I’ve been reading more than usual this summer (the month off for brain surgery may have something to do with it) & wanted to recommend some of the best books I’ve stumbled across. If you need more recommendations, here’s all the books I’ve read this year; stars for the ones I’ve liked most. Just don’t make fun of my weird taste in novels & tendency to read a ton of YA.

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain // Adrianne Harun

Strange. Creepy. Atmospheric. The book is set in a nameless logging camp in British Columbia, and offers very little context, so you feel simultaneously lost in it and also drawn — pulled, really — toward the next page. This was different from anything else I’ve ever read. goodreads | amazon

Detroit: An American Autopsy // Charlie LeDuff

An appropriately angry, disarmingly personal explanation of the incredible decline of Detroit — and its implications for the rest of the country — from Charlie LeDuff, an ex-New York Times journalist who returned to his hometown to tell its story. It wasn’t what I expected, and it was excellent. goodreads | amazon

Thunderstruck & Other Stories // Elizabeth McCracken 

Stories about everything — a rebellious child with an unexpected head injury, a lost daughter and strange sons, a shabby apartment furnished with the best its landlord had, a backstabbing documentary, the murder of a library patron. All of them are sweet and sad and very, very good. goodreads | amazon

The Local News // Miriam Gershow

A story about a boy who goes missing — but the book isn’t about him. It’s about his sister, who was mistreated by her brother in relatively typical teenage ways, and her life after she, along with her mother and father, is left behind. It’s an unusual conceit executed readably, which isn’t common. goodreads | amazon