Summer’s basically here. The weather is kind. You can take your books wherever you go to catch up on your reading. You might want a nice, quick read in the park and take advantage of the longer daylight. You can finally read in your local coffee spot’s outdoor seating. Or, if you’re fortunate and fancy, you can read on your porch or balcony. Wherever you choose, we have some book recommendations to help make the most of your spare time.
Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!
Our Hot Pick
Three girls—Pam, Beth, and Sue—attend a party to celebrate the publication of the first of the Nancy Drew mystery books. There are many distractions at the fancy affair: flower arrangements, partygoers, refreshments, and lots and lots of marble. Suddenly, the oldest girl, Pam, sees what can only be described as something truly…bilious…not good! Beth sees it too. The youngest, Sue, does not, and as usual she has a hard time getting anyone to tell her anything. Party: A Mystery is a beautifully drawn adventure story that promises questions that will grab children, but does not guarantee an answer.
Celebrated author Jamaica Kincaid originally wrote Party as a short story all the way back in 1980 for The New Yorker. Her three characters truly embody the intrepid spirit of Nancy Drew and demonstrate the personal enrichment of curiosity. Seeing the story illustrated with artwork by Ricardo Cortés gives it new life, and gives readers a whole new way of being drawn in. Kincaid and Cortés also capture the kind of wonder that children see new experiences through, making this adventure a particularly heartwarming read.
Our Coffee Shop Read
When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.
Relive the classic tale you heard as a child with this fresh and modern retelling (this should cleanse your soul after the way Transformers: The Last Knight tried to adapt the Arthurian legend). Epic tales once were told around the campfires, but you can read this one at your favorite round table in your local coffee shop. A perfect read for Pride Month, this LGBT+ tale also celebrates the love story of its authors. After meeting in their MFA Creative Writing program, the two writers were so in love they decided to write a book together! So, read this book for either reason you want: to live vicariously through their tear-inducingly adorable love story, or because it’s fresh, entertaining representation.
Our Dark Horse
With the publication of her first novel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers, all of twenty-three, became a literary sensation. At its center is the deaf-mute John Singer, who becomes the confidant for various types of misfits in a Georgia mill town during the 1930s. Each one yearns for escape from small town life. When Singer’s mute companion goes insane, Singer moves into the Kelly house, where Mick Kelly, the book’s heroine (and loosely based on McCullers), finds solace in her music. Wonderfully attuned to the spiritual isolation that underlies the human condition, and with a deft sense for racial tensions in the South, McCullers spins a haunting, unforgettable story that gives voice to the rejected, the forgotten, and the mistreated—and, through Mick Kelly, gives voice to the quiet, intensely personal search for beauty.
Carson McCullers’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter emphasizes the importance of embracing neglected or unheard voices. This lesson is as relevant today as it was in 1930s America, and still has a long way from being understood. Her masterpiece captures the societal tensions of the American South, the isolation felt by those whose individuality was suppressed, and the importance of dreams to maintain personal fortitude. McCullers was only twenty-three-years-old when she released her debut novel, which is inspiring to think that someone so young could have such a worldly understanding and insight.
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