Reading Recap: July Highlights

Whoa, dudes. HOW IS IT ALMOST AUGUST ALREADY!? I'm not really ready to be entering the final month of summer, though I'll admit that the 90+ degree temperatures with 1,000% humidity levels here have been getting to me lately. Luckily, I was able to read through most of the worst weather, and I'm happy to report that temperatures have been holding at a steady mid-80s for the last few days, so the air no longer feels quite so much like pudding.

Here's a recap of some of my highlights from July:

How Should a Person Be?, by Sheila Heti: I finished this in early July, and I still haven't reviewed it because I still haven't decided what I think about it. I love it. But I also hate it. I've never felt quite like this about a book, which is interesting in and of itself (at least to me). Either way, I think everyone should read it because we all need to talk about it, so get on that, will you?

The Deep Whatsis, by Peter Mattei: Another novel that deals with the big questions of life and work and meaning and love and thought and happiness, though beyond that, this is nothing like How Should a Person Be? The novel, short and clipped in both length and tone, centers on the most objectionable, unlikeable creative director working in an up-scale advertising agency in New York where his main objective is to fire half of his staff in order to get a huge bonus. The man is thoroughly despicable, but as he comes to realize this about himself, he finds his shell of uncaringness (yes, that's a word) crumbling around him until he no longer knows how to function. If you're questioning the absurdity of the bureaucratic workplace, the dog-eat-dog nature of high-stress industries, and/or the bizarre thinking that goes into advertising, this will scratch some of those itches.

The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer: Dudes, I could gush about this for hours, so there's no way I'm going to keep it to one little recap paragraph unless I forgo any kind of analysis or intellectual thinking and instead opt for "WHY HAVEN'T YOU READ THIS YET!?"

Fin & Lady, by Cathleen Schine: If you've heard a few scattered things about this and passed it up for other, splashier books this summer, stop, turn around, and reconsider. Schine's story of two half-siblings, both orphaned, living together in 1960s New York is the kind of steady, poignant novel that I love for summer, capturing two people struggling to live a life of freedom and choice in an era toying with freedom but not yet truly embracing it. I gobbled this up on audio, and the narration is excellent if you're looking for a good audio pick.

The Art Forger, by B.A. Shapiro: I'm about halfway through this now and absolutely tearing through it. Another audio pick, the first-person narration of the story lends itself well to listening, and the narrator captures the voice and personality of Claire Roth so perfectly that there are times I almost feel I'm watching a movie in my head. The first half of the novel was compelling and intriguing, and now I'm curious to see how that mystery plays out for another 4 hours of audio. I sense a lot of headphones in my near future.


  1. It's rare I go for audio unless I'm taking a roadtrip, but you just helped me pick Fin & Lady for my drive to and from Virginia Beach next week! *excited dance*

  2. The humidity! Gasp! It was awful here for a while too. Thankfully it's cooled off, ahhh.

    I loved The Interestings as well. I'm going to be looking forward to your thoughts on How Should a Person Be? because I'm incredibly curious about that book.

  3. Please hurry up and write a review on How Should a Person Be because mine is posted and over and I'm still thinking about the book. Some people have absolutely hated it but I really want to hear what you think.

  4. I'm glad the humidity has calmed down a bit, but also a little sad because I just want ONE GOOD BEACH DAY darn it. Preferably on a day that I have off. I can't believe summer is almost over :(

    But look at those good books! Obvs I need to read the Interestings... I really have no good reason for not having done so yet.


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