Seira Wilson: I love going to fairs – big ones, little ones, as long as there is fried and unique local food to be had, I’m in. I just got a new cookbook, Fair Foods: The Most Popular and Offbeat Recipes from America's State and County Fairs so I’m going to try creating a home cooked version of some favorites. Right now I’m thinking corn dogs and funnel cake might be good places to start… And since I’m already going to be in the kitchen this weekend, I figure I might as well make some boozy popsicles. Because, well, why not? Enter The Poptail Manual. The recipes look delicious and different, with seasonal fruit and fresh ingredients—I’m going to start the testing with the Dirty Banana Coffee Pops. Yum!!
Erin Kodicek: I'm excited to have a look at the latest from John Boyne, The Heart's Invisible Furies. Boyne is probably best known for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, later made into a film, but he has penned numerous wonderful novels and I have a feeling 'Furies' will be no exception. Boyne has never shied away from touching on hot button issues in Ireland's tumultuous history, and he does so again through the story of Cyril Avery, a child born out of wedlock who spends far too many years trying to shake off feelings of shame, and illegitimacy. Light summer reading this is not, but I always feel like a more emotionally well-rounded human being after reading one of Boyne's books, and after finishing a season of The Real Housewives, I'm a bit parched in that department.
Sarah Harrison Smith: If you’re in a book club, I wonder if you agree that the thing that’s a drag about them is exactly the thing that makes them worthwhile: you have to read books you wouldn’t choose for yourself. I don’t normally read YA, but few years ago I was thrilled to be invited to join a group that only reads books for kids and teens. This month, that book is The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Thomas, who’s from Jackson, Mississippi, has written a novel that’s timely and irresistible. It’s the story of an African-American girl named Starr who’s witness to a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager who just happens to be her friend. The Hate U Give has gotten fantastic reviews since Balzer & Bray published it in February. Now I see what the buzz was about. Thomas gives Starr a totally credibly teenage voice, rich with pop culture references and slang. I was up way too late with this book last night, and I know I won’t stop until it’s finished.
Jon Foro: The Graduate is my favorite movie. So, even though it’s not out until November, I’m going to look at Seduced by Mrs. Robinson, wherein Beverly Gray combines behind-the-scenes reporting about the making of the film with analysis of its cultural significance, influence, and staying power. Koo-koo-ka-choo, Mrs. Robinson.
Penny Mann: On my to-read list this weekend is Joe Tone's Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream, which is the story of brothers living on either side of the U.S./Mexico border and how a criminal conspiracy brought their lives together. I love a good conspiracy story when it's in the pages of a book, but I hope none of the horses get hurt… I am a sucker for horses.
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