June Speed Reads

Written by Jeff Cretan on . Posted in Books, Posts.

Elliot Allagash By Simon Rich, out now

In this novel from humor writer Rich, a one-time New York Press coverboy, a Manhattan prep school outcast named Seymour gets a makeover from Elliot Allagash, a wealthy and brash transfer student. 

To Sound in the Know: When hired by Saturday Night Live at the age of 24, Rich became the youngest writer in the show’s history.

State of Wonder By Ann Patchett, out June 7

A research scientist from Minnesota must go into the heart of the Amazon to find her missing former mentor, who is supposed to be researching a new drug for a pharmaceutical company but instead has gone a little Colonel Kurtz. 

To Sound in the Know: Early in her career, Patchett worked at Seventeen magazine, and later won the PEN/ Faulkner. Coincidence?

book_astral.jpgThe Astral By Kate Christensen, out June 14

The faltering marriage between a poet and a nurse serves as the hinge for this novel set in gentrifying Greenpoint. 

To Sound in the Know: Christensen won the PEN/Faulkner Award for her 2008 novel, The Great Man.

Go the Fuck to Sleep By Adam Mansbach, out June 14

A children’s book for parents that says what anyone who’s confronted a screaming, stubborn child in the dead of night has wanted to say but can’t without getting CPS called on them. 

To Sound in the Know: The book has been on the Amazon top 10 list for weeks… and it’s not even out yet. Go the fuck to the bank, Mr. Mansbach.

The Murder of the Century By Paul Collins, out June 14

One summer day, body parts are found in Harlem, Long Island and the Lower East Side. As a mystery unfolds, so does a media war between moguls. Fiction? Not at all. Happened right here on June 26, 1897. 

To Sound in the Know: Collins is the editor of the Collins Library, a McSweeney’s imprint that republishes out of print books.

book_storm.jpgThe Storm at the Door By Stefan Merrill Block, out June 21

This second novel from the Brooklynbased writer tells a love story within a world of mental illness, depression and a psychiatric hospital. 

To Sound in the Know: This novel is a fictionalized version of the lives of Block’s own grandparents. His first novel (The Story of Forgetting) was also inspired by his grandmother.

The Beginners By Rebecca Wolff, out June 30

A mysterious pair of newcomers come to a small town (with a dark past) where they become the object of attention for 15-yearold Ginger, who is eager to leave behind her childhood innocence. 

To Sound in the Know: Wolff is one of the co-founders of Fence, where she is still the editor and publisher. 

June Speed Reads

Written by Jeff Cretan on . Posted in Books, Posts.

Beautiful Maria of My Soul By Oscar Hijuelos, out now The sequel to Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love follows the muse of the first
novel (Maria) from her beginnings in rural Cuba to glitzy Havana and
eventually America.

To Sound in the Know: NYC-educated Hijuelos was the
first Hispanic to win the Pulitzer for Fiction (for Mambo Kings).

and Derby
By Alex Cohen and Jennifer Barbee, out now Cohen and Barbee
present both a history of the roller derby and a guide for those
looking to strap on a pair of skates and crunch some skulls.

To Sound
in the Know:
NPR host Cohen (Axles of Evil) and journalist Barbee
(Kasey Bomber) have skated with the L.A. Derby Dolls since 2003.

Hitch-22 By Christopher Hitchens, out now A memoir by the selfdescribed contrarian and contributor to Vanity Fair, Slate and The Atlantic. Expect
stories of drinking, literature and unconventional political stances.

To Sound in the Know: Famous names dot the memoir, including Martin
Amis, Hunter S. Thompson and Nora Ephron.

Role Models By John Waters, out now

The provocative director (and flaunter of the pencil-thin ’stache) explores his greatest influences, including Manson protégé Leslie
Van Houten, in this series of essays.

To Sound in the Know: Waters, who
also writes about a gay porn auteur and drug addicts, has said he won’t
let his mother read the book.

Imperial Bedrooms By Bret Easton Ellis, out June 15 In this sequel to Less Than Zero, it’s
25 years later and Clay, now a screenwriter, is back in L.A. for
another Christmas vacation to visit old friends and drive through the
same wasteland powered by drugs, booze and Ellis’ patented paranoia.

Sound in the Know
: Ellis has said he’d like to see a movie adaptation
with the same cast from Less Than Zero. Jamie Gertz, come on down!

Mesopotamia By Arthur Nersesian, out July 1 The author of The Fuck-Up and
other novels pens a tale about a downand-out reporter investigating a
series of murdered Elvis impersonators in Memphis.

To Sound in the
Memphis is a rare departure of setting from New York City for the locally born and bred Nersesian.