Fountain Bookstore

Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavsky

A modern retelling of Lord of the Flies, set in a trash fire of a hipster festival? YES PLEASE. Rafi is a true-crime podcaster on the trail of a hot story who finagles tickets to the exclusive Fly Fest. The headliner is an adored indie musician who may have had something to do with the mysterious disappearance of his first girlfriend and Rafi is determined to get to the bottom of the case. Arriving on the island, hordes of spoiled influencers realize they’ve been set up – there is no food, no shelter, and (gasp!) no wifi! Can they all get out safely? Can Rafi uncover River Stone’s secrets? Can they survive without the constant reassurance of IG likes? Moldavsky has crafted an ingenious update on a classic mini-society gone wrong and I loved every second of it.

Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavsky, (List Price: 18.99, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250230126, August 2022)

Reviewed by Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

An August 2022 Read This Next! Title

This book is a tiny surprise of literary magic. A kafkaesque yet simple premise: our main man Anders wakes up no longer white, but a deep brown color. His mind is the same but his body is new, and he’s not the only one whos gone through this change. I knew going in that race would be the main theme in this, but the way it’s handled is so perfect and timely. Along with that are themes of death/grief and family, which I was not expecting but added perfect and honest touches to this almost surreal book. Mohsin Hamid knows how to do fiction that creeps up on you and just takes your breath away completely, and im here for it.

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid, (List Price: $26.00, Riverhead Books, 9780593538814, August 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe: A Graphix Chapters Book (Mimi #1) by Shauna J. Grant

Cuteness explosion! This precious kid’s graphic novel follows gap-toothed, pigtails-wearing Mimi and her magical toy dog Penelope. Mimi is all things cute, yellow rain boots, pink tutus, and bows and hearts and she loves it! Until it starts to get in the way, you can’t be cute and help, you can’t be cute and get messy when you play, and Mimi has had enough of the cute! Her solution? Become a superhero of course! Can Mimi prove everyone wrong and show that you can be cute and also be the best superhero in the universe?

Mimi and the Cutie Catastrophe: A Graphix Chapters Book (Mimi #1) by Shauna J. Grant, (List Price: $17.99, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 9781338766660, July 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Do the Work! by W. Kamau Bell

I’ve been a W. Kamau Bell fan for a while, so seeing that this book was coming was really exciting! It delivers exactly the combination of smart racial commentary and screwball energy that he brings to his comedy, packaged in endearing cartoons, graphics, and even activities like Mad Libs and crosswords. The informational parts of the book are well-cited with great further reading recommendations and benefit greatly from the conversational form between Bell and co-author Kate Schatz, both of whom are very good at maintaining levity while getting their points across crystal clear. This would be an excellent gift!

Do the Work! by W. Kamau Bell, (List Price: $22.95, Workman Publishing Company, 9781523514281, July 2022)

Reviewed by Akil Guruparan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Slip by Marika McCoola

I love a good metagenre work, so Slip, a graphic novel about visual art, is right up my alley. Slip’s artwork is emotional and striking in its roughness; it’s very reminiscent This One Summer by the Tamakis (which I love). A particularity of Slip’s art I adored is the agelessness of the human drawings, which makes the narrative’s themes feel universal even as the book focuses on young adults. The book is about defining oneself as an individual, particularly when your friends seem to need you. It’s a difficult and necessary topic, and McCool does really well with it.

Slip by Marika McCoola, (List Price: $17.95, Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616207892, July 2022)

Reviewed by Akil Guruparan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The World As We Knew It by Amy Brady

A phenomenal collection of essays from fiction writers reflecting on the existential crisis that is climate change. It’s all excellent writing and full of the attention to the human condition you might expect from these literary powerhouses, but what really strikes me is how in every one of these essays I felt a deep sense of love, curiosity, and excitement about the natural world. These writers do not let their profession stop them from being interested in the natural sciences, and the inspiration they draw from them, even in the face of inevitable doom, is a gift to read.

The World As We Knew It by Amy Brady, (List Price: $16.95, Catapult, 9781646220304, June 2022)

Reviewed by Akil Guruparan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Drunk on All Your Strange New Words by Eddie Robson

This book features a young woman who is a translator for an alien species that has come to Earth but that doesn’t have a spoken language. She translates their thoughts into English so other humans can understand them. She finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and she wants to keep her job and stay out of jail. I found this short novel charming and it’s a real love song to the written word and paper books. For lovers of Douglas Adams and John Scalzi.

Drunk on All Your Strange New Words by Eddie Robson, (List Price: $26.99, Tordotcom, 9781250807342, June 2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too by Jason Reynolds

Calling this the coolest most creative young adult book I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, just wow! Powerhouse Jason Reynolds teams up with longtime best friend and artist Jason Griffin to bring the most interesting memoir I’ve ever read. Originally published in 2009 as Reynolds’s first book, this tiny but mighty memoir follows the two as they chase huge aspirations in New York City. Worlds, collages, and paint splatters cover the pages rather than paragraphs and it works so perfectly. Almost like a zine nonfiction novella, and if that wasn’t a thing it is now and I want more!

My Name Is Jason. Mine Too by Jason Reynolds, (List Price: $10.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534478220, June 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Let’s Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih

It is just weeks after the legalization of gay marriage in the U.S. in the summer of 2015. We meet two men who grew up together in the D.C. suburbs and are at opposite ends of what it means to be a gay man at this time in American history. Both are involved in obsessive cross-generational friendships. Sebastian has a complicated relationship with one of his out and proud high school students. Oscar is spending time with a Stonewall generation novelist on the decline. Sebastian is anxious to settle down and assimilate. Oscar is infuriated by what he sees as the death of gay culture in favor of what he views as colorless banality. I loved everything about this book. It is beautifully written and full of profound insights on what happens when a formerly ostracized segment of society becomes incorporated into the general population and what that means, good and bad, for the individuals that are part of it. Stunning!

Let’s Get Back to the Party by Zak Salih, (List Price: $16.95, Algonquin Books, 9781643752075, June 2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Also a Poet by Ada Calhoun

Calhoun had a complicated relationship with her famous art critic father Peter Schjeldahl. This book started as an attempt to write a biography of poet Frank O’Hara that her father never finished. Having inherited his obsession with the poet, the author wrestles with creating a narrative with answers when obstacles (time, fire, other people) keep them hidden. I felt the frustration of her and her subjects as it infected me with its incessant whispers of almosts and near misses. Ultimately, the author gifts us with wise lessons of kindness and acceptance. An extraordinary, raw read!

Also a Poet by June Gervais, (List Price: $27, Grove Press Books, 9780802159786, June 2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Someone Other Than a Mother by Erin S. Lane

In a society that puts mothers on a pedestal (no greater love than that of a mother!), even if they’re quick to mommy shame them (she lets those kids have too much screen time!), it can be tough and disheartening to navigate the world as a child-free woman. Erin Lane breaks down the Mother Scripts, tackling the origins of what it means to be a mother from biblical times, to the rise of modern motherhood (thanks, Teddy Roosevelt). She interviews women from all backgrounds- women who don’t want kids, can’t have kids, became step-parents, or are raising kids through the foster system. It’s a fascinating insight into the way society perceives women and an important discussion of moving beyond the boundaries of those expectations.

Someone Other Than a Mother by Erin S. Lane, (List Price: $26, TarcherPerigee, 9780593329313, April 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Wild Ride by Keith Calabrese

My absolute favorite thing about this book is that it pulls no punches towards its antagonist, a thinly-veiled caricature of the star of a certain Bo Burnham song, and it is oh so satisfying to see him get the kind of comeuppance we can only dream about on this side of the page. Besides that, this middle-grade adventure through Chicagoland has an endearing set of characters who all learn something about the world being a little bigger and more complicated than they think it is, but not so big and complicated that they can’t handle. I also loved how much fun all the locations throughout the Chicago area were!

Wild Ride by Keith Calabrese, (List Price: $17.99, Scholastic Press, 9781338743241,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Akil Guruparan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire

I cant put into words how much this poetry collection affected me, and how I am completely infatuated with every word on every page. Shire truly left me speechless with her prose and poems centering around being a refugee, maternal relationships, and what it means to be a woman. It’s poetry that’s so full of emotion you feel every word she says, and it’s impeccable.

Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her Head by Warsan Shire, (List Price: $17, Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780593134351,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart

A crazy time-travel novel that is also a meditation on loss. The main character is mourning the loss of her lover as she tries to hold on to her job as “time cop” that is also frying her brain. I really loved this story with its many and varied villains and exploration of what regular time travel would do to the human brain. The protagonist keeps up her work to catch glimpses of the woman she loves in the form of kind of time-ghosts in the hotel where she works for wealthy people who go back in time and try to mess it up for sport and profit. Sometimes our biggest villains are ourselves as she learns while pushing away the people remaining in her life who wish to help.

The Paradox Hotel by Rob Hart, (List Price: $20, Ballantine Books, 9781984820648, February 2022)

Reviewed by Kelly Justice, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia



Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa’ Tarnowska

Nour and her cousin Amir live in Damascus, playing and reading and planning a secret club when the war in Syria comes to their city. Soon they are forced to spend their nights in a basement, and during the day Amir and his friends collect the books left on the streets of Damascus. With the books piling up, Noor and Amir decide to start a secret library- a place for their friends to find hope,adventure, and comfort. The illustrations are lovely and I’m always a sucker for a board book about books!

Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa’ Tarnowska, (List Price: $17.99, Barefoot Books, 9781646862917,  March 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

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