It's hotter than July. All the books. August 2013.
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August. It’s hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close, that the hot, humid days are soon going to segue into the cool, breezy comfort of fall. But for now, we have one more month of glorious summer. (Or for those of us who’ve been baked by the recent heat wave, one more month of hiding inside with the air-conditioning!) Publishing also seems to take a vacation in August; it’s a month of fewer new releases, followed by the amazing glut that will come in September. But don’t fret; we’ve discovered the best of the bunch and are thrilled to share them with you! —Swapna Krishna
Night Film by Marisha Pessl (August 20, Random House) Night Film is a dark and twisty read that will both thrill and terrify readers from beginning to end. Marisha Pessl has crafted a mesmerizing novel about a cult film director and his daughter's mysterious suicide; readers will be clamoring to discover the many complicated truths behind this excellent read. —Swapna Krishna, S. Krishna’s Books

Editor's Pick: Creepy and utterly compelling, Pessl returns at the top of her game, and with a vengeance.—Nicole

Shake Down the Stars by Renee Swindle (August 6, NAL Trade) Swindle upends expectation in Shake Down the Stars. It’s been five years since Piper Nelson’s daughter died, but she’s coping worse than ever. As her support system breaks down, it takes the help of strangers for Piper to embrace life again in this wry look at love, loss, and addiction. —Jenn Ravey, The Picky Girl
Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider (August 27, Katherine Tegan Books) Reviewers have compared this novel to John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, which is completely appropriate. The Beginning of Everything is sad and comical, touching and funny, and all around stunning. Fans of Green will definitely love this book. Because, in the end, it's a story about loss and how to deal with it. —Nikki Wang, Fiction Freak
It's Not Love, It's Just Paris by Patricia Engel (August 6, Grove Press) College student Lita del Cielo has to decide whether to stay in Paris with a newfound love or to return to the United States to be with her family. It's Not Love, It's Just Paris is a thoughtful look at the tough choices and emotions humans go through to attain love. —Jessica DeLeón, The Hispanic Reader
Buck by MK Asante (August 20, Spiegel & Grau) In his memoir, Buck, MK Asante traces his days as a teenager in north Philadelphia searching for solid ground in his constantly shifting, dangerous world. Written in a voice that flows with the poetic beauty of hip hop, Buck is a testament to the power of the written word. —Shannon Nemer, River City Reading
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (August 20, Bloomsbury USA) Part fantasy, part alternative history, Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season explores London in 2059. This world of voyants, Scion, and Rephaim may seem foreign and intimidating, but Shannon does an excellent job building an alternative universe, complete with dynamic and detailed characters. This intense page turner is an ambitious thrill ride and a spectacular debut for a new series. —Michelle Shannon, That's What She Read
Love and Lament by John Milliken Thompson (August 6, Other Press) A rich sampling of Southern literature, Love and Lament follows a rural North Carolina family through years of loss and unbelievable hardship. Set in the South at the turn of the last century, this beautifully crafted novel focuses on facing life’s most difficult challenges in a region confronting its own indefinite future. —Jenn Lawrence, Jenn's Bookshelves
Hothouse by Boris Kachka (August 6, Simon & Schuster) Impulsive Roger Straus and intellectual Robert Giroux built Farrar, Straus, and Giroux from scratch, cementing the company’s reputation for nurturing critically acclaimed artists while dismissing the business side of books. This gossipy history of FSG is about more than the house and the evolution of publishing; it’s a readable look at how business and culture collide when art is made. — Kim Ukura, Sophisticated Dorkiness
The Purchase by Linda Spalding (August 6, Pantheon) Spalding’s vivid portrayal of eighteenth-century Virginia is a searing indictment of the institution of slavery, showing how personal interest and human frailty made complicit participants of the most “innocent” of bystanders. Powerful and disturbing, though with notes of hope throughout, readers won’t be able to help compare their own choices to those of the novel’s flawed but strongly principled characters. —Nicole Bonia, Linus’s Blanket
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young (August 27, Simon Pulse) In the mini-parallel universe/reality boom in young adult fiction this year, Just Like Fate stands out for its radically divergent story lines (the "stay" Caroline is preferred over the "go" version of her character) and its compelling philosophical ending. A must for fans of sliding doors–style narratives.—Lenore Appelhans, Presenting Lenore

Bloggers Recommend // Nicole Bonía, Executive Editor // Jennifer Karsbaek, Executive Editor // Candace B. Levy, Editor // Jennifer Lawrence,Community Outreach Director // Michelle Shannon, Media Director // Gayle Weiswasser, Media Director // Swapna Krishna, Communications Director

The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon (August 6, Touchstone) Carolyn Turgeon twists the Snow White narrative on its head by introducing a magic-practicing Rapunzel as Snow’s wicked stepmother. Told from Rapunzel’s point of view, The Fairest of Them All creates sympathy for the Snow’s stepmother, giving readers a new take on this classic tale.

Editor's Pick: I love the way Turgeon reimagines fairy tales, she is constantly surprising.—Jen
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan (August 20, Algonquin Young Readers) If You Could Be Mine is an intense book, full of equal parts danger and love. Each sentence is emotionally loaded and tantalizing, and Sara Farizan discusses the difference between being gay and transsexual, addressing important issues about body image and gender and how they factor into sexuality. —Tirzah Price, The Compulsive Reader
The Butterfly Sister by Amy Gail Hansen (August 6, William Morrow Paperbacks) Ruby, a college drop-out, finds a mysterious suitcase that she must try to return to its owner . . . only the owner has disappeared. Using the contents of the suitcase, Ruby leads the reader on a Gothic adventure of obsession, madness, and haunting mistakes. —Katie Fransen, Book Addict Katie
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick (August 13, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) When his birthday is forgotten, Leonard Peacock plans to exact his own revenge. But will he go through with it? Quick compassionately explores the mantra "It Gets Better," and the result is a searing and honest portrait of life and the work we must do for each other. —Amy Riley, My Friend Amy
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat (August 27, Knopf) It’s Claire’s seventh birthday, and her father, a single parent, is trying to give her away. This isn’t only the story of Claire’s running away; it’s also about the people around her and just how connected we all are. Claire of the Sea Light is a powerful yet quiet tale of love and tragedy in a small community. —Natasha Vasillis, 1330v
The Fields by Kevin Maher (August 13, Reagan Arthur Books) Jim Finnegan is the youngest of five children growing up Catholic in 1980s Dublin. His happy suburban life is turned upside down when the local parish priest wants him to be his altar boy. The Fields, full of Irish wit and culture, will move readers to laughter, anger, and compassion. —Jennifer Conner, Literate Housewife
A Fatal Likeness Lynn Shepherd (August 20, Delacorte Press) Lynn Shepherd returns to Dickensian London in A Fatal Likeness. Through her compelling detective, Charles Maddox, Shepherd explores the dramatic lives of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his second wife, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. This dark and twisted tale is made only more fascinating by the fact that it is based in reality. —Jen Karsbaek, Devourer of Books
Brewster by Mark Slouka (August 5, W. W. Norton) Set against the generation-defining events of the tumultuous year of 1968, Brewster exposes the harsh realities of the coming of age of four friends bound by their hopeless dreams of escape from small-town America. Mark Slouka writes the truth of these forgotten teens with a haunting starkness that will leave you stunned and brokenhearted. —Candace B. Levy, Beth Fish Reads
Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle (August 6, Simon & Schuster) A literary tour de force, Queen’s Gambit tells the provocative story of King Henry VIII’s last wife, Katherine Parr. Gloriously written with attention to detail, debut author Elizabeth Fremantle has penned a historical fiction novel to rival Hilary Mantel. One of the best releases of the year! – Michele Jacobsen, A Reader’s Respite
Lake Como by Anita Hughes (August 13, St. Martin's Griffin) Hallie Elliot is unsettled even though she has the perfect job and the perfect fiancé. A month in Italy visiting her half-sister only complicates matters when Hallie learns she isn’t who she thinks she is and finds there may be one very important reason to stay in Lake Como. —Jenn Ravey, The Picky Girl

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