5 Most Popular Posts: July 2021

  • August 3, 2021

We here at the Independent love every piece we run. There are no winners or losers. But all kidding aside, here are July’s winners.

5 Most Popular Posts: July 2021

  1. Drew Gallagher’s review of How to Be a Man (Whatever that Means): Lessons in Modern Masculinity from a Questionable Source by James Breakwell (BenBella Books). “For most of history, the world has been ruled by men. On the rare occasions when women attained power, it did not end well. (See: Joan of Arc, burned at the stake before she was 20; Cleopatra, drank poison before she was 40; and Xena: Warrior Princess, canceled after just six seasons.) Yet James Breakwell makes a compelling case in How to Be a Man (Whatever that Means) for why this masculine hierarchy is almost always destined to end in an epic goat rodeo. It’s because men are morons.”

  2. “Guided by Books” by Lupita Aquino. “I still consider myself brand new to therapy, self-care, and the practice of setting boundaries and acknowledging burnout. Which is why, every summer around this time, I feel my mind returning to — and reliving — that moment of intense panic. Just like it returns to the grief of the following summer (and the one after that), when I watched a loved one succumb to cancer. So, summers are tough, yet through each one, I’ve gained new insight into coping with my mental health and identifying the parts of myself that need kindness and caring. And one of those parts, an important one, is my reading self.”

  3. Randy Cepuch’s review of Falling: A Novel by T.J. Newman (Avid Reader Press). “When a book’s title is a simple seven-letter word suggesting an out-of-control experience and its cover art features an airplane pointing straight down, expect turbulence. If you read this one on a vacation that involves air travel, you may well decide to walk home. Falling is a terrifying tale of a single cross-country flight during which pilot Bill Hoffman faces an impossible choice. His wife and children will be killed back at home in L.A. if he doesn’t crash the JFK-bound plane with 149 souls aboard.”

  4. “What’s in a Name?” by Elizabeth Foxwell. “The panorama of today’s mystery offerings can be bewildering, given the myriad categories and classifications. Definitions inevitably provoke debate, but researchers often turn to the work of critics and scholars such as Jon L. Breen, Howard Haycraft, H.R.F. Keating, and Julian Symons for help in painting the landscape. What follows below can serve as a starting point in understanding the many variations of the mystery form.”

  5. Kitty Kelley’s review of Blind Man’s Bluff: A Memoir by James Tate Hill (W.W. Norton). “Hill’s story is funny and sad at the same time, and raw in its honesty as he recounts the rejection by his first wife, who initiates divorce proceedings after six years of marriage. Both had cultivated facades: His was having vision; hers was having an outgoing personality. Alone with him, she clams up and resents his dependence as much as he hates being dependent. Despite having earned three master’s degrees, he cannot earn a living as a writer, and only barely as a teacher, forcing her to become the primary breadwinner. ‘I wished I were a man capable of leaving a bad relationship,’ he recalls, ‘but I barely found the courage to leave the apartment.’”

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