This year’s challenge is simple, just pick an author that was born in that month and read a piece of their work. I told you, easy!
Obviously, there are hundreds of books and authors to choose from so we’ve just listed a few for July in case you’re in need of inspiration.
Madeleine Miller – Circe
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.
Moshin Hamid – Exit West
This is Nadia. She is fiercely independent with an excellent sense of humour and a love of smoking alone on her balcony late at night. This is Saeed. He is sweet and shy and kind to strangers. He also has a balcony but he uses his for star-gazing. This is their story: a love story, but also a story about how we live now and how we might live tomorrow. Saeed and Nadia are falling in love, and their city is falling apart. Here is a world in crisis and two human beings travelling through it.
Celeste Ng – Little Fires Everywhere
Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Michael Connelly – The Late Show
It’s thankless work for a once-promising detective, keeping strange hours in a twilight world of crime. Some nights are worse than others. And tonight is the worst yet. Two shocking cases, hours apart: a brutal assault, and a multiple murder with no suspects. Ballard knows it is always darkest before dawn. But what she doesn’t know – yet – is how deep her investigation will take her into the dark heart of her city, the police department and her own past…
Robert Galbraith – Lethal White
When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
Having been found guilty of adultery, Hester Prynne is forced to wear an embroidered scarlet letter “A” as a punishment for her sin. While her vengeful husband embarks on a quest to discover the identity of her lover, she is left to face the consequences of her infidelity and find a place for herself and her illegitimate child in the hostile environment of seventeenth-century Puritan Boston.
Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.
Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms
A Farewell to Arms s the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.
Iris Murdoch – The Bell
Dora Greenfield, erring wife, returns to live with her husband in a a lay community encamped outside Imber Abbey, home to a mysterious enclosed order of nuns. Watched over by its devout director and the discreet authority of the wise old Abbess, Imber Court is a haven for lost souls seeking tranquility. But then the lost Abbey bell, legendary symbol of religion and magic, is rediscovered, and hidden truths and desires are forced into the light.
Sebastian Barry – Days Without End
After signing up for the US army in the 1850s, aged barely seventeen, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, fight in the Indian Wars and the Civil War. Having both fled terrible hardships, their days are now vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Then when a young Indian girl crosses their path, the possibility of lasting happiness seems within reach, if only they can survive.
Other suggestions from Cwts Club Discussion Group. include, Joanne Harris, Zoe Heller, Dean Koontz, Louise Penny, Franz Kafka, Alice Munro, Anna Quindlen, Richard Russo, Faye Kellerman, and Hermann Hesse.
Pick a book from our list, pop along to your local book shop or library or pick something that’s already in your TBR pile. What ever you decide, don’t forget to let us know what you’re reading over on Cwts Club Discussion Group.