Here are some new books I recommend checking out for the month of July.
Set in Vermont and NYC during the days of hardcore-punk music and the straight- edge movement. The main character, Joel, deals with the overdose of his friend during New Years Eve 1987 and relocates to New York City. He falls in with the straight-edge movement after joining the Hare-Krishnas. The book is a great journey through the days of CBGB, "Krishna-Core," the beginning of AIDS, and 1980s NYC through the eyes of a young man who refuses to accept his parents hippie culture lifestyle as his own.
According to Internet Movie Database, Steven Spielberg has already attached himself to a film adaption of this book (unknown on whether he will produce or direct it). Released during June 2011, this book is already picking up incredible buzz and popularity. The story has been compared to Michael Crichton's "Jurassic Park" and "The Andromeda Strain." It's a story of the coming age where artificial intelligence comes back to bite us in the ass. As a fan of Isaac Asimov, this one has me VERY excited. I also see this one climbing up the bestseller charts in the weeks to come. Move over zombies! Robots are making a comeback as the new sexy!
Maziar Bahari, a London journalist, went to Iran to cover the 2009 presidential election. While he was covering the election, he was arrested and imprisoned for 3 months in Iran. He wrote about his imprisonment and also told the story of his father who was imprisoned by the Shah of Iran during the 1950s, and his sister who was imprisoned by Ayatollah Khomeini during the 1980s. This book chronicles the brutal regimes, coups, and the revolutions that have caused strife and polarization of the Iranian people. This is not just a great tale of survival, but a good look into the disregard of human rights in Iran under different eras of intervention from the west, the fundamentalist based revolution, and the modern day totalitarian state.
I was a bit taken back when I first saw this. Whether you're a parent or not, this book is hilarious. Written in the poetic tone of "Goodnight Moon," this expletive filled spoof of a children's book will have you doubled over in laughter as you read page by page. Example: "The cats nestle close to their kittens, the lambs have laid down with the sheep. You're cozy and warm in your bed, my dear. Please go the f**k to sleep."