Lists, Reviews

Books Found at BEA. Otherwise Known as Summer Reading.

I went into the Book Expo America Experience well prepared, but even I discovered a few surprises. These are a few of the books that weren’t initially on my radar, but I’m so happy to have found.

So you can guess what I’ll be reading this summer…(as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)?


In no particular order, except I’m reading number one right now. Probably right this minute, even as you’re commenting…:

10. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. One drowsy summer’s day in 1984, teenage runaway Holly Sykes encounters a strange woman who offers a small kindness in exchange for ‘asylum’. Decades will pass before Holly understands exactly what sort of asylum the woman was seeking…

09. The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue. In the tradition of The Turn of the Screw, Keith Donohue’s The Boy Who Drew Monsters is a mesmerizing tale of psychological terror and imagination run wild, a perfectly creepy read for a dark night.

08. Hold the Dark by William Giraldi. An Alaskan Oresteia, an epic woven of both blood and myth, Hold the Dark recalls the hyperborean climate and tribalism of Daniel Woodrell s Winter s Bone and the primeval violence of James Dickey s Deliverance. This one has my name written all over it.

07. Rainey Royal by Dylan Landis. Greenwich Village, 1970s: Rainey Royal, fourteen years old, talented, and troubled, lives in a once-elegant, now decaying brownstone with her father, a jazz musician with a cultish personality. Her mother has abandoned the family, and Rainey fends off advances from her father’s best friend while trying desperately to nurture her own creative drives and build a substitute family. She’s a rebel, even a criminal, but she’s also deeply vulnerable, fighting to figure out how to put back in place the boundaries her life has knocked down, and more than that, struggling to learn how to be an artist and a person in a broken world.

06. 10:04 by Ben Lerner. Exploring sex, friendship, medicine, memory, art, and politics, 10:04 is both a riveting work of fiction and a brilliant examination of the role fiction plays in our lives.

05. The Lewis Man by Peter May.  The male Caucasian corpse is initially believed by its finders to be over 2000 years old, until they spot the Elvis tattoo on his right arm.

04. Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes. Broken Monsters lays bare the decaying corpse of the American Dream, and asks what we’d be prepared to do for fifteen minutes of fame, especially in an online world.

03. Orfeo by Richard Powers.  Panicked by the raid, Els turns fugitive. As an Internet-fueled hysteria erupts, Els the “Bioterrorist Bach” pays a final visit to the people he loves, those who shaped his musical journey. Through the help of his ex-wife, his daughter, and his longtime collaborator, Els hatches a plan to turn this disastrous collision with the security state into a work of art that will reawaken its audience to the sounds all around them.

02. Lock In by John Scalzi. Fifteen years from now, a new virus sweeps the globe. 95% of those afflicted experience nothing worse than fever and headaches. Four percent suffer acute meningitis, creating the largest medical crisis in history. And one percent find themselvs “locked in”—fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus.

01. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. This is an inclusion that surprises…no one.

What are you reading this summer? If you’re interested, I’ve also done a post on the summer releases I am most excited for and beach reads that are perfect for your summer vacation.


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  • Carolyn O

    Orfeo is crazy good. I posted a review back in January, I think. One of Richard Powers’s other books, Gain, is an all-time favorite of mine.

    Btw, #2 on that list is possibly my greatest fear.

    • Rory

      Your review was actually why I was so excited they were giving it out!

  • Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Rainey Royal and 10:04 both look good. Might be too many corpses in the others for my liking 😉

    • Rory

      I think Orfeo is also a possibility for you, I will let you know when I read it.

  • Gillian @ Book Musings

    Interesting list! I am really interested in the Bone Clocks, so I am looking forward to your review.

    • Rory

      I’m so excited to read that one that I almost wish it was coming out sooner!

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    I heard another bit about Rianey Royal on the Books on the Nightstand podcast that made me even more excited about it. Totally glad we ended up with that one.

    • Rory

      I love how the cover looks so pretty and girly and the book’s protagonist sounds anything but.

  • tanya (52 books or bust)

    Looks like the BEA served you well. Rainey Royal looks like it is right up my alley. Happy reading.

    • Rory

      I did enjoy BEA, I don’t know if I’ll go again – I’d like to, I just don’t know if the overall cost was worth it. The books though…

  • Marisa@TheDailyDosage

    Another great list that has made mine even longer! Curious to hear what you think of Bone Clocks!

    • Rory

      That is totally my goal – because bookpusher.

  • Lianne @

    Great list! Still have yet to read anything by David Mitchell but The Bone Clocks sounds fantastic & the book cover looks great 🙂 Am also keeping a look out for Scalzi’s latest novel 🙂

    My TTT

    • Rory

      I’m curious about both of those. Initially, neither one is exactly what I typically read, which is probably why I’m so attracted to them.

  • kristin @ my little heart melodies

    I completely forgot about Orfeo! I had that on my radar a while ago and then other books distracted me, as they do 😉 Hope you have a great summer of reading!

    • Rory

      Me too! I got lucky that it was being handed out at BEA, I had already forgotten about it. :/

  • Acid Free Pulp

    I just started your #01 this weekend (and looking forward to Under the Dome coming back). I have so many summer books piling high. I’m also particularly interested in The Bone Clocks. Thanks for posting a tiny synopsis; when I first heard about it, not much info was around.

    • Rory

      I…haven’t been loving it as much as I’d hope, although between Mr. Mercedes and Revival, I much prefer the sound of Revival.

  • C.J. @ ebookclassics

    I just started Mr. Mercedes, so very excited about it. I would also like to read The Bone Clocks, but we’ll see. Was the BEA experience what you expected? Would you go again?

    • Rory

      I would go again, the cost is a little high, but I tried to fit in as much NYC tourism as possible, so I felt it balanced out. If I had just done the conference, I would have felt like it wasn’t quite worth it.

  • Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf

    I knew it was dangerous clicking through to this post from Feedly… I was right. Such a great list! 🙂

    • Rory

      Haha, that is exactly my goal.

  • Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

    Great list! I don’t recognize most of these except the David Mitchell. I hope you enjoy them!

    • Rory


  • Andi (Estella’s Revenge)

    You had me at Keith Donoghue. I loved THE STOLEN CHILD when I read it years ago, and I’ll read anything else he writes.

    • Rory

      I’m very excited about his new one, it sounds like exactly what I will love.

  • Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    Oh man. Now I have to add more books to my mental TBR pile. You and Shannon do this to me ALL THE TIME 😉

    • Rory

      Because we’re the best? Yes, I think so.

  • Sarah Says Read

    Lock In sounds really interesting…and terrifying.

    • Rory

      I generally like Scalzi, so I’m pretty excited.

  • Words for Worms

    I’m excited to hear about all these books! So many sound so great!

  • Anmiryam

    Wonderful list, some that intersect with my own BEA TBRs, but some I never encountered. I’ll be especially interested to learn what you think about Hold the Dark and The Lewis Man, both titles that are new to me.

    • Rory

      The Lewis Man is a sequel to The Black House, which I loved.

  • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    Oh awesome! You got a copy of The Bone Clocks! Admittedly, I have yet to read Cloud Atlas and I think I should do that prior to picking this one up. Have you read Atlas?
    The Boy Who Drew Monsters is one I’m super excited about. Just downloaded a copy so I’ll be reading it soon.
    Broken Monsters! Loved The Shining Girls so super eager for this one. And Mr. Mercedes? I am shocked, Rory. Okay, not really.

    • Rory

      I didn’t love Cloud Atlas exactly, but I did appreciate the writing, which is why I’m excited for this one. Plus, he seems like a good guy, which makes me like him even more.

      Yes. Stephen King, so very new and different for me. I’m really breaking out of my comfort zone. 🙂

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