ordinary campus novel or another Groundhog Day. In magical, irreverent, and often humorous prose that calls up both Murakami and Moshfegh, The Tatami Galaxy repeatedly reimagines the existential crises of a college misfit in a kaleidoscopic display of imagination, character, and genre. There is no question why this mash-up of multiverse adventure and philosophy has already become a new classic.”
    –Sequoia Nagamatsu

    The Marriage Portrait - O'Farrell, Maggie

    Maggie O’Farrell, The Marriage Portrait

    “[A] poetically written, multilayered novel… O’Farrell creates another mesmerizing portrait of a Renaissance-era woman whose life is shrouded in mystery….Historical-fiction readers will love the cultural details, while Lucrezia’s plight speaks to modern themes of gaslighting and women’s agency.”

    A History of the Barricade - Hazan, Eric

    Eric Hazan, A History of the Barricade

    “”A History of the Barricade is essential reading for anyone seeking a guided tour of revolutionary Paris … Hazan’s book is arguably the most readable, and constitutes a marvelous introduction to the history of revolt.”
    Left History

    Bitter Orange Tree - Alharthi, Jokha

    Jokha Alharthi, Bitter Orange Tree (trans. Marilyn Booth)

    “[Alharthi] continues to demonstrate a deep sympathy for the ways women suffer and survive the vicissitudes of a society that gives them little agency. And fans will recognize Alharthi’s fluid treatment of chronology and setting, once again gorgeously translated by [Marilyn] Booth… Bitter Orange Tree is a story of mourning and alienation, and Alharthi has developed a tone that captures that sense of being suspended in the timelessness of grief.”
    Washington Post

    The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir - Newman, Paul

    Paul Newman, The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man: A Memoir

    “[W]hen news emerged that an unpublished memoir, once thought lost, had been discovered by Newman’s family and would be ‘revealing and surprising,’ fans braced themselves for the worst. Were we to be subjected to tales of Paul Newman, abuser of small animals? Paul Newman the devil-worshipper? Must every hero fall? But Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man… only burnishes his reputation. Not because he bangs on about his glorious deeds—in fact, he barely mentions them at all—but because this once very private man reveals so much of his fascinating, never disappointing self.”
    The Guardian

    When These Mountains Burn - Joy, David

    David Joy, When These Mountains Burn

    “Joy portrays his characters with unflinching realism. Creative turns of phrase and creative colloquialisms move the story forward and keep the otherwise disheartening subject matter full of thrilling surprises. As Southern noir-tinged fiction gains a well-deserved audience, Joy is one voice that never disappoints.”

    The Earthspinner - Roy, Anuradha

    Anuradha Roy, The Earthspinner

    The Earthspinner captures the mood of sectarian strife and futile fanaticism in contemporary India. And yet it is a quiet, gentle work, never gratuitous… Intricate yet intimate, the novel allows imagination to fill the rest—as all good fiction should.”
    The Guardian

    Thistlefoot - Nethercott, Gennarose

    GennaRose Nethercott, Thistlefoot

    “GennaRose Nethercott is a literary trickster god who has crafted a wonderfully imaginative, wholly enchanting novel of witness, survival, memory, and family that reads like a fairy tale godfathered by Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton in a wild America alive with wonders and devils alike. Thistlefoot shimmers with magic and mayhem and a thrilling emotional momentum.”
    –Libba Bray

    The Car: The Rise and Fall of the Machine That Made the Modern World - Appleyard, Bryan


    Bryan Appleyard, The Car: The Rise and Fall of the Machine that Made the Modern World
    (Pegasus Books)

    “This fond look at the history, development and significance of the automobile is supercharged by wonderful writing… As sharply as he draws portraits of the key players, Appleyard, one of the liveliest minds in journalism, is at his most acute when musing on the cultural effects of the car.”
    The Observer

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