10 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in August
Summertiiiime and the living reading is easy fabulous. This month, expect a new thriller from Paula Hawkins, a glamorous novel about the Ziegfeld Follies and memoirs about broken healthcare systems, dating apps, grief and ballet.
1. In the Country of Others by Leila Slimani
Slimani’s first novel since the bestselling The Perfect Nanny draws on the author’s own inspiring family story. Mathilde is a young Frenchwoman who falls in love with Amine, a handsome Moroccan soldier in the French army during World War II. After the war, the couple settles in Morocco, where Mathilde feels increasingly isolated. She defies the country’s chauvinism, however, when she begins to offer medical services to the rural population. Don’t expect a neat ending; this is the first volume in a planned trilogy about race, resilience and women's empowerment.
2. The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng
Kelly is a free-spirited artist in Chicago. In the blink of an eye, she’s mysteriously transported to her Michigan hometown and her life is unrecognizable: She has 12 years of the wrong memories in her head and she's married to a man she barely knew in high school. She races to get her life back together, but the closer she gets to putting the pieces together, the more her reality seems to shift.
3. Ladyparts: A Memoir by Deborah Copaken
Twenty years after publishing her memoir Shutterbabe, Copaken is broke, getting divorced and fighting on sexism's battlefield as she heads to the hospital in an UberPool. Ladyparts is an examination of the female body and the body politic of womanhood in America, touching on single motherhood, a broken healthcare system, unaffordable childcare, ageism, sexism and more.
4. Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
In the latest from Alderton (Everything I Know About Love), Nina is happily single. She owns an apartment, is about to publish her second book and has tons of friends. When she downloads a dating app just to see what’s out there, she meets a great guy, Max, on her first date. But when Max ghosts her, Nina is forced to deal with everything she's been trying so hard to ignore, from her father's Alzheimer's to her editor’s hatred for her new book idea.
5. Songs for the Flames: Stories by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
In this morally complex story collection, characters in varying places in their lives are touched by violence, whether directly or indirectly. In one story, a photographer becomes obsessed with the traumatic past that an elegant woman would rather leave behind. In another, the search for a book leads a writer to the fascinating story of why a woman is buried next to a graveyard, rather than in it.
6. Seeing Ghosts: A Memoir by Kat Chow
Kat Chow has always been unusually fixated on death, worrying constantly about her parents—especially her vivacious mother—dying. After her mother dies unexpectedly from cancer, Chow, her sisters and their father are plunged into a debilitating, lonely grief. In this debut memoir, Chow weaves together a story of the grief that follows her extended family as they emigrate from China and Hong Kong to Cuba and America.
7. A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
Calling all thriller fans: Hawkins (The Girl on the Train) is back with another page-turner, this time about a young man found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat and three women who are connected to the victim: Laura, the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim's home, Carla, his grief-stricken aunt and Miriam, the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Expect twists, turns and, yes, murder.
8. The Show Girl by Nicola Harrison
In 1927, a young woman named Olive moves from Minneapolis to New York City, determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Once she makes it, the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more. Then she meets Archie, a handsome, wealthy man who seems to support her modern life. But when she accepts his proposal of marriage, he starts to change his tune, and Olive has to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.
9. The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters by Julie Klam
Part memoir and part confessional, The Almost Legendary Morris Sisters follows Klam as she digs into the past of her cousins and grandmother: the Morris sisters. According to family lore, the sisters lived fascinating lives in New York City. But as Klam begins to sort through her research, she realizes the tales are almost entirely false. Still, it’s a funny true story of one writer's journey into her family's past, the truths she brings to light and what she learns about herself along the way.
10. Center Center: A Funny, Sexy, Sad Almost-Memoir of a Boy in Ballet by James Whiteside
James Whiteside is an American Ballet Theatre principal dancer who's redefining what it means to be a man in ballet. His memoir in essays explains in absurd detail how he got to be a primo ballerina—including musings on the tragically fated childhood pets who taught him how to feel, ill-advised partying at summer dance camps and imagined fantastical run-ins with Jesus on Grindr. Overall, it’s an unapologetic celebration of queerness, self-expression, friendship, pushing boundaries and more.