A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
It was a close race.
Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom. Survey at the bottom.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Copied from Goodreads:
También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
"Quite simply one of the funniest satirical novels of the last century." —Nancy Pearl, NPR's Morning Edition
The deliriously entertaining Cold Comfort Farm is "very probably the funniest book ever written" (The Sunday Times, London), a hilarious parody of D. H. Lawrence's and Thomas Hardy's earthy, melodramatic novels.
In Gibbons's classic tale, a resourceful young heroine finds herself in the gloomy, overwrought world of a Hardy or Bronte novel and proceeds to organize everyone out of their romantic tragedies into the pleasures of normal life. Flora Poste, orphaned at 19, chooses to live with relatives at Cold Comfort Farm in Sussex, where cows are named Feckless, Aimless, Pointless, and Graceless, and the proprietors, the dour Starkadder family, are tyrannized by Flora's mysterious aunt, who controls the household from a locked room. Flora's confident and clever management of an alarming cast of eccentrics is only half the pleasure of this novel. The other half is Gibbons's wicked sendup of romantic cliches, from the mad woman in the attic to the druidical peasants with their West Country accents and mystical herbs.
The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
From the pen of one of Iran’s rising literary stars, The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is a family story about the unbreakable connection between the living and the dead.
Set in Iran in the decade following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this moving, richly imagined novel is narrated by the ghost of Bahar, a thirteen-year-old girl, whose family is compelled to flee their home in Tehran for a new life in a small village, hoping in this way to preserve both their intellectual freedom and their lives. But they soon find themselves caught up in the post-revolutionary chaos that sweeps across their ancient land. Bahar’s mother, after a tragic loss, will embark on a long, eventful journey in search of meaning in a world swept up in the post-revolutionary madness.
Told from the wise yet innocent gaze of a young girl, The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree speaks of the power of imagination when confronted with cruelty, and of our human need to make sense of trauma through the ritual of storytelling itself. Through her unforgettable characters, Azar weaves a timely and timeless story that juxtaposes the beauty of an ancient, vibrant culture with the brutality of an oppressive political regime
I've been meaning to read this (or anything by Ursula K. Le Guin) for some time now. She's a big deal in fantasy/sci fi and apparently was a little bitter that J.K. Rowling ripped her off!
A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin:
Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.
Real Life by Brandon Taylor
Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends—some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.
To the Devil - a Diva! by Paul Magrs
Karla Sorensen used to be big in horror films. In the sixties and seventies no self-respecting low-budget bloody schlocker shocker was complete without her. She was well-qualified; after all, at the age of ten, she sold her soul to the devil.
Now, although spookily ageless, Karla is knocking on in years. Her residuals are drying up and she needs some cash, so she decides to return to the north of England to appear in Menswear, Britain’s most risqué TV soap opera.
But not everyone’s happy about her return to the fame game. Menswear’s current star, heart-throb Lance Randall is furious to hear that Karla is about to become his co-star. He hates her, he fears her, and he’s convinced that she’s come to steal his very soul. Dark clouds are massing around town – and deep, dark, devilish secrets are about to be unleashed . . .
Post recommendations for our 'Book of the Month' for July in the comments. Get them in by Saturday, June 27th at 2:00 pm MT so they may be included in the survey, which will become available at 3:00 pm.
If I were to suggest a theme for July, I would go with 'books about pie'. Cookbooks would be accepted but frowned upon (except for the pictures, which would be drooled upon). I'm mainly thinking about fictional tales in which a pie or pies play a significant role. Possibly a main character.