A number of spellbinding works of fiction and nonfiction are set for publication during the month of August. Here’s a roundup of some of the most anticipated new titles coming soon to a bookstore near you.
Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets
by Luke DittrichA fascinating true story about the most studied research patient of all time: Henry Molaison. Dittrich’s grandfather operated on Molaison to stop his seizures, but the surgery left Molaison unable to create any long-term memories, unintentionally creating the most important guinea pig in neuroscience history. This is a wild, heartbreaking tale.
Vow of Celibacy
by Erin JudgeAfter a string of failed relationships, Natalie has decided to take a vow of celibacy until she confronts herself and everything going on in her life instead of hiding behind someone else. Meanwhile, her best friend struggles with her secret identity as a popular online writer. This is a funny, contemporary novel, and it is refreshing to read about characters who are overweight and bisexual without it being a main focus of the story or something they feel they should apologize for.
Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo MbueJende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, is thrilled to land a job working as a chauffeur for a rich executive at Lehman Brothers, and even happier when his wife is hired to work at the executive’s summer home. Finally, their dreams of making a living in America may be coming true. But when their employer’s financial world is rocked by the collapse of his company, they must struggle desperately to keep their dream alive. A compelling, beautifully written look at the other side of the Lehman Brothers collapse.
by Tim MurphyThe dazzling story of the inhabitants of an apartment building in the East Village, highlighting the heartbreaking and uplifting stories of their lives. Millay and Jared are a young privileged couple in the 1980s when their neighbor, a lonely addict, becomes wrapped up in their world. Spanning decades, “Christodora” is a moving look at AIDS and drug addiction in the city that never sleeps.
by Ali ShawAfter thousands of years of abuse from humans, trees have taken over the planet. Overnight, they push their way up through streets and houses, turning towns and fields into forests. After the devastation, a group of survivors band together and set out in search of loved ones in what is left of the world. A fantastic apocalyptic fairy tale that isn’t just for readers of fantasy.
I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir
by Nadja SpiegelmanSpiegelman, daughter of the famous creator of the graphic novel “Maus,” relates her experiences growing up in a family of secrets, and the relationships and estrangements between the women in her family on both sides of the Atlantic. This is an insightful look into what it means to be part of a family and why people sometimes love those who hurt them the most.
American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst
by Jeffrey ToobinToobin takes a wildly interesting deep dive into the crazy story of the 1974 kidnapping of Hearst, a college sophomore and heiress to a family fortune, by the Symbionese Liberation Army. The kidnappers’ demands were strange, and though her family complied, months went by without Hearst’s release, until she was arrested after taking part in a bank robbery. Police shootouts, the first-ever breaking news story, the Black Panthers, and F. Lee Bailey are just some of the things that played a part in this circus.
Who Will Catch Us As We Fall
by Iman VerjeeAfter fleeing Nairobi four years ago, Leena returns at the request of her father, just in time for the country’s turbulent elections. Haunted by a terrible event, Leena finds her family and the country largely unchanged, so she turns to a stranger for comfort. Alongside Leena’s story is the story of Jeffrey, a corrupt policeman with his own secrets and regrets. Told over the span of a dozen years, this is a wonderful, sad novel about political and emotional turmoil.
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race
by Jesmyn WardWard used James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, “The Fire Next Time,” as inspiration for this contemporary collection of short essays, memoir, and poems, examining race in present-day America. Contributors include Edwidge Danticat, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Mitchell S. Jackson, Kima Jones, Kiese Laymon, Daniel José Older, Claudia Rankine, Natasha Trethewey, Wendy S. Walters, Isabel Wilkerson, and Kevin Young.
by Jacqueline WoodsonThe first adult novel in two decades from the National Book Award–winning author of “Brown Girl Dreaming,” about the dangers of memories and a group of friends who ran the streets of Brooklyn in the 1970s, full of hopes and fears. Woodson does a magnificent job conveying all the wrongs and dangers in the world that children don’t recognize until they are grown.