The summer months may be slowly drawing to a close, but there are loads of books to still read. We’ve rounded up August book club selections that range from escapist fiction to deep dives into serious issues. With books from more than 30 clubs, your August can be Fully Booked.
To submit titles for inclusion in this roundup, email us.
Recommended for: Those who have struggled with romance because of religion or race and still think of what could have been.
Our reviewer says: “Enjeti documents the impact of India’s Partition on successive generations in her immersive debut novel (after the essay collection Southbound).” Read more here.
Recommended for: Somebody’s daughter, somebody’s son, and anybody who has dealt with growing up not knowing a parent because of incarceration.
Our reviewer says: “Journalist Ford debuts with a blistering yet tender account of growing up with an incarcerated father.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Lovers of mythology, those who believe their invitation to Camp Half-Blood/ Camp Jupiter got lost in the mail, or when you want to pretend that voice you hear is calling you to join for a greater good—and not your housemate telling you to take out the trash.
Our reviewer says: “The staggering contemporary fantasy that launches three-time Hugo Award-winner Jemisin’s new trilogy (following the Broken Earth series) leads readers into the beating heart of New York City for a stunning tale of a world out of balance.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those who love a good set of dramatic hijinks centered around a telenovela worthy cast.
Our reviewer says: “In this soap opera masquerading as a suspense novel from Jones, two British couples in their 40s—Rachel and Jack, and Paige and Noah—head to Portugal for the wedding of Jack’s much younger brother, Will, to the manipulative and impetuous Ali.” Read more here.
Recommended for: People who wonder what it would be like if they were part of Hollywood’s most well-known family set to Lady Gaga’s Pokerface music video, or for Schitt’s Creek fans who wonder how their favorite dysfunctional fam would fair in rehab together.
Our reviewer says: “This canny dark comedy of errors from Tanen invites readers to indulge in the idiosyncrasies and misadventures of the dysfunctional Kessler clan.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Puzzle lovers, those who love to read about the supernatural and magical realism, and fans of Vietnamese folklore.
Our reviewer says: “Kupersmith’s exceptional debut novel (after the collection The Frangipani Hotel) offers profound and original insight on Vietnam’s tortured history.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those who don’t think pretty privilege is a thing. It is. It also comes with its own set of pitfalls. Hot girls we have problems too.
Our reviewer says: “Cha shines a light on the lives of four young women living in the same Seoul, South Korea, apartment building in her winning debut.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those interested in the effects of President Duterte’s recklessly violent war on drugs in the Philippines as seen through the eyes of a teenage boy.
Our reviewer says: “Passionately and fearlessly, Ribay delves into matters of justice, grief, and identity in this glimpse into the life and death of a fictional victim of President Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Those of you who have seen the movie but not read the book (obvious but needed to be said) and those who love Gossip Girl and Keeping Up with the Kardashians but with a much needed represent-Asian cast.
Our reviewer says: “Kwan’s debut novel is a fun, over-the-top romp through the unbelievable world of the Asian jet set, where anything from this season is already passé and one’s pedigree is everything.” Read more here.
The book: Wayward by Dana Spiotta (Knopf)
Recommended for: Women going through their midlife crisis and those who are coming to terms with the societal constraints placed on the female body, aging, and where you’re “supposed” to be in life because you are a woman.
Our reviewer says: “Spiotta draws up a love letter to Syracuse, N.Y., in this wonderfully mischievous and witty story of a 53-year-old woman who flees the suburbs for the city.” Read more here.
The book: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Knopf)
Recommended for: Those interested in the history of colonialism and slavery between Ghana and America but told in a way that follows the thread of reproductions that follow a family for generations to come.
Our reviewer says: “Gyasi’s amazing debut offers an unforgettable, page-turning look at the histories of Ghana and America, as the author traces a single bloodline across seven generations, beginning with Ghanaian half-sisters Effia, who is married off to a British colonizer in the 1760s, and Esi, who is captured into the British slave-trading system around the same time.” Read more here.
Recommended for: If your name is Shelly and you’re tired of selling your seashells by the seashore, a book all about seashells is perfect for a seaside siesta.
Our reviewer says: “Seashells—and the mollusks that grow them—are a potent force in nature and society, writes journalist Barnett in this riveting survey.” Read more here.
The book: The Removed by Brandon Hobson (Ecco)
Recommended for: People who are looking to read more about Native American stories but need a little bit of mystical folklore thrown into the mix.
Our reviewer says: “National Book Award–finalist Hobson depicts a Cherokee family’s grief and resilience 15 years after a police officer unjustly kills one of the family’s three children in Quah, Okla.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Will-they-won’t-they, relationship-out-of-convenience trope lovers, and those who enjoy speculating on whether their favorite stars are actually secretly hooking-up.
Our reviewer says: “Married couple Clements and Datta use a playful trope to confront weighty issues in their excellent debut, a romance that's as timely as it is heartfelt.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Fans of The Stepford Wives, but instead of wily wives it’s deceptively heartwarming husbands.
Our reviewer says: “House-hunting Austin, Tex., attorney Nora Spangler, the protagonist of bestseller Baker’s disappointing sophomore effort, thinks Dynasty Ranch looks like a dream come true, an ‘enclave community’ of enviably accomplished professional women—and husbands who, unlike her own spouse, Hayden, seem to pride themselves on sharing domestic duties.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Best mans, sister of the brides, and anyone who will most likely be asked to give a speech at wedding—whether you want to or not.
Our reviewer says: “A woman wrestles with her upbringing in a prolonged wedding toast in Levy’s wrenching debut.” Read more here.
The book: Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (Riverhead)
Recommended for: Those who just need a break from the serious and need a wild (train) ride that might not even be running on tracks.
Our reviewer says: “Curious characters, strange events, and mysteries abound in Oyeyemi’s delightfully bonkers latest.” Read more here.
The book: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Bloomsbury)
Recommended for: Corn maze solvers and those who don’t mind wandering the pages as they wander through the labyrinth with the main character.
Our reviewer says: “Clarke wraps a twisty mystery inside a metaphysical fantasy in her extraordinary new novel, her first since 2004’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Readers who have been searching for conversations about race in America as told through a myriad of different perspective from people in different walks of life.
Our reviewer says: “In this timely collection of essays and poems, Ward gathers the voices of a new generation whose essays work together as one to present a kaleidoscopic performance of race in America.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Native New Yorkers and those with a special soft spot for The Big Apple.
Our reviewer says: “Shopsin weaves a marvelous patchwork quilt of stories about a Manhattan that doesn't exist anymore—that of 1970s Greenwich Village, where her father opened Shopsin's General Store.” Read more here.
The book: The Turnout by Megan Abbott (Putnam)
Recommended for: Dancers and people who used to take ballet classes when they were children who now enjoy a darker twist on things because your dance instructors’ critiques weren’t scary enough.
Our reviewer says: “Sisters Dara and Marie Durant, the protagonists of this gut-punching noir from Thriller Award winner Abbott, have been running the Durant School of Dance since the accidental death of their parents.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Aviation fans and those who have fond memories reading The Little Prince.
The book: Live Free by DeVon Franklin (Morrow)
Recommended for: Those of us who feel overwhelmed with life and need a guide to learn how to place less demands on oneself.
Our reviewer says: “Franklin, a spiritual coach and film producer, delivers an insightful motivational guide to living a happier, more fulfilling life by evaluating and understanding one’s expectations.” Read more here.
Recommended for: For fans of Girl, Interrupted, A Simple Favor, and vindictive women with slightly obsessive female friendships.
Our reviewer says: “Milwaukee resident Emily Donovan, the narrator of this riveting psychological thriller from Bartz (The Herd), and her best friend, Kristen Czarnecki, who left Milwaukee 18 months earlier for a job in Australia, reunite in Chile for their annual vacation.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Bibliophiles, book store browsers, library wanderers, and anyone who’s ever wanted to walk to halls of The Great Library of Alexandria.
Our reviewer says: “Haig draws on quantum wave theory in this charming if sometimes laborious account of the many possible lives of a depressed woman.” Read more here.
Recommended for: African American history buffs, human rights activists, and those who want to learn about other important civil rights movement people beyond MLK.
Recommended for: Social justice warriors and those wanting to learn more about the life of a prolific (female!) voice in social justice history.
Our reviewer says: “Perry explores the art and life of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote A Raisin in the Sun, about the struggles of an African-American family in mid-century inner-city Chicago, and died at the age of 34 in 1965.” Read more here.
Recommended for: People watchers, those who like to eavesdrop on stranger’s conversations on the subway, and “oh my god they were roommates” elicits a visceral reaction from you.
Our reviewer says: “This dark but redemptive novel, an international bestseller, marks the debut in English of Normandy philosophy professor Barbery.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Fans of Mulan, history buffs interested in a reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty, and a less-comedic-without-the-soccer She’s the Man because who doesn’t love a little sibling swap sprinkled with a case of mistaken identity?
Our reviewer says: “Parker-Chan’s fascinating debut, the first in the Radiant Emperor duology, gives the historical Red Turban Rebellion a grimdark fantasy twist.” Read more here.
Recommended for: Anyone who has gone through a relationship but still struggled with trauma from both past and present but desperately still want to make it work.
Our reviewer says: “Williams explores how trauma affects relationships in this emotional romance.” Read more here.
Recommended for: People who have gone through financially rough patches or are interested in knowing the story of people who seemed to have done everything right but still ended up homeless.