La, la, la, la, la . . . I can't hear you, I can't hear you! I'm in denial that summer is almost over and we're fast approaching September. Remember all those good plans you had for reading poolside or on the porch? Don't fret; there are still a few weeks of good weather ahead, and August was chockfull of great new books. Here are some you may have missed.
Getting to Know You
Rachel Cusk's short memoir Aftermath (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374102135) is subtitled On Marriage and Separation. Through dark humor and surprising frankness, Cusk shares not only her own transformation after divorce but how separation effects modern women everywhere. Rob Spitz's Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child (Knopf, 9780307272225) was published just in time to celebrate the 100th birthday of the world-famous chef. Spitz's remarkable biography introduces us to the many facets of Julia: wife, author, daughter, television star, chef, and celebrity.
Selden Edwards's second novel, The Lost Prince (Dutton Adult, 9780525952947), follows the story of Eleanor who discovers a journal in turn-of-the-century Venice that, she claims, records all the major events of the 20th century to come. Is she hysterical, as Freud says, or has the author of the journal defied the constraints of time? James Treadwell's Advent (Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 9781451661644) features young Gavin, who seems to have the second sight. Only after he's sent to the English countryside to live with his aunt does he begin to understand the magical world. Kirkus recommends the novel "to grown-up Potter-philes."
In Tana French's fourth Dublin Murder Squad book, Broken Harbor (Viking Adult, 9780670023653), all but one member of a family is murdered in their apartment; the wife barely survived. In this psychological thriller of a mystery, elements of the case hit close to home for hard-hitting cop Scorcher Kennedy. Kate Williams takes us to the dangerous streets of Victorian London in The Pleasures of Men (Hyperion Books, 9781401324230). As a reclusive young woman becomes obsessed with a series of murders, death marches closer and closer to her doorstep.
West and East
In the ten stories in Battleborn (Riverhead Hardcover, 9781594488252), Claire Vaye Watkins draws on her Nevada roots, to explore the sometimes bleak western environment and the tough individuals who live there. Publishers Weekly described the collection as "the untold stories of people seeking connection with the past, the land, and each other." Heidi Jon Schmidt returns to Oyster Creek (Cape Cod) in The Harbormaster's Daughter (NAL Trade, 9780451237873), which tells the story of Vita Gray, who was only three when her mother was killed. Raised by a local woman, Vita is protected from the gritty details of her family, until the murder once again becomes news and the teen is confronted with the truth of her parents.
Forget the changing seasons, enjoy the last few weeks of mild weather, and take the time to read one of these August releases.