So far, it’s been a pretty fresh Summer. But that doesn’t mean the heat won’t hit us soon with walls of humidity and heat waves.
June is also National Audio Book month, and in honor of Audio Books, we have ramped up our audio book listening. Here are the books we have read and recommend for your list – the hottest reads of the Summer!
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor
The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa—a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.
Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks—alone, except for her fox companion—searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.
But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Marakami
With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.
This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. T
heir odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle–yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, 22-year-old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned one of Atticus’s ancestors—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.
A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of two black families, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.
Listen to it on Kobo, here.
The Lurking Fear and Other Stories by H.P. Lovecraft
H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos is a primary influence of countless iconic authors, and even now, nearly a century after its publication, its themes of cosmic horror and madness remain at the forefront of supernatural literature, as well as being highly influential in the mediums of music, film, and video games. But Lovecraft’s expansive imagination didn’t stop there. This five-story volume contains some fascinating rarities outside the Cthulhu Mythos.
The Lurking Fear includes examples of Lovecraft’s earliest weird fiction including “Hypnos,” “What the Moon Brings,” “Imprisoned with the Pharaohs,” and “Memory,” (inspiration for the 2014 film of the same name) as well as the title story, “The Lurking Fear,” a traditional horror study commissioned by George Julian Houtain to be run as a serial in Home Brew magazine in 1923 that has served as the source material for multiple films and been adapted into a comic book.
Only H. P. Lovecraft could conceive the delicious and spine-tingling horrors you will find within the pages of this unique five-story collection.
Listen to it on Kobo, here.
The Ritual is our blog where we talk about books, art, film and occasionally, some pop-culture. Warm up your coffee, roll your medicine, kick up your feet, and elevate your thoughts as we cross through the threshold, and into the realm of the Uncertain.
American Sniper by Chris Kyle
From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy Seal Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. His fellow American warriors, whom he protected with deadly precision from rooftops and stealth positions during the Iraq War, called him “The Legend”; meanwhile, the enemy feared him so much they named him al-Shaitan (“the devil”) and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle, who was tragically killed in 2013, writes honestly about the pain of war—including the deaths of two close SEAL teammates—and in moving first-person passages throughout, his wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their family, as well as on Chris. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle’s masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.