What does change really look like? It’s a question at the center of many of this month’s best new books. In Blacktop Wasteland, a mechanic who worked hard to move on from a life of crime is met with financial difficulties that leave him no choice but to drive the getaway car for an upcoming heist. In The End of White Politics, political analyst Zerlina Maxwell picks apart the Democratic Party and argues why it must reject white politics in order to truly evolve. And in a crop of memoirs, authors like Michele Harper and Natasha Trethewey analyze the pain of their pasts in an effort to understand how trauma has impacted the choices they’ve made in their lives. Here, 5 Best Books You Should Read in July 2021.
1. The Sixth Wedding (Elin Hilderbrand)
The Sixth Wedding – A postscript to the #1 New York Times bestseller 28 Summers – Jake McCloud returns to Nantucket for Labor Day weekend 2023, this time without Mallory.
I love this follow up to 28 Summers. Last year, when I read 28 Summers, I loved it so much and it’s one of my favorite books. But I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much reading a book. This short story about the characters several years later wraps things up for them well, though it was still awfully sad with Mallory missing. It was great to have the characters back in the original setting and a sweet story for them in the end.
2. Better Off Dead (Lee Child & Andrew Child)
Jack Reacher is back in a brand-new page-turning thriller from acclaimed #1 bestselling authors Lee Child and Andrew Child.
Digging graves had not been part of my plans when I woke up that morning.
Reacher goes where he wants, when he wants. That morning he was heading west, walking under the merciless desert sun—until he comes upon a curious scene. A Jeep has crashed into the only tree for miles around. A woman is slumped over the wheel.
Dead? No, nothing is what it seems.
The woman is Michaela Fenton, an army veteran turned FBI agent trying to find her twin brother, who might be mixed up with some dangerous people. Most of them would rather die than betray their terrifying leader, who has burrowed his influence deep into the nearby border town, a backwater that has seen better days. The mysterious Dendoncker rules from the shadows, out of sight and under the radar, keeping his dealings in the dark.
He would know the fate of Fenton’s brother.
Reacher is good at finding people who don’t want to be found, so he offers to help, despite feeling that Fenton is keeping secrets of her own. But a life hangs in the balance. Maybe more than one. But to bring Dendoncker down will be the riskiest job of Reacher’s life. Failure is not an option, because in this kind of game, the loser is always better off dead.
3. When Stars Collide (Susan Elizabeth Phillips)
#1 New York Times bestseller Susan Elizabeth Phillips returns to her beloved Chicago Stars series with a romance between a Chicago Stars quarterback and one of the world’s greatest opera singers—and a major diva.
“Re-entering the world of the Chicago Stars is like a beloved friend come to call.” — #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr
Thaddeus Walker Bowman Owens, the backup quarterback for the Chicago Stars, is a team player, talented sideline coach, occasional male underwear model, and a man with a low tolerance for Divas.
Olivia Shore, international opera superstar, is a driven diva with a passion for perfection, a craving for justice, too many secrets—and a monumental grudge against the egotistical, lowbrow jock she’s been stuck with.
It’s Mozart meets Monday Night Football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand. Along the way, the combatants will engage in soul-searching and trash talk, backstage drama and, for sure, a quarterback pass. But they’ll also face trouble as threatening letters, haunting photographs, and a series of dangerous encounters complicate their lives. Is it the work of an overzealous fan or something more sinister?
This is the emotional journey of a brilliant woman whose career is everything and a talented man who’ll never be happy with second place. Tender and funny, passionate and insightful, this irresistible romantic adventure proves that anything can happen…when two superstars collide.
Beautiful story. Wonderfully written. Actually lyrical in places.
It took me a bit to warm up to the heroine. It was probably more than 20% when I learned enough about her to appreciate her standoffish behavior and attitude that she projected to the hero and the world. By that point, I was routing for them both.
Interesting twists and complexity.
I fully agree with him that he went too far but admired her tenacity in her efforts.
Effectively a PG romance. The sex scenes were a seductive dance which was a bit amusing.
Loved so much, the epilogue for the glimpse into the future and their lives which was complicated and loving.
A+ and all the stars.
4. The Night Hawks (Elly Griffiths)
There’s nothing Ruth Galloway hates more than amateur archaeologists, but when a group of them stumble upon Bronze Age artifacts alongside a dead body, she finds herself thrust into their midst—and into the crosshairs of a string of murders circling ever closer.
Ruth is back as head of archaeology at the University of North Norfolk when a group of local metal detectorists—the so-called Night Hawks—uncovers Bronze Age artifacts on the beach, alongside a recently deceased body, just washed ashore. Not long after, the same detectorists uncover a murder-suicide—a scientist and his wife found at their farmhouse, long thought to be haunted by the Black Shuck, a humongous black dog, a harbinger of death. The further DCI Nelson probes into both cases, the more intertwined they become, and the closer they circle to David Brown, the new lecturer Ruth has recently hired, who seems always to turn up wherever Ruth goes.
5. Freed (Helen Hardt)
When you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go…
Dale Steel has spent his life running from the horror of his past, so he’s completely unprepared for horror to follow him into the present. But that’s exactly what it’s done. His only hope is his love for Ashley White, so he grabs hold with both hands, determined to escape his bleak existence.
Ashley is so in love she can’t see straight. Dale—and the thrall he holds over her—has given her a new outlook on sex and relationships, and she’s all in. Things are finally falling into place.
But Ashley and Dale’s troubles are far from over. An untimely death disrupts their hopes at happiness, followed by a phone call that leaves Dale even more grief-stricken. He must make an important decision. Two roads lie in front of him, but only one will free him.