As we become immersed in the heady, humid days of August, thank heavens there are a bunch of great books to calm and cool you. I’m a big fan of debut novels; they give me hope for the future. One of the best I’ve read this year is The Age of Miracles (Random House), by Karen Thompson Walker.
Walker’s premise is brilliant: one day, for no apparent reason, the earth begins to slow down in its revolution. We see the consequences through the eyes of our narrator, 11 year-old Julia. Her life, her parents, her loves. This fantastical novel is really a beautifully written coming-of-age story, with all the awkward and achey moments deftly displayed. No matter how fast or slow the world moves around her, Julia moves at her own speed, as we all should — or realize that everyone can topple off their own axis.
— Chris Avena