Discover more from Well Read with Anna Bonet
Three new novels to read in July
With secrets, lies and family dysfunction aplenty
Starting here with a very big question: why have I only just discovered the TV show Hacks? The comedy drama is about the unlikely professional partnership formed between a legendary comic and a 25-year-old comedy writer, and my god, it is brilliant. So much so that although an obscene number of books seemed to be published this month, and I want to tell you about loads of them, I’m having to settle on just highlighting the following three gems so I can go back to my binge-watching. (Sorry! More soon, I promise.)
Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
Imagine Little Women but set in an Italian-American neighbourhood in 1980s Chicago, and that is Hello Beautiful: a novel of rare yet classic beauty. It chronicles the lives of the four Padavano sisters, and the love affair that causes their inseparable bond to fray.
When this book was released in the US earlier this year, it became an instant New York Times bestseller and Oprah Book Club pick. I hope it sees a similar success now it is released here in the UK, because the more people I can discuss this astonishingly moving family drama with, the better.
The List by Yomi Adegoke
I can’t put my finger on why, but there is something about novels which explore our lives on social media that I don’t tend to like, so I approached this very buzzy debut with a huge amount of trepidation. But it does it so brilliantly - and is such a taut, addictive story - that it completely changed my mind.
The novel follows Ola Olajide, a high-profile journalist who is about to marry Michael, the love of her life, when his name appears on a viral list detailing abusive men in the UK entertainment industry. The List is nuanced, pacy, unpredictable - and has all the makings of an excellent TV show.
Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur
As he approaches his 70th birthday, ocean scientist Adam stops taking his bipolar medication in order to as make one last great discovery. Meanwhile, his two children, Ken and Abby, are harbouring secrets of their own - and then there is Steph, a stranger who seems mysteriously set on becoming involved in their lives.
Set against the luscious, deeply evocative setting of Cape Cod, Little Monsters is a portrait of family in crisis, and the story that unravels before you is as gripping as it is beautifully told.
Despite the fact that everyone was talking about how good it was, I didn’t read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow when it was first released. It wasn’t until a friend quite literally urged me to pick up a copy that I relented, and thank god she did - this novel about the loves, lives and losses of video-gamers Sam and Sadie really is spectacularly good; it is the kind of book I will never, ever forget. Anyway, the paperback version has just been released so if you were an idiot like me and missed it last year, please take this as your signal to read it now.