Carve Reads — Staff Picks for Recommended Reading

As we enter deep summer, we’ve taken a fresh look at the books grabbing the attention of the editors and staff of Carve right now. Below you’ll find page-turners and deep tomes alike (often both), and whether you’re looking for something for the beach, a plane ride, or your own nightstand, we hope you’ll find just the book you’ve been seeking in the list below.

Matthew Limpede, Executive Editor:

"I'm currently reading A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I'm only about 100 pages in but am fascinated by the fact that the author only took 18 months to write it. It's been recommended to me by several of my writer friends and described as everything from 'life altering' to 'torture porn,' so I'm looking forward to finishing it and gauging my own reaction."

Denise H. Long, Production Editor:

"I recently finished the short story collection Welcome to the Goat Rodeo by Tom Barlow, and it was delightful. It was an interesting mix of stories with diverse narrators, and inventive plot lines — not to mention a title that definitely sticks out. Despite the humorous connotation the title might indicate (and, yes, there are moments of comedy), the collection overall is a compelling examination of relationships, usually very problematic ones. It delves deeply into the darkness and heartbreak inherent to human existence, and the characters find ways both realistic and fantastical to navigate the world and people around them."

Rita Juster, Senior Fiction Editor:

"I'm currently rereading To Show and To Tell by Philip Lopate. It's a helpful toolbox for fiction and nonfiction writers alike, with plenty of advice from a master on how to approach various genres. Because I'm in a workshop with Lopate now, someone recommended the book as a preparation for our class. It produced an immediate positive influence on my work. Perhaps you'll find it does the same for yours."

Claire Schadler, Junior Fiction Editor:

"I’m currently reading The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle by Francisco Goldman.  It’s half memoir, half nonfiction, very personal, and yet very political. It is especially interesting for me because I live in Mexico, but I would recommend it for anyone. The author does an amazing job of weaving personal anecdotes with political analysis and vivid sensory details of Mexico City."

Jennifer Harvey, Reading Committee Member:

"I’d highly recommend Fever City by Tim Baker, an intelligent and complex noir thriller that adds a novel and intriguing twist to the JFK assassination. The writing is impeccable and the plot is full of intrigue and suspense and will keep you guessing to the end. Definitely a book to savor this summer."

Joe O'Neill, Reading Committee Member:

"I've been reading Looks Who's Back by Timur Vermes. In the novel, Adolf Hitler wakes up in the field in 2011 Berlin and has to cope with how so much has changed. It's a quirky, funny first novel by a German author. I'm also enjoying Kitchens of The Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal. It sounds dreadfully dull, but it isn't. Another debut novel, it's the story of a chef prodigy, told with great charm from multiple POVs of those whose lives randomly intersect hers."

Eris Young, Reading Committee Member:

"I've been reading The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner. It's a 'fantasy of manners' type book in a series about swordsmen and politics. The world-building is superb, and the story tackles real social issues, like abuse and social inequality. It's beautifully written, often humorous, and I find, still relevant even after 10 years."

Thanks for stopping by, and come back for more picks in our next installment of Carve Reads!