Looking Ahead: August Highlights

July was a much better reading month for me than June was, and I'm hopeful that August will even better as I wrap up the last of my summer reads. I have one more vacation planned this month, which means 6+ hours in the car each way (here we come, North Carolina), a week on the beach on my TARDIS beach towel (yes, I own this), and lots and lots of reading time. I hope.

Here's what I have my eye on this month:

Lookaway Lookaway, by Wilton Barnhardt (St. Martin's Press, Aug 20th): Ok, I've actually already read this one, and oh, it is marvelous. Barnhardt turns a critical but smiling eye to Southern culture, capturing its glossy veneer, myriad hypocrisies, and overly mannered behaviors. Told through the varied perspectives of the Johnston family, a family with Civil War ties and old, Southern money, Lookaway Lookway is at once heartbreaking and delightful, a romp through the South and yet representative of so many families in so many different places. Definitely one to look out for.

The Rathbones, by Janice Clark (Doubleday, Aug 6th): I actually don't know much about this besides the fact that it is described as a "gothic, literary adventure," has to do with New England, is blurbed by Erin Morgenstern, and is somehow inspired by both Moby Dick and Edgar Allen Poe. Now that I list all of that, I'm not sure what more I could possibly need to know...

The Virgins, by Pamela Erens (Tin House, Aug 6th): This was one of the titles I picked up at BEA this year (after falling madly in love with pretty much all of Tin House's catalog). Focusing on the romance between two unlikely boarding-school lovers, the blurb on this promises that Erens brings a fresh voice to the "tradition of the great boarding school novel." I'm a sucker for boarding school novels, for reasons unknown to me, from Chocolates for Breakfast to Prep, so this one seems right up my alley.

The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon (Bloomsbury, Aug 20th): Another BEA acquisition, and this one compared to--wait for it--the Harry Potter series. The first in a planned seven-book series in a world that looks like our world but isn't, quite, this promises aliens and clairvoyance and prisonbreaks and and and and and. Already an Indie Next pick, film rights already optioned, already on buzz panels... and the author is younger than me. Hot damn, that's impressive.

Night Film, by Marisha Pessl (Random House, Aug 20th): Somehow I never quite fit Pessl's first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, into my reading schedule, though I'm still intending to somehow. Regardless, her second novel, Night Film, has been collecting praise from pretty much every corner of my internet world, from people whose bookish opinions I try not to ignore.

Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives, ed. Sarah Weinman (Penguin, Aug 27th): This collection of fourteen "chilling tales" from the 1940s through the 1970s promises crime fiction, hair-raising, and a tribute to a lost generation of women writers. Color me interested (plus, look at that gorgeous cover!).


  1. So many great books in August and I'm looking forward to all the ones you listed here.

  2. I'm reading Lookaway, Lookaway right now and it's already squeezing it's way into my favorites for the year. Definitely looking forward to The Rathbones and The Bone Season, too!

  3. Yeah, The Bone Season actually does sound awesome. Although it IRKS me when blurbs compare a book to HP. Don't they know that it's pretty much guaranteeing that the reader will be a little bit letdown?

  4. Holy smokes, so many great books coming up! I'm particularly intrigued by Lookaway, Lookaway.

  5. My brother-in-law has a TARDIS beach towel as well! And I am quite envious of it.

    I'm most excited for the Marisha Pessl book. Special Topics in Calamity Physics was really good, and especially it was really good for a first novel. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I'm hugely curious about how Pessl will follow it up.


Thanks for stopping by!