Recommended Books: July 2024

July 2024 Books

Are you, by any chance, seeking some reading recommendations for the month of July? Serendipitously, we happen to have a couple of those at the ready for your perusal. We’re thrilled that a couple of old favorites of ours are returning with new, genre-defying books this month; throw in some moving nonfiction and thoughtful ruminations on creativity and you have a compelling selection to choose from. Here are our recommendations for the current month.

"Us, After"

Rachel Zimmerman, Us, After: A Memoir of Love and Suicide
(July 1, Santa Fe Writers Project)

“[P]eople need to allow their grief to evolve in organic ways. I hope this story gives people permission to do that,” said Rachel Zimmerman in a recent interview about her memoir Us, After. This haunting books finds Zimmerman revisiting her husband’s death by suicide and the effect it had on her and their family, and blends her journalistic craft with a singular emotional perspective.

"I Blame Myself But Also You"

Spencer Fleury, I Blame Myself But Also You
(July 2, Malarkey Books)

In her blurb for this collection, Amber Sparks called the stories contained within I Blame Myself But Also You “small gems,” which is a promising endorsement indeed. Fleury noted that “even characters we wouldn’t invite over for dinner can teach us something about what it is to be human, which is what all the best fiction does” about one of his other books, and that also makes for an enticing invitation to these unorthodox stories.

"The Last Sane Woman"

Hannah Regal, The Last Sane Woman
(July 2, Verso Books)

In a review of The Last Sane Woman in The Washington Post, Rachel Verona Cote hailed Regal’s “astute, often heartbreaking portrayal of women too blinkered by their dissatisfactions to regard others with clarity.” This novel tells the story of one woman’s journey into an archival correspondence from decades before, and the unexpected places it leads her.

"Grocery List"

Bora Chung (translated by Anton Hur), Grocery List
(July 5, Hanuman Editions)

We’ve long enjoyed Bora Chung’s unclassifiable fiction, and we’re thrilled to see that this month brings with it a new book of hers. In this case, it’s via Hanuman Editions’ series of short books; Grocery List, the book in question, combines a meditation on food and eating with elements of a ghost story. It’s a combination that has our interest piqued.

"Daughters of Chaos"

Jen Fawkes, Daughters of Chaos
(July 9, The Overlook Press)

The combination of images and settings on display in Jen Fawkes’s new novel Daughters of Chaos sounds thrilling. It’s about a woman spying for the Union Army in Civil War-era Nashville — and then throws a centuries-old secret society into the mix. It’s the kind of blend of real history and speculative elements that makes for a bracing experience.

"The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry"

Stacey D’Erasmo, The Long Run: A Creative Inquiry
(July 9, Graywolf Press)

We’re big admirers of Stacey D’Erasmo around these parts, whether she’s writing about the craft of literature or telling haunting, compelling stories all her own. Her new book explores questions of making art over the course of one’s life, and finds her checking in with a host of notable figures in different disciplines to get their input on things.

'Anyone's Ghost'

August Thompson, Anyone’s Ghost
(July 9, Penguin Press)

Advance word on August Thompson’s debut novel Anyone’s Ghost has been positive, with Publishers Weekly writing that it “marks Thompson as a writer to watch.” Also, we’re here for any books that can balance unrequited desire with heady discussions of the music of Metallica.

"State of Paradise"

Laura van den Berg, State of Paradise
(July 9, FSG)

A new book by Laura van den Berg is always cause for celebration, and State of Paradise looks like another welcome entry in her impressive bibliography. Combining an evocative Florida landscape with a plot that includes cults, ghostwriting, and virtual reality, State of Paradise transports the reader to several unexpected places — with thrills and revelations in store.

"Banal Nightmare"

Halle Butler, Banal Nightmare
(July 16, Random House)

Halle Butler’s previous books, Jillian and The New Me, transported readers into the quotidian lives and surreal frustrations of Butler’s protagonists. Her new book follows a woman who returns to her Midwestern hometown after the implosion of a toxic relationship and the emotional truths she must reckon with along the way.

"The Body Harvest"

Michael J. Seidlinger, The Body Harvest
(July 23, CLASH Books)

Do you enjoy your fiction with a good transgressive kick? Michael J. Seidlinger’s fiction has often explored unsettling feeling and unsettled minds; here, in the story of two people who are drawn to the act of getting sick and using their own bodies as incubators for new diseases, he’s taken things to a new and disquieting level. And yet it’s impossible to look away.


Note: all cover art and release dates are subject to change.

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