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Tertulia Staff Picks: 10 Books Coming in July That We Can't Wait to Read

Tertulia staff •
Jun 29th, 2024

Every month, we share the books we can't wait to read. Our July staff picks include: a sophomore novel from the bestselling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble; a dystopian novel from an up-and-coming National Book Foundation 5 under 35 honoree; an award-winning plague novel finally translated to English; and a Pulitzer Prize-winner's timely account on the inner workings of autocracies around the world.


FICTION

This Great Hemisphere by Mateo Askaripour (July 9)

Selected by Romina Raimundo

I still can't go into a Starbucks and not think (and chuckle a little) about Askaripour's first novel Black Buck, which earned him serious attention as an up-and-coming lit star, including a "5 under 35" honor from the National Book Foundation. For months now, I've been hearing about this follow-up book set in the far future which has much more of a Black Mirror vibe than the Silicon Valley satire of his last book. Set in a meticulously crafted futuristic world where second-class citizenship is the norm, the book follows a young woman—invisible by birth— on a desperate quest to find her missing brother.


The Modern Fairies by Clare Pollard (July 23)

Selected by Laurann Herrington

Like most of us, I grew up reading and watching fairytales. I can't wait to read Claire Pollard's latest historical novel that reveals how some of my favorite stories such as Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood were born in a little literary salon amongst Parisian elite and highborn during the paranoid reign of King Louis XIV. This book promises to be just as entertaining and imaginative as any good fairytale while managing to be jaw-droppingly true.


Long Island Compromise by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (July 9)

Selected by Fernanda Gorgulho

I loved the biting social commentary and neurotic vibe of this author’s debut novel Fleishman Is in Trouble (the basis for Hulu’s hit series starring Claire Danes and Jesse Eisenberg, which I also adored), so I’m really excited for her second book. This family saga begins with a wealthy father’s kidnapping in the 1980s, and goes on to explore the decades-long aftermath of that disturbing episode through the perspective of his children and wife, told with the author’s signature satirical eye and biting humor. This one's just the right mix of juicy drama/trauma and funny that I’m looking for in a novel right now!


The Astrology House by Carinn Jade (Jul 16)

Selected by Fernanda Gorgulho

My summer TBR list just isn't the same without a gripping thriller, and I believe I’ve stumbled upon one that ticks all the right boxes for my poolside reading. It’s about a group of affluent New Yorkers who head off to a hot new astrology-themed resort and find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery. Think Liane Moriarty (of Big Little Lies fame) with a dose of astrology, plus a dash of Katy Hays suspense - not your run-of-the-mill horoscope reading!


Pink Slime by Fernanda Trías (July 2)

Selected by Laurann Herrington

I've been hooked on "plague novels" since I first read Albert Camus' The Plague as a high schooler, and my interest spiked in recent years after our COVID reality began to mimic these age-old stories. The creeping toxic algae and plague in Pink Slime make for extraordinary circumstances that test the limits of human resilience and hold our relationships to a microscope. The book has already won awards (including the top literary award in the author's native Uruguay) and I can't wait to see how it reads in English.


It Had to Be You by Eliza Jane Brazier (July 16)

Selected by Iliyah Coles

It's like Mr. & Mrs. Smith with a Europe backdrop. What more can you ask for? I love a good chase that not even every character is in on!


The Coin by Yasmin Zaher (July 9)

Selected by Lynda Hammes

For months, I've been hearing about this debut novel popping up on "most anticipated" lists galore. The book follows a rich, stylish young Palestinian woman who struggles to live the high life as an NYC school teacher whose inheritance is out of reach. First starting up a pyramid scheme selling counterfeit Birkin bags, and then giving in to a cleanliness obsession that rubs her skin raw, she begins to slowly unravel... Rave reviews are trickling out, but I was already sold on the blurb from Slavoj Žižek: "The Coin does much more than meet the highest standards of literature: it sets its own standards...The Coin is not a wonderful beginning that promises masterpieces to come—it already is a masterpiece.”


NONFICTION

Democracy in Retrograde: How to Make Changes Big and Small in Our Country and in Our Lives by Sami Sage and Emily Amick (July 9)

Selected by Sophia Nash

In a year when elections worldwide are testing democracy's resilience and autocratic tendencies are gaining ground, this book strikes me as a refreshing take for those of us trying to understand this new political reality without losing our minds (or sense of humor) in the process. This could be the nudge I need to move from "democracy is doomed" to "democracy needs work, and I can help."


Die Hot with a Vengeance: Essays on Vanity by Sable Yong (July 9)

Selected by Laurann Herrington

I've fallen victim in the past to buying the trendy, must-have beauty product that promises to be "life-changing" only for it to go out of fashion and into the my trashcan the following week. So, of course I am eager to get my hands on Allure magazine's former beauty editor, Sable Yong's debut essay collection about the mostly exploitative yet sometimes empowering multibillion dollar machine that is the beauty industry. Yong tackles subjects such as authenticity in the age of performance—and if blondes really do have more fun—with insightful wit and charm.


Autocracy, Inc.: The Dictators Who Want to Run the World by Anne Applebaum (July 23)

Selected by Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

Our current political moment is so discouraging, that it can be downright draining to stay on top of what's happening around the world. I try to seek out the journalism and books that offer historical context. The latest from Anne Applebaum (a Pulitzer winner and Atlantic contributor) dives into the intricacies of autocratic regimes around the world, and makes an urgent case for democracies to restructure their policies to meet the looming threat. I have no illusions that this book will soothe my fears, but I am sure it will be a solid education on the underlying tension between democracy and autocracy here and around the world.

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