• The Hub

    News, Notes, Talk

    24 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    August 8, 2023, 6:00am

    As the second week of August rolls around, there’s much to potentially direct your attention to, from political news to plans for that vacation you might have been saving for the end of summer, but you also, as always, have a trove of new books to consider, as well, either as more enjoyable alternatives to the news or delights to take with you on that vacation. Whatever your August may be shaping out to be, I hope you’ll take a look at the exciting new novels, story collections, histories, manifestos, poetry books, and studies below. You’ll find debut fiction, a Booker Prize nominee, a history of selfies, magical realism, reworkings of mythology, and much, much more to add to your endlessly upward-inching to-be-read lists. Enjoy!

    Article continues below

    *

    The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store - McBride, James

    James McBride, The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store
    (Riverhead)

    “Funny, tender, knockabout, gritty, and suspenseful, McBride’s microcosmic, socially critiquing, and empathic novel dynamically celebrates difference, kindness, ingenuity, and the force that compels us to move heaven and earth to help each other.”
    Booklist

    Article continues below

    Las Madres - Santiago, Esmeralda

    Esmeralda Santiago, Las Madres
    (Knopf)

    “An emotionally vast and resonant new novel by the brilliant Esmeralda Santiago. Oscillating between two pivotal years decades apart, Las Madres is a deep-dive into the history of modern Puerto Rico and a number of its extraordinary women—their secrets, their tragedies, and the reclamations they share. A magnificent read.”
    –Cristina García

    How to Care for a Human Girl - Wurzbacher, Ashley

    Ashley Wurzbacher, How to Care for a Human Girl
    (Atria Books)

    Article continues below

    “Ashley Wurzbacher writes so well about the battle between the head, the heart, and the body—the rare, beautiful moments when they’re all in harmony and the brutal moments they’re not. How to Care for a Human Girl is a trenchant and bounteous story of two sisters fighting for autonomy and how even in the grips of indecision women must get to decide their own lives.”
    –Michelle Hart

    The Collected Poems of Anselm Hollo - Hollo, Anselm

    Anselm Hollo, The Collected Poems of Anselm Hollo
    (Coffee House Press)

    “In this posthumous trove of brief, zestful poems, Hollo…relates the ‘incredible onslaught of being, ‘ seemingly dashing off each of these frenetic, fragmented vignettes in a fit of wild gusto.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Still Born - Nettel, Guadalupe

    Article continues below

    Guadalupe Nettel, Still Born (trans. Rosalind Harvey)
    (Bloomsbury)

    “The prose, which appears in an elegant translation by Rosalind Harvey, retains a matter-of-factness, and in some places a synoptic quality that is rarely freighted with sadness or despair….It’s friendship, not crisis, that emerges as the novel’s focal point….Nettel… seems to be saying that ‘normal mothers’ do think ugly thoughts-or rather, that there is no such thing as a ‘normal mother.’ There is a strong tradition of works that connect maternal ambivalence to horror tropes….Nettel is making a case for chosen kinship.”
    London Review of Books

    Narcissus in Bloom: An Alternative History of the Selfie - Colquhoun, Matt

    Matt Colquhoun, Narcissus in Bloom: An Alternative History of the Selfie
    (Repeater Books)

    Narcissus in Bloom is a real achievement….[I]t marks a return to a now lost tradition: big-picture cultural theorizing that speaks to and illuminates present-day anxieties in unexpected ways, spoken in the vernacular of contemporary popular culture, of the likes of Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall and more.”
    –Dan Taylor

    Article continues below

    Devil's Coin: My Battle to Take Down the Notorious Onecoin Cryptoqueen - McAdam, Jennifer

    Jennifer McAdam, Devil’s Coin: My Battle to Take Down the Notorious Onecoin Cryptoqueen
    (William Morrow)

    “Swayed by the enigmatic business tycoon Dr. Ruja Ignatova, [McAdam] didn’t realize she was giving her money to one of the world’s most sinister scams….A poignant dive into the rabbit hole of financial fraud and mysterious scammers.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Tomb Sweeping: Stories - Chang, Alexandra

    Alexandra Chang,  Tomb Sweeping
    (Ecco Press)

    “Following her phenomenal debut novel, Days of Distraction, Chang returns with Tomb Sweeping, a collection of inventive, affecting, and delightfully strange stories featuring humble characters across China and the US who navigate daily disappointments, work mundanities, and unlikely encounters.”
    Bustle

    Shark Heart: A Love Story - Habeck, Emily

    Emily Habeck, Shark Heart: A Love Story
    (S & S/ Marysue Rucci Books)

    hark Heart is a fantastical, original, and beautifully-written novel of abandonment, love, and Ovidian transformation. It explores illness, caretaking, devotion, magical thinking, and loss—and of course great white sharks—in ways that are funny, sad, and surprising. Every page bursts with heart.”
    –Anthony Doerr

    Prophet - MacDonald, Helen

    Helen MacDonald, Sin Blaché, Prophet
    (Grove Press)

    “Sin Blaché and Helen Macdonald have turned nostalgia—’the trash of hearts’—into a world and a trap. Prophet promises to bring back everything you lost and now yearn for. Is it a drug? Or is it a new state of matter? Whatever it is, it’s proper science fiction—self-aware, funny, ruthlessly propulsive, full of invention, parodic yet perfectly serious about its underlying issues with contemporary retro culture, and ending with a complex, emotionally satisfying extension of the personal into the sublime.”
    –M. John Harrison

    Hangman - Binyam, Maya

    Maya Binyam, Hangman
    (FSG)

    “[A] beguiling and dreamlike debut…leads to an ending that’s twisty and illuminating. Along the way, the narrator has a series of…mordantly funny encounters that highlight themes of colonialism and cultural differences….This is one of those novels that demands a second reading, and is well worth the time.”
    Publishers Weekly

    You're an Animal - Libaire, Jardine

    Jardin Libaire, You’re an Animal
    (Hogarth Press)

    You’re an Animal is a fast and perilous ride toward the center of what makes us human in the most desperate of circumstances . . . Roving and mysterious, this novel is hot to the touch.”
    –Chelsea Bieker

    Medusa's Sisters - Bear, Lauren J. a.

    Lauren J. A. Bear, Medusa’s Sisters
    (Ace Books)

    “Debut novelist Bear has artfully fashioned an entrancing tale that not only perfectly captures in poetic prose both the fabled glories and gritty realities of ancient Greece, but also features a trio of sisters, who, despite being mythological beings, seem all-too real and relatable by virtue of Bear’s gift for incisive characterization.”
    Booklist

    Free Them All: A Feminist Call to Abolish the Prison System - Ricordeau, Gwenola

    Gwenola Ricordeau, Free Them All: A Feminist Call to Abolish the Prison System (trans. Emma Ramadan and Tom Roberge)
    (Verso)

    “Ricordeau adds a provocative twist to the debate. She warns that feminists must understand the complexity of the battle…..Professor Ricordeau’s analysis of the absurdities of the system and the sizable obstacles facing those determined to find meaningful solutions combines scholarly discipline with a powerful, emotional appeal for justice.”
    The Arts Fuse

    The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America - Edin, Kathryn J.

    Kathryn J. Edin, H. Luke Shaefer, Timothy J. Nelson, The Injustice of Place: Uncovering the Legacy of Poverty in America
    (Mariner)

    “Three of the nation’s top poverty scholars deliver a profound inquiry into the most disadvantaged communities in America. Combining historical and statistical analysis with on-the-ground interviewing, the authors present novel and provocative arguments for many social ills that plague these regions. This book challenges and enrages, humbles and indicts–and forces you to see American poverty in a whole new light.”
    –Matthew Desmond

    A Council of Dolls - Power, Mona Susan

    Mona Susan Power, A Council of Dolls
    (Mariner)

    “Through the lives of three Dakota women, we grapple with the emotional, psychological, and spiritual toll on Indigenous peoples enduring an often brutal system and, moreover, how strength, healing, and love reverberate down each passing generation to dispense hope and resiliency. I cannot more highly recommend Power’s newest masterpiece.”
    –Oscar Hokeah

    The Details - Genberg, Ia

    Ia Genberg, The Details (trans. Kira Josefsson)

    “In four succinct and arresting portraits, the narrator of The Details remembers the people who have shaped her life. At once humorous and heartbreaking, this book is an ode to the different kinds of love that form us. It asks how we hold onto the people who touch us, how we remember them, and whether we should ever let them go. I won’t forget this beautiful book.”
    –Jenna Clarke

    Under the Influence - Crooks, Noelle

    Noelle Crooks, Under the Influence
    (Gallery Books)

    “Crooks’ debut is a modern update to The Devil Wears Prada, emphasizing the all-too-common blurring of our personal and work lives. Harper’s denial of Charlotte’s True Nature is unsettling yet authentic.”
    Booklist

    From One Cell: A Journey Into Life's Origins and the Future of Medicine - Stanger, Ben

    Ben Stanger, From One Cell: A Journey Into Life’s Origins and the Future of Medicine
    (Norton)

    “From the scientific quest to understand how a minuscule fertilized egg becomes a whole person, a universe of human biology opens up, leading to big new ideas for medicine. An inspiring, masterful, and authoritative account of this vital scientific frontier—rendered in brilliant, beautiful prose—From One Cell is about you, your beginning, and your future.”
    –Daniel M. Davis

    Sun House - Duncan, David James

    David James Duncan, Sun House
    (Little Brown and Company)

    “This is a classic epic novel with 21st century humor and timeless spirituality. I laughed so much and cried just as often. It’s sexy, politically astute, visionary, and bold. I love this novel. I love David. Read it now.”
    –Sherman Alexie

    Canary Girls - Chiaverini, Jennifer

    Jennifer Chiaverini, Canary Girls
    (William Morrow)

    “A group of female munitions workers become friends and soccer teammates in Great Britain during World War I….A sprawling, ambitious story. The good, the bad, and the ugly sides of war on the homefront are highlighted in this uplifting story.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!: How to Take Back Our Time, Attention, and Purpose in a World Designed to Bury Us in Bullshit - Gambuto, Julio Vincent

    Julio Vincent Gambuto, Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!: How to Take Back Our Time, Attention, and Purpose in a World Designed to Bury Us in Bullshit
    (Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster)

    “What Marie Kondo did to your closet, Julio Vincent Gambuto will do to every other part of your life—and to your heart. You will be transformed. Joy and fulfillment await you on the other end. Please Unsubscribe. Thanks! will make you question why you didn’t unsubscribe earlier.”
    –Ali Wenzke

    Highways and Heartaches: How Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, and Children of the New South Saved the Soul of Country Music - Streissguth, Michael

    Michael Streissguth, Highways and Heartaches: How Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, and Children of the New South Saved the Soul of Country Music
    (Hachette)

    “In fine-grained prose, Streissguth sketches a nuanced portrait of two musicians who both preserved bluegrass tradition and innovated within it. The result is a rich and revealing outing sure to delight country music fans.”
    Publishers Weekly

  • Become a Lit Hub Supporting Member: Because Books Matter

    For the past decade, Literary Hub has brought you the best of the book world for free—no paywall. But our future relies on you. In return for a donation, you’ll get an ad-free reading experience, exclusive editors’ picks, book giveaways, and our coveted Joan Didion Lit Hub tote bag. Most importantly, you’ll keep independent book coverage alive and thriving on the internet.

    x