10 Books to Read: Staff Recommendations, July 2014

1 July 2014 by 3 Comments

Staff Recommendations from Insatiable Booksluts

“JULY?! Did I miss June?”

Nay, nay. I just, I got in the habit of posting them at the end of the month? And then they looked like they were a month old? So these are really June’s, I’m just promoting them.

Here’s a few books that we think are awesome:

Samantha: The Martian by Andy Weir. It has a great first line, first of all. Secondly, the main character Mark Watney is engaging and funny, as he should be since you spend 75% of the novel reading his log entries while he’s stranded on Mars. His interactions with NASA and their cutting of red tape to do everything they can to save him is funny, touching, and sometimes very emotional. I especially recommend it if you enjoy science-y explanations of how things work.
[ALL THE DITTOS. I hearted this book so hard. – Nikki]
Buy the book (affiliate links help support IB! If you’re into that): Amazon | Powell’s

sj: Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. No, shut up, I’m totally serious. While I wouldn’t say that Tolkien is my all-time-favourite author, these books shaped me in so many ways. I’m hosting another group read this summer (starting July 1) cos I know so many people who have never read and/or finished them. You should join us.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Meghan: The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall. Golden Richards has 4 wives, 28 children, and a construction business that’s going under, so when he’s hired to build a brothel, he takes the job and keeps it a secret from his family. He then proceeds to have an epic mid-life crisis. The themes of the story apply to many American families, only with Golden’s, it’s multiplied and magnified; in a family that size, the joy is bigger, but so is the sadness. This book is simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking – I cracked up and I ugly-cried. Fantastic novel.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Sarah: The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna van Praag is the best book I’ve read all year. There is an old house that stands at the end of Hope Street. A house only visible to the women it calls- women who have reached the bottom of despair. If invited to see it, you may stay for 99 days, enough time to turn your life around, but not so much that you put it off forever. We follow three residents and the landlady as the subtly magical house heals their pains and nudges them toward the path to a brighter future. I missed my subway stop twice because I was so drawn into this book. It is magical realism at its best.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Tony: Under the Empyrean Sky by Chuck Wendig. It’s really been a while since I read a good sci-fi/fantasy book, but this one was a nice lovely romp in an interesting post apocalyptic setting. I would consider it a masterpiece of world building, and the characters were good, although I occasionally wanted to strangle POV character. The action was non-stop, and it took me back to my days of leisure reading as a teen. This one is part of a trilogy that’s still in progress, so the second book, Blightborn, is due to come out near the end of July.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Nikki: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor. Can we please talk about this? This is one of those books that had been on my radar for quite a while that I just. never. got. to. Until now. And what a mistake. Who Fears Death is a post-apocalyptic, sub-Saharan, fantasy-based (I needed another hyphen) tale about one woman who is born of violence, and will ultimately end the genocide against her people. The language is deceptively simple yet poetic, the names stuck in my head for weeks, and the magic a calming antidote against all of the violence and suffering in the novel. It’s not an easy read by any means, but it is a deeply satisfying one.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Satan: Written In My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon. the latest in the Outlander series, which, if you haven’t read, you’re really missing something. this one of course doesn’t fail to disappoint fans of the series – it has enough action in it for three books, and plenty of other craziness, as expected. with the simultaneously satisfying yet cliffhanger-y ending – i still have no idea how she does that, and i think it may be magic.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Susie: Plainsong by Kent Haruf. This book reminds me a little of Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer; it revolves around multiple characters living in a small, rural town. There a modicum of drama (a teen pregnancy, a failed marriage), some great characters . . . actually, the characters are the best: they’re all flawed, but mostly good, people. Not in a morality-tale kind of way, but in a round, complex, real-person kind of way. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, if I can get my hands on it.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Karalea: Transmetropolitain By Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. It is the first graphic series I read and changed my view on the impact illustrations have to the written word. The main character is a truth-seeking journalist in a futuristic world where commercials can brainwash you and drugs are the way of life. The not-so futuristic implications make it kinda scary and worth reading.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

Jericha: Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson. The idea of a “novel in verse” is ripe with potential for pretension, but this book is extraordinary – it actually packs an entire novel’s worth of plot and character development into a slim volume of elegant, powerful, gorgeous poems about a monster from Greek mythology going through a modern-day coming-of-age.
Buy the book: Amazon | Powell’s

What books have you read lately that you love? What do you recommend to us?


Susie is the Bitch-in-Chief at IB and is also a contributor at Book Riot. She's an ice cream connoisseur, an art fanatic, a cat-mommy of three, and a wife. She runs the @thebooksluts Twitter account and may be slightly addicted.

3 thoughts on “10 Books to Read: Staff Recommendations, July 2014

  1. Ellis’ novel ‘Crooked Little Vein’ is more in the Spider-Jerusalem-type-guy-fights-the-powers theme. That’s a good one, I came to that (and Ellis’ other long form work) after reading Transmetropolitan and not wanting the magic to end.

  2. Pingback: Summer Reading – Library Staff Picks | Charlotte Law Library News

  3. Pingback: Summer Reading – Library Staff Picks | Elizabeth A. (Betty) Thomas

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