10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in August 2017

Hope you have room on your holds list! Here are 10 great titles arriving this month.

New People
by Danzy Senna
Khalil and Maria are biracial Stanford graduates living a privileged boho life in Brooklyn, complete with a Martha's Vineyard wedding featured in the New York Times. Things go awry when Maria becomes disillusioned with their fairytale lifestyle and starts having feelings about another man. Senna is the author of Caucasia (1998) and You Are Free (2011). Her “fearless novel is equal parts beguiling and disturbing… A great book about race and a great book all around.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Sour Heart
by Jenny Zhang
“The first collection of short stories by poet and essayist Zhang (Dear Jenny, We Are All Find, 2012) highlights the intersections between several Chinese and Taiwanese immigrant families living in and around New York City, all of whom are trying to bridge the gap between the old world they’ve left behind—forever altered by the Cultural Revolution—and the new lives that they are now trying to build for themselves in the United States… Taken as a whole, these linked stories illuminate the complexities and contradictions of first-generation life in America. Zhang has a gift for sharp, impactful endings, and a poet’s ear for memorable detail.” (Publishers Weekly)

The Heart's Invisible Furies
by John Boyne
Boyne (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, 2007, A History of Loneliness, 2015) tells the story of Cyril Avery, born in post-World War II Dublin to an unmarried teenager and adopted by well-off but inattentive parents. Cyril comes of age and comes to terms with being gay in an extremely repressive society, moving on to Amsterdam and later New York City during the height of the AIDS era. “Often quite funny, the story nevertheless has its sadness, sometimes approaching tragedy. Utterly captivating and not to be missed.” (Booklist)

Stay With Me
by Ayobami Adebayo
“A couple struggles with fertility—and fidelity—as Nigeria falls apart around them. Yejide is furious when her husband, Akin, brings Funmi, a second wife, home to their house in Ilesa. Pressured by his mother, and by the constraints of Nigerian masculinity, to conceive a son, Akin seeks a solution to their marriage's childlessness—even if it means hurting Yejide in the process… Set against a backdrop of student protests, a presidential assassination, and a military coup, Adebayo's novel captures how the turmoil of Nigerian life in the 1980s and '90s seeps into the most personal of decisions—to fight for, and protect, one's family. Adebayo's debut marks the emergence of a fine young writer.” (Kirkus)

A Kind of Freedom
by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
“Set in Sexton’s native New Orleans, this emotionally wrenching, character-rich debut spans three generations in a city deeply impacted by segregation, economic inequality, and racial tensions. It begins with a 1940s romance between Evelyn, the eldest daughter in a relatively well-off Creole family, and Renard, the son of a janitor, whose dreams are bigger than his station in life can hold. Their daughter, Jackie, becomes a mother in the Reagan-era 1980s, struggling through the economic downturn that derails her husband’s promising career and starts him on a tumultuous path of addiction and empty promises. Their grandson, T.C., lives through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, watching it transform his city—and himself—into something unfamiliar.” (Publishers Weekly)

Home Fire
by Kamila Shamsie
“Gut-wrenching and undeniably relevant to today’s world, Shamsie’s (A God in Every Stone, 2014) newest literary accomplishment focuses on members of two British families of Pakistani heritage and their life-changing decisions and entanglements. Isma Pasha had essentially raised her orphaned younger siblings, twins Aneeka and Parvaiz, although their closeness ended after Parvaiz left for Syria to follow in his absentee father’s footsteps as a jihadi. With the beautiful, enigmatic Aneeka in college in London, Isma enrolls in a long-awaited doctoral program in Massachusetts, where she befriends Eamonn, son of rising MP Karamat Lone, a man who built his political career partly on renouncing the Muslim faith of his birth… In accessible, unwavering prose and without any heavy-handedness, Shamsie addresses an impressive mix of contemporary issues, from Muslim profiling to cultural assimilation and identity to the nuances of international relations. This shattering work leaves a lasting emotional impression.” (Booklist)

Young Jane Young
by Gabrielle Zevin
From the author of the best-selling The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, the story of a political scandal that erupts when a young ambitious intern in D.C. has an affair with her boss, a married man and popular congressman, and decides to blog about it. “This book will not only thoroughly entertain everyone who reads it; it is the most immaculate takedown of slut-shaming in literature or anywhere else. Cheers, and gratitude, to the author.” (Kirkus)

The Locals
by Jonathan Dee
Struggling contractor Mark Firth lives in a small New England town that is being turned upside-down by its new mayor, a Billionaire New York hedge fund manager that fled for the country after 9/11. “This is a novel with political motives, so much so that it recalls The Fountainhead, except Dee (A Thousand Pardons, 2013, etc.) is a better writer than Ayn Rand by several orders of magnitude, and his point seems to be virtually the opposite of hers… An absorbing panorama of small-town life and a study of democracy in miniature, with both the people and their polity facing real and particular contemporary pressures.” (Kirkus)

The Talented Ribkins
by Ladee Hubbard
72-year-old African-American antiques dealer Johnny Ribkins and his niece Eloise both have very special gifts--perhaps they’re even superheroes. They’re on a journey across the state of Florida to find Johnny’s buried loot so he can pay off his debts to a local crime boss. “Hubbard shrewdly molds the pop-culture mythology of the comic-book superhero team into a magical-realist metaphor for African-American struggles… crafty and wistful… Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth.” (Kirkus)

Yesterday 
by Felicia Yap
“In a world where people are divided by how much they can remember, a single day's worth of memories separates the classes. The ruling Duos can retain two days' worth of memories at a time, while the Monos keep just one. Claire is a Mono married to Mark, a Duo author with political aspirations... When the body of Mark's mistress is pulled from the river near their home, the police must work quickly to catch the killer before important memories are lost… It soon becomes clear that no one is to be trusted, not even oneself. First novelist Yap has built an immersive, compelling, and terrifying world where the only truth people know is what they choose to tell themselves.” (Library Journal)

Are you looking forward to any new releases? Read anything wonderful lately? We'd love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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