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Dear readers,

Soon, summer will be over, but at WORD we have one more round of Summer Reads to send your way. Whether you're a nonfiction buff or a lit-fic reader or a YA-enthusiast, as always, we have an array of titles here hand-selected by our booksellers just for you. And, for those who dabble in audio and ebooks, we have you covered as well. Want even more reading suggestions? You know where to find us. 

WORD recommends these books in 
August.


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World War Z by Max Brooks
Whether you’re new to Brooks’ faux-documentary, or a returning enthusiast of the war against zeke, you’re surely in for a treat. The cast of voice actors involved are veterans of the craft and really brings a robust and at times chilling account of their experience with the undead. WWZ is my be-all, end-all, go-to piece of media involving zombies, and that goes double for the audiobook. Undeniably one of a kind. (Jasper)

H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald
Listening to this reading by the author, Helen MacDonald, is almost better than reading the book. Her voice beautifully carries the complex emotions as she tells this wonderful tale of life, grief, and training her goshawk. (Kerry)

Fiction We Love:

     

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson (ebook available)
Starkly poetic, dancing on lyrical, Another Brooklyn reflects on race, femininity, and the entire spectrum therein in this haunting meditation on a specific time and place: '70's Brooklyn. After the death of her father, cultural anthropologist August has a chance encounter with one of her girls, Sylvia. Along with Gigi and Angela, she is one of three whose circle August broke into as a young woman, in which she was remade, protected. Her close friendships clash with her mother's ringing advice against it—grow your nails long. But the girls become a refuge. Together they are unstoppable. Until they aren't. Evocative and beautiful, Woodson gave me the ache in August's heart, but it was all worth it. (Ashanti)

The Nix by Nathan Hill (ebook available)
In Norwegian folklore, The Nix is a spirit that takes the shape of a white horse, luring proud children to their deaths. In 2011, a video game addict/internet hero (username Pwnage) teams up with failed writer and shamed college professor Samuel Andresen-Anderson to track down the history of an infamous gravel-throwing "terrorist." Back in 1968, riots rage through the streets of Chicago setting off shockwaves that ripple through the present day lives of a new generation. With richly textured narratives that vacillate between John Cage tapes and lost loves to Elfquest points and trying to eat pinenuts, The Nix is a very special debut indeed. (Michelle)

 

    

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson (ebook available)
Slim but effective, Jonas Karlsson's comic fable provokes some profound questions on the nature of life and happiness. What does it mean to lead a fulfilling life? Is happiness enough? And what are your experiences worth? For the main character in this book, that last question is depressingly literal. (Mike)


The Last Days of New Paris by China Melville
The history you think you know, retold by one of the most imaginative minds to put pen to paper, China Mieville's The Last Days of New Paris is the collision of WWII, Art, 20th-century extreme politics, and, my favorite part, a damned good thriller. When a surrealist bomb intended to finally defeat the Nazi regime instead releases weaponized madness, the full extent of philosophical consequences takes on a new reality. If that description made little sense but sounds interesting, Mieville's book will be very fun for you. Alternate reality does not quite suffice for the adventurous mind-bender that is The Last Days of New Paris. (Hannah)

 

        

The Devourers by Indra Das (ebook available)
A novel that takes place in India about a college professor named Alok who meets a werewolf and is amazed by his unfinished story. Using various documents, Alok pieces together the story of his race and a 17th-century man's love for a defiant woman during a violent time. (Chazz)

The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone (ebook available)
What's worse than thousands of ravenous spiders hatching out of the ground everywhere? Ezekiel Boone figured the answer out. Boone is a great character writer, which I find really important in horror. You can quickly get to know the people you're reading aboutreally feel for them when they're in danger. The first in a three-part series in which we face an ancient enemy that most of us are terrified of even today. (Will)

    

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (ebook available
This book is unlike any other book you’ve read. Jason has been living contentedly with his wife and son when he is suddenly abducted by a man in a mask and tossed into an alternate dimension where he instead makes the scientific breakthrough of a lifetime rather than settling down with the love of his life. What follows is a thriller that progresses at breakneck speed as Jason tries to return to his original universe—one out of an infinite number of possibilities. A fantastic book that turns out to be so much more than a brainless thriller, Dark Matter is a small physics lesson that makes the reader wonder: is there something more to us than the molecules that comprise us? (Avery)

How To Set A Fire and Why by Jesse Ball
Lucia spends her days trying to follow one rule, "Don't do things you aren't proud of," but circumstances are not making that any easier as her parents disappear and school becomes a battleground. When she discovers her interest in fire, however, both her life and the novel light up. The story is brief and edge-of-your-seat as Lucia befriends the Arson Club and, in the incredibly clipped and dagger-true storytelling style only Jesse Ball has, descends. (Hannah)

Nonfiction We Love:

        

Invisible Man, Got The Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel Smith (ebook available)
An honest, necessary telling of what America is to a black man growing up in the age of a black president and police terrorism. Vulnerable, political, and intersectional. We need this book. (Misian)

Gravity Falls: Journal 3 by Alex Hirsch
For anyone and everyone who fell in love with the phenomenal show that is Gravity Falls comes THE journal that has all the deets! “Ford” aka “The Author” (aka Alex Hirsch) delivers a beautiful book that’s jam packed with secrets and liner notes; all of the coded messages at the end of the episodes, deciphered; all the monsters and oddities, revealed; the unexplained, explained! If you’re curious about the show ignore this book (spoilers!) but if you’re an obsessive fan like myself, Journal 3 is must-own. (Jasper)

Smile Now, Cry Later by Freddy Negrete
Pioneering tattoo artists' stories are usually told through the people that wear their art, or, if they're lucky, a flipbook of flash (stylized cardboard tattoo designs) or a photographic retrospective. In truly pioneering spirit, Freddy Negrete details his entire life while showcasing his incredible work that took Chicano black-and-gray style out of the prisons and into Hollywood. Wryly humorous and no-holds-barred, this is not only a story that needs to be told for the tattooing world, but shows the power of art to fuel your fire, to survive, and to transform, reflecting his own varied roles in life: gangbanger, preacher, addiction counselor, all culminating into artist. (Ashanti)

Paperback Picks:

            

Problems by Jade Sharma (ebook available)
Women don't get to be anti-heros too often, and Jade Sharma puts bulletholes in that hegemony.  Problems' main character, Maya, is a nihilistic, broody, sometimes self-loathing young woman with drug problems, men problems, and "attitude problems."  Her worldview is gritty and dark but it's also rich and relatable.  She faces the uglier parts of human existence with a sense of humor and an intractable perceptiveness.  A unique and brilliant debut novel!  (Mal)

Will Not Attend by Adam Resnick (ebook available)
This is a very twisted and darkly funny book written by a former writer for David Letterman & Jon Stewart. Resnick is an isolationist with genuine disdain for any and all social obligations and some of the best bits are when he’s forced. I recommend it highly as it is one of the funniest collections I’ve ever read. Fair warning though, it is not for the faint of heart. (Tom)

 
    

Voices in the Ocean by Susan Casey (ebook available)
The more we learn about dolphins, the more we see that they are truly remarkable. Noted science writer Susan Casey explores the myths and the facts about dolphins and dives in to learn about these remarkable creatures first hand. (Kerry)

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter (ebook available)

This genre-bending novel begins with the sudden death of a wife and mother, who in her passing has left behind her husband and two boys. To re-organize their daily lives around this grief, they manifest a shared delusion: a Crow, who speaks to them, tricks them, defends them, cares for them, until that day that he is no longer needed. In its brisk 144 chapbook-like pages, it brings the form of the novel into the shades of what could be a play, or a parable, and even poetry. On one page the author brings the reader an unsentimental, stark look at grief. On the next, it is a room full of darkly funny cacophony and playfulness, if only as a distraction. What is left is enough room for the reader to fill in his/her own interpretations on grief, while poignant enough to leave a real mark. Max Porter's debut novel is endearing, and powerful. The last page will leave you stunned. (Steven)

    

Sphinx by Anne Garreta
Beautifully translated from French, Sphinx is a genderless love story set amid the Parisian nightlife scene between the narrator, a DJ, and an American cabaret dancer who remains nameless throughout the entire story. Sticking to true Oulipo fashion,
Garreta does an amazing job writing within the constraints she sets for herself and produces a risque story that challenges social & gender norms. (Kristina)

Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain (ebook available)
Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain's oral history of punk is canon. This newly released 20th-anniversary edition of one of the most influential texts in archival punk history revisits the voices of an entire generation of artists, musicians, producers, band managers, et al., painting an finely-detailed portrait of the Lower East Side in all its debaucherous glory. From The Factory to Max's Kansas City, from John Vaccaro's cult of glitter to Iggy Pop's explosive stage performances, McNeil and McCain pull no punches in documenting the glamorous and the tragic alike in the New York punk scene. A must-read for music and history fans alike. (Michelle)

Books for Teens, Tweens, and Littles:

  

The Toad by Elise Gravel
The Toad is the latest in the series of Disgusting Critters by Elise Gravel. Short, informative, and beautifully drawn, these books shine a light on all the critters we might think as ugly or gross (previous books: The Slug, The Fly, The Worm... you get the point), and gives us such cute and interesting tidbits, in such whimsical illustration that by the end of the short books, you cannot help but have learned to love these "disgusting" critters. Who says pandas and felines get to have all the attention? A must have for all kids, and adults, alike. (Steven)

 
    
    
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (ebook available)
Oz is a fictional land that we've read about as kids and watched in movies, right? Or so we thought. Danielle Paige takes us on an amazing adventure as a girl who got swept by a tornado and came to find out the oz was real after all. And nothing is how you remembered. (Melody)

Everland by Wendy Spinale (ebook available)
This is a different retelling of Peter Pan with a twist. The story has a m
ore realistic, darker feel with a touch of steampunk and dystopian mixed in. I enjoyed the different plotlines this novel brought and I felt like it stood on its own too. (Lydia)
 


This Must Be The Place by Maggie Farrell

A beautiful and intimate novel set in the wilds of Ireland, venturing across to American and back in the span of one relationship's twenty-year journey. Danielle has family spread out across the US, a former starlet wise who is delightfully insane and a 20-year-old mystery pulling him away. O'Farrell's writing continues to write powerful fiction about the ties that bind across time and distance. (Hannah)

This has been another production of the book-lovin' fools at:

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