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NHPR Reads: July 2023

Sara Plourde

This July has been remarkably sticky, rainy, and hot so far! If you're anything like I am, I hope that you have found a great book and made time to languish in front of the AC or plant yourself seaside to read. The NHPR staff is excited to share with you just what books made it to their beach bag this July. Check it out below!


The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh. I actually read it this past winter and wished I had saved it for the summer. It's a story about family estrangement and reconnection. It has a curse, a prophecy, explosive fights (that are both tragic and hilarious), magic potions and, of course, jaded women. It's funny, and complex, but also heartfelt. And at only 250 pages it's perfect to stuff in your beach bag.”
-Michelle Gaudet 

“Currently I'm re-reading Emma by Jane Austen. While Emma is not a protagonist role model, I find Austen's takes on society apt. I wasn't a fan when I was younger but I've come to appreciate it. I've been eyeing Colson Whitehead's Underground Railroad and plan on reading it beneath a few trees this summer and perhaps the audiobook version of An Orchestra of Minorities  by Chigozie Obioma will be joining me on a few walks.”
- Olivia Richardson 

“In the summer months I read and reread the works of Madeline Miller, who wrote the stupendous Song of Achilles from the perspective of Achilles's lover Patroclus, and also Circe, which is a retelling of many pieces of The Odyssey and other myths through the world's most misunderstood sorcerer/apothecarian. Word on the street is that she's doing a book on Persephone next, and I'm waiting with bated breath. But that duo, paired with Emily Wilson's brilliant translation of The Odyssey, is the perfect salty, sensual journey for a hot summer. “
-Nick Capodice

“The Aosawa Murders by Riku Onda – Everyone at a house party dies from poisoning except for one young girl. Told through cold-case interviews by an unknown investigator, this is a murder mystery that’s hard to put down.

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby – If you need a laugh, you need this book. These sharp personal essays will make you snort out loud.

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin – This book traces the careers and lives of two video game designers over their decades-long friendship. Beautiful writing and a riveting narrative.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – A young woman becomes the nanny for two children who randomly shoot flames from their bodies. A wild premise with hilarious (and surprisingly touching) writing to boot.

Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami – This one is a slow burn, but it’s worth the work. It’s hard to even describe, but this book follows a young woman navigating womanhood and reflecting on her experience growing up in poverty in Osaka. The poetic writing and realism are something really special.”
- Jackie Harris 

"On recommendation, I read Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt a couple months ago and highly recommend. Such a fascinating book! I also just read Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid which was fantastic."
- Katie Colaneri 

Salem's Lot by Stephen King is my recommendation this time around. It's a great 70’s throwback that explores the intricacies of small town New England and what happens when a few mysterious strangers come to town. Also, the book is much better than the movie, I promise.”
- Zoë Kay 

"If you're looking for a weird Dickensian fantasy novel try Mordew by Alex Pheby. I also enjoyed Fleischman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner recently."
- Taylor Quimby 

The Third Pole by Mark Synnott is about Everest so if you're looking to read about a very cold place when it's hot this summer, it also has some tidbits from NH mountaineering history. Also, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton is the most gripping book I've read lately! But be prepared to not be able to tear yourself away.”
-Genevieve Andress

“The Summer Book by Tove Jansson - The magical story of a precocious young girl and her cantankerous grandmother spending summer together on a small, remote Finnish island. Just a jewel of a book, precious in every way."
- Sara Plourde

“The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Fantastic read...a modern day Odyssey (literally and figuratively).”
- Christine Louis 

“I just finished Tremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession and the Birth of the Lie Detector by Amit Katwala.  This is a non-fiction work that at times reads like a detective novel, complete with beautifully composed prose and plot-twist timing. The story starts in Felton, California in the late 1920s-- a sleepy town nestled in the redwood forest just north of Santa Cruz (which just so happens to be the town I moved to after college) and migrates from there up to San Francisco and the Bay Area. Incredibly detailed and expertly researched, it's a tale that's stranger than fiction-- where good intentions meet junk science...and brilliant men are done in by their egos."
- Emily Quirk 

NHPR Reads is a monthly blog series dedicated to poetry, prose, and everything in between. Follow along for a staff-curated list of what we’re reading that month and read along with us!

Zoë Kay serves as the Marketing and Event Coordinator for the station. She is focused on working within and alongside the communities of New Hampshire to promote the mission of NHPR.
Sara has been a part of NHPR since 2011. Her work includes data visualizations, data journalism, original stories reported on the web, video, photos and illustrations. She is responsible for the station's visual style and print design, as well as the user experience of NHPR's digital platforms.
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