Roxanne's 2018 Summer Reads

Roxanne's 2018 Summer Reads

Roxanne Coady RJ Julia Booksellers owner photoWhether it’s true or not, we think of summer as the time when we’ll get to those books we’ve been meaning to read. I’m going to make believe it’s true that at least THIS summer, I WILL get to all those books (for once!). 

When I think back on my favorite summer reads, the ones that have been most satisfying have been attached to a place: at the beach while enjoying a stunning sunset, on a chaise in Maine overlooking the Penobscot Bay, or a memorable vacation with Kevin and Edward.

My idea of a perfect beach read may not be yours – maybe it’s an 800-page biography. I do know one thing for sure – you must be engrossed from page one! Happy Summer!


 

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Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

Just The Right Book Podcast Roxanne Coady logo

This blockbuster bestseller has riveted so many of us. Her tale of emerging from her survivalist fundamentalist family in Idaho defies reason, yet reflects Tara Westover’s indominatable spirit and insight. Along the way we are in awe, in shock, and ultimately, fascinated by this unlikely journey.   -Roxanne

Tara Westover: From Harrowing Childhood to Cambridge PhD


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The Female Persuasion: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781594488405
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - April 3rd, 2018

This is Meg Wolitzer at her best. A coming of age story about Greer, a shy college student who finds a mentor in a Gloria Steinem-type icon. Meg’s love of characters shines as she follows Greer and her relationships with her boyfriend, best friend, and the mentor, who ultimately disappoints her. A loving look at how you find your way in the world while trying to reconcile activism, principle, and pragmatism.  -Roxanne


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How Hard Can It Be?: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250086082
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 5th, 2018

I have been a huge fan of Allison Pearson since her first book I Don’t Know How She Does It. I laughed just as hard reading her follow up, How Hard Can it Be? Pearson has a way of making serious things – losing interest in your marriage, returning to work at age 50, raising children in the age of social media – hysterical. I love Pearson’s wit and spirit. This book is a blast.  -Roxanne

I Don't Know How She Does It Author Does it Again! 


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Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions (An Auntie Poldi Adventure #1) Cover Image
By Mario Giordano, John Brownjohn (Translated by)
$24.00
ISBN: 9781328863577
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - March 6th, 2018

Sharon, one of our most enthusiastic, smart booksellers, is in love with this book—here is what she has to say:

"Take one Miss Marple, subtract 20 years, add one bad wig and a lust for uniformed policemen, and meet Auntie Poldi. Although intent on spending her "last days" drinking wine at her Sicilian villa, life keeps getting in the way. When her handsome handyman disappears, Poldi makes it her mission to investigate. Filled with eccentric characters, including her would-be-writer nephew and a "Greek Chorus" of sisters-in-law, this book is a delight from the first to the last page."  -Sharon


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Calypso Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316392389
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 29th, 2018

David Sedaris has been one of my favorites since Me Talk Pretty One Day. He is just as hilarious in Calypso, his collection of stories of life at his beach house on the Carolina coast. His essays about family and getting older are both tender and hilarious. Buy this book if you like to laugh out loud while reading on the beach!   -Roxanne


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Abridged Classics: Brief Summaries of Books You Were Supposed to Read but Probably Didn’t Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062747853
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Design - June 5th, 2018

As an economy and accounting major in college, I missed out on reading the classics. Though I have caught up on many, I plan to turn to Abridged Classics for the rest. I think the two-page description of War and Peace is just right. A perfect purchase for a recent graduate or a hostess gift!  -Roxanne


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Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399588174
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Spiegel & Grau - November 15th, 2016

I was amazed and charmed reading Trevor Noah’s telling of his growing up in South Africa under challenging and unsettling circumstances. Yet his wit and writing skill imbued the tale with hilarious tidbits and a depiction of his mother that was inspiring. I was a fan to begin with and now add a profound sense of respect for his humanity and perseverance.  -Roxanne


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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735220690
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - June 5th, 2018

This bestseller, which has been acquired by Reese Witherspoon for a movie, tells the story of Eleanor who lives a happily isolated life until a chance encounter forces her to come out of her shell. I truly fell in love with the character and couldn’t wait to find out what happened. And although, Eleanor is NOT completely fine, at the end she can find happiness.  -Roxanne


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Grant Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781594204876
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Press - October 10th, 2017

Just the Right Book Podcast Roxanne Coady LogoRon Chernow has become a rock star as a result of his writing the Hamilton biography, which became the basis for the “gotta see” irresistible play. But before that, he has been known as a gifted biographer and his latest bio does not disappoint. We have an image of Ulysses S. Grant that is in large part caricature. Here, Chernow brings us the vivid story of the brilliant general, progressive President, and somewhat flawed man. Even though this book weighs in at about 800 pages, I was thrilled throughout.  -Roxanne

Hamilton Author's Latest Bio Uncovers a Heroic U.S. Grant


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How to Be Well: The 6 Keys to a Happy and Healthy Life Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781328904782
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 3rd, 2018

I am always trying to figure ways to improve my health and well being – how to be rested, content, productive, thinner, and of course, healthier. Lipman’s book lays out easy-to-follow advice for the bigger picture – how to be well. I found that its simple guides on eating, sleeping, unwinding, and connecting were easy to follow and practical. Plus, it includes recipes for 23 perfect meals!  -Roxanne


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I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780525520221
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - February 6th, 2018

I was amazed reading acclaimed novelist Maggie O'Farrell’s new memoir. Who knew you could be mesmerized by her depiction of 17 brushes with death, ranging from childhood illnesses to an encounter with a murderous stranger. As in all books that consider the possibility of dying, they of course teach us how to live. Her essay about protecting her daughter from a life-threatening disease was particularily heartbreaking and poignant. This is a literary masterwork.  -Roxanne


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The Immortalists Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780735213180
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - January 9th, 2018

Just the Right Book Podcast Roxanne Coady LogoHow would you live your life knowing the date and time of your death? In Benjamin’s bestseller, the four young Gold siblings learn from a fortune teller the exact day each will die. This epic book follows the siblings over the course of 40 years as they deal with the repercussions of this information. I am a big fan of this book; you won’t be able to put it down as you learn how each life ends. -Roxanne

Chloe Benjamin on The Immortalists; 5 Books to Read Now


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The Mars Room: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476756554
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - May 1st, 2018

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Rachel Kushner is one of today’s most gifted and dynamic writers. Kushner’s novel follows a single mom, Romy Hall, who winds up in prison. This book made me think about what we take for granted and what it is like for those, like Romy, who never had a chance.  Understanding and developing empathy for lives different than our own is, to me, one of the most motivating and engaging elements of reading. Rachel Kushner is brilliant at creating this world. This is a riveting and heartbreaking book by a genius of a writer.  -Roxanne

Rachel Kushner Goes Inside a Women's Prison in The Mars Room


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In Praise of Wasting Time (TED Books) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781501154362
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster/ TED - May 15th, 2018

Tired of living in the age of digital distraction? I am. Lightman examines the negative impact of living in the world of devices, information overload, and fragmented time. I agree with his opinion that we must embrace play, solitude, and contemplation to leaven our hyper-stimulated lives. I urge you to read this persuasive book and unplug.  -Roxanne


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Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780374537449
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 6th, 2018

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Winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction, Locking Up Our Own is an honest and balanced look at our criminal justice system. Forman, a Yale University Law Professor and former DC prosecutor, investigates the issue of mass incarceration in American and the part played by African Americans in shaping this criminal justice policy.  Forman brings his sense of humanity and clear eyed research to skillfully address a tangled, complex, and tragic issue. No one gets off the hook here. This is an important book that I urge you to read. He was one of my favorite interviewees on the Just The Right Book podcast, bringing his graciousness and intelligence to the wide ranging discussion.  -Roxanne

James Forman, Jr. On Political Activism

James Forman, Jr. Talks Slavery and His Own Surprising Prejudices


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Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781501187599
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Touchstone - April 3rd, 2018

Cecile Richards's story is fun, funny, smart, and inspiring. She convinced me that we all have an obligation to become activists and yes, make trouble!  -Roxanne


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The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501178009
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 22nd, 2018

The Restless Wave, by Senator John McCain and Mark Salter, covers everything from foreign policy to politics to McCain’s triumphs and regrets and incredible-like story. This is a brilliantly written and an important book. It reminded me that in a time when many of us are discouraged by the political landscape, we are heartened that there are those like Senator McCain who care deeply about our country and act with a sense of patriotism and commitment. This doesn’t mean we might disagree and mistakes might be made, but men like McCain are guided by a vision of what our country can and should aspire to. I urge you to read this not only for the insight into politics and foreign policy, but to fight off the despair that hangs in the air today.  -Roxanne


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Tangerine: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062686664
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - March 27th, 2018

This hot book follows two best friends from college who reconnect when one suddenly shows up, uninvited, in Morocco. Soon people are dead. Christine Mangan is a great storyteller and you won’t be able to put this book down. Let me know what you think about the ending!  -Roxanne


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Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250196682
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 29th, 2018

How often do you check your phone during the day? What about your children? In ten thoughtful essays, Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley executive, explains how social media is running our lives. This book made me think about what social media is doing to us – to our ability to be contemplative, to provide empathy, to have free will. Buy this book and put down your phone!   -Roxanne


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Trick Cover Image
By Domenico Starnone, Jhumpa Lahiri (Translator)
$16.00
ISBN: 9781609454449
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Europa Editions - March 6th, 2018

Domenico Starnone is a towering literary icon in Italy — their Philip Roth. He is also married to the woman who is “Elena Ferrante’s” agent and they are both the subject of some speculation, re: the actual identity of Elena. All that is less important than Starnone’s superb and compelling tale, translated by Jhumpa Lahiri. Starnone follows an aging illustrator as he returns to his childhood home to babysit his grandson. Ghosts, the exuberance of youth, and diminishing fame, prompt the illustrator to reflect on the course of his life, touching on aging, love, infidelity, violence, envy, and ambition in an exquisite and elegant way. I look forward to Starnone enjoying deserved success in the US. Be the first to “discover” him.   -Roxanne


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Wade in the Water: Poems Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9781555978136
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graywolf Press - April 3rd, 2018

United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith beautifully reflects on America, both past and present. I found her words to be a poignant and political commentary on the complexities and challenges and important issues of today.  -Roxanne


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The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316260206
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - August 7th, 2018

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Jeff Goodell’s book on climate change is fantastic. He turns a scientific topic into an engrossing story. More importantly, he educates on what is factual, likely, unlikely, and/or has potential to be remediated. If you have any interest in climate change and what it means to you over the next 5 or 25 years, I encourage you to read this book. I loved learning a ton!   -Roxanne

Jeff Goodell's The Water Will Come

Inside the Wall Street Journal's Book List


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Dot Journaling--The Set: Includes a How-To Guide and a Blank Dot-Grid Journal Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781615194094
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Experiment - August 8th, 2017

I am a compulsive list maker— but keeping it useful, reference-able, efficient, and tidy is no small task! One day browsing in the bookstore, I discovered this book and thought— how ridiculous that there is a book on this subject. Well, as I took it home out of curiosity, it had lots of tidbits that have totally changed how I keep my lists.  The book has tons of ideas that more than made sense for me, but that you might find great. All I know is that my new system, now in place four months, is fantastic - a game changer! (P.S. For an alternative and hilarious view of to-do lists, read this New York Times op-ed from Patricia Hampl.)   -Roxanne


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White Houses: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812995664
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - February 13th, 2018

You may think you may know everything about Eleanor Roosevelt – there is no shortage of research and analysis, writing and viewpoints about her. Yet, I found that Amy Bloom brings a new and artful understanding of Eleanor and her relationship with Lorena Hickok, Eleanor’s friend and lover. Guided by exhaustive research, Amy has brought us into the world of a beautiful and unconventional love affair. This is an irresistible story.   -Roxanne


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Real Friends Cover Image
By Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781626727854
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - May 2nd, 2017

Winner of the 2018 Graphic Literature award, Real Friends is a must-read for every parent, grandparent, and child. It is a brilliant depiction of growing up, dealing with social dynamics at school, and finding your place in the world. I found this to be charming and engaging and encourage you to read this book, even if you don’t have children. This is THE book to pick up ASAP if you want to have a good day!  -Roxanne


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Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Power of Storytelling Cover Image
By Matthew Dicks, Dan Kennedy (Foreword by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781608685486
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New World Library - June 12th, 2018

Matthew Dicks is a Connecticut writer and truly a state treasure. His wonderful new book teaches the art of story-telling, but more importantly, Matthew Dicks teaches us that everyone has a story to tell. Encouraging people to tell their stories, especially those who do not feel heard, is critical to our collective sense of humanity. I urge you to read this book!   -Roxanne

Storytelling Tips & Tricks From a Moth Champion