Staff Favorites: Three novels to try this summer

My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozekicover of my year of meats
Documentary filmmaker Jane Tagaki-Little gets her big break when she is assigned to travel the U.S. in search of wholesome beef-eating families for a Japanese TV show, My American Wife, sponsored by a large beef-exporting conglomerate. The show is supposed to encourage more beef consumption in Japanese viewers, but Jane quickly turns the show into her own showcase for quirky but lovable characters (e.g, lesbian vegetarians) and an exposé of the cruelties and unhealthful practices of the meat industry. Laugh-out-loud funny at times, but be warned: you’ll never look at a burger the same way again. ~ Susan C.

How I Became Stupid by Martin Pagecover of how to be stupid
As someone who can sometimes feel a higher level of intelligence in comparison to the huddled masses, the idea that someone can somehow become “stupid” in order to make everyday life easier made me chuckle because I’ve felt that way before. I think my favorite part of the book is when the main character decides to try alcoholism, but first he must interview an alcoholic. After all his vain attempts to numb his intelligence, he comes to realize that being smart isn’t so bad after all. It’s a delightful read that even the most intelligent person will enjoy. ~ Kara

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmondcover of the year of fog
Who is author Michelle Richmond and how have I missed her? That was my first question after reading The Year of Fog, a page turner with a punch. The novel, the author’s third work, about a child gone missing (six-year-old Emma while in the care of Abby, her stepmother-to-be) is a unique combination of suspenseful plot, deeply developed characters and literate prose. Richmond devotes considerable attention to the subject of memory. Again and again, Abby goes back in time to dwell on the moment of Emma’s disappearance, adding considerable depth to the novel. ~ Susan F.

2 thoughts on “Staff Favorites: Three novels to try this summer”

  1. I’ll second this nomination as a good summer read. Here’s a review I wrote for our library in Columbia, CT. Just goes to show you, there are people enjoying good books across the whole USA.

    It must be a parent’s worst nightmare, the lost or missing child; but what if you’re not even the parent but the parent to be. This is the premise set forth in Michelle Richmond’s lyrical story, Year of Fog. Photographer Abby Mason takes her soon to be step-daughter, six year old Emma for a walk on the beach. In the blink of the shutter, Emma disappears into the San Francisco fog. The previous reviewer in our library found the book tedious. I would agree that the story could have been wrapped more quickly. Despite this and the see it coming plot line, the predictable part needs to be, to set stage for the unpredictable. A haunting exploration of love and loss; thought provoking and heartfelt to the end. A new author to add to my list.

  2. Great suggestions! I adore Ruth Ozeki’s books (try All Over Creation if you haven’t read it yet!). I hope she has a new one coming out soon.

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