What We’re Reading in June!


We’re excited to share that our June Book Club Book Club selection is Elizabeth Gonzalez James’s debut novel Mona at Sea, forthcoming from Santa Fe Writers Project on June 30, but available to Rumpus Book Club members in just a few weeks!

In this sharp, witty debut, Elizabeth Gonzalez James introduces us to Mona Mireles—observant to a fault, unflinching in her opinions, and uncompromisingly confident in her professional abilities. Mona is a Millennial perfectionist who fails upwards in the midst of the 2008 economic crisis.

Despite her potential, and her top- of-her-class college degree, Mona finds herself unemployed, living with her parents, and adrift in life and love. Mona’s the sort who says exactly the right thing at absolutely the wrong moments, seeing the world through a cynic’s eyes. In the financial and social malaise of the early 2000s, Mona walks a knife’s edge as she faces down unemployment, underemployment, the complexities of adult relationships, and the downward spiral of her parents’ shattering marriage. The more Mona craves perfection and order, the more she is forced to see that it is never attainable. Mona’s journey asks the question: When we find what gives our life meaning, will we be ready for it?

“Mona at Sea reads like an intimate late night conversation with the friend you never knew you needed. Written with humor and insight and vulnerability, it’s a tribute to the struggle to stay upright as the world around you comes falling down.” – Mat Johnson, author of Pym and Hunting in Harlem

“This Millennial coming of age story is a sharp, witty take on the Great Recession. Mona Mireles is the perfect narrator—overly critical, self-deprecating, bitingly honest, and very, very funny. Her keen observations about life, work, and love during the less than halcyon days of the early 2000s are almost compensation for having lived through them. I loved this book!” – Janis Cooke Newman, author of A Master Plan for Rescue and Mary; Mrs. A. Lincoln

Subscribe to the Rumpus Book Club by May 15 to join us in reading Mona at Sea, culminating in an exclusive online discussion with author Elizabeth Gonzalez James about the book!

Learn more about The Rumpus Book Club here. More from this author →