Is your book club scrambling for an August read? We’ve got you covered! Here, we’ve pulled the best book club picks coming out this month. Whether you’re in the mood for a novel about motherhood, or would prefer to escape to the island of Themyscira, we have the book to get your club chatting. For more excellent picks, check out our Summer Previews!
Raise your hand if you love Karin Slaughter. We sure do. In this new novel from the beloved author, sisters Charlotte and Samantha Quinn endure one terrible night that changes their lives forever. That was the night that their mother was killed. Nearly three decades later, another attack occurs in their small town of Pikeville. Charlotte, now a lawyer like her father, is immediately drawn into the case. But she struggles to handle the memories that this new attack is bringing to the surface for her, and her past threatens to catch up with her. Book clubs that love taut thrillers: Look no further.
Milo is running out of time. In Michael Poore’s novel, humans can be reincarnated up to 10,000 times, and Milo is down to his final five lives. After those, his “soul will be canceled like a dumb TV show.” Each death offers Milo a brief respite to rest before his new life begins, but more importantly it allows him to connect with his love, Suzie, more commonly known as Death. This is an insightful, funny, and thoughtful novel that is sure to connect with readers who like side of humor with their philosophical conversations. It’s also earned comparisons to the work of Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams, and fans of either are sure to easily get lost in this world.
It’s been said that if it’s not one thing, it’s your mother. In her new novel Motherest, Kristen Iskandrian mines the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. Agnes is a college student, and while this is typically a time that children separate from their parents, Agnes has more distance from her mother than she wants. While trying to get in touch with her mom, she finds herself in love and then pregnant. All the while, she writes letters to her mother about what she is experiencing. If there are any mothers in your book club, this book is sure to be doubly popular.
Stephanie Kuehn’s thrilling novel is narrated by Ben Gibson, who is currently sitting in jail and ready to tell readers exactly how he got there. He begins his tale with two important facts: He loved his girlfriend, Rosa, and he killed her. From there the narrative explores just how a school camping trip ended in such tragedy. Ben promises not to lie during his retelling of events, but book clubs will no doubt love debating how reliable of a narrator he truly is.
If your book club loves diving into historical fiction, then To Die In Spring might be just the book for you to pick up this month. Ralf Rothmann’s novel introduces readers to Walter and Fiete, who are living in Germany near the end of the Second World War. They work on a dairy farm, but in 1945, they are forced to join the SS, and are quickly plunged into the horrific and violent end of the war. In a starred review, Kirkus called this novel: “ Searing, haunting, incandescent: Rothmann’s new novel is a vital addition to the trove of wartime fiction.”
Calling all feminist book clubs: This is the perfect read for August. Leigh Bardugo’s novel explores the origins of the iconic Wonder Woman. The tale starts on the island of Themyscira, where Diana feels more like an outsider than an Amazon. But she’s offered the chance to prove herself when she meets Alia—a descendant of Helen of Troy and the mythical Warbringer. The Warbringer is destined to bring about the worst war humankind has ever seen, but Diana believes that she can change the future. This is a novel sure to please long-time fans and newcomers still high off of the Wonder Woman movie, and book clubs will have plenty to talk about when it comes to female portrayal of strength, the importance of female friendship, and the relevance of Wonder Woman in today’s world.
You likely already know Cree LeFavour for her cookbooks and her James Beard Award nomination. But here, she’s showing readers an entirely new side of herself. For years, LeFavour struggled with self-harm—specifically, burning herself with cigarettes. Here, she recounts her time in therapy, along with her intense relationship with her therapist. This book is vivid, troubling, and sure to make a strong impression. Readers, a word of warning: For those who do not wish to read about self-harm, it might be best to pick out another book from this list.
Prosecutor Bell Elkins returned to her small Appalachian hometown after law school to help people in the impoverished community. But eight years later, she’s considering moving to D.C. and leaving the place behind. Her plans come to a sudden halt when several people in town die of overdoses. It seems that a batch of heroin laced with a lethal dose of elephant tranquilizer is to blame. Bell and her colleagues have a mere 24 hours to find the source of the drugs and save as many lives as they can. Book clubs looking for a chilling mystery based on true events will want to pick up Julia Keller’s novel.