By the end of the day, July will be over and we’ll be one month closer to the end of the year. I know 2020 was the longest year in history but 2021 really isn’t wasting any time. The end of July also means the end of short month titles. From here on out, it’s long names to spell out. I’m pretty concerned that I won’t manage it but I’ll do what I can. Hopefully, I can just get through with audiobooks and graphic novels.
Jazz by Toni Morrison
Book 8 of the month.
Joe Trace – in his fifties, door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, erstwhile devoted husband – shoots dead his lover of three months, the impetuous, eighteen-year-old Dorcas.
At the funeral, his determined, hard-working wife, Violet, who is given to stumbling into dark mental cracks, tries with a knife to disfigure the corpse. Passionate and profound, Jazz brings us back and forth in time, in a narrative assembled from the hopes, fears and realities of black urban life.
Review coming soon.
Urien’s Voyage by André Gide
Book 3 of the month.
Urien’s Voyage is an allegorical account of a sea voyage. From the stagnant, teeming waters of the Sargasso to the frozen Arctic, Gide charts in prose the fantastic journey of the Orion and the sexual and moral transformations of those aboard. The temptations, suffering, and surroundings of Urien and his companions are described with an extraordinary profusion of detail, yet the pilgrims can never be sure of the reality of their experiences.
The eponymous Urien is, we now know, the young Andre Gide himself. Written under the spell of the great French Symbolist poet Mallarme, the novel is an illustration of both the techniques and the aesthetic credo of the Symbolist movement. Although written early in the career of this key French thinker and Nobel Prize-Winner, Urien’s Voyage is now regarded as a significant work, articulating the powerful tension between sexuality and morality that would preoccupy Gide in his better-known later novels.
Read my review.
Lockdown 69 by Rocky Flintstone
Book 4 of the month.
Locked down in the office as the world fell to pieces Belinda was left to organise the sleeping arrangements for the entire Steeles Pots and Pans staff… and some guests… very special guests such as the Countess of Leningrad, their training Guru Natasha Biles and her latest recruit Samantha… But the story moves quickly on as the Duchess recruits Belinda to work with the British Government to ensure the continuity of a pots and pans supply for Britain. But sinister and devious forces were afoot and Steeles were now about to feel the chill wind of fraud, bankruptcy and oblivion.
Belinda, Bella, Des Martin and surprisingly Dave Wilcox… Regional Manager South West, were thrown into a battle rarely seen in the industry culminating in the initiation ceremony of the latest recruits to COCK. The fightback had begun and with the help of forensic accountant James Dribble Belinda and her COCKS would battle through the next few days of sheer turmoil and extreme sexual encounters.
Enter villains D’artagnan Raspberry, Sammy Quin and Peggy Strumpethouse… newly married to Jim Thompson, Belinda’s admin man. All holidaying in a South Sea island, revenge, death and nasty meat pies took their toll and it was all left to Helga of the FBI to clean up the international side of things. But back in London the sales of pots and pans had to go on and with some very important clients to entertain, Belinda and Bella were kept busy despite the ongoing crisis… But total disaster was approaching in the fast lane, MI6 intelligence had identified Wolfgang Bisch as the prime suspect… and this time he wasn’t taking prisoners…
Read my review.
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan
Book 7 of the month.
Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.
That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.
When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.
Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.
Read my review.