Well, we (almost) did it: We more or less made it to the end of summer and the start of fall. You know it’s basically autumn when Starbucks announces a return date for the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
But if you aren’t ready for summer to be over, or if you didn’t squeeze in enough summer reading time, fear not. You still have plenty of chances to dig into a beach read by the sea, devour a memoir by the pool, or breeze through a psychological thriller in the park. After all, the technical first day of fall isn’t for another month anyway. So there’s still plenty of time to cross some books off your TBR list.
I think all of the books coming out this week will be some of your favorites yet. How about a page-turning thriller, a melodic historical fiction read, or a too-real dystopian novel? This list has all of that, plus much more. Here are 12 books coming out this week that you don’t want to miss.
1Vox by Christina Dalcher, out August 21st
You know that feeling you get when you watch The Handmaid’s Tale? The mixture of fear and frustration that makes you realize such a dark future isn’t that farfetched? That’s what you’ll feel while reading Vox. Set in a world where women can only speak 100 words a day, it shows what happens when females no longer have a voice. Vox will outrage you in a way that’s more important than ever.
2Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back) by Mara Altman, out August 21st
Mara Altman’s humorous and insightful collection of essays about the human body will remind you to love the one you have. As the title suggests, it’s quite literally divided into two sections: The Top Half and The Bottom Half. From excessive sweating to getting lice to why we call it “camel toe,” prepare for Altman to address all of the topics you’re too shy to bring up.
3The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles, out August 21st
On the surface, Dores and Graça couldn’t be more different. One is an orphan while the other is the spoiled daughter of a wealthy family. But they quickly bond over their shared love of music and take readers on a journey from Rio de Janeiro in the 1930s to Hollywood in the 1940s and back again. We love, love, love novels centered on female friendship—especially a complicated one like this.
4The Only Girl: My Life and Times on the Masthead of “Rolling Stone” by Robin Green, out August 21st
In the early ‘70s, Robin Green was the only female writer on the masthead of Rolling Stone magazine. Her aptly-titled memoir recounts career highlights and offers a brutally honest account of what it was like working at such an iconic boys’ club. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever been or felt like, well, the only girl in the room.
5Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey, out August 21st
Emma is a lonely five-year-old girl. Amy is her inattentive and unhappy mother. And Sarah is Emma’s kidnapper. Or is she her savior? It all depends on how you look at it. Not Her Daughter turns the typical kidnapping story on its head. Once you start, you won’t be able to put it down.
6Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux, out August 21st
Little Women is one of the most beloved stories of all time. And in Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Anne Boyd Rioux explains how the story came to be and examines why it’s had such a lasting impact on us, generation after generation.
7PEN America Best Short Stories 2018 edited by Yuka Igarashi, out August 21st
If you love short stories, you can’t miss the second volume of PEN America’s best of the best. This year’s selections were chosen by Jodi Angel, Lesley Nneka Arimah, and Alexandra Kleeman. And for a peek behind the curtain, the volume includes notes from the editors who originally published the stories.
8The Other Woman by Sandie Jones, out August 21st
It’s never too late for another summer thriller. The Other Woman is about a mother-in-law—no, a monster-in-law—named Pammie who would do anything to keep Emily away from her son, Adam. It’s a page-turner like no other, and the ending will knock your socks off. I promise.
9WorkParty: How to Create & Cultivate the Career of Your Dreams by Jaclyn Johnson, out August 21st
For readers of Lean In and #Girlboss who are hungry for more career advice, Jaclyn Johnson has your back. Because she’s been there herself. WorkParty is filled with stories, tips, tricks, and advice for female entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses. If you need a mentor who will keep it real and inspire you to get moving, you’ll find one in Jaclyn.
10We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan, out August 21st
Even if you’re not going back to school this fall, now is the perfect time to read a back-to-school themed book. We Regret to Inform You is a YA novel about Mischa, a high school senior who was just rejected from every college she applied to—including her safety school. This story of self-discovery is full of humor and heart, and will immediately transport you back to senior year.
11Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir by Adam Cayton-Holland, out August 21st
They say that tragedy plus time equals comedy. The equation might not be true for everyone, but Adam Cayton-Holland is giving it a go. In his memoir of the same name, he recounts his childhood, his early years as a stand-up comic, and his sister’s depression that led to her suicide. Tragedy Plus Time is a captivating and heartbreaking reflection on grief, plus a moving tribute to her.
12To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin, out August 21st
Savannah can’t wait to finish her senior year of high school and head off to college. Her helicopter mom is overly obsessed with her weight, constantly pressuring her to be mindful of what she eats. To Be Honest breaks down the ways criticism masked as concern can be so harmful to young women. And it’s an empowering reminder to love our bodies, regardless of size.