July 2011 Book Picks
In June there were quite a few good nonfiction books published while July brought fiction to the forefront with inward-looking anti-heroes as well as political satire and a fascinating re-imagining of one fabulous woman’s life in the gilded age.
Millennium People by J.G. Ballard
The late literary icon J.G. Ballard’s penultimate novel is his first new book to be published in America in nearly a decade. The surrealist master examines the social malaise of the middle classes in this brilliant political satire, in which a psychologist attempts to stop a British-based terrorist group who is stirring the middle class into anarchy by way of violence.
The Kid by Sapphire
The Kid is Sapphire’s sequel to her bestselling novel Push, which was the basis of the Oscar-winning movie Precious. The kid in this story is Precious Jones’ son Abdul, who takes an inner journey while forging a path through poverty and tragedy before finding strength and becoming an artist.
Once Upon a River: A Novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell
A female Huck Finn, sixteen-year-old river dweller Margo Crane, sets out on the Stark River in search of her long lost mother with few supplies and a biography of her hero Annie Oakley after her father’s violent death.
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
Most people are likely unaware that at one time Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Bump, otherwise known as Mrs. Tom Thumb, was one of the most famous women in the world. In this fictionalized version of her life, author Melanie Benjamin compares the Thumb’s much-publicized wedding to that of Charles and Diana. Mrs. Thumb’s story as she sought fame and eventually performed with P.T. Barnum’s traveling show is told from her point of view.
The End of Everything by Megan E. Abbott
When thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s best friend Evie disappears, her hometown is in a panic and looking to her for answers. Lizzie pursues the truth, discovering that she may not have really known her friend who has left behind a trail of secrets and lies.