I’ll level with you: I saw Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway last weekend and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. (Or talking about it.) Don’t worry, I’m not here to hit you with spoilers; I’ll #KeepTheSecrets like my friend J.K. Rowling requested. But dang, if it wasn’t the most magical thing I’ve ever seen. And that right there is the power of books and the imaginative universes authors create within them.
Books have the ability to transport us anywhere. They allow us to imagine that anything, anywhere, is possible. The books coming out this week will take you from a small fishing village to a university English Department. You can hop from the Hamptons in New York to Brighton in England, all with the turn of a page. If you love to get lost in a novel or a memoir, you’ll want to add every single title on this list to your TBR pile.
Here are 11 books coming out this week that you don’t want to miss.
1A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua, out August 14th
When Scarlett Chen, a Chinese factory manager, is impregnated by her wealthy boss, he ships her off to the U.S. so his son can be born on American soil. Vanessa Hua delivers an insightful, timely, and culturally resonant novel about motherhood and immigration. It’s the perfect pick for your next book club discussion.
2The Cast by Amy Blumenfeld, out August 14th
It’s been 25 years since Becca’s friends filmed a Saturday Night Live-style video to make her smile while she was in the hospital battling cancer. When The Cast reunites to celebrate Becca’s good health, everything goes wrong. Tensions mount, jealousies arise, and relationships are tested. But because they’ve been friends for so long, they lean on each other to get through it. If you’ve been lucky enough to have friends that are like family, The Cast will warm your heart.
3Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper, out August 14th
The Conners are one of the last families still living in the all-but-abandoned fishing town of Big Running. As the story alternates between the past and the present, the Conners try to figure out where the fish went and where they themselves belong in the world. You don’t want to miss this wondrous, lyrical, and contemplative novel.
4Amateur: A True Story About What Makes a Man by Thomas Page McBee, out August 14th
Thomas Page McBee was the first trans man to box in a fight at Madison Square Garden. His memoir, Amateur, explores male violence, gender stereotypes, and an emerging kind of masculinity.
5The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher, out August 14th
It’s not quite time to go back to school yet, but overachievers can get in the mindset now with The Shakespeare Requirement. Julie Schumacher’s hilarious follow-up to Dear Committee Members exaggerates the world and woes of academia, and will keep you gigging until the very last page.
6All Happy Families by Jeanne McCulloch, out August 14th
Jeanne McCulloch’s memoir starts with a stroke and only intensifies from there. During her wedding weekend in the Hamptons back in 1983, her father suffered a massive stroke that left him in a coma. And yet, her mother insisted she go on with the wedding to save face. In All Happy Families, McCulloch reflects on the repercussions of that weekend, her marriage that ended five years later, and her dysfunctional family.
7The Line That Held Us by David Joy, out August 14th
Darl is in search of a buck he saw roaming through the woods. After he shoots, he realizes he’s killed Sissy, a son in a family known for being violent. Darl enlists the help of a friend to bury the body and cover up the accidental crime. But when Sissy’s brother vows to figure out what happened, everything threatens to come undone. Never has it been more enjoyable to read a novel about such extreme despair.
8Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry, out August 14th
Oh, what a beautiful book. Let Me Be Like Water follows Holly, a woman who moves to Brighton after her boyfriend dies. Once there she meets Frank, a magician who introduces her to a new group of friends, and begins the process of healing and moving forward. At just over 200 pages, Perry’s debut novel goes fast, so try to savor the story for as long as possible.
9See All the Stars by Kit Frick, out August 14th
I’m a firm believer that the less you know about thrillers going into them, the better. I don’t want to say too much about See All the Stars, Kit Frick’s debut YA novel, because I want you to discover its mysterious twists and turns for yourself. But I will say the way the story unfolds between the past and the present makes it all the more addicting and suspenseful.
10I Find You in the Darkness by Alfa, out August 14th
If you follow Alfa on Instagram, you already know that she has a painfully beautiful way with words. Modern poetry lovers will swoon over her newest collection, I Find You in the Darkness.