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    Julia Phillips! Tracy O’Neill! Reality TV! 20 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    June 25, 2024, 4:35am

    June, incredibly, is almost at an end, and, for many of us it’s been a month of many things, from the beauty of Pride Month and the recognition of Juneteenth to the sweltering weather of heat waves around the world and the subsequent packing of beaches and pools. Amidst all this, there are many new books to bring with you when you want some time to yourself in the sun or in somewhere delightfully cool, including, aptly, Frostbite, a new book by Nicola Twilley on how refrigeration transformed not only modern-day food and sensibilities, but what was possible to eat and conceive of. You’ll also find books about the invention of reality TV and its surprising cultural impact; new fiction from Alana Saab, Julia Phillips, Santiago Jose Sanchez, and many others; indigenous Guatemalan poetry by Humberto Ak’abal; and much, much more.

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    Read deeply (and somewhere with some shade, if possible).


    Please Stop Trying to Leave Me - Saab, Alana

    Alana Saab, Please Stop Trying to Leave Me

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    Please Stop Trying to Leave Me is a riveting, deeply funny, and acutely observed ride through the breaking down and rebuilding of self and connection. It’s a full sprint toward (and away from and back again) real love and meaning. Sharp and existential and devastating and queer.”
    –Jules Ohman

    Bear - Phillips, Julia

    Julia Phillips, Bear
    (Hogarth Press)

    “Julia Phillips’s rare and marvelous new novel weaves fairy-tale magic into a story of sisterhood, daughterhood, care, and devotion. Building with quiet fury to its astonishing ending, Bear will capture your heart and mind. I read in a state of wonder.”
    –Jessamine Chan

    Hombrecito - Sanchez, Santiago Jose

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    Santiago Jose Sanchez, Hombrecito

    “Sanchez’s powerful first novel follows a young boy from Colombia to the United States and back again as he struggles with abandonment issues, acclimating to a new homeland and grappling with his own queer sexual awakening.”
    The Washington Post

    Woman of Interest: A Memoir - O'Neill, Tracy

    Tracy O’Neill, Woman of Interest: A Memoir

    Woman of Interest is a memoir wrapped in a mystery—an inward examination of family, identity, and self, but also an actual gumshoe detective story that takes the author to the other side of the world. With each extraordinary, prickly sentence, O’Neill’s search for her biological mother is conjured with clarity and conflict. This is a work that is funny, moving, mean—an exceptional book from an extraordinary writer.”
    –Kevin Nguyen

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    Dancing on My Own: Essays on Art, Collectivity, and Joy - Wu, Simon

    Simon Wu, Dancing on My Own: Essays on Art, Collectivity, and Joy

    “Simon Wu’s debut, Dancing on My Own, is a genius melding of art criticism, autobiography, personal essay, and travel writing. Even more, it is an invitation into the art world from Wu’s particular Asian-American positionality and consciousness as he determines his place within it….Attraction, desire, identity, whiteness, liberalism, ‘queer ecologies,’ family, joy, defeat, and survival are all given close readings….I didn’t want the book to end….A must-read.”
    –Claudia Rankine

    The Garden Against Time: In Search of a Common Paradise - Laing, Olivia

    Olivia Laing, The Garden Against Time: In Search of a Common Paradise

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    “I’ve been a fan of Laing’s since The Lonely City, a formative read for a much-younger me…so I’m looking forward to her latest, an inquiry into paradise refracted through the experience of restoring an eighteenth-century garden at her home the English countryside. As always, her life becomes a springboard for exploring big, thorny ideas (no pun intended)—in this case, the possibilities of gardens and what it means to make paradise on earth.”
    The Millions

    If Today Were Tomorrow: Poems - Ak'abal, Humberto

    Humberto Ak’abal, If Today Were Tomorrow: Poems

    “This bilingual collection by the late Guatemalan K’iche’ Maya poet is a rapturous, often witty ode to nature in all of its infinite variety. Ak’abal’s writing is sometimes as sparse as haiku, yet every word is rooted deep into the earth. From the mighty power of trees and rivers all the way down to the most delicate birdsong, his observations show a poet with an acute attention to detail. Bazzett’s translation has an elegant economy, allowing Ak’abal’s fresh, rain-washed words to glow.”
    –Grace Harper

    The Liquid Eye of a Moon - Awoke, Uchenna

    Uchenna Awoke, The Liquid Eye of a Moon

    “[C]ompulsory reading for fans of Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Imbolo Mbue…[and] Chinua Achebe’s, drawing on oral storytelling traditions….Yet it also has notes of Homer’s Odyssey, introducing a deity whose whims and offenses lead to tragic results for the mortals who interfere. Awoke explores a part of Nigerian culture and tradition not often examined in literature by questioning an ancient and harmful caste system, and the result is a novel that is gripping and unforgettable.”

    Honey - Banta, Isabel

    Isabel Banta, Honey
    (Celadon Books)

    “Isabel Banta has delivered an all-access pass to the early-aughts pop world of my dreams in…this gorgeous, powerful, and unapologetic romp of a novel. Dripping with sweat, sex, and yes, honey, the character of Amber Young will forever redefine how we think of the perils of stardom, paparazzi, and becoming who you’re meant to be despite it all. Effervescent and full of energy, the lessons in Honey are as needed today as they were in the age of Y2K pop. A rare, shining star of a debut.”
    –Chelsea Bieker

    Practice - Brown, Rosalind

    Rosalind Brown, Practice

    “Each sentence is a taut, considered work of art….Every thought and distraction…is carefully described, and the result is hypnotic as the reader is drawn into Annabel’s world. Almost Virginia Woolf-like in its focus on the passing of time and somewhat reminiscent of the poetic prose of Eimear McBride (A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, 2014), this novel announces a unique and exciting new talent in British fiction.”

    The Grief Cure: Looking for the End of Loss - Delistraty, Cody

    Cody Delistraty, The Grief Cure: Looking for the End of Loss

    “In The Grief Cure, Cody Delistraty keenly weaves his own grief into a broader fabric full of curiosity and sorrow, investigating the numerous ways people have tried to heal or move through grief. Delistraty’s voice is insightful and attuned to nuance, exploring the dynamics of grief hierarchies and public performances, always returning to the crucial question that propels his inquiry: When is pain a problem to be solved, and when is it simply part of being alive?.”
    –Leslie Jamison

    Cue the Sun!: The Invention of Reality TV - Nussbaum, Emily

    Emily Nussbaum, Cue the Sun!: The Invention of Reality TV
    (Random House)

    “The finest kind of pop-cultural narrative history: inquisitive, discerning, surprising, thoughtful, informative, and lively; underpinned but not weighed down by its serious intent; and written with a storyteller’s verve, a journalist’s skepticism, a critic’s astuteness, and a fan’s loving eye.”
    –Michael Chabon

    My Roman History: A Memoir - Holstein, Alizah

    Alizah Holstein, My Roman History: A Memoir

    “More heartfelt memoir than dry history lesson, the product of Holstein’s lifelong fascination with Rome answers her primary questions: ‘What can an American tell anyone about Roman history? What could she say that an Italian had not already said? How could I know anything about Rome that an actual living, breathing Roman did not?’ She turns up plenty. An intriguing history of Rome as reflected in a scholar’s life.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Hey, Zoey - Crossan, Sarah

    Sarah Crossan, Hey, Zoey
    (Little Brown)

    “When London schoolteacher Dolores O’Shea finds her husband’s [AI] sex doll in the garage, a neatly organized life begins to crumble….Crossan has imagined her AI responses so brilliantly it hurts—she plays a much more profound role in what is ultimately a moving, troubling, even heartbreaking book….[Hey, Zoey] firmly places her in a group with Sally Rooney, Caroline O’Donoghue, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, and Eimear McBride, millennial Irish women writers we love.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Heavyweight: A Family Story of the Holocaust, Empire, and Memory - Brager, Solomon J.

    Solomon Brager, Heavyweight: A Family Story of the Holocaust, Empire, and Memory
    (William Morrow)

    “I learned so much from Heavyweight. As Sol presents their family’s story, I felt like I was sharing in their process of discovery, exploring the nuances of memory, research, trauma, and, yes, boxing. Sol’s beautiful, hand-drawn and painted comics weave together sweeping historical narrative with family stories of resistance and escape. Heavyweight is nonfiction comics at its best.”
    –Dan Nott

    Frostbite: How Refrigeration Changed Our Food, Our Planet, and Ourselves - Twilley, Nicola

    Nicola Twilley, Frostbite: How Refrigeration Changed Our Food, Our Planet, and Ourselves
    (Penguin Press)

    Frostbite is astonishing. From daring cryonauts to exhaling salad bags to gaseous apples, Nicola Twilley brings readers on a jaw-dropping voyage that lays bare the miracle, mess, and surprising ramifications of refrigeration. A must-read for anyone who eats or drinks in the twenty-first century. I can’t stop thinking about this book.”
    –Bianca Bosker

    Do I Know You?: A Faceblind Reporter's Journey Into the Science of Sight, Memory, and Imagination - Dingfelder, Sadie

    Sadie Dingfelder, Do I Know you?: A Faceblind Reporter’s Journey into the Science of Sight, Memory, and Imagination
    (Little, Brown Spark)

    “Sadie Dingfelder’s Do I Know You? is an ode to neurodiversity that is as hilarious as it is enlightening. Sadie is an heir to Mary Roach with her talent for making science engaging, strange and deeply funny. What a delight!”
    –Susannah Calahan

    Do Something: Coming of Age Amid the Glitter and Doom of '70s New York - Trebay, Guy

    Guy Trebay, Do Something: Coming of Age Amid the Glitter and Doom of ’70s New York

    Do Something is an absorbing account of [Trebay’s] coming of age in the fabled New York City of the 1970s….Trebay’s…vivid descriptions are cultural history of enormous value. These undergrounds were soon devastated by AIDS and many in the fascinating array of people Trebay met in those days probably would not be remembered were he not their witness. Memory here is both straightforward and complicated, honest and unsentimental in a way that Joan Didion would recognize.”
    –Darryl Pinckney

    Pictures and the Past: Media, Memory, and the Specter of Fascism in Postmodern Art - Bigman, Alexander

    Alexander Bigman, Pictures and the Past: Media, Memory, and the Specter of Fascism in Postmodern Art
    (University of Chicago Press)

    “In this illuminating book, Bigman challenges any erroneous misgivings about the Pictures Generation by brilliantly reconsidering the discursive context in which the famous artists worked. There he finds that their art was deeply political at its core, spinning from the collective memory of interwar fascism.”
    –Andrés Mario Zervigón

    Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life - Jabr, Ferris

    Ferris Jabr, Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life
    (Random House)

    “With the curiosity of a reporter, the mind of a scientist, and the lyricism of a poet, Jabr explores the extraordinary tapestry of life.”
    –Ed Yong

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