August has traditionally had a reputation for being one of the slowest months in the publishing business, with industry workers heading out on long vacations to escape the heat and humidity of a New York City summer. But you wouldn’t know it from this year’s crop of August books, which includes some of the most exciting titles of the year so far. If you’re looking for reading material to take your mind off the heat, or to help you celebrate the last few weeks before school starts, consider picking up one of these seven highly anticipated August books:
“The Yellow House,” Sarah M. Broom: The memoir from Louisiana native Broom tells the story of her mother’s beloved shotgun house in east New Orleans and the family she raised there. The house was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and Broom writes about the racial and economic inequality that has haunted New Orleans for decades. Author Heidi Julavits called the book “a masterpiece of history, politics, sociology and memory.”
“A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century,” Jason DeParle: This New York Times reporter, twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, chronicles multiple generations of a family living in the Philippines, including Rosalie, who moves from Manila to the Middle East to Galveston, Texas, where she’s able to find a job as a nurse. The book takes a look at the politics and the personal effects of global immigration.
“Hard Mouth,” Amanda Goldblatt: Chicago author Goldblatt’s debut novel follows Denny, a lab tech living near Washington, whose father is dying of cancer. Denny, unable to handle the news, flees to a cabin in the mountains but finds her dream of living away from society isn’t what she thought it would be.
“100 Poems,” Seamus Heaney: Beloved Irish writer Heaney left a huge hole in the world of poetry when he died in 2013. This new book collects 100 poems from various points in his long, storied career; the collection is curated by his family.
“Miami Midnight,” Alex Segura: Comic book writer and novelist Segura’s latest novel is the fifth and final installment in his series of thrillers featuring private investigator Pete Fernandez. In this one, Fernandez has given up both drinking and detective work but finds himself pulled back into the private-eye life when a mobster asks him to track down his son’s murderer.
“Black Card,” Chris L. Terry: The darkly satirical second novel from L.A. writer Terry follows an unnamed biracial punk rock musician living in Richmond, Va., who feels disconnected from the African American community. When the protagonist fails to call out a white man for using a racial slur, his “black card” is revoked by his mentor, and he embarks on a quest to get it back.
“Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion,” Jia Tolentino: Canadian-born, Texas-raised journalist Tolentino, a veteran of the Hairpin and Jezebel who now writes for the New Yorker, is one of the brightest cultural critics of her generation. Her new essay collection finds her writing about the internet, millennials, feminism and religion.