It’s been awhile since I’ve had my shit together enough to put together an actual post on the titles for our monthly Paperback Posse vote. For those of you not in our Facebook group, our virtual book club is still running strong—even if it’s tucked away from the rest of the universe. 😉
I think it’s helpful to do posts on the books that are up for a vote so that all of the information is in one place and you don’t have to go clicking all over the internets trying to figure out which book sounds the best to you. Agreed?
This month, I tried to give a wide range in style to try and keep everyone happy. Here are June’s choices…
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Easy and breezy like a beach read, but with sharp observations that you don’t generally expect from the genre, the book is about a two-week long family vacation to the Mediterranean. The Posts call the vacation a celebration—of Franny and Jim’s 35th anniversary and of Sylvia’s high school graduation—but, in reality, it’s an attempt to escape a variety of troubles at home. Secrets are uncovered, characters face old and new humiliations, and old wounds are inflamed.
“This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together.”
Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
Geek Love is the highly original story of the Binewskis, a carny family that sets out to breed their own exhibit of human oddities. I don’t think I can summarize it any better than this paragraph I found on Amazon: “As the Binewskis take their act across the backwaters of the U.S., inspiring fanatical devotion and murderous revulsion; as its members conduct their own Machiavellian version of sibling rivalry, Geek Love throws its sulfurous light on our notions of the freakish and the normal, the beautiful and the ugly, the holy and the obscene.”
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
From the Amazon book description:
Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.
The Booklist starred review gives a really good synopsis of this one, which is a memoir from a New York Post reporter:
“Cahalan describes how she crossed the line between sanity and insanity after an unknown pathogen invaded her body and caused an autoimmune reaction that jump-started brain inflammation, paranoia, and seizures. Her divorced parents put aside their differences and rose to the occasion, sitting by her during the month she was confined to the hospital, about which she remembers nothing. Her boyfriend stayed with her, and one wonderful doctor, noticing that she walked and talked like a late-stage Alzheimer’s patient, was determined to get to the bottom of her medical mystery. Luckily, she was insured, because her treatment cost $1 million. Cahalan expertly weaves together her own story and relevant scientific and medical information about autoimmune diseases, which are about two-thirds environmental and one-third genetic in origin.”
It’s time to vote! I’ll announce the winner next week…