The 7 Best Books of July

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There’s no escaping it now: It’s summer. And whether you’re relaxing with a beer on a sunny beach or sitting six inches away from your window-unit air conditioner with a gallon of iced tea, there’s no shortage of books to keep you company. Cool off (or try to) with a taut thriller, a comic sci-fi novel, the follow-up to an American classic, or another one of these anticipated books coming out this month.

Armada, Ernest Cline (Crown)
Life imitates video games in the second novel from Ready Player One author Cline. In his latest, a teenager has to use all his gaming skills when a flying saucer comes to Earth. Expect humor, pop culture references, and general nerdiness from the Austin, Texas, novelist.

Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee (Harper)
To Kill a Mockingbird remains one of the country’s best-loved novels. Harper Lee shocked the world when she announced that she’d publish a sequel, written before Mockingbird, but set decades afterward, featuring the legendary characters Scout and Atticus Finch. 

Pretty Is, Maggie Mitchell (Henry Holt and Co.)
In this debut thriller, two 12-year-old girls are kidnapped and held for months in a remote cabin. Two decades after they’re rescued by police, who kill their kidnapper, they’re forced to revisit their abductions when a book and movie based on the case are released.

Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa, James Neff (Little, Brown and Company)
Even by the brutal standards of American politics, it’s hard to come up with two people who hated each other more than Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa. Neff chronicles the seven-year-long war between the two men.

Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America’s Most Select Airborne Firefighters, Jason A. Ramos and Julian Smith (William Morrow)

You think your job’s hard? Jason Ramos and his colleagues parachute into the wilderness in order to save nature from going up in flames. He takes readers into the world of smokejumping, which has become more important as drought in America becomes more widespread. 

The Hand That Feeds You, A.J Rich You, (Scribner)
A graduate student finds out her fiance was an imposter after she finds him dead in her home, apparently mauled to death by her dogs. This thriller is the debut collaboration between Amy Hempel and Jill Ciment, both acclaimed authors of literary fiction, writing as A.J. Rich. 

Dylan Goes Electric!: Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties, Elijah Wood(Dey Street Books)
Wald tells the story behind the night of July 25, 1965, when Bob Dylan shocked the Newport Folk Festival by playing an electric, rock-and-roll set. His performance changed not just folk and rock, but the culture of America in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

 

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