25 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: August 2023

Cover of 25 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: August 2023

As we dive headfirst into the heart of summer, the world of books is brimming with excitement and anticipation for the latest releases. Check out this collection of 25 new fiction, nonfiction and poetry books that are set to hit the shelves this August.


Lush Lives by J. Vanessa Lyon — August 1 (Roxane Gay Books)   

With beguiling wit and undeniable passion, Lush Lives is a deliciously queer and sexy novel about bold, brilliant women unafraid to take risks and fight for what they love. 


Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo — August 1 (Ecco Press)  

From the bestselling, National Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo comes her first novel for adults, the story of one Dominican-American family told through the voices of its women as they await a gathering that will forever change their lives. 


The End of August by Yu Miri, translated by Morgan Giles  — August 1 (Riverhead Books)  

From the National Book Award winning author, an extraordinary, ground-breaking, epic multi-generational novel about a Korean family living under Japanese occupation. 


The Apology by Jimin Han — August 1 (Little Brown and Company)    

Part ghost story and part family epic, The Apology is an incisive tale of sisterhood and diaspora, reaching back to the days of Japanese colonialism and the Korean War, and told through the singular voice of a defiant, funny, and unforgettable centenarian. 


Time’s Mouth by Edan Lepucki— August 1 (Counterpoint LLC)   

From New York Times bestselling author Edan Lepucki comes an enthralling saga about family secrets that grow more powerful with time, set against the magical, dangerous landscape of California. 


My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse — August 1 (Avid Reader Press) 

My Name Is Iris is an all-too-possible story about family, intolerance, and hope, offering a brilliant and timely look at one woman’s journey to discover who she can’t–and can–be. 


Mobility by Lydia Kiesling — August 1 (Crooked Media Reads) 

Propulsive and thought-provoking, empathetic yet pointed, Mobility is a story about class, power, politics, and desire told through the life of one woman–her social milieu, her romances, her unarticulated wants. Through Bunny’s life choices, Lydia Kiesling masterfully explores American forms of complicity and inertia, moving between the local and the global, the personal and the political, and using fiction’s singular power to illuminate a life shaped by its context.


Bridge by Lauren Beukes — August 8 (Mulholland Books)   

In this reality-bending thriller from the author of The Shining Girls, a grieving daughter’s search for her mother becomes a journey across alternate realities.


The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James Mcbride — August 8 (Riverhead Books)  

From James McBride, author of the bestselling Oprah’s Book Club pick Deacon King Kong and the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, a novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them. 


Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel — August 8 (Bloomsbury) 

In prose that is as gripping as it is insightful, Guadalupe Nettel explores maternal ambivalence with a surgeon’s touch, carefully dissecting the contradictions that make up the lived experiences of women.


The Bee Sting by Paul Murray— August 8 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

From the author of Skippy Dies comes Paul Murray’s The Bee Sting, an irresistibly funny, wise, and thought-provoking tour de force about family, fortune, and the struggle to be a good person when the world is falling apart.


Forgive Me Not by Jennifer Baker — August 15 (Nancy Paulsen Books)  

In this searing indictment of the juvenile justice system, one teen in detention weighs what she is willing to endure for forgiveness.


Every Drop is a Nightmare by Megan Kamalei Kakimoto— August 29 (Bloomsbury) 

Every Drop Is a Man’s Nightmare is both a fierce love letter to Hawaiian identity and mythology, and a searing dispatch from an occupied territory threatening to erupt with violent secrets.


Learned By Heart by Emma Donoghue — August 29 (Little Brown and Company)  

A heartbreakingly gorgeous novel based on the true story of two girls who fall secretly, deeply, and dangerously in love at boarding school in 19th century York, from the bestselling author of Room and The Wonder


Dialogue With A Somnambulist by Chloe Aridjis — August 29 (Catapult)   

Exploring the complexity of exile and urban alienation, Dialogue with a Somnambulist showcases “the rare writer who reinvents herself in each book” (Garth Greenwell) and who is as imaginatively at home in the short form as in her longer fiction. 


Happiness Falls by Angie Kim — August 29 (Hogarth Press) 

Full of shocking twists and fascinating questions of love, language, and human connection, Happiness Falls is a mystery, a family drama, and a novel of profound philosophical inquiry. With all the powerful storytelling she brought to her award-winning debut, Miracle Creek, Angie Kim turns the missing-person story into something wholly original, creating an indelible tale of a family who must go to remarkable lengths to truly understand one another.




Falling Back in Love With Being Human by Kai Cheng Thom — August 1 (Dial Press)

What happens when we imagine loving the people–and the parts of ourselves–that we do not believe are worthy of love? A transformative collection of intimate and lyrical love letters that offer a path toward compassion, forgiveness, and self-acceptance. 


The Kingdom of Surfaces by Sally Wen Mao — August 1 (Graywolf)  

At its heart, The Kingdom of Surfaces imagines the poet wandering into a Western fantasy, which covets, imitates, and appropriates Chinese aesthetics via Chinamania and the nineteenth-century Aesthetic movement, while perpetuating state violence upon actual lives. 


Pulling The Chariot Of The Sun: A Memoir Of A Kidnapping by Shane Mccrae  — August 1 (Scribner Book Company)   

An unforgettable memoir by an award-winning poet about being kidnapped from his Black father and raised by his white supremacist grandparents. 


War is Not My Mother by Vi Khi Nao — August 8 (CLASH Books) 

Like any possessing spirit, WAR IS NOT MY MOTHER speaks in tongues: using others’ words to articulate a personal pain. Shorn of their original context and content, the poems in this collection– mutant-hybrids who retain a trace of their skeleton while dressed in entirely other clothes– become a play of voices that call into question notions of authenticity and self in poetic production, a postmodern twist for the classical craft. 


Thin Skin: Essays by Jenn Shapland— August 15 (Pantheon Books)  

Ceaselessly curious, uncompromisingly intelligent, and urgently seeking, with Thin Skin Shapland builds thrillingly on her genre-defying debut My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (“Gorgeous, symphonic, tender, and brilliant” –Carmen Machado), firmly establishing herself as one of the sharpest essayists of her generation. 


Quiet Street: On American Privilege by Nick Mcdonell — August 22 (Pantheon Books)  

Searing and precise yet ultimately full of compassion, Quiet Street examines the problem of America’s one percent, whose vision of a more just world never materializes. Who are these people? How do they cling to power? What would it take for them to share it? Quiet Street looks for answers in a universal experience: coming to terms with the culture that made you.


The Art Of Libromancy: On Selling Books And Reading Books In The Twenty-First Century by Josh Cook  — August 22 (Biblioasis)   

From the relationship between bookselling and white supremacy, to censorship and the spread of misinformation, to the consolidation of the publishing industry, veteran bookseller and writer Josh Cook turns a generous yet critical eye to an industry at the heart of American culture, sharing tips and techniques for becoming a better reader and, of course, recommending great books along the way. 


Unearthing: A Story of Tangled Love and Family Secrets by Kyo Maclear  — August 22 (Scribner Book Company) 

Readers of Michelle Zauner’s bestseller Crying in H Mart will recognize Maclear’s unflinching insights on grief and loyalty, and keen perceptions into the relationship between mothers and daughters.

What gets planted, and what gets buried? What role does storytelling play in unearthing the past and making sense of a life? Can the humble act of tending a garden provide common ground for an inquisitive daughter and her complicated mother? As it seeks to answer these questions, Unearthing bursts with the very love it seeks to understand. 


They Called Us Exceptional: And Other Lies That Raised Us by Prachi Gupta— August 22 (Crown Publishing Group) 

By charting her family’s slow unraveling and her determination to break the cycle, Gupta shows how traditional notions of success keep us disconnected from ourselves and one another–and passionately argues why we must orient ourselves toward compassion over belonging.


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