Every month Amazon puts out a list of Best Books of the Month, and every month, I troll that list and select a few that I’ll add to my reading list. The list this month has books about …
From Amazon’s Best Books of the Month (August 2018), this is the one that I’ll definitely be reading …
Three Things About Elsie, Joanna Cannon
84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?
And the rest …
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, Beth Macy. Charting the devastating opioid crisis in America: An unforgettable portrait of the families and first responders on the front lines. From the introduction of OxyContin in 1996, Macy parses how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm … (how) the unemployed use painkillers both to numb the pain of joblessness and pay their bills, while privileged teens trade pills in cul-de-sacs, and even high school standouts fall prey to prostitution, jail, and death. [Buy Dopesick @ Amazon]
Meet Me at the Museum, Anne Youngson. Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. He does not know that a query from a Mrs Tina Hopgood about a world-famous antiquity in his museum is about to alter the course of his life. Oceans apart, an unexpected correspondence flourishes as they discover shared passions: for history and nature; for useless objects left behind by loved ones; for the ancient and modern world, what is lost in time, what is gained and what has stayed the same. Through intimate stories of joy, anguish, and discovery, each one bares their soul to the other. But when Tina’s letters suddenly cease, Anders is thrown into despair. Can this unlikely friendship survive? [Buy Meet Me at the Museum @ Amazon]
Sweet Little Lies, Caz Frear. WHAT I THOUGHT I KNEW … In 1998, Maryanne Doyle disappeared and Dad knew something about it? Maryanne Doyle was never seen again. WHAT I ACTUALLY KNOW … In 1998, Dad lied about knowing Maryanne Doyle. Alice Lapaine has been found strangled near Dad’s pub. Dad was in the local area for both Maryanne Doyle’s disappearance and Alice Lapaine’s murder – FACT. Connection? Trust cuts both ways . . . what do you do when it’s gone? [Buy Sweet Little Lies @ Amazon]
Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras. The Santiago family lives in a gated community in Bogotá, safe from the political upheaval terrorizing the country. Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to this protective bubble, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation. [Buy Fruit of the Drunken Tree @ Amazon]
Severance, Ling Ma. Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. So Candace barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies halt operations. The subways squeak to a halt. Her bosses enlist her as part of a dwindling skeleton crew with a big end-date payoff. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re traveling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they need to start society anew. But Candace is carrying a secret she knows Bob will exploit. Should she escape from her rescuers? [Buy Severance @ Amazon]
Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens. [Buy Where the Crawdads Sing @ Amazon]
Boom Town, Sam Anderson. Anderson reports on Oklahoma’s amazing revitalization that has occurred over the course of the last 20 years, starting with Oklahoma City’s adoption of the MAPS program; he’ll show how the city’s colorful leaders–its mayor, police chief, and a few local celebrities–have built up an unassuming city into a thriving urban center, full of artists, musicians, and, of course, sports fans. [Buy Boom Town @ Amazon]
The Air You Breathe, Frances de Pontes Peebles. Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when in walks a girl who changes everything. Graça, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, is clever, well fed, pretty, and thrillingly ill behaved. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Graça quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music. One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become their shared passion, the source of their partnership and their rivalry, and for each, the only way out of the life to which each was born. But only one of the two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, volatile bond will determine each of their fortunes–and haunt their memories. [Buy The Air You Breathe @ Amazon]
Cherry, Nico Walker. Cleveland, Ohio, 2003. A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily. They share a passion for Edward Albee and ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love. But soon Emily has to move home to Elba, New York, and he flunks out of school and joins the army. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him. His fellow soldiers smoke; they huff computer duster; they take painkillers; they watch porn. And many of them die. He and Emily try to make their long-distance marriage work, but when he returns from Iraq, his PTSD is profound, and the drugs on the street have changed. The opioid crisis is beginning to swallow up the Midwest. Soon he is hooked on heroin, and so is Emily. They attempt a normal life, but with their money drying up, he turns to the one thing he thinks he could be really good at – robbing banks. [Buy Cherry @ Amazon]
The books above are the editors top picks, but there are many more choices broken down by categories. Check them all out at Amazon’s Best Books of the Month – are there any you’re looking forward to reading?