Book Club / Culture

9 new books to add to your reading list this month

Looking for a new book recommendation? You'll find something to pique your interest here. Ann Patchett has released new fiction while Diane Williams delights with a hefty load of short stories. For a curated list of all the most exciting new books to drop in August 2023, keep scrolling.


Las Madres, Esmeralda Santiago

Release date: August 1

Esmeralda Santiago, a Puerto Rican author known for her memoirs and cross-cultural writing, returns to publish Las Madres. The book opens in Puerto Rico and follows a close-knit group of women who have ditched nuclear families for a chosen one based on friendship, blood ties and matriarchy. When Luz, a Black 15-year-old is injured in a car crash that kills her parents, the orphan must navigate a brain injury with the help of new friends, Ada and. Shirley. The second half of the book focuses on Luz's adult daughter Marysol as she attempts to better understand her mother, the past she cannot remember, and the land she hails from as she vacations from the Bronx back to Puerto Rico.


Tom Lake, Ann Patchett

new books august 2023

Release date: August 1

Too often we fail to see our parents as people. In Tom Lake, Ann Patchett masterfully reconstructs these dynamics between Lara, a former actor, and her three daughters. While vacationing at their family orchard in Northern Michigan the daughters prod their mother about a famous actor she once worked with and loved. The storytelling compels the daughters to take stock of their own relationships, especially when it comes to their mother.


Secrets and Lies, David Meagher

new books august 2023

Release date: August 1

Journalist David Meagher breaks four decades of silence around sexual abuse inflicted upon him as a child and the culture that enabled it to happen. This book traces Meagher and other survivor's pursuit for justice and the truth.


God Forgets About the Poor, Peter Polites

new books august 2023

Release date: August 2

For those who loved On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Australian-Greek author Peter Polites pens his latest novel in tribute to his mother, and does his best to bring her story to light. A son who aims to capture his mother as a woman, above all else.


The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store, James McBride

new books august 2023

Release date: August 8

James McBride, author of The Colour of Water, takes readers back in time to Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1972, when workers unearthed a skeleton at the bottom of an old well. The unidentified body was hidden by the residents of Chicken Hill, a community where Jewish immigrants and African Americans lived in tandem, sharing ambitions as much as despair. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store sketches a portrait of community love, protection and its power against outside forces.


I Hear You're Rich, Diane Williams

new books august 2023

Release date: August 8

Diane Williams, the New York-based writer crowned a master of the short story, delights with her ninth book comprising of 33 short stories. What a treat! Life is rendered immediate and fresh through her eyes as she takes on the simplest of subjects – affairs, a request for money, the act of carrying a cake – with precision and gusto.


Strangers at the Port, Lauren Aimee Curtis

Release date: August 8

Besides her older sister Giovanna, 10-year-old Guilia's best friend on her lonely but verdant little island is a donkey. Giulia has never left the volcanic archipelago, nor has the idea ever occurred to her; life is simple and peaceful, ruled by routine, community and superstition. All the changes the day foreign men appear at the port.


Thin Skin, Jenn Shapland

Release date: August 15

In Jenn Shapland's book of essays, she illustrates just how porous humans are to their surroundings, to the political movements and capitalist structures, to our changing environment – everything. As if to illustrate her point, the author was also diagnosed with thin skin or extreme dermatologic sensitivity. Despite all our social distancing and isolation, the world around us seeps in and in Thin Skin we see an author come to grips with navigating these influences on the page.


The MoDERN, Anna Kate Blair

Release date: August 30

Anna Kate Blair, a writer hailing from Aotearoa and living in Naarm makes her literary debut with The Modern. The novel follows Sophia, an Australian living in New York with her boyfriend who is interviewing for teaching positions at Ivy League colleges. The two are comfortable in their "great" apartment, eating at all the right restaurants and enjoying the city for all its promised grandeur. The pair become engaged just as her partner goes off to hike the Appalachian trail, leaving Sophia pondering marriage, where she encounters newly-single Cara in a bridal store. As the two grow close, Sophia is forced to consider the world she's created for herself, her desires and the consequences of being modern.


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