Here we are in the dog days of summer. There are just a few weeks left for relaxing beach vacations, lazy pool days, and summer Fridays spent frolicking in the sun. If you haven’t checked nearly enough things off your summer bucket list, now’s the time to get on it. Or, if you’d rather just chill out in the air conditioning, you could always work on tackling your summer reading list. The books coming out this week are a great place to start.
This is a big week, because there are 19—yes, 19—books coming out this week that I highly recommend. In keeping with the theme of “summer’s almost over, but there’s still time,” there’s a second wind of beach reads and summer romance novels on this list. So if you thought you’d read the best books that chick lit had to offer this summer, there’s a whole crop of new titles to dive into. Or, if you’re already looking to fall and craving a more atmospheric read, this is a big week for historical fiction, too.
Here are 19 books coming out this week that you don’t want to miss:
1The Third Hotel by Laura van den Berg, out August 7th
Clare, recently widowed and still grieving the loss of her husband, decides to attend a film festival in Havana that they bought tickets to. But once there, she spots him in front of museum, plain as day. Clare follows her husband around Havana, reflecting on their marriage, thinking about her childhood, and searching for answers. The more you read, the less you’ll know what’s real and what isn’t.
2Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert, out August 7th
Remember when you were a senior in high school and everyone kept asking, So, what do you want to do with your life? As if you were supposed to have all the answers at age 18? That’s where Yvonne is. She’s about to graduate from high school and she’s questioning whether or not she’s talented enough to pursue a career as a violist. Then, when she unexpectedly gets pregnant, her future becomes even less clear. Finding Yvonne is a moving read for anyone who’s ever been unsure about what comes next. (So, all of us.)
3The Bucket List by Georgia Clark, out August 7th
When Lacey is diagnosed with the BCRA1 gene mutation (aka the breast cancer gene), she makes a bucket list for her boobs. Yep, she writes down everything she wants to do with and for her boobs before the possibility of a preventative double mastectomy comes. The Bucket List is the sweet, sexy, and sex-positive women’s fiction book you need to read before summer is over.
4The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis, out August 7th
In 1928, Clara is a teacher at the Grand Central School of Art, a glamorous institution inside of Grand Central Terminal in New York City. In 1974, Virginia works in the once-glamorous terminal’s information booth. When Virginia uncovers the lost art school from decades prior, she becomes determined to restore the building to the beauty it once was. The Masterpiece is a must-read for historians, art lovers, and New Yorkers alike.
5Maeve in America: Essays by a Girl from Somewhere by Maeve Higgins, out August 7th
Warning: Do not read Maeve Higgins’ new collection of essays in public. You will laugh yourself silly and look like a complete lunatic. From the frustrating process of getting a visa to her hilariously less-than-perfect shopping trip to Rent the Runway, Maeve insightfully reflects on the experiences that have helped her find her place in America. This is Aesop’s Fables for millennials.
6Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon, out August 7th
Florence and Elsie have been best friends since they were kids. Now, in their eighties, they live in the Cherry Tree home for the elderly. Florence often struggles with her memory, but Elsie always helps her remember. When a man shows up who looks like someone from her past—someone who died 60 years ago—Florence really starts digging. What a wonderful and entertaining feel-good story. Read this one with your BFF.
7Our House by Louise Candlish, out August 7th
There’s still time to get your fill of summer thrillers, and we suggest starting with Our House. When Fiona comes home to see strangers moving into her house, she assumes it’s a mistake. But then, she realizes her estranged husband Bram and their sons aren’t anywhere to be found. Needless to say, as Fiona tries to regain control of the situation, you’re in for a roller coaster ride of twisted ups and downs.
8Goodbye, Paris by Anstey Harris, out August 7th
Goodbye, Paris is a quirky, charming read about friendship and perseverance. After Grace, the owner of an instrument repair shop, is forced to end her long-distance love affair with David, she retreats into isolation and bows out of a cello-making competition. But with the help of a customer and her shop assistant, she puts the pieces back together and finds happiness again.
9Mr. & Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel, out August 7th
When Maxine’s husband leaves her for his 22-year-old secretary, she decides to claim a new title: She’s going to compete in the Mrs. American Pie pageant. But there’s just one problem: She needs a family in order to win. Mr. & Mrs. American Pie is nonstop fun from start to finish. Oh, and Laura Dern is already adapting the book for TV. So yeah, you’re going to want to read it now.
10If They Come for Us by Fatimah Asghar, out August 7th
Don’t miss Fatimah Asghar’s collection of poems about race, identity, family, and loss. It’s a beautiful addition to any bookshelf.
11Smothered by Autumn Chiklis, out August 7th
Lou had big plans for her post-grad life. After graduating from Columbia summa cum laude, she thought she’d be settling into a new job, apartment, and lifestyle. But instead, with no job and no prospects, she’s moving back in with her parents. Through journal entries, texts, and emails—and even job applications and prescriptions—Lou takes readers along for the ride as she tries to figure out her next step (and figure out how to get her controlling mom from watching her every move). It’s a quick, fun read that’ll make you laugh out loud.
12Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery by Andrew Shaffer, out August 7th
Oh yes. This book is exactly what it looks like: a fictional mystery starring President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as they try to take action against America’s opioid epidemic. If you miss 44 and his trusty sidekick, Hope Never Dies is the fanfiction you didn’t know you needed. Honestly? I’d read a whole series about this bromance.
13The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting, out August 7th
Hello, hockey-themed romance novels. You are the genre I didn’t know existed but now suddenly cannot live without. In The Good Luck Charm, Lilah’s ex Ethan (who dumped her to focus on his budding hockey career) returns to try to win her back. When she realizes why he’s keeping her so close, the hurt comes rushing back all over again. If you love rom-coms, don’t miss this second-chance romance novel.
14If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim, out August 7th
Haemi and her family flee to a refugee camp during the Korean War when she’s just 16 years old. Every night she escapes the camp for a few hours with her friend Kyunghwan. As the two grow close, Kyungwhan’s wealthy cousin, Jisoo, makes plans to marry Haemi. As the story progresses, Haemi reflects on the choice she made to marry Jisoo, considering the life she has and the life that could have been. Don’t miss this complex, heartbreaking tale of how one decision can change everything.
15No Mistakes: A Perfect Workbook for Imperfect Artists by Keiko Agena, out August 7th
This is not your average journal. It’s a workbook filled with writing prompts, activities, and exercises ranging from “Draw what change feels like” to “Describe the perfect funeral for a project you loved that ended.” If you’re feeling stuck, uninspired, or in your head about your creative pursuits, Keiko Agena can help you rediscover your inner artist.
16Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson, out August 7th
Professor Anders Larsen is a museum curator in Denmark. Tina Hopgod is the wife of a farmer in England over 700 miles away. When Tina writes a letter to her former professor who has since passed, Anders responds on his behalf. And thus begins their correspondence via snail mail. This sweet novel, which unfolds through a series of letters, is a short but spellbinding story of life and friendship.
17The Drama Teacher by Koren Zailckas, out August 7th
I love a good unreliable narrator, which is exactly what Gracie is in The Drama Teacher. She’s hiding a lot about who she is and where she’s from. When she fibs her way into a job as a high school drama teacher to save her family’s house from foreclosure, Gracie’s lying ways get a bit out of hand. Koren Zailckas will keep you on your toes until the very last page.
18Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins, out August 7th
Emerson, Georgia, and Marley are best friends who met at a weight-loss camp when they were teens. When Emerson passes away, she leaves behind a final wish for her besties: face the fears they carried from their teen years into adulthood. Don’t miss this emotional read about love, friendship, and self-acceptance.
19The Reservoir Tapes by Jon McGregor, out August 7th
When a teenager named Becky goes missing, everyone joins in on the search. The Reservoir Tapes is a collection of stories from those in her community about life before she disappeared, as told to an interviewer. If you read Jon McGregor’s companion novel Reservoir 13, this will leave you with even more questions about Becky’s disappearance.