10 Must-Read Books for August


Even though the season technically goes until the end of September, August is the end of summer proper, so that means you have one more month left of real beach reading and lazy days spent flipping through new books. After the jump, ten books to get pumped about in the next few weeks. What are you most excited to read? Sound off in the comments.

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love and Karaoke, Rob Sheffield (August 6)

You might not like karaoke, but are you the one person alive that doesn’t like Rob Sheffield? If you are, shame on you. To the rest of us, Sheffield’s “emotional journey of hilarity and heartbreak” is the perfect book to read on the beach to get yourself psyched up for your own night full of karaoke jams.

The Sound of Things Falling, Juan Gabriel Vásquez (August 1)

If you can’t get enough of great South American literature, this is the novel to put at the top of your end-of-summer TBR pile.

Necessary Errors, Caleb Crain (August 6)

In Crain’s debut novel, we see a Czechoslovakia coming to grips with new freedoms through the eyes of American-born Jacob Putnam.

Elect H. Mouse State Judge, Nelly Reifler (August 6)

Clocking in at 103 pages, The Millions said Reifler’s short and strange novel pairs nicely with works by Kafka, Bolaño, and A.M. Homes, and some of our editors have also gotten wrapped up in this one. How could you go wrong?

Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels, Alissa Quart (August 6)

Can you live the dream by working outside of the mainstream? Quart explores how today’s social rebels can and are making their dreams come true, while still making it on their terms.

My 1980s & Other Essays, Wayne Koestenbaum (August 13)

Koestenbaum, one of the most original and interesting essayists around, talks about the decade of greed and more in this fascinating collection that’s part of the great FSG Originals series.

A Schoolboy’s Diary and Other Stories, Robert Walser (NYRB Classics, August 20)

Have you started getting obsessed with the works of Robert Walser yet? The works of the Franz Kafka-approved Swiss-German author are just waiting for you to devour them, and this latest collection is a perfect place to start.

Claire of the Sea Light, Edwidge Danticat (August 27)

The bestselling author of The Farming of Bones and The Dew Breaker returns with her latest novel about a young, motherless girl from Haiti, and the harsh conditions in her seaside town.

The Affairs of Others, Amy Grace Loyd (August 26)

A debut novel that looks at the boundaries and solitude we don’t have while living in a big city, and the ghosts we can’t escape no matter where we are.

Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems, Thomas Sayers Ellis (August 6)

Graywolf has been on a tear as of late with short story collections, but with this collection of poetry by Thomas Sayers Ellis that draws from and addresses American culture in a way few collections do, they’re really making a run for strongest showing of the year for any indie press.