The Best New Books to Read This Month

Whether you’re looking for a fun beach read, a fascinating investigation, or a poignant memoir, August has something for everyone. Here are nine new releases that caught our eye this month.

1

Home Fire, by Kamila Shamsie

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Since her mother’s death, Isma has been living in London, where she is the primary caretaker for her younger siblings. When she goes to America for grad school, she feels torn between her dreams and her responsibility to her family back home. Isma’s worst fears are brought to life when her brother sets out to follow in his absent father’s footsteps and joins a British jihadist group. Meanwhile, Isma's sister begins to fall in love with Eamonn, the son of an influential British politician. Isma sees him as a way to get her brother back. Shamise’s incredibly moving story addresses the conflict between what we feel to be right versus what the law tells us is right, and what we will sacrifice in the name of family.

To buy: $17; amazon.com.

Available August 15.


2

The Address, by Fiona Davis

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Davis' sophomore novel tells the story of two women, Sara Smythe and Bailey Camden, living 100 years apart, but at the same location: a legendary apartment in New York called The Dakota. Sara is a British woman living in 1884, grateful for the chance to move to America for a fresh start. A century later, Bailey is right out of rehab and also looking for a chance to reinvent herself, when she is given the opportunity to oversee the renovation of The Dakota. One day Bailey stumbles upon Sara’s belongings in the basement. Davis' characters will remind readers that sometimes, we have more in common with strangers than we think.

To buy: $17; amazon.com.

Available August 1.


3

The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde

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Translated for the first time into English from Norwegian, this moving story follows the lives of three beekeepers, and the ways they are connected to the bees and to one another. From three far corners of the world and three different time periods—England in 1852, the United States in 2007, and China in the year 2098—Lunde uses an unusual combination of historical and dystopian fiction to explore the relationship between humans and the natural world.

To buy: $15; amazon.com.

Available August 22.



4

The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal that Rocked Paris, by Tom Sancton

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Money, glamour, and scandal are often the key ingredients of a great story—especially when they’re true. In The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal that Rocked Paris, journalist Sancton recounts the fascinating drama surrounding Liliane Bettencourt, heir to the L’Oreal fortune, and her complex relationship with the artist Francois-Marie Banier. Over several years, Bettencourt gave Banier valuable artworks and millions of dollars, which tipped off Liliane’s daughter, who ultimately sued for Banier. This riveting story sets out to uncover the truth about their relationship, and questions the motives of everyone involved.

To buy: $19; amazon.com.

Available August 8.


5

Poetry Will Save Your Life, by Jill Bialosky

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Bialosky, a poet and novelist, sees her life broken up not by years, but through poems. Her moving memoir is framed around 43 poems that helped her through some of the biggest transitions in her life—from coping with loss to connecting with others. Her story shows how poetry can be a powerful tool to for healing and understanding.

To buy: $15; amazon.com.

Available August 15.


6

My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent

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In this gripping, vivid debut from Tallent, we meet 12-year-old “Turtle,” a young girl who lives with her abusive widower father on the coast of northern California. Turtle has little contact with the outside world except when she is in school, where she stays distant from her classmates. But when she befriends Jacob, an older boy who shows her life and love and safety, her eyes are opened to a world outside of the manipulative one she lives in. Readers will root for Turtle as she sets out to escape and be absorbed by Tallent's stunning descriptions of nature.

To buy: $19; amazon.com.

Available August 29.



7

Sour Heart, by Jenny Zhang

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In her first collection, Zhang tells the stories of seven Chinese immigrant families through the perspective of their daughters growing up in NYC during the 1990s. This moving collection portrays the reality of the immigrant journey—from the ripples of lasting family trauma to the brutal reality of living in poverty in a strange new place. With incredible honesty, Zhang captures the disappointing experience many immigrants encounter when searching for freedom.

To buy: $15; amazon.com.

Available August 1.


8

What Have I Done, by Sarah Schmidt

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Schmidt's debut novel tells a fictionalized version of the scandalous murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in 1892. From the outside, the Bordens look like a picture-perfect family, so when Lizzie Borden finds her father and stepmother dead, friends and neighbors are left in shock. While the police search for the truth, readers uncover family secrets through the alternating perspectives of Lizzie, her sister Emma, the family housemaid, and an outsider. Between the trickle of clues and the unreliable narrators, readers will be clamoring to know the truth.

To buy: $20; amazon.com.

Available August 1.


9

What Are We Even Doing with Our Lives?: The Most Honest Children’s Book Ever!, by Chelsea Marshall and Mary Dauterman

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Don’t let appearances fool you—this book is not just for kids. In this satirical “children’s” book, Marshall and Dauterman poke fun at the tech-centered lives we live. In this imaginary world, Digi Valley, everyone is plugged in to their devices instead of tuning in to the world around them. But what happens with the Internet is disconnected? This quick, snarky read will leave readers wondering—what are we doing?!

To buy: $14; amazon.com.

Available August 8.