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    23 books out in paperback this August!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    July 28, 2023, 6:30am

    It’s just about the end of July, and that means many things: that you still have time for those vaunted summer fun or vacation plans, if you haven’t done them yet; that the cooler (and perhaps welcome after all these heatwaves) weather of fall is approaching; that that my birthday month is just about here; and many other things. What it also means is that there’s a slew of books newly released in paperback to look forward to, from novels to memoirs to literary and political histories to poetry. If you didn’t catch them in hardcover, be sure to pick up some (or many!) of these titles below this August!


    River Sing Me Home - Shearer, Eleanor

    Eleanor Shearer, River Sing Me Home
    (Berkley Books)

    “A searing debut full of love, loss, and the shadows of the past, River Sing Me Home is rich, lyrical, and full of heart. The talented Eleanor Shearer’s research skills are matched by the depth of emotion with which she writes, and the result is heartbreaking, hopeful, and unforgettable. Both a powerful ode to the endless depths of a mother’s love and an important meditation on what freedom really means, this is the kind of book that will stay with readers for years to come.”
    –Kristin Harmel

    Mother of Strangers - Amiry, Suad

    Suad Amiry, Mother of Strangers

    “I was bedazzled by Mother of Strangers. How extraordinarily brave to weave a story about the destruction of one’s city, the displacement of family—separating lovers young and old—and the beginning of the end of Palestine. I loved that Suad Amiry based her novel on a true story. I loved the humor as I clutched my heart.”
    –Hanan al Shaykh

    The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society - Deresiewicz, William

    William Deresiewicz, The End of Solitude: Selected Essays on Culture and Society
    (Holt McDougal)

    “William Deresiewicz is his own man, he thinks for himself, and he has thought deeply about the way we live now. So much of what he says is right on the money, but even where one might disagree, he is always stimulating and provocative. He uses the essay for its classical purpose: to know himself better and in so doing to put forth wisdom.”
    –Phillip Lopate

    Paul - LaFarge, Daisy

    Daisy LaFarge, Paul

    “Daisy Lafarge’s debut is a force to be reckoned with: all sinewy prose and sharp compulsion, with deep insight about the choreography of power and its eerie, unsettling flavor. As she pulls on the loose threads of the male artist’s mythos, more unravels than mere secrets.”
    –Alexandra Kleeman

    Capote's Women by Laurence Leamer

    Laurence Leamer, Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era
    (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)

    “Babe Paley, Slim Keith, C.Z. Guest…they were the stars of ’50s and ’60s society. They were also the women Truman Capote loved, flattered—and betrayed. A fascinating look at their world.”

    Scenes from My Life: A Memoir - Williams, Michael K

    Michael K. Williams, Scenes from My Life
    (Crown Publishing Group)

    “Williams’s cool rasp leaps off every page, his story told in the direct yet impassioned language that defined his greatest characters.”

    Mount Chicago - Levin, Adam

    Adam Levin, Mount Chicago
    (Anchor Books)

    Mount Chicago is a bawdy, mournful, deeply funny, metafictionally ingenious, psychotic, ridiculous and majestic shaggy dog joy. When Levin leads the way, every rabbit hole is a glory hole for the mind, and a secret tunnel to provisional bliss and permanent wisdom. Also recommended for parrot lovers.”
    –Sam Lipsyte

    Killers of a Certain Age - Raybourn, Deanna

    Deanna Raybourn, Killers of a Certain Age
    (Berkley Books)

    “National treasure Deanna Raybourn never fails to enchant with her signature dry wit, sophisticated storylines, slick twists, and smart eccentric women who anchor her books. Her latest is a romping, wild delight from start to finish. Killers of a Certain Age is the 60-something lady assassin book we didn’t know we needed, but, oh, we needed it.”
    –Joshilyn Jackson

    Why Didn't You Tell Me?: A Memoir - Wong, Carmen Rita

    Carmen Rita Wong, Why Didn’t You Tell Me?: A Memoir
    (Crown Publishing Group)

    “Riveting….[Wong] tells her story in vivid conversational prose that will make readers feel they’re listening to a master storyteller on a long car trip….Hers is a hero’s journey.”
    The New York Times Book Review

    When We Were Sisters - Asghar, Fatimah

    Fatima Asghar, When We Were Sisters
    (One World)

    “[Asghar’s] debut lyrical novel, When We Were Sisters, explores sisterhood, orphaning, and alternate family building….At the heart…is Fatimah’s unique voice, insistence on creating alternate possibilities of identity, relationships and humanity…and a deep play and joy embedded in the craft.”
    PEN America

    My Government Means to Kill Me - Newson, Rasheed

    Rasheed Newson, My Government Means to Kill Me
    (Flatiron Books)

    “TV writer and producer Newson debuts with a crisp fictitious memoir of a gay Black man’s coming-of-age in mid-1980s New York City…..[An] eloquent story of the struggle for gay liberation.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Mother in the Dark - Maiuri, Kayla

    Kayla Maiuri, Mother in the Dark

    “A tender and achingly vulnerable story in the vein of memoirs like Educated and The Glass Castle, Maiuri’s debut novel peels back layers of multigenerational trauma in a complicated, dysfunctional family. Maiuri doesn’t paint her characters as heroes or villains, instead allowing readers to see the love and pain that seeps through the cracks of a family’s broken relationships.”

    At Home on an Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth - Ostrander, Madeline

    Madeline Ostrander, At Home on an Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge on a Changed Earth
    (Holt McDougal)

    “Ostrander visits with communities on the front lines of climate change and comes away with stories of hope, hardship, and resilience. Her book reminds us that home isn’t a place so much as a process: a radical act of continuous creation and renewal.”
    –Jessica Bruder

    Acceptance: A Memoir - Nietfeld, Emi

    Emi Nietfeld, Acceptance: A Memoir
    (Penguin Books)

    Acceptance isn’t a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes tale, and for precisely this reason it’s a must-read. Instead, the memoir refuses silver linings and serves as a necessary corrective to the gospel of ‘grit.'”

    After You'd Gone - O'Farrell, Maggie

    Maggie O’Farrell, After You’d Gone

    “At its simplest, After You’d Gone is a love story and a moral fable. Its literary references are lightly drawn but work hard; the copy of Daniel Deronda that Alice’s lover reads after visiting her family for the first time is no randomly selected stage-prop. But what makes this book remarkable is a luminous use of language and imagery which turn Alice’s world into one of elements and of sensation; a universe of light, smell, taste, heat and sound….O’Farrell’s poetic prose remains at the service of a good story.”

    Woman Without Shame: Poems - Cisneros, Sandra

    Sandra Cisneros, Woman Without Shame: Poems

    “Cisneros writes with irresistible intimacy, especially in her poetry. We feel confided in, teased, moved, and jolted as she explores matters earthy and spiritual….In this gathering of three decades of poems pithy and lush, brash and sexy, compassionate and outraged, she considers the places she’s lived, family, lovers, neighbors, moments of wonder, injustices epic and personal, and the ways age can so rudely resculpt the body even while liberating the mind.”

    The Complicities - D'Erasmo, Stacey

    Stacey D’Erasmo, The Complicities

    “The Complicities is a subtle masterpiece. Imagine a voice—lyrical and low, intimate and insistent—whispering in your ear. Half-told truths simmer below the surface, like the uneasy murmuring of a conscience. Mesmerized, you listen. There is menace here in D’Erasmo’s disquieted world, and terrible beauty, too.”
    –Ruth Ozeki

    Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility - Tea, Michelle

    Michelle Tea, Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My (In)Fertility
    (Dey Street Books)

    “Author, poet, tarot legend, and organizer Michelle Tea has long been known as a fairy godmother of the millennial queer set, and in this blazing new memoir, she approaches the subject of parenthood (and all the poking, prodding, jaw-dropping expense, and nosy questions that it can entail for LGBTQ+ parents) with her signature verve.”

    Blood Orange Night: A Memoir of Insomnia, Motherhood, and Benzos - Bond, Melissa

    Melissa Bond, Blood Orange Night: A Memoir of Insomnia, Motherhood, and Benzos
    (Gallery Books)

    “A page-turner memoir chronicling a woman’s accidental descent into prescription benzodiazepine dependence—and the life-threatening impacts of long-term use—that chills to the bone.”

    My Lover's Lover - O'Farrell, Maggie

    Maggie O’Farrell, My Lover’s Lover

    “British writer O’Farrell turns a deceptively simple romantic novel into an engrossing story of psychological suspense….O’Farrell’s premise—a woman’s curiosity about her lover’s former relationship—is somewhat commonplace. What makes her novel distinctive is the supernatural element, which she manages well.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Deer Creek Drive: A Reckoning of Memory and Murder in the Mississippi Delta - Lowry, Beverly

    Beverly Lowry, Deer Creek Drive: A Reckoning of Memory and Murder in the Mississippi Delta

    “Lowry’s granular re-creation of the time and place valuably captures its sensibility….By convening the customs and biases of the period as she reinvestigates this crime and its aftermath, Lowry does her best to provide a ‘reckoning’—as her title promises—with life in the Mississippi Delta in the 1950s….The significance of this story lies in its irresolution, in showing how, like bigotry, a violent crime will continue to cast a shadow over a community for generations.”
    The Washington Post

    Lark Ascending - House, Silas

    Silas House, Lark Ascending

    “House has written a postapocalyptic epic that is quiet and lyrical without losing its sense of danger and deprivation, set in a world where the powerful took and took until there was nothing left. But there’s not nothing, as Lark reminds us and as Seamus reminds him.”

    Putin - Short, Philip

    Philip Short, Putin
    (Holt McDougal)

    “A compelling, impressive and methodically researched account of Putin’s life so far. [It] extensively covers the dark moments of Putin’s career….The Putin of Short’s book is not someone you would invite to dinner: he is crude and cold, arrogant and heartless.”
    The New York Times

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