Book Reviews / Bookish Discussions

August 2014 New Releases…Get Your TBR List Ready!

TBR list

We are nearing the end of summer and there are many new releases in August to get excited about. I typically list the ARCs I have received first but I didn’t request many because I knew I was going to get some galleys at BEA and didn’t want to over extend my reading responsibilities. I also wanted to try a new format and list books by genre.

The main point of doing this post at the beginning of each month is to bring awareness to new authors and new literature as well as highlight some of the books I am excited about. Yes, you will also recognize some well established authors returning with their latest feat. One thing I have learned working at the library is: request, request, request! Especially for debut authors and books that don’t get as much hype. Help build up your public library by requesting up and coming and diverse books (James Patterson gets plenty of shelf space). They truly want you to. And if you think this is a long list, just wait for September!

Click on each cover to get the full summary.

Children’s Lit

         Brown Girl Dreaming

Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde (August 19) “The internationally bestselling book that inspired the Pay It Forward movement is now available in a middle grade edition.”

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (August 26) “Raina uses her signature humor and charm in both present-day narrative and perfectly placed flashbacks to tell the story of her relationship with her sister, which unfolds during the course of a road trip from their home in San Francisco to a family reunion in Colorado.” This is the companion to her award winning graphic memoir Smile.

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (August 26) “With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality…and possibility.”

The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye (August 26) “This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration.”

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (August 28) “In vivid poems, award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.”

Young Adult

        Dangerous Boys

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn; translated by Y. Maudet (August 5) “For readers of The Tyrant’s Daughter, Out of Nowhere, and I Am Malala, this poignant story about two Muslim sisters is about love, loss, religion, forgiveness, women’s rights, and freedom.”

The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco (August 5) “The Ring meets The Exorcist in this haunting story about an American boy whose last hope for protection lies with a vengeful ghost.”

Looking For Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup (August 12) “In 1964, Paul Carpetti discovers Jack Kerouac’s On the Road while on a school trip to New York and begins to question the life he faces after high school. Then he meets a volatile, charismatic Kerouac devotee determined to hit the road himself. When the boys learn that Kerouac is living in St. Petersburg, Florida, they go looking for answers.”

Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas (August 14) “Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?” I was left speechless after reading Dangerous Girls and Haas is not getting the accolades she deserves (IMO). Why books like We Were Liars get attention and equally well written and crafted YA books do not, I will never understand. Her latest blog post explains a bit about the struggle of the industry and I’m off the soap box now. :) Continue on…

Historical Fiction

Painted Horses     We Are Not Ourselves

       The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel

Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks (August 5) “Painted Horses sends a dauntless young woman on a heroic quest, sings a love song to the horseman’s vanishing way of life, and reminds us that love and ambition, tradition and the future, often make strange bedfellows. It establishes Malcolm Brooks as an extraordinary new talent.” *DEBUT

Henna House by Nomi Eve (August 12) “An evocative and stirring novel about a young woman living in the fascinating and rarely portrayed community of Yemenite Jews of the mid-twentieth century.”

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (August 12) “August, 1943. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma Death Railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier. His life is a daily struggle to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from pitiless beatings. Until he receives a letter that will change him forever.”

We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (August 19) “Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.” *DEBUT

Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland (August 26) “A novel centered on the great artists Cézanne, Pissarro, Chagall, and Picasso—a story of art and life, love and loss, set against the backdrop of World World II.”

The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan (August 26) “On the eve of WWI, two students fall in love in Harvard’s hallowed halls and must face a world at war from opposing sides.”

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (August 26) “On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office-leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin. But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist-an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .” *DEBUT

The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith (August 26) “Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave, characters who yearn for redemption amidst a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love.” *DEBUT

Contemporary Fiction

       

    The Furies   

A Year After Henry by Cathie Pelletier (August 5) “One year after Henry Munroe’s sudden death at age 41, his family is still reeling from the loss. So is Evie Cooper, a local bartender…and Henry’s former mistress. While his widow, Jeanie, struggles with the betrayal, his overbearing mother is devising plans to hold a memorial service on this awful anniversary. And to make matters worse, she might even invite Evie. With her trademark wit, Cathie Pelletier has crafted an elegant, uplifting portrait of the many strange and inspiring forms that grief and love can take in the journey to overcoming loss.”

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani (August 5) “Meet Ellie, 21 years old, a college student—and a virgin, but not by choice. The heroine of the most comedic novel in years, Ellie is on a mission to get rid of her V card no matter what it takes. Whether she succeeds (or not), one thing is certain—you’ll be talking about Ellie, and laughing about things you thought you could only share with your best friends.” *DEBUT

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell (August 12) “Told in gorgeous, insightful prose that delves deeply into the hearts and minds of its characters, The House We Grew Up In is the captivating story of one family’s desire to restore long-forgotten peace and to unearth the many secrets hidden within the nooks and crannies of home.”

Friendswood by Rene Steinke (August 14) “Driving the narrative powerfully forward is the suspenseful question of the fates of four Friendswood families, and Steinke’s striking insight and empathy. Inspired in part by the town where she herself grew up, this layered, propulsive, psychologically complex story is poignant proof that extreme public events, as catastrophic as they might seem, must almost always pale in comparison to the intimate personal experiences and motivations of grief, love, lust, ambition, anxiety, and regret.”

The Furies by Natalie Haynes (August 26) “In this psychological page-turner set at a “last-chance” school for teens, a teacher hides from her own terrible tragedy by teaching the Greek classics to her troubled students.”

Fives and Twenty-Fives by Michael Pitre (August 26) “Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine’s life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger. A heart-stopping debut novel about war and its aftermath by an Iraq War veteran—and an essential examination of the United States’ role in the world.” *DEBUT

Literary Fiction

   Small Blessings: A Novel     

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami; translated by Philip Gabriel (August 12) “Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.” It sold more than a million copies the first week in Japan! A much beloved author.

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof (August 12) “Readers who loved Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand will adore this inspiring debut of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had.”

Adultery by Paul Coelho; translated by Margaret Jull Costa & Zoe Perry (August 19) “A woman in her thirties begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody’s eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, children, and a career. Yet what she feels is an enormous apathy. All that changes when she encounters a successful politician who had, years earlier, been her high school boyfriend. As she rediscovers the passion missing from her life, she will face a life-altering choice.”

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar (August 19) “An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, Lakshmi is desperately lonely and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store. Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn’t need a shrink; she needs a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient have become close friends.”

Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub; translated by Margaret Jull Costa (August 26) “A cruel schoolboy prank leaves the only Catholic boy in an elite Jewish school in Porto Alegre terribly injured. Years later, one of his classmates revisits that episode, trying to come to terms with the choices he made then and his present demons. Diary of the Fall is the story of three generations: a man’s struggle for forgiveness; a father with Alzheimer’s, for whom recording every memory has become an obsession; and a grandfather who survived Auschwitz, filling notebook after notebook with the false memories of someone desperate to forget.”

Non-Fiction

     

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay (August 5) “A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay. Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.”

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund (August 5) “A  gorgeously unique, fully illustrated exploration into the phenomenology of reading—how we visualize images from reading works of literature, from one of our very best book jacket designers, himself a passionate reader.”

In The Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of The USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides (August 5) “New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age. With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most unforgiving territory on Earth.”

The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier and Smarter by Susan Pinker (August 26) “Developmental psychologist and journalist Susan Pinker shows the ways face-to-face human contact promotes happiness, wards off disease, and increases our lifespan, using the latest discoveries in social cognition and neuroscience.”

What August releases are you most excited for?

 

4 thoughts on “August 2014 New Releases…Get Your TBR List Ready!

  1. So many great titles! I loved In the Kingdom of Ice, Bad Feminist, and The Miniaturist, and I’m looking forward to many of the other books. Fantastic list!

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