The Guest - Emma Cline
This book is like a car crash you can't look away from. The protagonist is amoral, the story has unappealing characters, but somehow I couldn't stop reading it. Alex has a Sugar Daddy in the Hamptons, but she makes a huge mistake and has to find inventive ways to continue to dwell among the monied class.
Madame Restell - Jennifer Wright
Yes- this is about a woman who provided abortions, among other services to women, so if this is inflammatory to you just skip this one. She was not an entirely admirable person, but much of this book is actually devoted to women's rights in general and the evolution of that effort.
Chain-Gang All-Stars - Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
In the not-so-distant-future, this story has prisoners competing in gladiator matches around the country. The kicker is- they fight to the death and the last survivor wins their freedom.
A scathing look at for-profit prisons and the public appetite for violence.
Not an easy read.
City of Dreams - Don Winslow
Readers of this blog know I am a huge fan of Winslow. This is the second in his current trilogy, though you can read them as stand alone books. In this story, a Rhode Island organized crime member tries to go legit in LA.
Perfect for a thrilling summer read or Audible. Then, go read his other trilogy about the drug cartels in Mexico- truly frightening. This is an author who does years of research before putting pen to page and his stories have authenticity.
Old Babes in the Wood - Margaret Atwood
It's Atwood. Her short stories are wonderful. Several of these follow a married couple. All are exquisite.
Yellowface - R.F. Kuang
This book cries out for a discussion.
Plagarism, cultural appropriation, the publishing industry, all forms of discrimination- so many hot buttons here. I still cannot decide how I feel about all of the material.
Paper Names - Susie Luo
Chinese immigrants and their daughter become entangled with wealthy New Yorkers.
The story is fine, but there is a plethora of stories with a similar story line-just different details to the flesh it out.
Others Worth Mentioning:
The Kind Worth Saving - Peter Swanson. Creepy murder mystery.
Drowning- T.J.Newman. How to save yourself if the plane goes down in the ocean.
Sea Change- Gina Chung. How an octopus saved my life. Quirky charm.
You Are Here- Karin Lin-Greenberg. Good book for young readers to think about tolerance and empathy.