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The Middlesteins Jami Attenberg
Just released in paperback, this novel is a funny and dark exploration of family and food and love and highly choreographed hip-hop routines at bar mitzvahs. How can you not want to read this book while noshing on a lobster roll that's spilling out of its buttered bun. Totally not kosher, I know. This novel is so much more than just a bleakly humorous look at our constant need to fill the void; Attenberg imbues her characters with real dignity and humanity, and never allows them to be truly demeaned or descend into caricature. This is an ambitious book because it tackles life itself, but you know what? Just because it's summer, doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about, you know, deep thoughts. The Middlesteins will definitely have you questioning what it means to be part of a family, and how it is that we show our love—both to those around us and to ourselves. All in all, it's the perfect summer read from a great Brooklyn author, because it makes you think. And that's really all we've got energy to do this summer—think. That, and lift our gin and tonics up to take a sip.
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