Confession time: I had only planned on highlighting 3 or 4, 5 tops..but there are so many awesome books coming out this month I couldn’t resist!
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer | August 5
The Committee, an international cabal of industrialists and media barons, is on the verge of privatizing all information. Dear Diary, an idealistic online Underground, stands in the way of that takeover, using radical politics, classic spycraft, and technology that makes Big Data look like dial-up. Into this secret battle stumbles an unlikely trio: Leila Majnoun, a disillusioned non-profit worker; Leo Crane, an unhinged trustafarian; and Mark Deveraux, a phony self-betterment guru who works for the Committee.
2014 is the Year of the Awesome Debuts. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is being compared to William Gibson’s and Chuck Palahniuk’s works and its techno/cyberpunk themes bring on a wave of nostalgia – I was SO into that genre in high school.
The Magician’s Land (The Magicians #3) by Lev Grossman | August 5
The Magician’s Land is an intricate thriller, a fantastical epic, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.
Okay, so I’m cheating a bit with this one. I haven’t read the other two yet, but I grabbed the first from my library earlier this week and now that the third (and final) volume is out, I look forward to a serious binge session!
The Furies by Natalie Haynes | August 26
When Alex Morris loses her fiancé in dreadful circumstances, she moves from London to Edinburgh to make a break with the past. Alex takes a job at a Pupil Referral Unit, which accepts the students excluded from other schools in the city. These are troubled, difficult kids and Alex is terrified of what she’s taken on.
There is one class – a group of five teenagers – who intimidate Alex and every other teacher on The Unit. But with the help of the Greek tragedies she teaches, Alex gradually develops a rapport with them. Finding them enthralled by tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge, she even begins to worry that they are taking her lessons to heart, and that a whole new tragedy is being performed, right in front of her…
I love – LOVE – a good psychological tale and The Furies looks very promising. The addition of Greek tragedies doesn’t hurt one bit!
The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar | August 26
Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start. Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic, who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave? Plus Will’s behaviour is severely testing the bonds of her trust.
Hannah has spent her professional life doing the right thing for other people. But as she starts to uncover a terrible crime, she realises she can no longer do that without putting everything she’s ever wanted at risk. But if she does nothing, the next victim could be her…
Last year I read Millar’s Accidents Happen and fell HARD. At work I came across another novel she wrote and immediately bought it. Although I can catch on fairly quickly and guess who the Bad Guy is, Millar’s novels are quick-paced and highly entertaining and I’m looking forward to this one! I guess I’m cheating a little with this book too – I have a copy from NG and plan on reading it on vacation.
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.
Atria gets me. Whenever I’m stuck in a rut, I grab one of their novels and know I’m in good hands. I love a good family drama where the Past Is Alive and everyone comes together to deal with old wounds. Odd as it may sounds, those stories are my Feel Good books. The House We Grew Up In focuses on a loving family that was torn apart after an Easter weekend. Years later, the kids are all grown and living their own lives until the day they’re called back home. I desperately want to know what happened that caused this family to crumble.
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.
Another novel that deals with a catastrophic event, only this time, instead of focusing on a family, Friendswood follows an entire town. A tiny Texas community is brought together after an industrial leak kills residents. From a mother dealing with the death of her teenage daughter, to a tormented high school football star and a young girl suffering from visions (possibly?) caused by the leak, Friendswood explores how people deal with an unexpected tragedy and I absolutely love character exploration. This is a novel I’m VERY excited for!
Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark | August 19
David Leveraux is an Apprentice Flavor Chemist at one of the world’s leading flavor production houses. While testing Sweetness #9, he notices that the artificial sweetener causes unsettling side-effects in laboratory rats and monkeys. But with his career and family at risk, David keeps his suspicions to himself.
Years later, Sweetness #9 is America’s most popular sweetener–and David’s family is changing. His wife is gaining weight, his daughter is depressed, and his son has stopped using verbs. Is Sweetness #9 to blame, along with David’s failure to stop it? Or are these just symptoms of the American condition?
What does it say about me that the majority of the books I’m looking forward to deal with tragedies? DON’T JUDGE ME. Really though, those seven sentences have me hooked. Darker fiction that could potentially turn into a reality? Oh I am so there.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan | August 12
Richard Flanagan’s story — of Dorrigo Evans, an Australian doctor haunted by a love affair with his uncle’s wife — journeys from the caves of Tasmanian trappers in the early twentieth century to a crumbling pre-war beachside hotel, from a Thai jungle prison to a Japanese snow festival, from the Changi gallows to a chance meeting of lovers on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
This one came out last year in Australia (have any of you read it?? Was it amazing??) and sounds like a total Leah novel: World War II, multiple eras, a forbidden affair. I had never heard of Flanagan prior to this novel, but it seems like he’s kind of a Big Deal and from what I can tell, his novels tend to be set in Australia. I recently discovered my reading isn’t as varied as I had hoped, particularly when it comes to settings. Australian novels would be a perfect start!
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton | August 26
Amsterdam, 1686. Nella Oortman, 18-years-old and recently married, arrives in the city, ready to start her new life. Nella receives a cabinet-sized replica of their house from her husband as a wedding gift and she sets about filling it with miniatures. Through these miniatures, Nella begins to uncover dark secrets and she soon learns of the dangers in store for Amsterdam.
You didn’t think I’d leave out Historical Fiction, did you?? My summary isn’t the best – the one on goodreads is much longer – but it sounds thrilling. and is being compared to Sarah Waters. That’s definitely a win in my book!