I've been asked by a local newspaper for a recommendation for summer reading. I have a couple of ideas but would be interested in others. What book would you suggest to someone who says, "I need a good book for the summer"? Read into that phrase whatever conditions you want. Thanks for any suggestions.
This may be news to some of you - I have a story in the recently published anthology The Cocaine Chronicles, edited by Jervey Tervalon and Gary Phillips. This collection kicks and, as you might guess, the topic lends itself to stories that just won't let go of the reader. Phillips and Tervalon have brought together some excellent writers and I don't hesitate to recommend it, even if you pass on my story. The piece by Detrice Jones, Just Surviving Another Day, will blow you away (no pun intended), more so because this is the author's first published story, it was written while Ms. Jones was a student in Tervalon's class at UCLA, and it's based on her own life experiences.
The publisher is Akashic Books, an adventurous outfit doing some unique publishing projects under the guidance of Johnny Temple. For example, Akashic published Adios Muchachos by Daniel Chavarría, which won an Edgar Award. Here's some of the publishing blurb for Adios Muchachos:"The first suspense novel in English-translation by internationally acclaimed Uruguayan mystery writer Daniel Chavarría, Adios Muchachos is a dark, erotic, brutally funny romp through the sexual underworld and black-market boardrooms of post-Cold War Cuba."
You can find several good reviews of the Cocaine Chronicles on the web and I suggest you also listen to the NPR interview of Tervalon and Phillips, which is archived at this link. And visit Gary Phillips' website.