Speed Reads: July’s literary landscape at a glance

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


Termite Parade By Joshua Mohr,
out now

Three narrators combine to tell the story of how one violent
incident, as well as love and passion and all that, affected their

To Sound in the Know: Mohr also sings in a band called Damn
Handsome & the Birthday Suits.

Finny By Justin Kramon, out July 13

This Dickensian
tale follows the life of a 14-year-old girl who gets shipped off to
boarding school where she encounters characters
with names like Menalcus Henckel and Poplan.

To Sound in the Know:
Kramon is a graduate of the prestigious Iowa Writer’s Workshop and has
written for the amazingly titled quarterly Glimmer Train.

Red Hook Road By Ayelet
Waldman, out July 13

Upper-class Manhattan and bluecollar Maine come
together in this story of family and tragedy.

To Sound in the Know:
Waldman, the author of nine other novels, is famously and obnoxiously
married to Michael Chabon. Their children have read
more books than you.

Savages: A Novel By Don Winslow, out July 13

Two Laguna Beach pot
dealers get tied up with a Mexican drug cartel. Violence, morbid humor

To Sound in the Know: Oliver Stone has already signed on to
direct the film version of this story; here’s hoping he can get Kristin
Cavallari to joint the cast.

The Surf Guru By Doug Dorst, out July 15

A short story
collection from the man who penned 2008’s highly acclaimed novel Alive
in Necropolis.

To Sound in the
Dorst’s first novel had two epigraphs, one by Joseph Conrad and
the other by Hanson. Yeah, “MmmBop” Hanson.

Talking to Girls about
Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut By
Rob Sheffield, out July 15

A music journalist looks back at his
adolescent stumblings in the ’80s, when Duran Duran ruled his days and
girls eluded him.

To Sound in the Know: The Brooklynbased writer is
currently a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, so something
went right for him.

Sad True Love Story By Gary Shytengart, out July 27

In this satire, a
middle-aged Russian- American falls in love with a coquettish
Korean-American girl in a dystopian New York where people with enough
money live indefinitely.

To Sound in the Know: Shytengart is member of the New Yorker’s much
discussed “20 Under 40” list (a part of this novel appeared in an issue
of the magazine), which has inspired either admiration or rabid
jealousy depending on what kind of person you are.

Speed Reads: July’s literary landscape at a glance

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

Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them
By Jillian Venters, Out now

Seattle-based Venters offers up advice in hopes that the gothic aren’t seen as graceless. The self-proclaimed “Lady of Manners” advises the Azriel Abysses of the world on everything from manners to dating to the proper application of white face makeup.

To Sound in the Know: The truly miserable have been getting their gloomy guidance from Venters at gothic-charm-school.com for over a decade.

The Regulars
By Sarah Stolfa, Out July 1

Stolfa photographed the regular patrons at McGlinchey’s, a bar where she worked in downtown Philly, to create a haunting and visceral collection of the lives of those who belly up nightly. Jonathan Franzen wrote the book’s introduction.

To Sound in the know: Photographer Stolfa used to play the Farfisa organ in beloved punk-soul band The Delta 72.

Will Work For Drugs
By Lydia Lunch, Out July 1
A collection of essays, fiction and interviews from the iconoclastic Teenage Jesus & the Jerks singer and original badass rocker girl.

To Sound in the Know: Lunch’s first was a loose autobiography called Paradoxia: A Predator’s Diary.

American Adulterer
By Jed Mercurio, Out July 7

A novel that imagines the inner turmoil of a philandering and shape-shifting JFK as he tries to fend off the madness surrounding him in the forms of doctors, generals and a coked-up Marilyn Monroe.
To Sound in the Know: Mercurio is trained as a doctor, which helps explain his obsession with JFK’s health (specifically his bowel movements).

By Joshua Lyon, Out July 7

Lyon alternates the chronicles of his own addiction to painkillers with an exploration of pill abuse throughout American culture.
To Sound in the Know:  Lyon got addicted to painkillers after ordering Vicodin over the Internet as part of an article for Jane magazine.

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal
By Ben Mezrich, Out July 14

The story behind how two geeks from Harvard changed the face of social networking and the Internet…mostly to meet girls.

To Sound in the Know: Mezrich also plumbed another Massachusetts school—MIT—for the subject of his last book, the best-selling blackjack expose Bringing Down the House.

The Girl Who Played With Fire
By Stieg Larsson, Out July 28

The second part in a trilogy starring bisexual, cyberpunk computer hacker heroine Lisbeth Sander from the recently deceased Swedish novelist.  This is not your grandfather’s detective story hero.

To Sound in the Know: Larsson died of a heart attack before the first novel in the trilogy, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was published.