Summertime is for sunshine and flipping through pages of a book you just can’t put down. We put together a list of three novels of all different genres – because who doesn’t want to be well-rounded and well-read?
The Immortalists – Chloe Benjamin
The Immortalists follows the lives of four siblings born and raised in New York City in the 70s. One summer day, the second oldest overhears a conversation – there’s a woman in town with magical powers who can tell you the very day you’re going to die. So, he convinces his brother and two sisters to track her down and see for themselves. The four are given very different dates and the reader follows along until their end.
Why we love this book: It poses the question – do preconceived ideas and notions rule us more than we think? We watch these characters struggle with the idea of life, death and time. We watch them make decisions based on something they were told as a small child. This is a book where at the end you sit quietly and ask yourself that big question: what’s it all about?
Our Favorite Quotes: “Magic is only one tool among many for keeping one another alive.”
“The power of words. They weaseled under door crevices and through keyholes. They hooked into individuals and wormed through generations.”
For fans of: The Anatomy of Dreams, The Female Persuasion
Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance
Hillbilly Elegy, as the front cover reads, is a memoir of a family and culture in crisis – but it’s so much more than that. J.D. Vance is a self-proclaimed hillbilly, raised in Appalachia. His family moved to Ohio from Kentucky in search of a better life – but that’s not exactly what they found. Vance paints poverty but explains why and the characters of his life make the whole issue memorable.
Why we love this book: Vance paints his family, although possibly much different than yours or mine, in a way that is relatable and understandable. He describes why there is so much poverty and despair while simultaneously making you smile, growing ever fonder of the characters from his childhood. Vance made it out of Appalachia to successfully get a law degree from Yale. His tale however, will your open your mind as to why the United States is in the state it’s in.
Quotes we love: “Psychologists call it “learned helplessness” when a person believes, as I did during my youth, that the choices I made had no effect on the outcomes in my life.”
“There is no group of Americans more pessimistic than working-class whites. Well over half of blacks, Latinos, and college-educated whites expect that their children will fare better economically than they have. Among working-class whites, only 44 percent share that expectation.”
“I’m not saying ability doesn’t matter. It certainly helps. But there’s something powerful about realizing that you’ve undersold yourself—that somehow your mind confused lack of effort for inability. This is why, whenever people ask me what I’d most like to change about the white working class, I say, “The feeling that our choices don’t matter.”
For fans of: Evicted, Educated, The Glass Castle
The Woman in the Window – A.J. Finn
The one that will keep you on the edge of your beach chair, A.J. Finn’s debut novel is an unpredictable thriller at its best. A psychiatrist-turned-agoraphobe spends her days gulping wine, spying at the lives passing by her window, creating story lines as the line between fiction and reality gets blurrier. One day, she sees something truly horrifying, but does she REALLY?
Why we love this book: You’ll want to gobble this book up in one sitting – just don’t disregard the fact that it’s also smart and attentive. Polarizing protagonist, Anna Fox, will have you cringing at and rooting for – making for character development at its finest. The screen rights were sold before the book made it to store shelves. Though, it’s reading this story, and the mind’s ability to alter reality, that really does this mystery justice.
Quotes we love: “Streaks of rainwater like varicose veins slide down the umbrella.”
“You can hear someone’s secrets and their fears and their wants, but remember that these exist alongside other people’s secrets and fears, people living in the same room.”
For fans of: Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, Then She Was Gone