August is the last month of the summer, and that means that publishing is picking back up again in anticipation of the cooler weather. I’m genuinely excited for so many of these books to come out, because they all look so delightful and fun and different. There’s something on this list for everyone this month, so read on to find out! As always, books are sorted by release date.
The Last White Man (Aug 2nd)
Author: Mohsin Hamid
Genre: Speculative SFF / LitFic
My Thoughts: The concept of this book is extremely interesting to me, but it feels like something that could be done extremely poorly. I ultimately decided to add it to the list because Hamid is a trusted writer, and the reviews seemed to be overall positive, especially from other people of color.
Goodreads Summary: From the New York Times bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change
One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. At first he tells only Oona, an old friend, newly a lover. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land. Some see in the transformations the long-dreaded overturning of an established order, to be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance to see one another, face to face, anew.
Hamid’s The Last White Man invites us to envision a future – our future – that dares to reimagine who we think we are, and how we might yet be together.
Husband Material (Aug 2nd)
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre: LGBTQ Romance
My Thoughts: I still haven’t read Boyfriend Material, despite it being one of the most popular queer books to exist. I heard that Husband Material doesn’t live up to the first one, but I’m sure that fans of the first will be excited that the second book has come out.
Goodreads Summary: Wanted:
One (very real) husband
Nowhere near perfect but desperately trying his best
In BOYFRIEND MATERIAL, Luc and Oliver met, pretended to fall in love, fell in love for real, dealt with heartbreak and disappointment and family and friends…and somehow figured out a way to make it work. Now it seems like everyone around them is getting married, and Luc’s feeling the social pressure to propose. But it’ll take more than four weddings, a funeral, and a bowl full of special curry to get these two from I don’t know what I’m doing to I do.
Good thing Oliver is such perfect HUSBAND MATERIAL.
This Summer 2022, you’re invited to the event(s) of the season.
Asian American Histories of the United States (Aug 2nd)
Author: Catherine Ceniza Choy
Genre: Nonfiction History
My Thoughts: This book is of interest to me because I love a history that takes us through one group’s specific experiences over a long period of time. I think that’s the best way to get an understanding for the culture of that group in a broad stroke. Obviously, the hate crimes towards Asian Americans has increased significantly since 2020, and so this book could not come at a better time.
Goodreads Summary: An inclusive and landmark history, emphasizing how essential Asian American experiences are to any understanding of US history
Original and expansive, Asian American Histories of the United States is a nearly 200-year history of Asian migration, labor, and community formation in the US. Reckoning with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the surge in anti-Asian hate and violence, award-winning historian Catherine Ceniza Choy presents an urgent social history of the fastest growing group of Americans. The book features the lived experiences and diverse voices of immigrants, refugees, US-born Asian Americans, multiracial Americans, and workers from industries spanning agriculture to healthcare.
Despite significant Asian American breakthroughs in American politics, arts, and popular culture in the 21st century, a profound lack of understanding of Asian American history permeates American culture. Choy traces how anti-Asian violence and its intersection with misogyny and other forms of hatred, the erasure of Asian American experiences and contributions, and Asian American resistance to what has been omitted are prominent themes in Asian American history. This ambitious book is fundamental to understanding the American experience and its existential crises of the early 21st century.
Acceptance: A Memoir (Aug 2nd)
Author: Emi Nietfeld
My Thoughts: I love memoirs about people whose parents kind of sucked at being parents, but they persevered anyways. I’m ready to get sucked into Nietfeld’s world and experience all of her pain and trauma second hand.
Goodreads Summary: A luminous, generation-defining memoir of foster care and homelessness, Harvard and Big Tech, examining society’s fixation on resilience–and its cost
As a homeless teenager writing college essays in her ’92 Toyota Corolla, Emi Nietfeld was convinced that an elite school was the only path away from her dysfunctional childhood. But upward mobility required crafting the perfect resilience narrative, proving that she was an “overcomer,” made stronger by all that she had endured.
The truth was far murkier. Emi’s mom was a charming hoarder who had her put on antipsychotics, but believed in her daughter’s brilliance–unlike the Minnesotan foster family who banned her “pornographic” art history flash cards (of Michelangelo’s David). Emi’s other parent’s departure from her life was tied up in a gender transition that few in the mid-2000s understood. Her own past was filled with facts that she needed to hide: mental health struggles, Adderall addiction, and the unbecoming desperation of a teenager fending for herself. The obstacles Emi claimed she had transcended still defined her life; even though she would go on to graduate from Harvard and become a software engineer at Google, she found that success didn’t necessarily mean safety.
Told with an incisive storyteller’s eye, this searing memoir exposes the cost of trading a troubled past for the promise of a bright future. Having experienced the American Dream firsthand, Emi speaks truth to the high cost of upward mobility, the hypocrisy of elite spaces, and the harsh standards set by societal ideals of grit and resilience. Candid and often harrowing, with a ribbon of dark humor, Acceptance is an electrifying read that challenges our ideas of what it means to overcome–and find contentment on your own terms.
Dirt Creek (Aug 2nd)
Author: Hayley Scrivenor
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
My Thoughts: Thrillers are my favorite genre, and contrary to the way I feel about a lot of other areas of literature, debuts are the best types of thriller to read because you don’t know the author’s style yet. That means the twists are more likely to sneak up on you, and the reveal at the end is better for it.
Goodreads Summary: When twelve-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther’s tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home.
When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther?
Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town.
In Hayley Scrivenor’s Dirt Creek, a small-town debut mystery described as The Dry meets Everything I Never Told You, a girl goes missing and a community falls apart and comes together.
These Fleeting Shadows (Aug 9th)
Author: Kate Alice Marshall
Genre: YA Mystery / LGBTQ
My Thoughts: I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA mystery before, except for maybe One of Us is Lying. Purely based on the cover, this looks like it’s going to be spooky, and I’m excited to read it when it comes out.
Goodreads Summary: The Haunting of Hill House meets Knives Out in a bid for an inheritance that will leave Helen Vaughan either rich…or dead.
Helen Vaughan doesn’t know why she and her mother left their ancestral home at Harrowstone Hall, called Harrow, or why they haven’t spoken to their extended family since. So when her grandfather dies, she’s shocked to learn that he has left everything—the house, the grounds, and the money—to her. The inheritance comes with one condition: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for one full year, or she’ll be left with nothing.
There is more at stake than money. For as long as she can remember, Harrow has haunted Helen’s dreams—and now those dreams have become a waking nightmare. Helen knows that if she is going to survive the year, she needs to uncover the secrets of Harrow. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? What is digging the holes that appear in the woods each night?And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick?
With each twisted revelation, Helen questions what she knows about Harrow, her family, and even herself. She no longer wonders if she wants to leave…but if she can.
High Times in the Low Parliament (Aug 9th)
Author: Kelly Robson
Genre: Fantasy / LGBTQ
My Thoughts: I absolutely love the world building that is essential to writing high fantasy, and it seems like this book is exactly that. Plus, the cover of this book is to die for. It would look beautiful on display on any bookshelf.
Goodreads Summary: Kelly Robson is back with fairies, scribes, and many many kisses in High Times in the Low Parliament.
Lana Baker is Aldgate’s finest scribe, with a sharp pen and an even sharper wit. Gregarious, charming, and ever so eager to please, she agrees to deliver a message for another lovely scribe in exchange for kisses and ends up getting sent to Low Parliament by a temperamental fairy as a result.
As Lana transcribes the endless circular arguments of Parliament, the debates grow tenser and more desperate. Due to long-standing tradition, a hung vote will cause Parliament to flood and a return to endless war. Lana must rely on an unlikely pair of comrades—Bugbite, the curmudgeonly fairy, and Eloquentia, the bewitching human deputy—to save humanity (and maybe even woo one or two lucky ladies), come hell or high water.
I’m Glad My Mom Died (Aug 9th)
Author: Jennette McCurdy
My Thoughts: This is one of my HIGHLY anticipated books of the year. McCurdy has been through so much, but I wasn’t really aware of it until it was announced that this book was coming out in August. I’m intrigued to see the story of her life from her perspective, especially after I watched her in iCarly for so many years.
Goodreads Summary: A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.
Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.
In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.
Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.
Mika in Real Life (Aug 9th)
Author: Emiko Jean
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Goodreads Summary: I love a good romance book where there’s more to the plot than just a direct romance, and it appears that Jean delivers on this. Oftentimes, books where romance looks like it’s going to be the main part but then is just a side plot are the best, and I’m hoping that’s what we get here.
Goodreads Summary: One phone call changes everything.
At thirty-five, Mika Suzuki’s life is a mess. Her last relationship ended in flames. Her roommate-slash-best friend might be a hoarder. She’s a perpetual disappointment to her traditional Japanese parents. And, most recently, she’s been fired from her latest dead-end job.
Mika is at her lowest point when she receives a phone call from Penny—the daughter she placed for adoption sixteen years ago. Penny is determined to forge a relationship with her birth mother, and in turn, Mika longs to be someone Penny is proud of. Faced with her own inadequacies, Mika embellishes a fact about her life. What starts as a tiny white lie slowly snowballs into a fully-fledged fake life, one where Mika is mature, put-together, successful in love and her career.
The details of Mika’s life might be an illusion, but everything she shares with curious, headstrong Penny is real: her hopes, dreams, flaws, and Japanese heritage. The harder-won heart belongs to Thomas Calvin, Penny’s adoptive widower father. What starts as a rocky, contentious relationship slowly blossoms into a friendship and, over time, something more. But can Mika really have it all—love, her daughter, the life she’s always wanted? Or will Mika’s deceptions ultimately catch up to her? In the end, Mika must face the truth—about herself, her family, and her past—and answer the question, just who is Mika in real life?
Perfect for fans of Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Gayle Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years, Mika in Real Life is at once a heart-wrenching and uplifting novel that explores the weight of silence, the secrets we keep, and what it means to be a mother.
In this brilliant new novel by from Emiko Jean, the author of the New York Times bestselling young adult novel Tokyo Ever After, comes a whip-smart, laugh-out-loud funny, and utterly heartwarming novel about motherhood, daughterhood, and love—how we find it, keep it, and how it always returns.
Carrie Soto is Back (Aug 30th)
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Sports Historical Fiction / Romance
My Thoughts: I cannot even explain to you how excited I am for this book. I love Taylor Jenkins Reid. Like, she’s my favorite author now hands down. Every single book she’s written has been so magnificent, and I can’t wait to dive into Carrie Soto’s backstory and life, since she was only mentioned in passing in Malibu Rising.
Goodreads Summary: In this powerful novel about the cost of greatness, a legendary athlete attempts a comeback when the world considers her past her prime—from the New York Times bestselling author of Malibu Rising.
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.
At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.