EXCELLENT books in July, and some that I’ll remember for a long, long time…

Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Where do I begin with this stunning novel? Yolk has the same vibe as If I Had Your Face or maybe one of those old angsty authors–JD Salinger or F. Scott Fitzgerald. They’re particularly relevant because this book worships New York City. Overall, it’s a stunning, often painful read that had me sobbing several times. It’s about sisterhood, womanhood, illness, desperation, and family, and I can only tip my hat to Choi, because I am going to be thinking about it for a long time.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I’m still not sure how I feel about this Gladwell installment. It’s arguing…that gut instinct is a real thing? That our subconscious is more powerful than we believe? That not much of our brain is the conscious part? None of this feels like particularly new nonfiction ground to me. Gladwell then goes on to tackle at length several instances of police shootings, explaining how we become “autistic” when faced with the extreme danger of a gun being pointed at us. I think he suffers in this section by neglecting to discuss the politics around these events, and I think he winds up sounding more sympathetic than he is, or even than the science itself is.

Almond by Sohn Won-Pyung

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This novel reminded me so much of Flowers for Algernon. Perhaps a cross between that and The Alchemist. It’s very life-affirming, sweet despite its brutality, unmistakably set in Korea and yet universal to everyone. I really enjoyed this short read as an audiobook!

The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

Rating: 3 out of 5.

While I found this book a super fun, juicy read, I don’t really get why all the cool reading booktube girlies are reading it. It’s an excellent book, don’t get me wrong, and it definitely pulls you out of the real world for a while. Rich people and gossip and more rich people and then some rich people who decide they’d rather not be rich. But it’s not going to stick in my memory. For more impactful stuff of this sort, I recommend some Henry James or even Earnest Hemingway.

The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I am so excited about this new fantasy world from John Gwynne. It is everything comforting and familiar and yet somehow so hard to achieve that we look for in fantasy. And the audiobook performance is stunning. Check out my full rave review here.

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