The 9 Best New Books in August

Late summer is a tricky time for reading. But the best new books of August are perfect for that sticky season when back-to-school sales loom, but it’s too hot to think. These books have a way of grabbing your attention and holding it fast, like a high-powered, low-range fan in a heat wave. 

The pleasures of the page can be difficult to reach during late-August days, when it feels like if you could reach into your head, you might pull out cotton candy. But these writers are ready to meet the moment. Pick up the breezy-and-then-shocking Ghosts, a fable about millennial dating practices. Or the lyrical, haunting Shallow Waters, about a Black mermaid. 

Drink watermelon juice, plunge in the nearest body of water, and then come out to pages of empathetic nuns transplanted to rundown towns (Little Neon) and murder mysteries that take place on sleek houseboats (A Slow Fire Burning). Stay safe, stay sane, stay reading. These are the best new books this month by women writers. 

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