June Preview

Ahhh summer, my favorite time of year. Being so far north here, the days stay light till quite late and are warm. June usually brings a fair amount of rain to these parts, but it’s been much drier than normal this spring so we will see. Already there’s been a problem with wildfires, which is worrisome. At left is a photo from our recent bike ride through the local mountains.

For those who attended Book Expo 2015 in New York City this past week, I hope you had a great time and will dish on what happened there. I’m thinking of going next year when Book Expo hits Chicago, May 11-13. Mark your calendars. It should be great.

In books coming out in June, I haven’t been exactly sure what I want to sink my teeth into. There’s new ones by horror authors Stephen King ( “Finders and Keepers” ), Paul Tremblay (“A Head Full of Ghosts”), and Sarah Lotz ( “Day Four” ), if that’s your cup of tea. There’s also a notable spy thriller from Jason Matthews (“Palace of Treason”), his second with CIA agent Nate Nash. But what about “Tiny Little Thing” the latest from popular author Beatriz Williams? People loved her novel “A Hundred Summers” and this one could be a perfect beach read. Right?

I also have my eye on Jami Attenberg’s “Saint Mazie” which is set during the Jazz Age at The Venice, New York’s famed movie theater. Attenberg last wrote “The Middlesteins,” which drew quite a bit of attention, and this one is getting high praise too. Then there’s Fredrik Backman’s new novel that comes after his big success with “A Man Called Ove,” which is apparently terrific. His second novel “My Grandmother Sent Me to Tell You She’s Sorry” is about a precocious seven year old whose grandmother leaves her some letters upon her death that sends the girl on a journey into a world of the grandmother’s fairy tales. It sounds like a touching and warm tale, though I’m still hoping to read Backman’s novel “Ove” first.

But perhaps the two June books I’m most curious about are Mia Alvar’s short-story collection “In the Country” and British author Sarah Hall’s novel “The Wolf Border.” I don’t often read short story collections, but the high praise about Alvar’s book has caught my attention. Its stories apparently are about people who’ve been displaced by the Filipino diaspora as seen through the eyes of expats living in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. According to Knopf: Alvar’s debut: “explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined.” I’d like to see if this one is as good as critics say.

As for Sarah Hall’s “The Wolf Border,” it’s about a zoologist Rachel Caine who is called to spearhead a controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside. As she contends with the modern-day realities of the return of the wolf, her own regeneration is unexpectedly sparked. Booklist calls “The Wolf Border” : “An absorbing portrait of a woman and her conflicted relationships with family, homeland, and identity,” and the Economist says it’s a “compelling, psychological drama.” I’ve heard much about Sarah Hall’s writing so count me in for this one.

As for movies out in June, there’s the usual splatter of summer fare with the action-adventure “Jurassic World,” the animated “Inside Out” and the comedies “Spy” and “Ted 2.” And fans of the TV series “Entourage” can look forward to a film version with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold. But my pick this month is “Love & Mercy,” the biographical film about Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys fame. I’ve heard it’s innovative and interesting, and for anyone who likes the music of the 1960s, it should be an entertaining look back at the man who created “Good Vibrations” among other songs.

Lastly in albums for June, there’s new ones coming out by Of Monsters and Men and the Indigo Girls that should be worth checking out. My pick is the new one by British band Florence and the Machine, which is called “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful.” The band played two singles from it on Saturday Night Live on May 9, which sounded pretty cool.

How about you — which books, movies, or albums out this month are you most looking forward to?

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20 Responses to June Preview

  1. I’m also looking forward to the new Florence and the Machine, and just surfing over at Allmusic.com, I guess the other one I’m looking forward to is the new one by Jamie xx, whose band The xx I’ve always liked. Other than that, I’m not really sure. Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson have a new one that might be worth checking out. As for movies, probably Jurassic World, mainly for Chris Pratt, whom I loved in Guardians of the Galaxy.

  2. Beatriz Williams gets my vote. A Hundred Summers is THE perfect beach book! I’ll be reading her novel The Secret Life of Violet Grant this month.

    • Susan Wright says:

      I need to read A Hundred Summers. Though we are far from any beach! She seems an enticing author for sure. Thx JoAnn.

  3. Amy Brandon says:

    The Wolf Border looks like something I would like.

    • Susan Wright says:

      Yes Amy. The premise is a bit intriguing and Sarah Hall’s writing is supposed to be excellent. We will see!

  4. I am curious about Tiny Little Thing….and the Stephen King book looks interesting, too. I haven’t read one of his books since 11/22/63, which I loved.

    Enjoy your week…and I went to BEA in 2008 when it was in LA….

    Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    • Susan Wright says:

      Oh that would be convenient if BEA was back in LA. Must have been fun there. I too am curious about Tiny Little Thing. It could be a perfect summer read. Thanks Laurel.

  5. Vasilly says:

    I think I’m going to have to check out The Wolf Border. I’ve never read anything by Sarah Hall before. The one thing I’m really looking forward to in June is all the free time I get with summer vacation. 🙂

    Enjoy your Sunday.

    • Susan Wright says:

      Thanks Vasilly. Yeah I’ve never read Sarah Hall before either. But I am hearing excellent things. Hmm. Enjoy your free time!

  6. Thanks for sharing your finds. I’m not really keen to read anything new this summer, though I am looking forward to seeing what you think if Tiny Little Thing.

    • Susan Wright says:

      Yeah Deb, I just like to know what’s coming out. Tiny Little Thing does look like a fun read if I get through with what’s already on my plate!

  7. I’m very excited about the new Backman book!

  8. Michelle says:

    So many goodies in June! I love that Florence + The Machine has a new album. And the Indigo Girls? I feel like I’m in my 20s again! Stephen King, Beatriz Williams, Sarah Lotz…just so much to love this month!

    • Susan Wright says:

      Yeah I agree Michelle. A lot of summer treats this month. I’m checking out Flo & the Machine these days!

  9. Ooh thanks for including the music. Didn’t know about the news albums, especially from Florence and the Machine. Not familiar with the new books. Hope you have a great June and that the wildfires are okay.

  10. What an interesting list of June books and all new to me! I like the sound of Wolf Border since I worked for Defenders of Wildlife on reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park. I wish we could do the same for Maine where deer are overrunning everything.

    • Susan Wright says:

      Oh Sarah: Wolf Border sounds right up your alley then. I think it’s an interesting issue, so I want to get a copy of the book. We enjoy seeing wolves in Banff Park around here.

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