I don't really want to think about the fact that two weeks from today it will already be September. How did that happen? On the other hand, I don't count summer over until after Labor Day so that means there's still plenty of time to get to the summer books I haven't read yet. Here are six that remain on my list. Have you read any of them and can you recommend them? Which ones call to you?
Contemporary Life Around the World
- This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell. Set in Ireland and Los Angeles, this is a story of family, marriage and second chances. I loved O'Farrell's Instructions for a Heatwave, and her new novel promises the same astute insights into family relations mixed with a good dose of spot-on, sharp humor as a reclusive couple is forced to confront the realities of their past. (July, Knopf)
- Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan. Set in contemporary Singapore, this book has been called a modern-day Emma. Jazzy has decided to become match-maker for her BFFs, vowing to marry them all off by year's end. Caught between Asian traditions and global twenty-first-century dreams, Jazzy may have set her expectations a little too high. (July, William Morrow)
- Housebroken by Laurie Notaro. Life is hard when you're as far from a domestic goddess as it's possible to be. I'm looking forward to this set of essays about how Notaro copes with modern life while fighting her hording tendencies, failing to keep her house clean, and dealing with her missing crafting gene. These funny pieces sound perfect for the airplane or for relaxing by the pool. (July, Ballantine)
- Age of Consent by Marti Leimbach. Thirty years after she was seduced by the man who was dating her mother, Bobbie returns to her native Washington, DC to put him behind bars. After learning he had a history of abusing young teens, Bobbie finally finds the courage to confront him, her mother, and her own past actions. Is it ever too late to try to make things right? (July, Doubleday)
- Absalom's Daughters by Suzanne Feldman. Set in the 1950s and involving a road trip through the Jim Crow South, this novel explores sisters, racism, and dreams of easy street. As half-sisters Cassie (brown skinned) and Judith (white skinned) drive north to Virginia to lay claim to their late-father's estate, they learn the hard price of seeking freedom and that there's more to life than being rich. (August, Atria)
- It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. At twenty-five, Lily is financially secure and has a brand-new boyfriend. She's beginning to believe she's outrun her unhappy Maine childhood and slowly lets down her guard. But trouble follows trouble, and Lily finds herself living the very life she swore she would escape. Can the cycle of abuse be broken or will Lily have to run again? (July, Henry Holt)