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What To Read: July & August 2019

Tuesday, Jul 02, 2019 at 4:13pm

A collection of recent books particularly recommended by Chris Hall. Look for our in-store What To Read display tables.

The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon. Softcover. $22.00. RRC Price $19.80. Phoebe and Will meet in their first month at university. Phoebe is a glamorous girl who blames herself for her mother's death. Will is a misfit scholarship boy. What he knows is that he loves Phoebe but, grieving and guilt-ridden, she is drawn into a secretive cult. When the group commits a violent act in the name of faith, Will confronts a new version of the fanaticism he's just escaped. The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores the world of religious fundamentalism. (Riverhead Books. August)

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh. Softcover. $22.00. RRC Price $19.80. Our narrator is young, thin, pretty, a recent graduate, works an easy job at a hip art gallery, lives in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan paid for, like the rest of her needs, by her inheritance. She should be happy, shouldn’t she? This novel is a powerful answer to that question. Through the story of a year spent under the influence of drugs designed to heal our heroine from this world, Moshfegh shows us how reasonable alienation can be. (Penguin. July)

Find more What To Read picks after the jump...


A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen. Softcover. $22.00. RRC Price $19.80. Andrei returns to Moscow from his life in Brooklyn to care for his ailing grandmother. He moves into the apartment that Stalin himself had given his grandmother, a woman who has outlived her husband and most of her friends, and she welcomes him into her home, even though she can't always remember who he is. Over the course of a year, her health declines and his politics and his allegiances are tested. Andrei is forced to come to terms with the Russian society he was born into and the American one he has enjoyed since he was a kid. (Penguin. July)

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. Softcover. $21.00. RRC Price $18.90. Maurice Swift is handsome, charming and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn't have is talent — but a writer can find stories anywhere. Maurice engineers an opportunity to tease out of celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann a terrible, longheld secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice's first novel. Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he hones his talent for deceit and manipulation in his search for stories. But what if he’s caught? (Doubleday. August)

Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart. Softcover. $24.00. RRC Price $21.60. Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed, he flees NYC on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler life with his old college sweetheart. His super-smart wife, Seema, has her own demons to face. How these two flawed characters navigate the chaos of their own making is at the heart of this exploration of the 0.1 percent, an unsentimental ode to what really makes America great. (Random House. June)

A Summer with Montaigne by Antoine Compagnon. Softcover. $22.00. RRC Price $19.80. Michel de Montaigne embodies the Humanist ideal: curious, measured, contemplative, witty, and urbane. What does Montaigne have to tell us about how to think and live today? Antoine Compagnon seeks answers to that question as he strolls through Montaigne's key contributions to our understanding of what is good and worthwhile in life. This book serves as both an introduction or a refresher to Montaigne’s unique brilliance, vitality and timeliness. (Europa. June)

She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer. Softcover. $27.00. RRC Price $24.30. Carl Zimmer presents an original perspective on what we pass along from generation to generation. But heredity isn't just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within us, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors, but we inherit other things that matter as much to our lives, from microbes to technologies. We need a new definition of what heredity is and this book delivers it. (Dutton. June)

The Seas by Samantha Hunt. Softcover. $21.95. RRC Price $19.75. Moored in a fishing town in the far north, the unnamed narrator of this novel is a misfit. Her father walked into the ocean and never returned, leaving his wife and daughter to keep vigil. Surrounded by water and beckoned by the sea, she clings to what her father once told her: that she is a mermaid. True to myth, she finds herself in hard love with a land-bound man thirteen years her senior. The fevered coming-of-age tale that follows blurs the lines between reality and fairy tale. (Tin House Books. July)

Categories: Saskatoon, Winnipeg, What To Read

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