10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in August 2020

Are you looking forward to a fresh read? Here are 10 novels coming in August to satisfy your thirst for fiction.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
This story begins as a mother finds the murdered body of her only child, Vivek, on her doorstep, prompting a series of flashbacks that reveal the details of Vivek’s life and death, his struggles with his identity and his family’s failures to understand him. A “searing examination of gender dissonance, sexual attraction, familial love, and loyalty… this achingly beautiful probe into the challenges of living fully as a nonbinary human being, is an illuminating read.” (Library Journal) Emezi has received awards, nominations and accolades for her first novel Freshwater (2017) and YA novel Pet (2019).
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Luster by Raven Leilani
Edie is an artist in her twenties with a day job at a New York publishing house. When she pursues an affair with a married white man, her life becomes enmeshed with his family in ways she would have never predicted. “An unstable ballet of race, sex, and power… Sharp, strange, propellant—and a whole lot of fun.” (Kirkus Reviews
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud
An unlikely trio forms an unexpected family when widowed Miss Betty and her teenage son rent a room to a lodger, Mr. Chetan, a closeted teacher. “Beautifully written… The skilled treatment of the characters brings them to vivid life, as it does the richly realized Trinidadian setting. An award-winning short story writer, Persaud demonstrates her skill with longer fiction in this superb debut novel.” (Booklist)
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Virgil Wounded Horse is a vigilante-for-hire, stepping in when the tribal council or the U.S. legal system fails to enforce justice. As the guardian of his nephew since his sister died, the local heroin problem is about to hit home. “Weiden combines funny, complex, and unforgettable characters with strong, poetic prose… This is crime fiction at its best.” (Publishers Weekly)
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel
In this Appalachian coming of age story, Betty faces racism, poverty and violence as the daughter of a Cherokee father and a white mother and sister to seven siblings. Will she find the strength and resilience she’ll need to survive? “A sweeping and heart-wrenching exploration of how we understand our parents’ lives and how our children will one day understand our own.” (Booklist)
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun, translated by Lizzie Buehler
Yona is unhappily employed at Jungle, a South Korean travel company that specializes in visits to natural disaster sites, when her employer sends her on a visit to remote island Mui, site of an infamous sinkhole. “Spare but provacative… In Yona’s increasingly bizarre encounters, she learns just how severe the local environmental degradation is and the frightening extent of corporate greed. Yun cleverly combines absurdity with legitimate horror and mounting dread.” (Publishers Weekly)
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica, translated by Sarah Moses 
When a virus eliminates animals as a food source, humans turn to eating humans in this cannibalistic dystopia. Marcos is an employee of a plant that processes genetically-modified human meat, and that’s not his only problem. “It is a testament to Bazterrica's skill that such a bleak book can also be a page-turner. An unrelentingly dark and disquieting look at the way societies conform to committing atrocities.” (Kirkus Reviews)
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Black Bottom Saints by Alice Randall
On the eve of his death, Joseph "Ziggy" Johnson (1913-1968), a real-life Detroit celebrity, dancer, emcee and gossip columnist, reflects on his life and his relationships with other personalities both famous and obscure. “The last testament of an African American showbiz insider is here rendered as an impassioned, richly detailed, and sometimes heartbreaking evocation of black culture in 20th century Detroit and beyond.” (Kirkus Reviews) Randall is best known for her novel The Wind Done Gone (2001), a retelling of Gone with the Wind.
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

Aria by Nazanine Hozar   
Aria is abandoned as an infant, rescued by an army truck driver and raised by three different mothers in this novel that tells both the story of a young life and a country in tumult. “Making an impressive fiction debut, Hozar creates a vibrant, unsettling portrait of her native Iran from the 1950s to 1981, a period beset by poverty and oppression, chaos and revolution… An engrossing tale.” (Kirkus Reviews) 
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

The Bitch by Pilar Quintana, translated by Lisa Dillman 
Damaris lives on a coastal Colombian bluff with her often absent fisherman husband. When she adopts a puppy, it awakens deep emotions of both love and pain as the dog eases her loneliness, reminds her of her struggles with infertility, and repeatedly disappears into the jungle. “A searing psychological portrait of a troubled woman contending with her instinct to nurture is at the heart of Colombian writer Quintana’s slim, potent English-language debut…  Quintana’s vivid novel about love, betrayal, and abandonment hits hard.” (Booklist)
If you’d like to read this on Overdrive, click here to recommend that we purchase it for the library.

 

Did you know that some of our Oakland Public Library branches have been offering sidewalk pickup service? If you've been missing print books, you can pick up holds for books, DVDs, CDs, and WiFi hotspots at our doors. More information can be found here

 

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