The Wrap: July

My extended family went on vacation together earlier this month.

Enter below and you’ll find book and television recommendations for the month of August, magic, cults, and inspiring non-fiction.

July Book Reviews

The Parking Lot Attendant by Nafkote Tamirat

1 Sentence Synopsis: An Ethiopian parking lot tycoon lures a female high school student into his cult and web of lies.

Review: This is a book about cults, but it’s not the expected story. How can people find themselves wrapped up with an illustrious, charming, but ultimately evil, person? The beginning and middle are slow yet interesting, with a unique vantage point and prose, but the end is jarring, inadequate, and highly disappointing. The climatic twist is surprising, but not in a good way. A true three-star book, this is good but not great, bad but not terrible.

(BN) (Amazon) (IndieBound)

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

1 Sentence Synopsis: Orïsha, a land where magic has been stripped and magicians are ethnic outcasts, must be saved by a young girl, her brother, and a rogue princess of a ruthless monarchy.

ReviewChildren of Blood and Bone is easily the best book of the year, if not the decade. We run to fantasy to escape, but the longer you stay in this engrossing world of Orïsha, the harder it is to escape the realization you’re falling deeper and deeper into the world as it is now. Cultural death, systemic racism, and privilege come together to form a surprisingly delightful, terrifying, and phenomenal fantasy. Pick. This. Up.

(BN) (Amazon) (IndieBound)

The Soloist by Steve López

1 Sentence Synopsis: What begins as an exploitative relationship between an LA Times reporter and a homeless street musician, quickly unravels into a complex and heartbreaking friendship as real as our own.

Review: The Soloist is one of the most compulsively readable non-fiction books I’ve read in a while. López’s beautiful reporting pulls back the curtain on one of America’s most taboo subjects: Skid Row. Grab a box of tissues and bandages for paper-cuts, then pick this up.

(BN) (Amazon) (IndieBound)

Looking Ahead: August

What to Read:

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – Hold on to the last bits of summer by pretending you’re on a small cruise ship in the middle of an ocean. The only problem is someone on the boat is dead but you’re the only one who knows it.

Everything is Awful by Matt Bellassai – Commiserate your misery of returning back to classes with professional whiner Matt Bellassai’s debut comedic memoir.

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery – Tell your school-aged kids you’re learning something too when they gripe about returning to school. Disappear into the depths of the ocean to learn about one of nature’s smartest creatures.

What to Watch: 

Making It (NBC) – Parks and Rec’s alums Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler host a completely original, soothing competition show about different types of crafting. It’s a calm and easy-going break in a crazy, non-stop world. Premiers July 31

Nightwatch Nation (A&E)  – The producers of the hit emergency services docu-series takes a page out of of Live PD’s book and will expand to cover paramedics, firefighters, and police officers from across the country in a single episode. Premiers August 16

Dark Tourist (Netflix) – Prepare for Halloween and the creepy fall season by touring the most macabre parts of the world with host David Farrier. Season 1 streaming now



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