10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in August 2016

Fiction lovers, make room on your holds list! Here are 10 amazing books arriving in August.

Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson
Known as a best-selling and multi-award winning author of books for young readers, Woodson’s latest is a coming-of-age tale written for an adult audience. Following her father’s funeral, August reflects on her youth and the friendships that sustained her. Interconnected stories depict the joys that were intertwined with the stress of poverty, a broken family, and the everyday challenges of growing up. “A stunning achievement from one of the quietly great masters of our time.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Behold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
Jende and Neni Jonga are young immigrants from Cameroon who consider themselves lucky to find work with the household of Clark Edwards, an executive at Lehman Brothers. As their lives become entwined with the Edwards family, their futures threaten to unravel as the economy collapses. “Realistic, tragic, and still remarkably kind to all its characters, this is a special book.” (Kirkus Reviews)

Glorious Heresies
by Lisa McInerney
Irish author McInerney debuts with a hilarious, profane and gritty mix of crime and literary fiction that won the 2016 Women’s Prize for Fiction. In her home in Cork, Maureen accidentally kills an intruder with a holy relic. Good thing she’s the mother of the local crime boss, who will set everything straight. “McInerney displays a clear knack for dramatic flourish and witty turns of phrase.” (Publishers Weekly) “There is no question that McInerney has talent to burn.” (The Guardian)

The Golden Age
by Joan London
Frank Gold is a thirteen-year-old Hungarian World War II refugee who is new to Australia when he contracts polio. Frank is sent to live at the Golden Age Children's Polio Convalescent Home, where he falls in love with fellow patient Elsa Briggs. While his parents struggle with their sorrow over their son’s health, they also long for their former home and former lives. “London sees past people's exteriors to their complex and desirous interiors, and she generously offers those people to us in all their fullness. The novel was a recipient of multiple awards in London's native Australia, and deservedly so: it is pretty much perfect.” (Publishers Weekly)

In the Not Quite Dark
by Dana Johnson
Dana Johnson is the author of the story collection Break Any Woman Down and the novel Elsewhere, California, and is the winner of a Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and two time nominee for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. So no doubt there’s high anticipation for her newest collection of stories, set mostly in Los Angeles, which touch on themes of race, family, gentrification and how history echoes in the present. “This is essential reading for Angelenos, Californians, and anyone interested in masterly, morally engaged storytelling.” (Publishers Weekly)

How I Became a North Korean
by Krys Lee
Yongju comes from an elite and powerful North Korean family, but suddenly he is running for his life. Jangmi is fleeing North Korea to protect her unborn, illegitimate baby. Danny is a Chinese-born Korean-American teenager from Fresno. Their worlds collide in an unlikely fashion in China near the North Korea border. “Their haunting stories reveal the darkness of life in North Korea as well as the enormous risk of escape, resulting in a vivid and harrowing read.” (Publishers Weekly) Lee’s 2012 story collection Drifting House won the Story Prize Spotlight Award and was named one of the best books of the year by the San Francisco Chronicle.

I'll Sell You a Dog
by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translation by Rosalind Harvey
Teo is a denizen of a run-down building in Mexico City, a former artist and taco seller, and he may or may not be writing a novel. He spends his days drinking, pontificating and aggravating various friends and acquaintances. Villalobos “takes on Mexican history, literary theory, and the just-scraping-by lives of the 99 percent, all while telling a damn good story. He has a novelist's eye for detail, a painter's for image, and a poet's for turn of phrase,” praises Kirkus, calling this novel a “wry, sardonic romp made even more vibrant by its various satires and absurdities.”

Vow of Celibacy
by Erin Judge
Natalie has a successful career in fashion but hasn’t been so lucky in love. Freshly heartbroken, she decides to take a break from dating and take a long look at her past romances with men and women. Meanwhile, a mix-up lands Natalie on the runway as a plus-size model. “It's easy to root for Natalie as a funny, quick-witted, and completely human heroine… A smart, funny, and fast-paced book about sex, love, body image, and friendship.” (Kirkus)

Christodora
by Tim Murphy
Murphy, a journalist who has written about LGBT issues for two decades, offers a debut novel about the inhabitants of a distinguished building in Manhattan’s East Village and the shadow that AIDS casts over their lives. Stretching from the 1980s through the 2020s, the story follows privileged creatives Milly and Jared and their adopted son Mateo, who lost his mom to AIDS, and their neighbor Hector, an AIDS activist still mourning the death of his lover. Both Mateo and Hector find relief in addiction, sending them down a dangerous path. Christodora “achieves a powerful evocation of the plague years” (Publishers Weekly) and “never wavers in its warmth toward its characters, or its insistence upon the possibility of healing.” (Booklist)

Cobalt Blue
by Sachin Kundalkar, translation by Jerry Pinto
In western India, a brother and sister fall for the same man when their family rents a room to a mysterious and alluring artist. The stranger eventually vanishes, leaving both siblings heartbroken as each of their perspectives uncovers something different about the past. “Kundalkar combines two distinct and complementary voices to deliver a complex and intricate story about love, family, and making one's own path.” (Publishers Weekly)

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