Books

Spies, explorers, and summer people infiltrate the 10 best books of July

If you’re looking for adventure in your summer reading, we’ve got some suggestions.

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The books that Monitor reviewers liked best this month run the gamut from an epic novel about women’s friendship to a history-rich spy thriller set during the Cold War.

Why We Wrote This

Our 10 picks for July include books that affirm the vitality of friendship, celebrate leadership on a dangerous mission, and explore truth, honor, and loyalty in an ever-shifting world.

Among the nonfiction selections is a director’s memoir about the making of the baseball film “Bull Durham,” along with a biography of singer Josephine Baker, who spied on behalf of the Allies during World War II.

You’ll also find an account of an early 20th-century expedition to Greenland’s ice cap. Enjoy the adventure!

Empathy and compassion, along with honor and truth, are qualities woven throughout the books that made our list this month, along with penetrating insights and fascinating glimpses of history.

1. Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark

Alice Elliott Dark’s exquisitely written, utterly engrossing novel “Fellowship Point,” set in Maine’s gorgeous but threatened coastal landscape, explores the beauty and tensions of a lifelong friendship between two women whose choices have taken them down different paths. The result is a deftly woven narrative about caring for the places and people we love, and an affirmation that change and growth are possible at any age.

Why We Wrote This

Our 10 picks for July include books that affirm the vitality of friendship, celebrate leadership on a dangerous mission, and explore truth, honor, and loyalty in an ever-shifting world.

2. The Boys by Katie Hafner

“I’d spent a lifetime in hibernation,” muses socially anxious tech whiz Ethan Fawcett, “storing things up to share with Barb.” Barb is the psychology major and soon-to-be love of his life; Together they form the emotional center of Katie Hafner’s impeccably written and surprise-fueled debut novel about empathy’s role in addressing childhood trauma.

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