Benjamin Wood’s first novel, The Bellwether Revivals, was just released this year and tells the riveting story of a man who believes music can not only affect emotions but also heal. Is he right or dangerously deluded? Here the debut author reveals his dangerously delicious picks for your summer reading pleasure.
1. The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers, $10.
Perfect summer reading. McCullers depicts the approaching adolescence of her young protagonist, Frankie, with subtle linguistic flourishes. The sense of Frankie’s isolation and desperation to be a part of the adult world is perfectly rendered. One of the most compassionate and moving novels about childhood that I’ve encountered.
2. The Magus by John Fowles, $11.
Amid the sweltering climes of a remote Greek island, Nicolas Urfe, a young English teacher, becomes entangled in the philosophical game of an aging intellectual and his female companions. A classic novel by one of Britain’s finest authors, pregnant with ideas and written with elegance, invention, and ceaseless energy.
3. Mr. Vertigo by Paul Auster, $19.
Perhaps one of the least-acclaimed of Auster’s novels, this magic-realist adventure about a boy who is taught to levitate by his mysterious mentor, Master Yehudi, is a charming and captivating story. As always, Auster’s evocation of the metaphysical is powerful and convincing. I defy anyone to not be taken in by it.
4. Model Home by Eric Puchner, $17.
Model Home is a cleverly-structured, poignant, and—strangely enough for a story that’s hinged upon a tragedy—funny novel about South Californian family struggling to stay together in a gated community in the 1980s. Puchner is one of my favourite young American writers, and this debut deserves a wide readership.