top of page

Suggested Reads for June 2024

Looking for some book inspiration? Here are some suggested reads for June!


These books have been on Publisher Weekly's Bestseller List and at the top of the Millstadt Library's most circulated list. At the end of these lists, Nichole picks a book or two that she personally recommends.


We just reviewed Cahokia Jazz by Francis Spufford and are reading The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf for our next Senior Center Book Club meeting on Monday, July 15 at 11 a.m.


Without further ado, here are this month's picks!


The Backyard Bird Chronicles by Amy Tan


A gorgeous, witty account of birding, nature, and the beauty around us that hides in plain sight.


Tracking the natural beauty that surrounds us, The Backyard Bird Chronicles maps the passage of time through daily entries, thoughtful questions, and beautiful original sketches.

With boundless charm and wit, author Amy Tan charts her foray into birding and the natural wonders of the world.


In 2016, Amy Tan grew overwhelmed by the state of the Hatred and misinformation became a daily presence on social media, and the country felt more divisive than ever. In search of peace, Tan turned toward the natural world just beyond her window and, specifically, the birds visiting her yard. But what began as an attempt to find solace turned into something far greater—an opportunity to savor quiet moments during a volatile time, connect to nature in a meaningful way, and imagine the intricate lives of the birds she admired.


Genres: Nonfiction | Nature | Memoir | Birds | Animals | Science | Art 


320 pages, Flexibound | First published April 23, 2024



All the Glimmering Stars by Mark Sullivan


Inspired by a true story, two teens kidnapped by an African warlord find salvation through love in a powerful and healing historical novel from the #1 bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky and The Last Green Valley.

Anthony Opoka and Florence Okori are coming of age in Uganda in the 1990s. Outstanding students, they believe in being good humans before they are kidnapped and forced into the fanatical Lord’s Resistance Army.

 

In a legion of young recruits, no one gets closer than Anthony to powerful messianic warlord Joseph Kony and his darkest secrets. To stay sane as he spirals through chaos, Anthony clings to his childhood lessons about being a good human. Florence’s upbringing grounds her, too, helping her keep her dreams alive even as she’s pulled deeper into the insanity of Kony’s war.


At the lowest points of their lives, certain they’ll never go home, Anthony and Florence meet by chance, fall in love, and begin to dream of surviving their captivity. They devote their lives to helping their fellow child soldiers escape bondage and return to their families and redemption by following the stars.


By turns tender, shocking, moving, desperate, and ultimately triumphant, Florence and Anthony’s story is an epic drama of humanity, a life-affirming tale, and an experience readers will never forget.


Genres: Historical Fiction | Fiction| Africa | Historical | Audiobook


475 pages, Kindle Edition | First published May 7, 2024

  


 April, May, June, July by Alison Hart

A triumphant family story and sharply observed exploration of privilege, identity, and love in all its forms, following four estranged siblings whose lives collide in the lead-up to a family wedding, when new clues surface about their long-missing father.


April, May, June, and July Barber don’t have much in common anymore. An upcoming family wedding will place the four siblings in the same room for the first time in years. But shortly before, when April spots their father, who went missing while serving overseas a decade ago, their reunion becomes entirely more complicated.


While the siblings’ search for the truth about their father forces them back into each other’s lives, it also intensifies their private dramas. April loves her husband, but seeks excitement outside their marriage. May had big dreams for the future, but she’s still stuck living at home. June is eager to marry her girlfriend, so why does she need a drink at every wedding-related event? And then there’s baby brother July, whose unrequited love for his straight roommate has him more confused than ever.


Confronting the past together, April, May, June, and July will find not only answers about their father, but new romance, hope, and understanding as they learn to embrace the beauty of their shared history.


Genres: Fiction | Queer | Contemporary | Adult | LGBT | Audiobook | Queer Lit


352 pages, Hardcover | First published May 14, 2024



You Like it Darker by Stephen King

“You like it darker? Fine, so do I,” writes Stephen King in the afterword to this magnificent new collection of twelve stories that delve into the darker part of life—both metaphorical and literal. King has, for half a century, been a master of the form, and these stories, about fate, mortality, luck, and the folds in reality where anything can happen, are as rich and riveting as his novels, both weighty in theme and a huge pleasure to read. King writes to feel “the exhilaration of leaving ordinary day-to-day life behind,” and in You Like It Darker, readers will feel that exhilaration too, again and again.


“Two Talented Bastids” explores the long-hidden secret of how the eponymous gentlemen got their skills. In “Danny Coughlin’s Bad Dream,” a brief and unprecedented psychic flash upends dozens of lives, Danny’s most catastrophically. In “Rattlesnakes,” a sequel to Cujo, a grieving widower travels to Florida for respite and instead receives an unexpected inheritance—with major strings attached. In “The Dreamers,” a taciturn Vietnam vet answers a job ad and learns that there are some corners of the universe best left unexplored. “The Answer Man” asks if prescience is good luck or bad and reminds us that a life marked by unbearable tragedy can still be meaningful.


Genres: Horror | Short Stories | Fiction | Thriller | Mystery | Audiobook | Fantasy


502 pages, Hardcover | First published May 21, 2024


Assassins Anonymous by Rob Hart


In this clever, surprising, page-turner, the world’s most lethal assassin gives up the violent life only to find himself under siege by mysterious assailants. It’s a kill-or-be-killed situation, but the first option is off the table. What’s a reformed hit man to do?


Mark was the most dangerous killer-for-hire in the world. But after learning the hard way that his life’s work made him more monster than man, he left all of that behind, and joined a twelve-step group for reformed killers.


When Mark is viciously attacked by an unknown assailant, he is forced on the run. From New York to Singapore to London, he chases after clues while dodging attacks and trying to solve the puzzle of who’s after him. All without killing anyone. Or getting killed himself. For an assassin, Mark learns, nonviolence is a real hassle.


Genres: Thriller | Fiction | Mystery | Mystery Thriller | Adult | Contemporary | Suspense


320 pages, Hardcover | First published June 11, 2024



NICHOLE'S RECOMMENDATIONS


This isn't RuPaul's first foray into non-fiction, and most likely will not be his last. How House of Hidden Meanings stands out is through the soul-searching he went through during this memoir. Whether a fan of this flamboyant TV host or not, what RuPaul tells is a story of overcoming emotional and physical hurdles and the importance of continuing to pursue your dreams. It's really a great, quick read that can help you gain perspective, especially if you are at a crossroads in your own career or life.


House of Hidden Meanings by  RuPaul


From international drag superstar and pop culture icon RuPaul, comes his most revealing and personal work to date—a brutally honest, surprisingly poignant, and deeply intimate memoir of growing up Black, poor, and queer in a broken home to discovering the power of performance, found family, and self-acceptance.


A profound introspection of his life, relationships, and identity,  The House of Hidden Meanings  is a self-portrait of the legendary icon on the road to global fame and changing the way the world thinks about drag. Central to RuPaul’s success has been his chameleonic adaptability. From drag icon to powerhouse producer of one of the world’s largest television franchises, RuPaul’s ever-shifting nature has always been part of his brand as both supermodel and supermogul.


Yet that adaptability has made him enigmatic to the public. In this memoir, his most intimate and detailed book yet, RuPaul makes himself truly known. Stripping away all artifice, RuPaul recounts the story of his life with breathtaking clarity and tenderness, bringing his signature wisdom and wit to his own biography. From his early years growing up as a queer Black kid in San Diego navigating complex relationships with his absent father and temperamental mother, to forging an identity in the punk and drag scenes of Atlanta and New York, to finding enduring love with his husband Georges LeBar and self-acceptance in sobriety, RuPaul excavates his own biography, uncovering new truths and insights in his personal history.


Here in RuPaul’s singular and extraordinary story is a manual for living—a personal philosophy that testifies to the value of chosen family, the importance of harnessing what makes you different, and the transformational power of facing yourself fearlessly. If we’re all born naked and the rest is drag, then this is RuPaul totally out of drag. This is RuPaul stripped bare.


Genres: Nonfiction | Memoir | Audiobook | LGBT | Biography | Autobiography | Queer


256 pages, Hardcover | First published March 6, 2024

 


*all descriptions of the novels and the book covers are from GoodReads.com

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page