Since the advent of the smartphones and low-cost data, people have forgotten what it’s like to read good novels. Well, it’s never too late. You can wind down in your favorite chair or stretch out on the beach with a plate of your favorite cookies and lemonade and enjoy a great read.
Here is my take on the top 5 novels to make your summer great:
This is the first novel by Will Leitch who is a sportswriter. It is a literary detective story starring an unlikely sleuth – Daniel, wheelchair bound 26-year-old who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. How Lucky spends time exploring how this condition, which makes every movement dangerous, feels from inside alongside witty observations about Georgia college football culture and life on social media until the narrative engine kicks in. A Chinese graduate student has disappeared and Daniel is the only witness.
Nella, an editorial assistant and the only Black employee at Wagner Books, initially hits it off with her new colleague, Hazel – The Other Black Girl until she begins to suspect something is off when Hazel catapults into office favorite status and a series of anonymous threatening notes that keep appearing on Nella’s desk. The book keeps the reader on their toes. What’s the source of Hazel’s easy popularity? Who wants Nella out and why? The unspoken camaraderie Black co-workers might share is dissected, twisted and turned on its head in this nail-biter.
Many of us spend time worrying about work and creeping deadlines. With the right perspective, however, deadlines can actually be a source of calm that allows you to take a break with peace of mind. Christopher Cox caught up with a bunch of high-profile, high-achieving people and organizations, like the chef on Jean-Georges Vongerichten or the Air Force’s hurricane response team to see how deadlines informed what they do. When you have a healthy relationship with crunch time, the book argues, you can do great work and enjoy vacation to the fullest.
Tragic Magic follows Melvin Mouth Ellington, a twenty-something Black man, and name stake of Duke, on his first day out of prison after two years served for refusing to fight in Vietnam. While Melvin’s first day on the outside and back in New York is seemingly full or reunions, flirtations and fights, he also constantly flashes back to scenes and decisions he made before and during his prison sentence. Tragic Magic is an often-dark look at gender norms, violence and the confusion of radical movements, yet the whole novel so obviously delights in the music of language that every page retains buoyancy. It also delights in literal music, too.
The author of Ten Seconds is back with a new novel. This one follows Ramada, the son of Syrian refugee and an African American woman whose family has lived in New Orleans for nine generations. Ramadan’s father left him and his mother before he was born, and when he turns 12, he decides to track down his dad, a journey that will take him from the Mississippi River to Aleppo. Stories about sons searching for fathers are common enough, but Edwards is an extremely uncommon writer. Ramadam Ramsey is a clever, moving family novel that will transport you across the globe, even though borders are still closed to many of us.