Menu

What to Read This Summer? The Top 10 Books of 2024 (So Far)

By
Photo: Fortunately, the list of bestsellers that everyone should read has grown by at least 10 new entries since the last winter holiday, Source: Pixabay
Photo: Fortunately, the list of bestsellers that everyone should read has grown by at least 10 new entries since the last winter holiday, Source: Pixabay

A summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to avoid dying of boredom and idleness while tanning on the beach for a couple of weeks by catching up on the literary gaps that have accumulated since the beginning of the year. Fortunately, the list of bestsellers that everyone should read has grown by at least 10 new entries since the last winter holiday.

The return of Salman Rushdie (after an assassination attempt) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (posthumously); crime scenes in a hot Irish village; teenage girls punching each other in a boxing tournament; reflections on martyrdom, nostalgic punk feminism, and anti-stereotypical essays about Ukraine—our recommended reading list for the summer covers all this and more...

For Lovers of Old Stories in a New Way


JAMES by Percival Everett 

Anyone who read "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain in their childhood remembers Jim, the black slave who accompanied Huck down the Mississippi River. Due to his illiteracy and superstitious nature, this character became a racist stereotype. Percival Everett set out to reimagine his character and essentially wrote the same story, but from Jim's perspective. It turns out that he is actually a literate and wise man who, for instance, talks to famous philosophers and Enlightenment thinkers in his dreams. The surrounding white people do not know this because Jim hides his education so that they do not feel threatened by him and do not punish the intelligent man.

For Fans of "One Hundred Years of Solitude"


UNTIL AUGUST by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

The unexpected decision of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's children to posthumously publish his last novel met with sharp criticism. First, "Until August" remained unfinished. Second, Marquez himself considered the book imperfect because in his old age he suffered from dementia and therefore could not, as before, clearly follow the plot construction. Third, before his death, the writer ordered his children to burn all the manuscripts of the novel. Be that as it may—what happened has happened. The book is primarily interesting for the fact that Marquez had never before made a woman the protagonist of a story. Here, the story revolves around Anna Magdalena Bach—a happily married mother who, despite this, goes to the island where her mother is buried every year to find a new lover.

For Memoir Enthusiasts

KNIFE by Salman Rushdie 

Salman Rushdie has been under threat of assassination since 1989 when after the publication of his novel "The Satanic Verses," Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the writer's death with a $3 million reward. Rushdie lived in constant secrecy for the rest of his life, but over the years he became somewhat less vigilant. In 2022, during a public appearance in the US, a man ran up to Rushdie and stabbed him several times. After six months of treatment, the writer went blind in one eye and lost sensation in his hand. "Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder" is his memoir about the horrific tragedy, in which he contrasts violence with the artistic power of words.

For Those Who Enjoy Crime Thrillers


THE HUNTER by Tana French 

In her new novel, the queen of Irish crime fiction, Tana French, once again tells the adventures of retired Chicago policeman Cal Hooper. After retiring, he moves to a village in Ireland, where he bonds with a local woman and simultaneously transforms her outcast teenage son, Trey, into a well-behaved and obedient child. It would seem that this is a happy and peaceful retirement, but no—a prodigal father of Trey appears on the horizon, now planning to search for gold in the area. Cal and Lena make tremendous efforts to protect the teenager from his father's bad influence, but Trey wants only one thing—revenge... Besides the issues of morality and law, the novel unexpectedly raises the topic of the hidden threat of climate change, as throughout the story the characters suffer from an intense and uncharacteristic summer heat in Ireland.

For Athlete-Philosophers


HEADSHOT by Rita Bullwinkel 

When an associate professor of English literature decides to write a debut novel about women boxers, it’s bound to be interesting. Eight young girls compete in the Daughters of America Cup tournament over two evenings. Each of them has their own obsessions, secret dreams, and motivations for stepping into the ring to fiercely punch their opponents and take powerful hits in return. Bullwinkel describes the physical and emotional pains of her characters as if she spent her whole life in boxing gloves, but her sport in college was actually water polo. Incidentally, this is also a rather contact and tough sport, which left Bullwinkel with a broken nose and multiple fractured fingers. However, the novel will interest not only lovers of sweaty muscles, girl fights, and confused teenage psyches but also those seeking a philosophical mood, as Bullwinkel believes that only those who think they can control the uncontrollable—their destiny—can engage in sports.

For Punks and Feminists


REBEL GIRL by Kathleen Hanna 

Once upon a time, Kathleen Hanna had a friend named Tobi Vail, who used the deodorant “Teen Spirit” and dated Kurt Cobain. Deciding to joke about them, Hanna wrote “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” on Cobain’s wall. Not understanding the reference (as he was unfamiliar with girls’ deodorants), Cobain nonetheless appreciated the poetic expression and, removing his name, turned it into the title of the hit that became a breakthrough for Nirvana. This episode is not Hanna’s only achievement, though perhaps the most famous. She was also the leader of the feminist punk band Bikini Kill and later the electronic pop band Le Tigre. In her book "Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk," Hanna portrays the collective image of the rebels of her youth and recalls how she tried to find her creative voice in an atmosphere of prevailing sexist culture.

For Secretive Aliens


BEAUTYLAND by Marie-Helene Bertino 

In 1977, when “Voyager 1” was launched, a secret alien emissary was born to a single mother in Philadelphia—a girl named Adina. At least, Adina firmly believes that she is somehow connected to a distant planet, has relatives there, and must fax them information on whether Earth is suitable for their mass resettlement. Marie-Helene Bertino’s new novel will appeal to anyone who has felt like an alien among the surrounding Earthlings from childhood and loves planetariums, Carl Sagan’s popular science books, and the nostalgic flair of the 1980s with dreamy reflections on the far corners of the universe.

For Poetic Alcoholics


MARTYR! by Kaveh Akbar 

Kaveh Akbar became famous for his poems in the collection "Portrait of an Alcoholic," which tells of the difficult process of overcoming addictions. The protagonist of his debut novel "Martyr!" Cyrus Shams, like the author, has been sober for several years, but his tendency towards self-destruction hasn’t gone away. In his early thirties, he remains tied to his college town, spending most of his time aimlessly wandering, trying to make sense of his parents’ deaths. Concurrently, Shams decides to write a poetry collection about famous historical martyrs, but his life takes a drastic turn when he learns of a cancer-stricken artist on the other side of the country who has decided to turn her last days into a work of art. Shams decides he must meet her and sets off on a long journey...

For Those Seeking Their Identity


WANDERING STARS by Tommy Orange 

Once a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, Tommy Orange worked at the Native American Health Center, where he recorded oral stories of Native Americans. The stories he heard inspired him to create "There There," which became a bestseller and made urban natives more visible to many Americans. Orange's new novel "Wandering Stars" is both a prequel and a sequel to the original work. It first tells of a young Native American who survived an ethnic massacre in the 19th century and then of a family caught in a symbolically similar shootout in the 21st century.

For Supporters of Ukraine


THE UKRAINE by Artem Chapeye 

This is the debut collection of 26 stories and essays by Ukrainian writer Artem Chapeye, who currently serves in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The book was released in 2018 and became a national sensation. In 2022, The New Yorker reprinted the title story, and now there is a great opportunity to read the entire book in English. "The Ukraine" will appeal to those who want to see this country without the prism of stereotypes, which has been heroically resisting the massive invasion of criminal Russians for three years. Interestingly, Chapeye typed the foreword for the English edition on his phone while sitting in a trench on the front line. If a soldier of civilization in the main war of today—ducking from bombs, shells, and drones—found a moment to tell us something important, who are we not to find the time to listen?

Recommended

Economics

Reconstruction Under Air Defence Umbrella

06.13.2024 15:49
Life

Ukrainian Laureates of the World's Most Prestigious Photography Awards

06.13.2024 10:15
Politics

A Not So Sharp Right Turn

06.11.2024 15:48
Culture

The League of Ordinary "Gentlemen"

06.11.2024 10:03
Politics

Vengeance Through the Centuries

06.10.2024 10:47

Similar articles

We use cookies to personalize content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you've provided to them. Cookie Policy

Outdated Browser
Для комфортної роботи в Мережі потрібен сучасний браузер. Тут можна знайти останні версії.
Outdated Browser
Цей сайт призначений для комп'ютерів, але
ви можете вільно користуватися ним.
67.15%
людей використовує
цей браузер
Google Chrome
Доступно для
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
9.6%
людей використовує
цей браузер
Mozilla Firefox
Доступно для
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Linux
4.5%
людей використовує
цей браузер
Microsoft Edge
Доступно для
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
3.15%
людей використовує
цей браузер
Доступно для
  • Windows
  • Mac OS
  • Linux