It’s National Book Lovers Day and as you would expect, we’re pretty flipping happy here at BookTrib! It’s basically our holiday. So while you’re sitting at your desk, up to your ears in work, we’ve decided to take the day and just — read. Curious about what we’re reading? We’ve compiled a list just for you!
Here are the books we’re currently obsessing over that we just had to share with our fellow books lovers on National Book Lovers Day:
Sacred and Stolen: Confessions of a Museum Director, Gary Vikan (SelectBooks, September 20, 2016)
JeriAnn: I always thought that the Indiana Jones movies were a ridiculous exaggeration—surely no one in archeology or art would treat a historic relic so brutally. Where were the brushes and the careful wrapping? Well, as it turns out the world’s historic treasures haven’t always been treated with kid gloves. In fact, some were chopped into pieces with the idea that each chunk could be sold for increasing amounts. The man who has all the juicy stories about what really goes on when a priceless treasure makes its way to your local museum is Gary Vikan Ph.D., former director of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Vikan is something of a scholarly superstar whose sharp eye has spotted forgeries that no one else detected and has had some hair-raising adventures bringing great art to the public. And he’s funny as hell. A fascinating and fun read.
The Girls, Emma Cline (Random House, June 14, 2016)
Amanda: I am completely enamored with Emma Cline’s debut novel, The Girls. It’s the perfect mix between The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides and the 2013 film Thirteen, starring Evan Rachel Wood. Based on Charles Manson and his band of brainwashed hippies, The Girls presents a shining new voice in fiction. Cline’s perfectly executed prose maps out the path from girlhood to adulthood with a chilling clarity. This story makes it abundantly clear why some lonely girls stray so far from the right path.
Little Black Dress (Bookshots), James Patterson (Hachette, July 5, 2016)
Carole: I admit it. I’ve been consumed with the 2016 presidential election and everything that goes with it, and now, with the 2016 Olympics, there hasn’t been much time left for leisure reading. Thank you CNN, MSNBC, FOX and every other TV channel that blasts the news 24/7.
However, no matter how late I finally get into bed, I never go to sleep without at least catching up on a few pages from whatever book I’m into at the time. Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night (too much java) and pick up where I left off (I know, I’m pathetic). So, during this unconventional news cycle (yes, and addicted), my daughter found the most perfect series of books for me by my favorite suspense writer, James Patterson. These thrillers are meant for folks like me, running around so fast they can hardly keep up with themselves, never mind taking some time to pick up a good book. Shame on me – or not!
Bookshots, or as Patterson refers to these little 150-page-and-under gems: “All thriller, No filler,” are lightning-fast, original stories and perfect for anyone who loves a thriller but just can’t seem to find the time to RELAX!
But, I warn you, once you start a Bookshots you will not be able to stop because the endings come so quickly. Right now I’m reading Little Black Dress. I actually stopped reading for several nights because I didn’t want to get to the end. Beware, there’s even an app to go with them.
Carousel Court, Joe McGinniss Jr. (Simon and Schuster, August 2, 2016)
Mercedes: Now I’m never one to judge a book by its cover, however there was something about Carousel Court’s smooth finish and gold detail which caught my eye. And now that I have finished bingewatching Stranger Things I can finally occupy my summer nights with this riveting story of a family who stops at nothing to keep what they lost in a world where keeping up with the Joneses is not as important as Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Carousel Court sounds like a combination of Fun with Dick and Jane and the dangerous games from Gone Girl; how can I not read it?!
In honor of National Book Lovers Day, I’m turning the TV off and leaving my iPhone behind, as I enjoy McGinniss’ edgy novel from my garden outside.
How to Set a Fire and Why: A Novel, Jesse Ball (Pantheon, July 5, 2016)
Katie: This weird but totally awesome novel follows Lucia, a 14-year-old girl, as she struggles with her father’s death and her mother’s mental instability. Sounds pretty depressing, but Lucia has a resilience evocative of Holden Caufield; her internal monologue is bitingly humorous, unapologetically angry and extremely clever. At a new school, she discovers a secret “Arson Club” that she desperately wants to join, because her father’s Zippo lighter is burning a hole in her pocket. This book explores what it means to burn down your past to try and build a better future, but with sometimes destructive results. Ultimately, this novel is refreshingly challenging, and Jesse Ball creates a truly unique, rebellious voice that’s hard not to get wrapped up in.
Voyager: Travel Writings, Russell Banks (Harper Collins, May 31, 2016)
Matt: When I studied abroad in Europe in my junior year of college, I fell in love with exploring. There is no place on earth that does not have at least one interesting fact about it. People are definitely changed by the places they go and I was certainly transformed by European culture. Which is why I was totally enamored by novelist Russell Banks’ Voyager. Banks writes a series of travel essays reflecting on the places he’s been, the person he was and how he’s changed. Banks leaves nothing out: from exploring the Florida Everglades to eloping with his fourth wife to Scotland to traversing the rugged terrain of the Himalayas, it was one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read.