Orange July – So Many Wonderful Choices

Orange July will be here very, very soon (if you don’t know what this is, then go check out the details over on Jill’s blog), and I need to make some tough decisions.

In going through my stacks of unread books, I have found more Orange books than I could possibly read in one month. So, I’m being a bit selective and looking at more recent books that have won or been nominated.

Here is what I am thinking about reading in July (starred items are MUST reads which may be the only ones I manage to read…but, we’ll see):

  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (2011 Short List)
  • Annabel by Kathleen Winter (2011 Short List)
  • The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey (2009 Short List)
  • *Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch (2011 Long List)
  • *The Long Song by Andrea Levy (2010 Long List)
  • *The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin (2011 Long List)
  • *The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (2011 Winner)
  • The Personal History of Rachel Dupree by Ann Weisgarber (2009 Long List AND 2009 Winner of Orange Award for New Writers)
  • The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (2010 Winner)
  • *Swamplandia by Karen Russell (2011 Long List)
  • The Monsters of Templeton, by Lauren Groff (2008 Short List for New Writers Award)
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (2011 Long List)
  • This Is How by M. J. Hyland (2010 Long List)
  • Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman (2009 Short List)

Are you joining Orange July? If so, what is on YOUR must read list?

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    • Jill on June 26, 2011 at 15:33

    Isn’t it amazing, when you list the Orange books on your shelves,how many you have?

    No matter what you choose – you’re for a good month of reading! =)

    • Wendy on June 26, 2011 at 15:36

    Exactly, Jill! And this is just a small dent in the actual Orange books I own and have not read (there was a time there I was buying every single one I could find!). They all so excellent – makes me think I should do an Orange July, August and September!

  1. Oh, if you can, you definitely should try and get to THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON. I read it last month or so and the writing is just amazing. (There are a lot of characters, though. A. LOT.) I’d love to hear your thoughts on it ….

    • sawcat on June 26, 2011 at 22:01

    You had me at orange, my favorite color. I’m already a blogging thing for July and a summer challenge so don’t know if I’ll be able to do Orange July. But I do have four of them already- Wolf Hall, The Poisinwood Bible, The Blind Assassin and The Time Traveler’s Wife, so I may join in if I have time.

    • Wendy on June 27, 2011 at 06:11

    Melissa: Thank you for the recommendation – I cannot tell you how long that book has been waiting for me! I love books with tons of characters…I’ll try to fit it in next month 🙂

    Sawcat: LOL – well, the books you have are all great (except I didn’t love Wolf Hall…although lots of people did). Happy reading!

    • Andi on June 27, 2011 at 07:07

    How exciting! I wasn’t aware of this event, but I have a LOT of Orange winners and listers on my stacks. Right off the bat I can think of Swamplandia, Great House, The Monsters of Templeton, The Tiger’s Wife and others. I already had these high on my radar, so July sounds like a perfect opportunity to indulge!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m really looking forward to Orange July this year! I, too, have far too many to read, but I’m looking forward to knocking several out. I’ve read six of those on your list, and my favorite of them is Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman. It’s historical fiction at its best! I also really liked The Invisible Bridge (although it is long) and The Long Song. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives was really good too, but I find myself recalling it less fondly than the others. The Lacuna and Swamplandia were less successful for me, but I still loved and appreciated a lot in them. Happy reading! I’m hoping to sneak in at least three (The Tiger’s Wife, Memory of Love and Grace Williams Says It Loud from this year’s short list.) Happy reading!

  3. I’m hoping to participate too, but I’ve got quite a lot on my plate for July already, between the TLC book and the Blackout read-along plus a couple of other books I’m currently reading…

    • gavin on June 27, 2011 at 16:33

    That is quite a list, Wendy. I’m starting with The Inheritance of Loss and then plan to read The White Women on a Green Bicycle, can’t wait!

    • Aths on June 29, 2011 at 07:31

    We do have quite a few overlaps!! I so want to read the Forna and the Levy books – I haven’t got those copies yet.

  4. I’m thrilled to be included on your July Orange reading list.

    I love Ellen Feldman’s Scottsboro so do give it a try. I was captivated from page one and found myself staying up late, consuming the book in huge chunks. It’s told from several points of view, and each voice is strong. I read Scottsboro a few years ago, but I continue to think about it. It’s that kind of novel.

    • Wendy on July 10, 2011 at 19:49

    Andi: Wow, we certainly do share a lot of the same books!

    Carrie: I hope you are enjoying Orange July! There are so many great books to choose from!

    Avis: Hope you’ll get a chance to read at least one Orange book this month 🙂

    Gavin: I’m looking forward to your thoughts on Inheritance of Loss – it is a difficult book, but I really ended up liking it quite a bit.

    Aths: It is so hard to narrow down what to read…eventually I want to read them all 🙂

    Ann: Thank you so much for dropping by and for your thoughts on Scottsboro too. I am looking forward to reading your book 🙂

  5. Wendy, I’ve read one already (Room) and am now working on a second (Bel Canto)!

    • Wendy on July 18, 2011 at 06:18

    Avis: You go, girl!!

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