Summer time is in full swing here in Austin, and our booksellers are ready to go full vacation mode: sunglasses, cold drinks with reusable straws (those turtles aren’t going to save themselves), and, of course, a stack of new books to read poolside! Check out the page below to see what they recommend reading as the temps keep climbing.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
This book…this book…THIS BOOK! I’ll be honest, I knew this one was probably going to knock me on my ass from the moment I read the first page. I felt like I was on the verge of tears the entire time I was reading it. Akwaeke Emezi is one of the greatest writers of our time and this book absolutely lives up to the legacy they’ve built with Pet and Freshwater. Emezi weaves a non-linear tapestry depicting the life of Vivek through his own eyes as well as those of his parents, cousin, and friends. Part mystery, part coming of age story, you attempt to take in Vivek’s life as his friends and family look for the answers surrounding his mysterious death. Reading this book felt like in those first few moments of waking when you are coming in and out of a dream, one second you are staring at your bedroom ceiling, the next you are a part of the unknown. Overall, this is a good story carried by the literary brilliance of Emezi.
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
What a beautiful book! I felt totally devastated but also uplifted by the ending. There’s romance, magical realism, a touch of ballroom dancing, and an incredibly poignant lesson about how love (romantic and otherwise) is worth all the endings and all the pain that we inevitably endure as a result. This one may well be my favorite of Nicola Yoon’s books.
The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin
As dispassionate as westerns come, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu delivers on the blood, guts, and pathos while carefully exploring the long American tradition of Asian racism. With swift brutality, unforgiving landscapes, and a shaky moral compass, this is a stone cold classic of the genre. Hellbent on revenge, Ming Tsu is determined to reunite with his kidnapped wife, Ada, and kill all those that wronged them along the way. As he crosses the West on his mission, he becomes intertwined with a traveling sideshow of performers with special abilities, who show Ming that there may be more to life than his revenge. This debut novel reads like Deadwood meets Carnivale where the mud and blood mixes with enigmatic astonishing acts, investigating the need to belong both spiritually and physically in a hostile country.
There’s plenty more where that came from. Find more recommendations like these on our website at BookPeople.com!