Summer certainly flies by, doesn't it?
Between summer vacations and goings-on at the station, a belated edition of What to Read with McNally Robinson Booksellers this month of August.
Looking for some last minute summer reads? A few more titles to work through during the lazy days of summer. Find all the latest picks below!
The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid
One morning, a man wakes up to find himself transformed. Overnight, Anders’s skin has turned dark, and the reflection in the mirror seems a stranger to him. At first he shares his secret only with Oona, an old friend turned new lover. Soon, reports of similar events begin to surface. Across the land, people are awakening in new incarnations, uncertain how their neighbors, friends, and family will greet them.Some see the transformations as the long-dreaded overturning of the established order that must be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss and unease wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance at a kind of rebirth–an opportunity to see ourselves, face to face, anew.
In Mohsin Hamid’s “lyrical and urgent” prose (O Magazine), The Last White Man powerfully uplifts our capacity for empathy and the transcendence over bigotry, fear, and anger it can achieve.
Making Love with the Land by Joshua Whitehead
In the last few years, following the publication of his debut novel Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead has emerged as one of the most exciting and important new voices on Turtle Island. Now, in this first non-fiction work, Whitehead brilliantly explores Indigeneity, queerness, and the relationships between body, language and land through a variety of genres (essay, memoir, notes, confession). Making Love with the Land is a startling, heartwrenching look at what it means to live as a queer Indigenous person "in the rupture" between identities. In sharp, surprising, unique pieces—a number of which have already won awards—Whitehead illuminates this particular moment, in which both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples are navigating new (and old) ideas about "the land." He asks: What is our relationship and responsibility towards it? And how has the land shaped our ideas, our histories, our very bodies?
Here is an intellectually thrilling, emotionally captivating love song—a powerful revelation about the library of stories land and body hold together, waiting to be unearthed and summoned into word.
Haven by Emma Donoghue
Around the year 600, three men vow to leave the world behind and set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them
In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar priest named Artt has a dream in which God tells him to leave the sinful world behind. With two monks—young Trian and old Cormac—he rows down the River Shannon in search of an isolated spot in which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find the impossibly steep, bare island known today as Skellig Michael. In such a place, what will survival mean?
The Shortest History of War by Gwynne Dyer
Acclaimed historian and military expert Gwynne Dyer tells the story of war from its earliest origins up to the present age of atom bombs and algorithms. Dyer chronicles the advent of warfare in the first cities; the rise of inequality and tyranny as humans multiply; the thousand-year classical era of combat until the firearm and the Thirty Years' War, which changed everything. He traces how the brief interlude of limited war before the popular revolutions of the eighteenth century ushered in "total war" -- and how the devastation was halted by the shock of Hiroshima. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has punctured the longest stretch of peace between major powers since WWII. In a technologically advanced and hyper-connected world, we humans find ourselves in a most precarious position: under the heightened threats of climate change, nuclear war, and superpower rivalry. Far from another dry military history, The Shortest History of War synthesizes research from multiple fields of study and journalism into a highly readable, fast-paced, and enlightening read for anyone who wants to understand the role of war in the long human story -- and how we can stop it from dominating our future.
The Foghorn Echoes by Danny Ramadan
Syria, 2003. A blooming romance leads to a tragic accident when Hussam’s father catches him acting on his feelings for his best friend, Wassim. In an instant, the course of their lives is changed forever.
Ten years later, Hussam and Wassim are still struggling to find peace and belonging. Sponsored as a refugee by a controlling older man, Hussam is living an openly gay life in Vancouver, where he attempts to quiet his demons with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wassim is living on the streets of Damascus, having abandoned a wife and child and a charade he could no longer keep up. Taking shelter in a deserted villa, he unearths the previous owner’s buried secrets while reckoning with his own.
The past continues to reverberate through the present as Hussam and Wassim come face to face with heartache, history, drag queens, border guards, and ghosts both literal and figurative.
Masterfully crafted and richly detailed, The Foghorn Echoes is a gripping novel about how to carve out home in the midst of war, and how to move forward when the war is within yourself.