& Fridays: June Book of the Month

Hello all!

For the past several months (it might even be a year…) I have been participating in a lovely subscription service called Book of the Month. Like many of its kind, Book of the Month sends you a book each month to enjoy, review, lend out to friends, post about on social media, etc.

What I like about Book of the Month is that while they don’t send out fun bookish merchandise like Owl Crate or Uppercase (both of which I have done before), they offer you choice. Each month you can choose a book from five different options on their website. These books range in genre from fluffy romance to YA to epic sci-fi. And if none of the options pique your interest? You can skip the month! It is $14.95 per month, which is far less than I would pay for a brand new hardcover in a bookstore.

I also like that this service exposes me to new books: I haven’t already heard about the titles they offer – most of them aren’t already on my to-read list, but I almost always find something interesting to buy and/or add to that list.

Feel free to check it out for yourselves! This isn’t an ad – I don’t receive any benefits from telling you about it. But I’ve been crazy happy with the service so far.

The Book of Essie by Meghan Maclean Weir (publication date: June 12, 2018)

Description: “Esther Ann Hicks–Essie–is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media–through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell–Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?”

The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (publication date: June 19, 2018)

Description: “If Indiana Jones lived in the X-Files era, he might bear at least a passing resemblance to Nolan Moore — a rogue archaeologist hosting a documentary series derisively dismissed by the “real” experts, but beloved of conspiracy theorists.

Nolan sets out to retrace the steps of an explorer from 1909 who claimed to have discovered a mysterious cavern high up in the ancient rock of the Grand Canyon. And, for once, he may have actually found what he seeks. Then the trip takes a nasty turn, and the cave begins turning against them in mysterious ways.

Nolan’s story becomes one of survival against seemingly impossible odds. The only way out is to answer a series of intriguing questions: What is this strange cave? How has it remained hidden for so long? And what secret does it conceal that made its last visitors attempt to seal it forever?”

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri (publication date: June 19, 2018)

Description: “Katie Daniels is a perfection-seeking 28-year-old lawyer living the New York dream. She’s engaged to charming art curator Paul Michael, has successfully made her way up the ladder at a multinational law firm and has a hold on apartments in Soho and the West Village. Suffice it to say, she has come a long way from her Kentucky upbringing.

But the rug is swept from under Katie when she is suddenly dumped by her fiance, Paul Michael, leaving her devastated and completely lost. On a whim, she agrees to have a drink with Cassidy Price-a self-assured, sexually promiscuous woman she meets at work. The two form a newfound friendship, which soon brings into question everything Katie thought she knew about sex—and love.

When Katie Met Cassidy is a romantic comedy that explores how, as a culture, while we may have come a long way in terms of gender equality, a woman’s capacity for an entitlement to sexual pleasure still remain entirely taboo. This novel tackles the question: Why, when it comes to female sexuality, are so few women figuring out what they want and then going out and doing it?”

Calypso by David Sedaris (publication date: May 29, 2018)

Description: “David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best.”

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (publication date: June 5, 2018)

Description: “Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…”

Whew!

So, first of all, this was one of those Book of the Month selections where I liked EVERYTHING. I mean, come on – sweet, nerdy romance? Funny essays? Indiana Jones meets sci-fi?! It was honestly tough to narrow it down.

In the end, I chose not one, not two, but three new books this month! The Book of Essie, The Anomaly, and The Kiss Quotient. My to-read piles are becoming precariously tall again…

Stay tuned for upcoming reviews of said books, as well as much more to come!

What did you or would you have chosen this month?

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