Every time I type out “strangeling” my blog turns it into “strangling” and it’s a fair guess but at a certain point you’d think it would learn.
Anyway, if you are a member of my book club (The Fantastic Strangelings – JOIN US!) then you are used to me apologizing for opening the discussion thread late, but in my defense, I am very lazy and never know what day it is.
And (just in case you missed it) this month’s book is:
Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky.
“A fast-paced and daring new novel about a woman on the run from catastrophe, searching for love, home, a swimming pool, and for someone who can perhaps stop the bleeding from her head.”
“Wait, what?” you ask me. Keep reading, friend.
Allison Brody is thirty-two and newly arrived on the East Coast after just managing to flee her movie producer boyfriend. She has some money, saved up from years of writing and waitressing, and so she spends it, buying a small house on the beach. But then a Category 3 hurricane makes landfall and scatters her home up and down the shore, leaving Allison adrift.
Should she go home from the bar with the strange cameraman and stay in his guest room? Is that a glass vase he smashed on her skull? Can she wipe the blood from her eyes, get in her car, and drive to her mother’s? Does she really love the brain surgeon who saved her, or is she just using him for his swimming pool? And is it possible to ever truly heal without seeking some measure of revenge?
A captivating crazy train of a ride that alternates between strange, funny, horrifying and bizarre and I could not put it down until the fascinating end.
How can something be funny and horrifying at the same time? I don’t know. How can french fries dipped in strawberry milkshakes be sweet and salty and hot and cold at the same time? Sometimes it just works. (Also, for real you should try milkshake fries because they are delicious.) And it’s a very slim book which is nice since the last few have been AMAZING but also a bit long so you can finish this one quick and feel very accomplished while enjoying yourself.
Do you need more than one book to get you through the month? OMG ME TOO. June has some fantastic new releases and a few of my favorites are:
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill – A murder mystery with a story hidden inside another story, where everyone is a suspect.
Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White – a queer, post-apocalyptic YA novel that is full of horror, rage and hope. LOVED THIS ONE.
Horse – Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks absolutely nails this story about a discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic and the greatest racehorse in American history.
The Facemaker by Lindsey Fitzharris – A fascinating look at on surgeon’s battle to mend the disfigured soldiers of WWI.
Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine – A dazzling epic of betrayal, love and fate that spans five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West.
The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick – The house cleaner of a famous reclusive author must carry out her employer’s last wish…to complete her final novel.
You Know Exactly What You Have to Do by Paul Madonna – Is this a book of comic strips? Yes. Is it a haunting and thoughtful coffee table book that I adored? Also yes. Books are weird, y’all.
Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen – Two Asian American women grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise. Lots of twists in this one.
Garden of Earthly Bodies by Sally Oliver – A Kafka-esque novel about trauma.
The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings – A darkly fantastical version of New Orleans where music is magic.
Ashton Hall by Lauren Belfer – An atmospheric historical fiction novel with a skeleton walled into a mansion that also shines a light on neurodiversity and complicated relationships. (The novel sheds light. Not the skeleton. Although I guess the skeleton helps, inadvertently.)
This is Not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan – it’s a book about Benedict Cumberbatch. Wait no. Reverse that.
And how about you? Do you have any recommended summer reading? Are there new books coming out you can’t wait to read?