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25 New Books That Should Be on Your Radar This August

Book covers for "The Quiet Zone", "Velvet Was the Night", and "So We Meet Again"
Dey Street Books/Del Rey/Avon

August can get an unfair reputation as the publishing no-man’s-land between buzzy summer and fall releases. But if this year’s latest titles are any indication, that trend is on its way out!

This August, our bookshelves are home to a ton of exciting new titles. We’ve got much-anticipated new releases from best-selling authors and nonfiction that will make you think. You’ll find everything from laugh-out-loud comedies to devastating dramatic tales.

So, as you’re making your August to-be-read list, keep these 25 books in mind.

The Apology Project: A Novel

Jeanette Escudero’s novel begins when protagonist, Amelia, leaves her legal career behind in spectacular fashion, and then proceeds to have the world’s most disappointing and lonely 40th birthday party. Following a few regrettable choices, Amelia sets a new goal for herself: making amends to the people she’s wronged in the past (at least those who actually deserve it). Release Date: Aug. 1

Shallow Waters: A Novel

In her debut novel, Anita Kopacz pens a reimagining of the Yoruba deity of the sea, Yemaya. In this version, Yemaya appears in the antebellum American South. She grows stronger in her true power as she confronts the human evils of the era. She also searches for a mysterious stranger, whose fate is bound with her own, and encounters familiar faces in the fight for freedom and power. Release Date: Aug. 3

The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence

This nonfiction book follows the findings of investigative journalist, Stephen Kurczy, who embedded himself in a “quiet” town in the Appalachians. The digital world was all but banned to avoid interfering with a powerful observatory’s sensitive equipment. While life was definitely less “connected” in the modern sense, Kurczy slowly discovered, it wasn’t necessarily “better” in every way. Release Date: Aug. 3

The Mismatch: A Novel

As post-grad Soraya tries to experience life after being set free from her strict upbringing, she picks a charming acquaintance, Magnus, to help her find some fun in Sara Jafari’s new contemporary romance. What Soraya thinks will be just a fun jaunt of freedom soon hits a roadblock with the ongoing revelations of family secrets dating back generations, all the way back to revolution-era Iran. Release Date: Aug. 3

We Are the Brennans: A Novel

Family secrets and big changes are afoot in Tracey Lange’s debut novel. Tracey Lange: Following a drunk driving accident, Sunday moves back to New York, where she left her sprawling Irish family and friends without a word years ago. As she tries to rebuild her life, a dangerous part of her past follows her there, putting her whole family in danger unless she lets all their painful secrets finally come out. Release Date: Aug. 3

Emily's House

Amy Belding Brown starts with telling the story of Emily Dickinson, but from a different perspective: Dickinson’s maid, Margaret Maher, and her own story behind the scenes. The real Maher was pivotal in Dickinson’s life, becoming one of her closest friends and confidantes—and becoming the force that helped secure Dickinson’s place in literary history. Release Date: Aug. 3

The Husbands: A Novel

Chandler Baker’s thriller begins when Nora, a successful but overworked attorney, moves with her family into an exclusive suburban neighborhood. She’s soon intrigued by the group of high-powered women with unusually supportive husbands and almost too-perfect lives. As Nora gets pulled into investigating a crime in the neighborhood, she starts to unravel the truth behind the apparent perfection, with possibly deadly results. Release Date: Aug. 3

So We Meet Again: A Novel

Suzanne Park’s new romance is all about second chances. After being laid off by her bigoted investment firm, Jessie moves back home to live with her parents while she figures things out. As she tries to relaunch her Korean cooking YouTube channel, she reluctantly accepts the help of her childhood nemesis, Daniel — and, to her surprise, her own mother. Release Date: Aug. 3

Miss Lattimore's Letter

Romantic meddling is a beloved trope in historical romance, and Suzanne Allain has fun with it in her new book. Wallflower Sophie suddenly becomes a sought-after matchmaker and advisor when it’s revealed that she was behind an anonymous letter that persuaded a man not to propose to a woman he didn’t love. When her long-lost love returns and a would-be client grows closer to her, Sophie has to use her powers of observation on her own heart. Release Date: Aug. 10

The Family Plot: A Novel

Dahlia and her siblings were raised in an eerie, secluded lighthouse by true-crime obsessed parents in Megan Collins’s new thriller. When she and her siblings return home upon their father’s death, they make a terrifying discovery: the remains of their brother who went missing many years ago. As each member of their family reacts in their own (strange) ways, Dahlia tries to get to the bottom of their family’s secrets once and for all. Release Date: Aug. 17

Eloquence of the Sardine: Extraordinary Encounters Beneath the Sea

Bill François (with translations by Antony Shugaar) takes readers on a nonfiction dive (pun intended) into the hidden lives of marine creatures that few humans ever get to understand. It’s a series of tales from history and today reveal ancient myths, quirky and almost unbelievable stories from real life, and intriguing facts about some of the most mysterious beings on earth. Release Date: Aug. 17

Velvet Was the Night

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s latest is a cool, twisty novel of ’70s noir. Malte, a secretary, enjoys romance reading as escapism from the political turmoil of Mexico City. When her fascinating neighbor Leonora goes missing, Malte starts searching for her and winds up deep in the underground of protests and dissidents — but she’s not the only person searching for Leonora, and shadowy powers aren’t thrilled about anyone trying to uncover the truth. Release Date: Aug. 17

How We Fall Apart

Prep school meets thriller in this twisty YA murder mystery from Katie Zhao. When a high-achieving student at an elite prep school is found dead, an anonymous online source points fingers at four friends. As they scramble to clear their names and find the real killer, they’re also all hiding devastating secrets — and their anonymous accuser seems to know everything. Release Date: Aug. 17

Wildwood Whispers

Willa Reece’s new books is a folkloric fantasy set in a small Appalachian town. When Mel travels to a mysterious town to fulfill her late best friend’s last wish, she encounters strange secrets and an almost supernatural calling. Even as she starts to feel like she might belong, Mel finds herself the target of an eerie threat that may have been behind her friend’s death too. Release Date: Aug. 17

Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution

Author and historian Mike Duncan goes into detail, tracing of one of the most colorful figures of the American (and French) Revolution. It’s a history buff’s geeky dream, following how Lafayette’s life consistently centered around the ideals he espoused as a young man and how his legacy, in many ways, continues to this day in Western democracies. Release Date: Aug. 24

When the Summer Was Ours: A Novel

In the WWII-era Hungary of Roxanne Veletzos’s novel, a young woman longs to escape her overbearing father and marry a gentle doctor. When she meets a Romani fiddler who shows her the parts of her city she never even knew, her life is changed forever, but a single, shocking act throws everything into upheaval and changes the course of the next several decades for both of them. Release Date: Aug. 24.

The Women of Troy: A Novel

After the fall of Troy, as the victorious Greeks find their alliances unraveling, the former queen of Troy, Briseis, begins to make her own plans in Pat Barker’s retelling of the ancient myth. Forging her own alliances and working with the other women conquered by the Greek invaders, Briseis quietly works in the shadows to get revenge for her people and her kingdom. Release Date: Aug. 24

The Paris Connection

When a train journey takes an unexpected turn, Hannah gets stuck in Paris for a day, waiting for a train to take her to her boyfriend’s sister’s wedding as planned. During that day, Hannah winds up on a journey through Paris, alongside a fellow stranded passenger. Lorraine Brown’s contemporary novel follows Hannah’s journey as she begins to question everything about the safe, planned-out life she’s constructed. Release Date: Aug. 24

The Heart Principle

One part romance, one part family drama, and one part self-discovery, Helen Hoang’s beautiful latest novel tells the story of violinist Anna, who has spent her life deliberately shaping herself into what others want her to be, from her family to her colleagues to her online fans. Following a family health crisis and professional burnout, Anna finally makes a major discovery about herself and starts figuring out how to live her life on her terms. Release Date: Aug. 31

A Slow Fire Burning: A Novel

Bestselling thriller author Paula Hawkins is back, this time with a mystery surrounding a dead man found on a houseboat and the women who knew him leading up to his death. Three women, each keeping secrets and each with their own reasons to want revenge, become the focal point as investigators try to unravel what really happened before the fatal crime. Release Date: Aug. 31

The Royals Next Door

Royalty is more of a hassle than it’s worth in Karina Halle’s new comedy. When a prince and princess (and their entourage) move in next door to schoolteacher Piper in a small Canadian town, her life gets turned upside down. Not only does the royal bodyguard seem to have it in for her, but the constant press attention and threat of scandal keeps her on her toes, even as she’s forced to admit the possibility of finding her own fairytale ending. Release Date: Aug. 31

The Last Chance Library

Small-town librarian June, the heroine of Freya Sampson’s debut novel, prefers to stay in her comfort zone among the stacks. When the future of her beloved library is threatened, however, she reluctantly joins a group of quirky patrons in their campaign to keep the library’s doors open — and, perhaps, finally deals with her own anxieties and grief along the way. Release Date: Aug. 31

The Riviera House

Natasha Lester’s historical fiction takes place in WWII-era occupied Paris, where Éliane is tasked with cataloging art in the newly-occupied Louvre. What the occupying Nazis don’t know is that she understands German, and she’s been smuggling information to the Resistance. Decades later, when a young fashion designer arrives at a mysterious home on the Riviera, Éliane’s secrets are finally revealed. Release Date: Aug. 31

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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