You’ll find an interesting mix of fiction in July new releases. From a heart-warming story of a woman discovering her past, present and future to a short story collection of disquieting, topsy-turvy tales that blur the line between reality and fantasy. You’re sure to find something you’ll want to read.
1. The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs
Nancy Harper inherits her mother’s charming but unsuccessful bookshop in San Francisco. She also inherits caring for her beloved grandfather, Andrew, who’s health is declining. The best solution would be to move him to a nursing home, but she can’t afford it without selling the building that houses the bookshop. Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell.
Nancy wants her grandfather’s final years to be happy so she strives to make the bookshop and caring for her grandfather work. The bookshop needs some renovation if there will be any hope of saving the business. During the renovation she finds family artifacts in the building’s walls that help her discover the truth about her family. She also makes an unexpected friend who helps her move past her grief and look to the future.
“A wonderful exploration of the past and the future and, most importantly, of what it means to be present in the here and now. Full of the love of words, the love of family, and the love of falling in love, The Lost and Found Bookshop is a big-hearted gem of a novel that will satisfy and entertain readers from all walks of life. Lovely!”—Garth Stein, New York Times bestselling author of The Art of Racing In The Rain
2. What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas. She loves the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building and the butterfly garden. When the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter – a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s. However, when Duncan shows up as her new boss, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s stiff and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now Duncan seems determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security. Sam must stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.
“The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment.A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth.”―Kirkus (starred review)
3. The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal
Mary Robinette Kowal continues her Hugo and Nebula award-winning Lady Astronaut series, following The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, with The Relentless Moon.
“Kowal expands her Lady Astronaut alternate history series with this stellar third installment, set in the 1960s, a decade after the devastating meteor strike that led to the creation of the International Aerospace Coalition in The Calculating Stars. Nicole Wargin, an ambitious, driven, and passionate Air Force pilot turned Lady Astronaut, leaves her husband, Kansas governor Kenneth Wargin, on Earth to become one of the first inhabitants of a colony on the moon. As the head of the colony’s security, Nicole works openly to establish a habitat for humanity on the moon, and covertly to counter the efforts of the “Earth First” terrorists, who are intent on sabotaging the IAC and humankind’s expansion into space.
“Between lunar security crises and figuring out who she can trust among her fellow colonists, Nicole must also work through personal issues, including her struggle with anorexia and her now long-distance marriage. Kowal effortlessly blends espionage, spacefaring adventure, and social fiction, paying particular attention to the details of life as a female astronaut in the 1960s. This is hard science fiction at its most emotional, intimate, and insightful.”-Publishers Weekly
4. The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
Inspired by an astonishing true story from World War II, a young woman with a talent for forgery helps hundreds of Jewish children flee the Nazis in this unforgettable historical novel from the international bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife.
Eva Traube Abrams, a semi-retired librarian in Florida, is shelving books when she sees a photo in a magazine lying open nearby. She freezes. It’s an image of a book she hasn’t seen in 65 years – The Book of Lost Names.
The accompanying article discusses the looting of libraries by the Nazis across Europe during World War II. This is an experience Eva remembers well. Researchers are working to reunite people with the texts taken from them so long ago. The book in the photo, an 18th century religious text taken from France, is one of the most fascinating cases. Now housed in Berlin, it appears to contain some sort of code. Researchers don’t know where it came from or what the code means. Only Eva holds the answer. Will she have the strength to revisit old memories and help reunite those lost during the war?
“Not since “The Nightingale” have I finished a book and been so choked with emotion. Harmel was inspired by the true story of French citizens who fought against evil during WWII with courage and conviction. She shines a brilliant light on those who had their identities erased and lives destroyed, on a country and its people torn apart, and young women like Eva, who risked their lives with everyday acts of epic heroism. Sweeping and magnificent.” –Fiona Davis, author of The Chelsea Girls
5. I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura Van Den Berg
I Hold a Wolf by the Ears draws readers into a world of wholly original, sideways ghost stories that linger. These 11 stories confront misogyny, violence and the impossible economics of America with van den Berg’s trademark spiky humor. This book is uncannily attuned to our current moment and to the fears we reveal to no one.
In “Lizards,” a man mutes his wife’s anxieties by giving her a LaCroix-like seltzer laced with sedatives. In the title story, a woman poses as her successful sister during an Italian holiday, which brings strange and destructive consequences. While in “Karolina,” a woman discovers her prickly ex-sister-in-law in the aftermath of an earthquake and must face the truth about her violent brother.
Van den Berg presents a collection of women on the verge, trying to grasp what’s left of life. They are grieving, divorced and hyperaware, searching, vulnerable and unhinged. These women exist in a world that deviates from our own only when you look too closely.
“These disquieting, topsy-turvy tales by an ingenious author blur the borders between reality and fantasy to reveal the universal uncanniness of womanhood.” –O, the Oprah Magazine