Book of the Month At A Glance- June 2020 Add Ons

Posted May 29, 2020 by stuckint in Book Subscriptions, BOTM / 7 Comments

Well it seems that we were able to confirm the add-ons just under the wire and there is an eclectic list for all our consideration. For those who are newer to Book of the Month, the add-ons are additional titles that you can add to your box along with any one of the main picks for a total of three books (or six or nine depending on how many accounts you have). You must choose one of the five main picks in order to pick one of them (although some times you will have the option of picking from a member’s most loved list instead of a main pick).

Anyway, since 2020 has basically been a dumpster fire, Book of the Month has been offering more add-ons and for the month of June they have provided four, very unique and intriguing options.

The End of October by Lawrence Wright

The End of October by Lawrence Wright
on April 28, 2020

In this propulsive medical thriller--from the Pulitzer Prize winner and best-selling author--Dr. Henry Parsons, an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees.
At an internment camp in Indonesia, within one week, forty-seven people are pronounced dead with acute hemorrhagic fever. When the microbiologist and epidemiologist Henry Parsons travels there on behalf of the World Health Organization to investigate, what he finds will soon have staggering repercussions across the globe: an infected man is on his way to join the millions of worshippers in the annual Hajj to Mecca. Now, Henry joins forces with a Saudi doctor and prince in an attempt to quarantine the entire host of pilgrims in the holy city . . . Matilda Nachinsky, deputy director of U. S. Homeland Security, scrambles to mount a response to what may be an act of biowarfare . . . already-fraying global relations begin to snap, one by one, in the face of a pandemic . . . Henry's wife Jill and their children face diminishing odds of survival in Atlanta . . . and the disease slashes across the United States, dismantling institutions--scientific, religious, governmental--and decimating the population. As packed with suspense as it is with the riveting history of viral diseases, Lawrence Wright has given us a full-tilt, electrifying, one-of-a-kind thriller.

At A Glance: Okay, this one might seem a little too real for all of us right now. Its basically a thriller where one doctor races to find a cure for a virus that is ravaging the world. While it isn’t a respiratory virus it is quite on the nose and many reviewers comment on the book’s timeliness. Other reviewers have condemned this one for its plot holes but do you really pick up a thriller like this for its accuracy? One reviewer has described it as if Dan Brown wrote a novel about a pandemic and based off of the positive and negative reviews that seems fairly accurate. So maybe its a little too close to home, but it also sounds like an entertaining fast paced ride.

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: Station Eleven By Emily St. John Mendel; Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert
on May 12, 2020
Pages: 362

Viking has acquired Kristin Lambert's YA historical novel The Boy in the Red Dress. When her drag queen best friend is accused of murdering a young socialite, a Jazz Age misfit must use her sharp wits and sharper tongue to search for the real killer through the seedy speakeasies and glittering debutante balls of 1930 New Orleans. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more secrets she uncovers. The novel is slated for summer 2020.

At A Glance: Okay so this one kind of came out of left field and a lot of people aren’t fond of the cover but the premise and reviews are solid. Set in 1920s New Orelans the book follows Millie, who is in charge of a Speakeasy bar while her aunt is out of town. When the body of a girl turns up on the premises, the boy in the red dress is a prime suspect and Millie is determined to get to the bottom of it all. The reviews are glowing about this queer historical mystery that is perfect for Pride month, historical fiction buffs, and mystery lovers. Some reviewers have complained about how unrealistic the book is and inconsistencies in pacing but the negative reviews are few and far between.

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: A Good Girls Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson; The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Published by Broadway Books on February 28, 2017
Pages: 422

In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America's most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

At A Glance: This is Book of the Month’s nonfiction pick for June and follows eight families in order to examine America’s cycle of poverty in the 21st century. I really don’t think I need to go into detail about why this book is so important and necessary. Most reviews describe as heartbreaking and depressing while also being eye opening and excellent. Other than the fact that this extremely important novel won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction I don’t have much more to say about this one, except that if you love nonfiction you won’t want to miss this one.

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: Tightrope by Nicholas D. Kristoff; On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger

Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Published by Random House Trade on July 7, 2020
Pages: 400

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST - "A feminist jeremiad nested inside a brilliant comic novel--a book that makes you laugh so hard you don't notice till later that your eyebrows have been singed off."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE'S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY AND THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - Time - The Washington Post - Vanity Fair - Vogue - NPR - Chicago Tribune - GQ - Vox - Refinery29 - Elle - The Guardian - Real Simple - Parade - Good Housekeeping - Marie Claire - Town & Country - Evening Standard - Kirkus Reviews - BookPage - BookRiot - Shelf Awareness
A finely observed, timely exploration of marriage, divorce, and the bewildering dynamics of ambition from one of the most exciting writers working today
Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return. He had been working so hard to find equilibrium in his single life. The winds of his optimism, long dormant, had finally begun to pick up. Now this.
As Toby tries to figure out where Rachel went, all while juggling his patients at the hospital, his never-ending parental duties, and his new app-assisted sexual popularity, his tidy narrative of the spurned husband with the too-ambitious wife is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place.
A searing, utterly unvarnished debut, Fleishman Is in Trouble is an insightful, unsettling, often hilarious exploration of a culture trying to navigate the fault lines of an institution that has proven to be worthy of our great wariness and our great hope.
Alma's Best Jewish Novel of the Year

"Blisteringly funny, feverishly smart, heartbreaking, and true, Fleishman Is in Trouble is an essential read for anyone who's wondered how to navigate loving (and hating) the people we choose."--Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest
"From its opening pages, Fleishman Is in Trouble is shrewdly observed, brimming with wisdom, and utterly of this moment. Not until its explosive final pages are you fully aware of its cunning ferocity. Taffy Brodesser-Akner's debut is that rare and delicious treat: a page-turner with heft."--Maria Semple

At A Glance: Too often in fiction we get the story of the single mom trying to raise her kids and make ends meet. With the paperback of this novel coming out in July it seems Book of the Month wanted to bring an older release to our attention. Toby Fleishman wakes up one morning to the knowledge that his ex wife has dropped their kids off and is never coming back. All of the sudden Toby is left to not only be a full time dad but he is also living life as a bachelor and working at the hospital. The biggest complaints from reviewers have to do with pacing and structure. The story is told from the POV of a third party narrator that kind of derails the story- one reviewer compared to the same device in Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. Also the writing is described by many as dense but some reviewers loved that aspect of it and called it smart, social commentary. Honestly, this seems like the kind of book that you either love or you hate and its really your call to make.

Spine Logo: Yes

Comparable BOTM Titles: How Not To Die Alone by Richard Roper; Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson

What About You?

Will you be adding any of these books to your box? Let us know in the comments!

7 responses to “Book of the Month At A Glance- June 2020 Add Ons

  1. Jamie

    Ah I was hoping for Mexican Gothic as an add-on. But I guess this will make it easier to narrow down my picks this month since I’m not particularly interested in any of the add-ons. Thanks for the all the BOTM posts, they’re so helpful!

  2. Cori

    I have read Evicted, and while it’s good I was hoping for newer nonfiction ?. I actually have Fleischman is in Trouble from the library on audio. What a coincidence the hold came in the other day! Thanks for your posts this month. Hoping the clues are more fun to decode next month.

  3. Liz

    How often does BOTM choose old books as new add-ons? I read Evicted a few years ago and it is great — I do highly recommend it, but lots of people have read it by now. Also, I know I’ve heard of Fleishman, so what’s up with the re-release?

    • stuckint

      It varies. They have done older add ons before- The Secret History, The Martian, The Kite Runner, etc…

      With Fleishman I think it’s coming out in paperback in July.

  4. Beth

    So. . .yuck. Big SKIP month for me.Other than the obvious Sager choice, which won’t have the cool cover. Off to pre-order the books I really want from Amazon and wait to see if July is any better. Dumpster fire indeed. But the girl(?) on the cover of Boy in the Red Dress looks like Michael Jackson. I enjoyed your “Guesses” this month and would’ve started a secondary account had they been more accurate. You clued me in to two books I’ll really like, at any rate, that I wasn’t aware of. Really disappointed about Mexican Gothic and The Damned. Hint to BOTM: Don’t start series you aren’t going to follow-up on.

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