Our Most Anticipated Summer Reads

All we do over here at Blue Mesa Review is read. This is a side effect of being in an MFA program, which we all are, and running a literary magazine, which we all do. Luckily, we love reading. And the best thing about summer is that we get to read whatever we want to! So, below, meet BMR’s new 2014-2015 Editorial Board and the book he or she is most excited to read this summer!

Jill Dehnert | Editor-in-Chief

Emma Straub‘s prose are smart, full of emotion, and deeply funny. Her debut novel, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, is compulsively readable, and makes a great gift too! After giving the novel to many friends and family members, who all loved it, I’m now asked for book recommendations on a regular basis. (That’s right, gifting that novel, not going to writing school, gave me some credibility.) But I first fell for Straub’s work after reading her collection of stories, Other People We Married, and I’m so happy that the Post family is back, in novel form this time! (Riverhead Books, May 29, 2014)

Sarah Sheesley | Managing Editor

I love Eula Biss’s work and I’m looking forward to her forthcoming book so much that I’m cheating a bit in terms of the purposes of this blog post (this is actually out in October…sorry!) On Immunity: An Inoculation is sure to be a fascinating read. I’m especially interested in how Biss addresses fear through the lens of immunizations. (Graywolf, October 2014)

Lucy Burns | Associate Editor

This memoir / essay / scrapbook / hybrid account of Sikelianos’s grandmother’s experience as a Greek immigrant in the United States promises to be an exciting read. Publishers Weekly notes, “Melena strikes a playful and sharp figure in her leopard print costume” and if this book is anything like Sikelianos’s previous work, it promises to be filled with captivating prose and imaginative ideas. I, for one, can’t wait. (Coffee House Press, June 2014)

Michael Noltemeyer | Nonfiction Editor

Technically this isn’t a summer read since it won’t come out until early October, but I’ve been looking forward to Marilynne Robinson’s new novel ever since it was first announced last year. Robinson is one of my all-time favorite authors, and in her fourth work of fiction she returns to Gilead, Iowa, the small-town setting of her 2005 Pulitzer Prizewinning novel, Gileadand her 2009 Orange Prizewinner, Home. I’m looking forward to Robinson’s latest masterpiece with all of the fervor of a Star Wars fan camping out in front of the local movie theater—fortunately, Amazon will save me the trouble, but I’ll be counting down the days all summer long until my copy finally arrives. (Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, October 2014)

Brenna Gomez | Fiction Editor

Roxane Gay has a sharp eye for the sometimes trying complexities of enjoying  pop culture as a feminist of color in America. I know this book will make people laugh, but it will also make people reconsider strict interpretations of identity categories. (HarperCollins, August, 5, 2014)

Melisa Garcia | Poetry Editor

I am very much interested in oral traditions and testimonial works. I also write from that voice & tradition. Henriquez seems to be doing this in this book, and providing stories and furthermore a conversation about testimonies in Central and Latin America. I’m just thrilled by the title of the book: The Book of the Unknown Americans. I instantly think about my family and the stories they carry. (Knopf Doubleday, June 3, 2014)