For my July “Essential Novels” selection, I plan to read Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It’s relatively new compared to most of the classics I’ve been reading, but I bought a copy a few months ago and this gives me a good occasion to read it.
For my 20th-century selection, I’m continuing with Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels. His third book, The Remains of the Day, was responsible for solidifying his orly reputation as a major writer, and it is one I’ve read before. But it’s been many years, so I’ll reread this one as I work through all of his novels.
My nonfiction selection for July will be Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new book, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I’m hoping it’s also for people who don’t have a strong science background, otherwise I’ll be hopelessly lost. But in his interviews, I have admired his passion and his desire to make people more aware of science in light of the political attacks on reason and science from the current administration. I sincerely wish Tyson would run for Congress, or at least that one of our “leaders” had enough sense to make him the national science advisor.
In addition to these three specific titles, I have a handful of relatively new releases waiting for me on my desk. I hope to get to some or all of these during my summer vacation: Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent, Jessica Shattuck’s The Women in the Castle, Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo, and Elif Batuman’s The Idiot.