Books

The Best Books to Read This July

Five standout new releases of the month-and one old favorite to revisit.
IMAGE COURTESY OF PUBLISHERS
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This month, devour a dark novel, laugh with a collection of essays, admire the exhibition book of the season, and return to a summer favorite.

1. The Big-Deal Novel: My Year of Rest and Relaxation


From Ottessa Moshfegh, author of Eileen, comes a disturbing, captivating story about the struggles of depression in high society. Seeking escape from the recent death of both her parents and the many problems that come with her Upper East Side life, the unnamed narrator turns to a precarious combination of prescription drugs in the hopes of entering a year-long hibernation. Dark humor, empathy, and a truly unique read await.

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2. The Memoir: Little Panic


Author Amanda Stern takes an honest—and very funny—look back at the New York City of her youth, a childhood shaped by her all-consuming panic disorder. In 1979, the disappearance of Etan Patz brings all of Amanda’s worries and fears to an all-too-real crescendo. Little Panicis a captivating reflection on a life marked by ceaseless anxiety.

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3. The Coming of a Certain Age Story: No One Tells You This


Writer (and T&C contributor) Glynnis MacNicol is a 40-year-old with a job she adores and a wide circle of friends—but no husband or children, the two things society has told her repeatedly that she requires for personal happiness. In this funny, engaging, irreverent memoir, MacNicol explores the life she set out to have and the friendships and relationships that sustain her, all while traveling the world.

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4. The Sharp Observations: South Toward Home

Mississippi native Julia Reed is known far and wide for her witty ruminations on life below the Mason-Dixon line. South Toward Home: Adventures and Misadventures in My Native Land, her new collection of essays, gathers some of her finest reflections on the soul of the region, taking us to places known and unknown—from Mardi Gras to the Delta Hot Tamale Festival. Fix a mint julep and savor these slices of Southern life.

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5. The Coffee Table Book: David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night


The Whitney Museum of American Art’s upcoming retrospective, David Wojnarowicz: History Keeps Me Awake at Night, promises to be one of the season’s most talked-about exhibitions. For anyone who can’t make it—or those who do and can’t get it out of their minds—the catalog, featuring the painter, photographer, musician, and activist’s work and essays discussing its impact, is required reading.

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6. The Classic: Tender is the Night


Revisit F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel and transport yourself to “soft-pawed nights” on the French Riviera. The dysfunctional Divers—based on Fitzgerald’s glamorous expat friends Gerald and Sara Murphy—serve up all the drama and decadence one would expect of the Jazz Age to make for one of our absolute favorite summer reads.

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This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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