Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For July, we’re looking at a sweet novel about friendships forged in a library, an intense real-life story of survival at sea, and a tale about life on the other side of the world.
Sue Halpern’s Summer Hours at the Robbers Library (2018)
For Kit, her job at a library in a small New England town is an escape from her previous life. For several of her patrons, the library also symbolizes a new beginning, including a teenager assigned to community service and a former Wall Street hotshot whose career has collapsed. Sue Halpern’s book is a loving depiction of friendship, community, camaraderie, and fresh starts. So, perfect summer reading.
Recommended for those who enjoyed Gabrielle Zevin’s The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.
John Aldridge’s A Speck in the Sea (2017)
Also another good summer option, though probably not one you want to read within 100 miles of any beach. John Aldridge tells his own high-stakes survival story. An experienced fisherman, Aldridge was accidentally thrown off his boat and into the water in the summer of 2017. As he floated helplessly in the ocean, nobody knew he was missing for hours. The Coast Guard eventually launched a desperate search for him, alongside his family, his fishing partner, and their fellow fishermen.
Recommended for those who enjoy action-packed survival stories.
Michael Benanav’s Himalaya Bound (2018)
Journalist Michael Benanav has a long career as a travel writer and has previously documented his experiences accompanying Saharan salt traders. In his most recent book, he tags along with a family of buffalo herders in India as they make their annual journey to the Himalayas. Unfortunately for them, this traditional summer activity is in danger of becoming illegal, endangering their lifestyles and very existence. Benanav was actually arrested at one point while working on this book, but the resulting narrative is a compelling exploration of what happens when environmental goals and native cultures collide.
Recommended for those who enjoy travelogues that are off the beaten path and really delve into the culture.
What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information about any of these items.