Best Books to Read in August 2023, as chosen by MGara Coin
Looking for some great books to read in August? We've rounded up the 10 best books of the month, perfect for fans of all genres.
August is a great month for reading, with a wide variety of new books to choose from. Whether you're looking for a beach read, a thriller, or a literary masterpiece, there's sure to be something for you on this list.
Here are the 10 best books to read in August 2023, as chosen by MGara Coin:
1. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel by James McBride
In this sweeping novel, James McBride tells the story of a family of Black grocers in Harlem over the course of a century. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is a testament to the power of family, community, and resilience.
James McBride, the National Book Award-winner, weaves a gripping narrative in his novel "The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store." The story revolves around the unsettling discovery of a human skeleton beneath a newly constructed townhouse development, which rekindles long-buried questions about a tragic event that shook the small, working-class town of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, nearly fifty years ago. Set in 1972, the town becomes consumed by curiosity, prompting an investigation into past events involving Moshe and Chona, a Jewish couple who opened the town's first integrated dancehall and theater, along with their friends and employees, Nate and Addie, a Black couple who sought their assistance in protecting their nephew from becoming a ward of the state. At its core, this tale is a testament to community, compassion, and the pursuit of justice, showcasing the profound strength of humanity in a close-knit small town. McBride's storytelling delivers an enchanting homage to the resilience and unity that binds us together.
This novel is set in Harlem over the course of a century, and it tells the story of a family of Black grocers who are forced to navigate the changing tides of American society. The book is a powerful testament to the power of family, community, and resilience.
In his latest work, James McBride takes readers on a thrilling journey to Chicken Hill, a lively neighborhood that flourishes with the vibrant cultures of Black and Jewish communities in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. The story commences in 1972, as workers stumble upon ancient skeletal remains in a well, setting the stage for a captivating murder mystery. From there, the narrative effortlessly transitions back in time to the 1920s and '30s, unraveling the enigmatic events that transpired decades earlier. As the past is laid bare, readers are taken on a riveting exploration of secrets, intrigue, and a community's fascinating history.
2. Tom Lake: A Novel by Ann Patchett
Ann Patchett's latest novel is a moving story of love, loss, and redemption. Tom Lake is a young man who has lost everything, but he finds hope in the most unexpected places.
In Ann Patchett's latest family saga, "Tom Lake," a poignant and nostalgic tale of summer love unfolds, offering profound insights into the paths we choose in life. Amidst the pandemic, Lara Nelson's three adult daughters return home to Michigan, and she seizes the opportunity to enrich the cherry harvest on their family farm by sharing a long-awaited story. Lara recounts her youthful romance with the late and renowned movie star, Peter Duke, with whom she once co-starred in a community play. This heartfelt revelation goes beyond mere hearsay, as Lara revisits her past, offering her daughters a glimpse into her earlier life through a story previously known only through their loving father, Joe. As Lara delves into her memories, she rediscovers herself and reaffirms her present. Ann Patchett's masterful prose paints a beautiful canvas of young love's exhilaration, the intricate complexities of marriage, and the significance of the stories we share with both ourselves and others.
In Ann Patchett's latest novel, the author delves into a glimmer of positivity amid the challenging times of pandemic lockdowns. The story highlights the silver lining that emerged when families found themselves with ample time to listen and share their stories. In "Tom Lake," this newfound opportunity takes center stage as Lara Nelson's three daughters gather in their Michigan orchard to pick cherries. As they work together, Lara seizes the moment to reveal the unfiltered and complete version of her past romance with a renowned actor from long ago. The lockdown's stillness allows for an intimate and meaningful exchange, as the daughters finally get to hear the unvarnished truth about their mother's captivating relationship. The novel artfully explores the impact of sharing family stories during moments of pause, emphasizing the profound connections that can blossom even in the most unexpected circumstances.
This novel is a moving story of love, loss, and redemption. Tom Lake is a young man who has lost everything, but he finds hope in the most unexpected places. The book is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope.
3. The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey
In this fascinating book, Susan Casey takes readers on a journey to the depths of the ocean. The Underworld is a celebration of the beauty and mystery of the deep sea.
In "The Underworld," acclaimed journalist Susan Casey presents a compelling argument for delving into the enigmatic deep sea. Her book offers a captivating historical account of humanity's remarkable expeditions to the ocean's depths, chronicling the relentless efforts of courageous scientists and adventurers who dedicated their lives to this daring pursuit. Meticulously researched, the narrative delves into the world of underwater archaeology and unveils the fascinating array of life forms that inhabit the sea floor. Additionally, Casey shares thrilling firsthand experiences from her own daring descents to the deep, providing readers with an immersive and enthralling perspective. "The Underworld" satisfies our insatiable curiosity about the mysteries hidden within the ocean, leaving readers in awe of the astonishing discoveries made in the undersea realms.
In the wake of the alarming news about the ill-fated submersible, Titan, I found myself questioning the allure of such perilous journeys. However, my perspective shifted entirely after I delved into Susan Casey's captivating new book. With her enchanting prose, Casey beckons us to imagine the wonders that await those who dare to explore the hidden depths, 30,000 feet beneath the sea's surface. A world brimming with bioluminescent creatures, otherworldly "splendid goblins," and mesmerizing active volcanoes emerges from the pages, igniting a desire for discovery within us.
The deep ocean, which stretches beyond 600 feet, encompasses a staggering 65 percent of Earth's surface and provides shelter to 95 percent of all life on the planet. Yet, astonishingly, over 80 percent of this realm remains unknown to humankind. Casey poses a thought-provoking question, urging us not to overlook this vast portion of our own planet. With infectious enthusiasm, she leads us on a journey alongside ocean-loving billionaires and brave aquanauts who open our eyes to the awe-inspiring marvels and the "delightful horror" of the sea—a majestic "epic poem of the earth" and the cradle of human existence.
In the pages of Casey's book, we discover that the ocean brims with enchantment and mystique. We become immersed in this mesmerizing realm, tantalizingly close yet seemingly distant, like Earth's most exclusive secret party—an exuberant spectacle of grandeur and life that captivates the soul. Casey's narrative simmers with magic as she eloquently paints the portrait of the sea's mysteries. You'll find yourself spellbound, unable to resist the allure of the deep and the siren call of exploration into this magnificent, uncharted frontier.
This book is a fascinating exploration of the depths of the ocean. Susan Casey takes readers on a journey to the bottom of the sea, where they will encounter strange and wonderful creatures. The book is a celebration of the beauty and mystery of the deep sea.
4. Under the Influence by Noelle Crooks
Under the Influence is a powerful memoir about addiction and recovery. Noelle Crooks tells her story with honesty and compassion, offering hope to those who are struggling with addiction.
A contemporary twist on "The Devil Wears Prada," "Under the Influence" is a captivating novel that delves into the world of social media and self-help influencers. At the center of the story is Harper Cruz, who lands a job with the immensely successful self-help guru and social media sensation, Charlotte Green. Initially thrilled about her new role, Harper soon realizes that The Greenhouse, Charlotte's empire, is more than just a company—it's a tightly knit family, with Charlotte as the charismatic center of it all.
However, as Harper delves deeper into the world of influencers, she uncovers a darker side to The Greenhouse. Behind the facade of positivity and motivational messages lies a manipulative and ruthless personality in Charlotte. Her seemingly uplifting #yougogirl attitude conceals a Jekyll and Hyde persona, willing to go to any lengths to maintain her online influence and financial success.
The novel takes readers on a roller coaster ride of self-discovery, offering both hilarious and jaw-dropping moments. It serves as a perceptive social commentary on the influencer phenomenon, shedding light on the complexities and dark realities behind the world of curated online personas.
"Under the Influence" is a book that will keep you engaged long after you turn the final page. With its clever portrayal of the social media age and the complexities of human behavior, it's a story that will linger in your thoughts and spark conversations for a long time to come.
This memoir is a powerful and moving account of addiction and recovery. Noelle Crooks tells her story with honesty and compassion, offering hope to those who are struggling with addiction. The book is a must-read for anyone who has been affected by addiction.
5. They Called Us Exceptional: And Other Lies That Raised Us by Prachi Gupta
In this thought-provoking book, Prachi Gupta explores the myth of "American exceptionalism." They Called Us Exceptional is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the challenges facing America today.
Prachi Gupta's compelling debut memoir grips you right from the very first page, leaving you unable to put it down as you delve into her poignant tale of belonging, rejection, agony, and triumph, culminating in a breathtaking conclusion. Written as an intimate open letter to her mother, Gupta provides a raw and unfiltered glimpse into the immense pressures faced by her "model minority" Indian-American family.
The memoir unfurls the story of a father driven by anger and a desire for control, a mother carrying the weight of high stakes, and a brother grappling with an elusive obsession. Amidst this turmoil, Gupta finds herself caught in the crossfire, skillfully exploring cultural expectations through her family's trials with the perceptive eye of a seasoned journalist.
The inner conflict between the worlds Gupta inhabits is palpable and scorching—while she strives to discover her own voice, her family is in the midst of falling apart. This dichotomy forces her into a heart-wrenching decision that can only lead to the abandonment of one path. As a reader, you're left pondering the same question she faces: what would you do in her shoes? No choice comes without its complexities.
Gupta's writing exudes a sense of self-assurance and maturity far beyond her debut, demonstrating the talent and wisdom of a seasoned author. One can only hope that there is much more to come from her in the literary world. Her remarkable memoir sheds light on the human experience, deftly exploring themes of identity, familial bonds, and the struggle to find one's place in the world.
This book is a thought-provoking exploration of the myth of "American exceptionalism." Prachi Gupta argues that the United States is not as exceptional as we like to think, and she challenges us to think critically about our country's history and its place in the world. The book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the challenges facing America today.
6. Congratulations, The Best Is Over!: Essays by R. Eric Thomas
R. Eric Thomas's essays are funny, insightful, and thought-provoking. Congratulations, The Best Is Over! is a collection of essays that will make you laugh, cry, and think.
When I first heard about R. Eric Thomas's latest book, "Congratulations, The Best Is Over!", the excitement within me was palpable—I literally yelped! Thankfully, the book not only met but exceeded my sky-high expectations. Thomas's writing is a treasure trove of insight, humor, intelligence, honesty, and authenticity. He fearlessly delves into a wide array of topics, ranging from gardening and racism to fishing, religion, the pandemic, shopping, Oprah, depression, parental loss, and even frogs. What's remarkable is his ability to infuse humor into these subjects, making them relatable and encouraging readers to ponder their own thoughts on each matter. Thomas masterfully captures the essence of life's highs and lows, skillfully blending the everyday experiences that define our existence.
At the core of the narrative is Thomas's journey of embracing the vivid and sometimes strange expanses of middle age—navigating the space between the best days and the worst, reconciling his vision of what life should be with its reality, and navigating the complexities between two people. He candidly reflects on his marriage, an unexpected move back to his hometown, and the evolution of his career. Every word on these pages holds meaning and purpose, engaging readers in a profound and thought-provoking experience.
Even in the acknowledgments section, Thomas's storytelling prowess shines through, leaving readers with a sense of joy and fulfillment. "Congratulations, The Best Is Over!" is an extraordinary collection that touches the heart, resonates deeply, and leaves a lasting impact. R. Eric Thomas's talent as a writer is boundless, and every page is a testament to the power of his storytelling.
This collection of essays is funny, insightful, and thought-provoking. R. Eric Thomas writes about a wide range of topics, from race and gender to mental health and pop culture. The essays are sure to make you laugh, cry, and think.
7. Prom Mom: A Novel by Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman's latest novel is a gripping thriller about a mother who is accused of killing her daughter's prom date. Prom Mom is a must-read for fans of suspenseful fiction.
Laura Lippman's latest thriller enthralls readers with an unsettling love triangle, tabloid-induced PTSD, dysfunction, diabolical secrets, and unexpected twists that keep them on the edge of their seats. The story unfolds in 1997, the day after prom, when detectives show up at Amber Glass's home to investigate a grim discovery—a dead newborn found in room 717 of a local hotel, purportedly belonging to her. This shocking revelation upends Amber's life, leaving her haunted by the moniker "Prom Mom."
Nearly two decades later, Amber reluctantly returns to her Baltimore hometown, only to cross paths with Joe, her old prom date dubbed "Cad Dad" by the press. Their reunion feels inevitable yet unwise, especially since Joe finds himself entangled in a pandemic-induced predicament, seeking Amber's assistance. With a skillful blend of dual timelines, multiple narrators, murky motivations, and the backdrop of the COVID lockdown, Lippman expertly maintains readers' intrigue and bewilderment in this gripping thriller. As the story unfolds, secrets are revealed, and unexpected turns heighten the suspense, making "Prom Mom" a masterful and captivating page-turner.
This thriller is a gripping story about a mother who is accused of killing her daughter's prom date. The book is full of twists and turns, and it will keep you guessing until the very end.
8. I'm Not Done with You Yet by Jesse Q. Sutanto
I'm Not Done with You Yet is a hilarious and heartwarming novel about two sisters who are reunited after a long estrangement. Jesse Q. Sutanto's latest novel is a must-read for fans of family dramas.
Jesse Q. Sutanto takes a thrilling detour in her latest work, "I’m Not Done with You Yet," transitioning from her cozy mysteries to a riveting tale of twisted female friendship that would make Patricia Highsmith proud. The protagonist, Jane Morgan, finds herself burdened by a stagnant marriage, an overwhelming mortgage on her San Francisco home, and a middling writing career that fails to alleviate her financial woes. To make matters more intriguing, Jane suspects she may be a psychopath. When she discovers that her long-lost best friend from Oxford University, Thalia Ashcroft, has now become a bestselling novelist, she decides to reunite with her in New York.
Readers brace themselves for the worst as they anticipate the dark mind games that might ensue between the two women. However, Sutanto expertly plays with her readers' perceptions, skillfully weaving themes of obsession, racial stereotypes, envy, manipulation, class dynamics, loyalty, and toxicity into a razor-sharp and intellectually captivating thriller. As the narrative unfolds, Jane and Thalia's interactions become increasingly complex, immersing readers in a web of suspenseful twists and turns. "I’m Not Done with You Yet" proves to be a masterful page-turner, showcasing Sutanto's adept storytelling and her ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.
This novel is a hilarious and heartwarming story about two sisters who are reunited after a long estrangement. The book is full of laughs, tears, and heartwarming moments.
9. The Bee Sting: A Novel by Paul Murray
The Bee Sting is a darkly funny novel about a man who is haunted by the death of his wife. Paul Murray's latest novel is a must-read for fans of literary fiction.
Paul Murray weaves a captivating and morbid tale in "The Bee Sting," exploring the tumultuous journey of an Irish nuclear family amid a string of unfortunate events. The heart of the drama lies in the Barnes family, headed by Dickie Barnes, a once-thriving car salesman now facing financial ruin and an overwhelming sense of foreboding. In response to his fears, Dickie constructs a doomsday bunker in the woods, reflecting the depths of his desperation.
However, the rest of the family is also grappling with their own struggles. Imelda, Dickie's wife, copes with her ennui by pawning her jewelry and engaging in illicit affairs. Meanwhile, their children, Cass and PJ, seek solace in binge-drinking and running away from home, seeking escape from their pervasive misfortunes.
With a blend of dark humor and unwavering honesty, Murray skillfully paints a vivid picture of a family perpetually caught in the crosshairs of misfortune. Yet, despite their relentless challenges, the Barnes family refuses to succumb quietly; they fight tenaciously to survive and prevail against their odds.
In "The Bee Sting," Murray creates an arresting portrait of resilience in the face of adversity, exploring the intricacies of familial bonds and the strength that emerges when life's odds are stacked against you. Through his compelling narrative, the author delivers a thought-provoking and emotionally charged story that will leave readers pondering the complexities of human existence and the unyielding spirit of those who endure the darkest of times.
"The Bee Sting" is a compelling tragicomedy that unfolds over the course of a year, immersing readers in the lives of the Barnes family and the subtle yet profound changes that each member undergoes—a reflection of life's simultaneously frustrating and rewarding nature. The narrative is artfully narrated from the perspectives of each family member, infusing the story with the vibrant exuberance of their individual obsessions.
Dickie, the father, grapples with the collapse of his once-thriving car dealership. Imelda, the mother, a striking beauty, carries the weight of haunting demons and past tragedies. Cass, the daughter, on the brink of university life, is consumed by her obsession with a best friend. Meanwhile, PJ, the son, brings a nerdy naiveté and infectious optimism that might just serve as the glue holding the family together.
Drawing from the brilliance of his previous work, "Skippy Dies," Paul Murray weaves a tale that delves into the glories and devastations experienced in teenage years. "The Bee Sting" goes beyond that, painting a profound portrait of how a family, both collectively and through its individual members, navigates life's various stings—whether palpable, like financial ruin and climate change, or intangible, like the pains leading to self-sabotage and the moments of sibling and spousal jealousy.
Murray fearlessly explores the gamut of human emotions, balancing melancholy with humor and presenting unflinching truths about life's complexities. This novel becomes deeply rewarding as it delves into the full spectrum of human experiences, never shying away from the raw realities that make life both heartbreaking and uplifting. "The Bee Sting" captures the essence of life itself—an intricate interplay of joys and sorrows, humor and sorrow, creating a narrative that resonates deeply with readers.
This darkly funny novel is about a man who is haunted by the death of his wife. The book is a meditation on grief and loss, and it is sure to stay with you long after you finish reading it.
10. None of This Is True: A Novel by Lisa Jewell
Lisa Jewell's latest novel is a twisty thriller about a woman who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is. None of This Is True is a must-read for fans of suspenseful fiction.
In "None of This Is True," Lisa Jewell, a best-selling author, once again captivates readers with a dark and intricately twisted tale. The story begins with a chance encounter at a pub, where two women discover they share the same birthday, both turning forty-five that very day. Alix Summer, a charismatic podcaster, projects an image of a flawlessly curated life on social media, while Josie Fair appears unremarkable in comparison.
Their paths cross again a few days later, and Alix becomes intrigued by Josie's life, which she decides to transform into a captivating podcast. However, as Alix delves deeper into Josie's story, the more unsettling it becomes. Before she knows it, Josie's presence begins to seep into Alix's own life, creating a mysterious and disconcerting connection between the two women.
Jewell masterfully crafts dark and enigmatic characters, surprising readers with unexpected plot twists, and culminating in a moody and satisfying conclusion. The narrative keeps fans of Jewell's work fully engrossed, while also attracting new readers with its gripping intensity. Brace yourself for a compelling ride through this gripping story, but be warned: you may need a fellow reader to dissect the intricate plot once you've finished.
This twisty thriller is about a woman who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she is. The book is full of suspense and mystery, and it will keep you guessing until the very end.
These are just a few of the great books that are being released in August. Whether you're a fan of literary fiction, thrillers, or family dramas, there's sure to be something for you on this list. So curl up with a good book and enjoy the start of a new month! I hope you enjoyed this article, and I hope you find a new favorite book to read this August, you also can read The 10 Best Books to Read in July 2023 by MGara Coin.