What We’re Reading: July 1

What We’re Reading: July 1

Here are the Bookish staff’s personal weekend reading recommendations; have you read any of them? Tell us in the comments what you’ll be reading this weekend!If you’re still looking for some inspiration, check out our Summer Previews for a look at the best books of the season.

A Little Life

I just started this book, and it’s already dictating how I spend pretty much every free moment in my day. Hanya Yanagihara’s characters are so beautifully, fully, and tenderly rendered that it’s hard for me to grasp that they aren’t real people who actually live in New York City right now, riding the subway and slurping pho on the Lower East Side. I’ve been warned that this novel is ultimately going to serve up a devastating emotional gut-punch, and it’s making me nervous for the characters. This is, I think, a great testament to Yanagihara’s power as a writer: I’ve only known Jude, Willem, Malcolm, and JB for 65 pages, and I already feel protective of them and their bond. —Elizabeth

The Graveyard Book

Despite my boundless love of Neil Gaiman, I’ve only read a few of his books. I’m always working to change that, and I figured that since I read the graphic novel adaptation of this book last year, I should actually sit down to read the novel itself. It’s wonderful to revisit some of these great characters, and makes me hope that one day Liza Hempstock may get her own story. —Kelly

The Woman in Cabin 10

I love discovering new authors. My favorite debut novel in 2015 was In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware–I took it on a cruise with me last year, and spent much of my time on the deck reading. I couldn’t put it down. I am thrilled to have started Ware’s second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10, which is coming out this month. I look forward to many more mysteries from her! —Bob

An Army at Dawn

Brexit got me thinking about Europe, which led to thoughts about WWII, which led to me picking up An Army at Dawn, Rick Atkinson’s beyond-brilliant history of the war in North Africa in 1942 and 1943, before America began fighting on the Continent. Flawlessly written, stupendously researched, moving and profound, it tells the story of how America, whose army was ranked 17th in the world, behind Romania, in 1939, had to harness its industrial might and train millions of men in short order, while first testing the results in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya. Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and Montgomery all got their starts in the deserts and cities just south of the Mediterranean. This story is largely new to me; I’m gripped. —Phil

Prince’s Gambit

The rising tension in this book might just kill me. I don’t know if I’ve ever read another romance that built this slowly, carefully, and purposefully—but this has me craving more. I brought it with me to the DMV this week, and it made the entire process far more enjoyable than it usually is. I’m nearing the end and already have the third book ready and waiting. —Kelly

The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976

I’m very interested in books about government and politics, whether they’re set in this country or another. Right now, I’m reading The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History of 1962-1976 by Frank Dikotter. My best friend lived through this period in China before moving to the United States in 1996. I am interested to see how the Cultural Revolution affected China both internally and externally. —Bob

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