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Pub Day Shout-Outs! July 21st, 2020 featuring Menon, Johnson, and Dobson

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

by Ashley Dickson-Ellison (@teachingtheapocalypse)

Here are three books coming out today that I am excited to read!

Book Cover of Sandhya Menon's 10 Things I Hate about Pinky

Description from Publisher:

"The delightful follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie, which follows Ashish’s friends Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date in order to achieve their individual goals, to disastrous and hilarious results.

"Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

"Samir Jha might have a few…quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

"Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions she’s made (a.k.a. boyfriends she’s had), she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer.

"When Samir’s internship falls through, leaving him with an unplanned summer, he gets a text from Pinky asking if he’ll be her fake boyfriend in exchange for a new internship. He jumps at the opportunity; Pinky’s a weirdo, but he can survive a summer with her if there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

"As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they'll never forget."

Why I want to read it: One of the most amazing things about Bookstagram is the amount of kind, generous book lovers out there! I was lucky to get the ARC of this one from @book.amore on Instagram who participated in our #unabridgedpodbuddyread for When Dimple Met Rishi and then wanted to share this one with the pod. I'm reading it right now and am absolutely loving it. Be on the lookout for my review this Friday! I loved When Dimple Met RIshi (and our buddy read discussions!) SO much -- it was my favorite romance of the year so far because of the lovely characters, the sweet story between them, and the exploration of complex social and cultural issues through the lens of their romance! I will definitely be ready to read whatever Menon writes!

Book Cover of Alaya Dawn Johnson's Trouble the Saints

Alaya Dawn Johnson's Trouble the Saints

Description from Publisher:

"The dangerous magic of The Night Circus meets the powerful historical exploration of The Underground Railroad in Alaya Dawn Johnson's timely and unsettling novel, set against the darkly glamorous backdrop of New York City, where an assassin falls in love and tries to change her fate at the dawn of World War II.

"Amid the whir of city life, a young woman from Harlem is drawn into the glittering underworld of Manhattan, where she’s hired to use her knives to strike fear among its most dangerous denizens.

"Ten years later, Phyllis LeBlanc has given up everything―not just her own past, and Dev, the man she loved, but even her own dreams.

"Still, the ghosts from her past are always by her side―and history has appeared on her doorstep to threaten the people she keeps in her heart. And so Phyllis will have to make a harrowing choice, before it’s too late―is there ever enough blood in the world to wash clean generations of injustice?

"Trouble the Saints is a dazzling, daring novel―a magical love story, a compelling exposure of racial fault lines―and an altogether brilliant and deeply American saga."

Why I want to read it: This sounds like such a fascinating story. I've found that I really enjoy alternate history novels, and I love it when writers use that kind of setting to explore complex social issues within our society.


Description from Publisher:

"A deeply moving account of one man’s return to the German town where he first pursued a career in winemaking, and his attempt to reckon with the mental illness, alcoholism, and enduring relationships that defined the most formative chapter of his life.

"After an attempted suicide by hanging—with his son in the next room—author Patrick Dobson checks into a mental hospital, clueless, reeling from bone-crushing depression and tortuous, racing thoughts. A long overdue diagnosis of manic depression offers relief but brings his confused and eventful past into question.

"To make sense of his suicide attempt and deal with his past, he returns to Germany where, three decades earlier, he arrived as twenty-two-year-old—lost, drunk, and in the throes of untreated mental illness—in search of a new life and with dreams of becoming a winemaker. The sublime Mosel vineyards and the ancient city of Trier changed his life forever.

"Ferment charts his days in Trier’s vineyards and cellars, and the enduring friendships that would define his life. A winemaker and his wife become like parents to him. In their son, he finds a brother, whose death years later sends Dobson into a suicidal tailspin. His friends, once apprentices like himself, become leaders in their fields: an art historian and church-restoration expert, an art-and architectural-glass craftsman, a painter and photographer, and a theologian/journalist. The relationships he builds with them become hallmarks of a life well-lived.

"In Ferment, Dobson reconnects with the people who stood by him through his dissolution and eventual recovery. In these relationships, he seeks who he was and how his time in Germany changed him. He peers into his memory to understand how manic depression and alcoholism affected who he was then and how his time in Germany made him who he’s become."

Why I want to read it: I used to rarely read nonfiction, but I've found (through the podcast and recommendations of bookish friends) that I actually love nonfiction accounts like this that delve into a person's life experiences. This one sounds like a powerful, moving read.


(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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