Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August 2023 Book Releases

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Happy August, Bookworms! There are tons of amazing books coming out this month. Here's what I'm looking forward to reading.

Note: Some of the release dates may change or be different in your part of the world. Don't come for me if they're wrong. I'm trying to keep up!

🎒  August 2023 Book Releases  🌞

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Adult Literary Fiction

August 1, 2023

Flor has a gift: she can predict, to the day, when someone will die. So when she decides she wants a living wake—a party to bring her family and community together to celebrate the long life she's led—her sisters are surprised. Has Flor forseen her own death, or someone else's? Does she have other motives? She refuses to tell her sisters, Matilde, Pastora, and Camila.

But Flor isn't the only person with secrets. Matilde has tried for decades to cover the extent of her husband's infidelity, but she must now confront the true state of her marriage. Pastora is typically the most reserved sister, but Flor's wake motivates this driven woman to solve her sibling's problems. Camila is the youngest sibling, and often the forgotten one, but she's decided she no longer wants to be taken for granted.

And the next generation, cousins Ona and Yadi, face tumult of their own: Yadi is reuniting with her first love, who was imprisoned when they were both still kids; Ona is married for years and attempting to conceive. Ona must decide whether it's worth it to keep trying—to have a child, and the anthropology research that's begun to feel lackluster.

Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City.

Why I'm excited to read it: Elizabeth Acevedo is one of my favorite young adult authors. I wish her books had been around when I was a teenager because her teen characters are ultra relatable. I can't wait to read her adult fiction debut! I know it'll be hard hitting.

Buy it on Amazon

The Narrow by Kate Alice Marshall

Young Adult Horror

August 1, 2023

Everyone has heard the story of the Narrow. The river that runs behind the Atwood School is only a few feet across and seemingly placid, but beneath the surface, the waters are deep and vicious. It's said that no one who has fallen in has ever survived.

Eden White knows that isn't true. Six years ago, she saw Delphine Fournier fall into the Narrow—and live.

Delphine now lives in careful isolation, sealed off from the world. Even a single drop of unpurified water could be deadly to her, and no one but Eden has any idea why. Eden has never told anyone what she saw or spoken to Delphine since, but now, unable to cover her tuition, she has to make a deal: her expenses will be paid in return for serving as a live-in companion to Delphine.

Eden finds herself drawn to the strange and mysterious girl, and the two of them begin to unravel each other's secrets. Then Eden discovers what happened to the last girl who lived with Delphine: she was found half-drowned on dry land. Suddenly Eden is waking up to wet footprints tracking to the end of her bed, the sound of rain on the windows when the skies are clear, and a ghostly silhouette in her doorway. Something is haunting Delphine—and now it's coming for Eden, too.

Why I'm excited to read it: It has vibes of The Ring, doesn't it? One person does something they shouldn't, and suddenly everybody is being haunted by a soggy chick. I like The Ring, and I like horror novels set in schools, so this book has my attention.

Buy it on Amazon

Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

Adult Horror

August 8, 2023

In a lonely cottage overlooking the windswept Maine coast, Wilder Harlow begins the last book he will ever write. It is the story of his childhood summer companions and the killer that stalked the small New England town. Of the body they found, and the horror of that discovery echoing down the decades. And of Sky, Wilder’s one-time best friend, who stole his unfinished memoir and turned it into a lurid bestselling novel, Looking Glass Sound.

But as Wilder writes, the lines between memory and fiction blur. He fears he’s losing his grip on reality when he finds notes hidden around the cottage written in Sky’s signature green ink.

Why I'm excited to read it: I'm not excited. I'm cautiously optimistic. I read one of the author's other books and was not a fan, but this book sounds amazing! The New England setting and the child characters remind me of Stephen King. I so badly want it to be creepy and twisted!

Buy it on Amazon

Thornhedge by T. Kingfisher

Adult Fairytale Retelling

August 15, 2023

Meet Toadling. On the day of her birth, she was stolen from her family by the fairies, but she grew up safe and loved in the warm waters of faerieland. Once an adult though, the fae ask a favor of Toadling: return to the human world and offer a blessing of protection to a newborn child. Simple, right?

But nothing with fairies is ever simple.

Centuries later, a knight approaches a towering wall of brambles, where the thorns are as thick as your arm and as sharp as swords. He's heard there's a curse here that needs breaking, but it's a curse Toadling will do anything to uphold.

Why I'm excited to read it: I normally say "absolutely not" to fairytale retellings, but I will change my rules for T. Kingfisher. Her books are quick and fun to read. I love her blend of humor, magic, and horror.

Buy it on Amazon

Dust by Dusti Bowling

Middle Grade Fantasy

August 15, 2023

After Avalyn nearly died from an asthma attack, her parents moved her to the clear, dry air of Clear Canyon City, Arizona. And for the last ten years, she's been able to breathe. That is, until Adam shows up.

Quiet and unkempt, Adam is an instant target for the bullies who have plagued Avalyn and her friends. As Avalyn gets to know him, she begins to suspect that the sudden, strange increase in dust storms around town is somehow connected to his emotions. She thinks his problems may be even worse at home, especially when massive walls of dust start rolling in after the school day. Will Avalyn find a way to stand up for her new friend? Her life may just depend on it.

Why I'm excited to read it: I liked Dusti Bowling's other books, so of course I'll give this one a try. Her young characters are funny and adorable. The plot of Dust reminds me of a kids' version of Beasts Of Extraordinary Circumstance. If you like books about characters who can control the weather, check out that one.

Buy it on Amazon

A Guest In The House by Emily Carroll

Adult Horror Graphic Novel

August 15, 2023

After many lonely years, Abby’s just gotten married. She met her new husband—a recently widowed dentist—when he arrived in town with his young daughter, seeking a new start. Although it’s strange living in the shadow of her predecessor, Abby does her best to be a good wife and mother. But the more she learns about her new husband’s first wife, the more things don’t add up. And Abby starts to wonder . . . was Sheila’s death really by natural causes? As Abby sinks deeper into confusion, Sheila’s memory seems to become a force all its own, ensnaring Abby in a mystery that leaves her obsessed, fascinated, and desperately in love for the first time in her life.

Why I'm excited to read it: The Rebecca vibes are strong with this one. Emily Carroll wrote Through The Woods, which is one of my favorite graphic novels. Her artwork is memorable. She uses black and white with a few bold colors. It's atmospheric. I love it.

Buy it on Amazon

Learned By Heart by Emma Donoghue

Adult Historical Fiction

August 29, 2023

Drawing on years of investigation and Anne Lister’s five-million-word secret journal, Learned by Heart is the long-buried love story of Eliza Raine, an orphan heiress banished from India to England at age six, and Anne Lister, a brilliant, troublesome tomboy, who meet at the Manor School for young ladies in York in 1805 when they are both fourteen.

Why I'm excited to read it: I'm not the biggest lover of Emma Donoghue's books. They're hit or miss for me. I'm hoping this novel is a hit because Anne Lister is one of my favorite historical humans. She wasn't afraid to go against the rigid gender roles of 1800s England, and she kept extensive diaries that taught us a lot about life in Yorkshire.

Buy it on Amazon

Impossible Escape: A True Story Of Survival And Heroism In Nazi Germany by Steve Sheinkin

Young Adult Historical Nonfiction

August 29, 2023

It is 1944. A teenager named Rudolph (Rudi) Vrba has made up his mind. After barely surviving nearly two years in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, he knows he must escape. Even if death is more likely.

Rudi has learned the terrible secret hidden behind the heavily guarded fences of concentration camps across Nazi-occupied Europe: the methodical mass killing of Jewish prisoners. As trains full of people arrive daily, Rudi knows that the murders won’t stop until he reveals the truth to the world—and that each day that passes means more lives are lost.

Lives like Rudi’s schoolmate Gerta Sidonová. Gerta’s family fled from Slovakia to Hungary, where they live under assumed names to hide their Jewish identity. But Hungary is beginning to cave under pressure from German Nazis. Her chances of survival become slimmer by the day.

The clock is ticking. As Gerta inches closer to capture, Rudi and his friend Alfred Wetzler begin their crucial steps towards an impossible escape.

This is the true story of one of the most famous whistleblowers in the world, and how his death-defying escape helped save over 100,000 lives.

Why I'm excited to read it: Steve Sheinkin always finds the most fascinating people to write about. He also has a very engaging writing style that hooks you quickly and keeps you turning pages. His nonfiction books feel more like thrillers than textbooks. I will happily read anything he writes.

Buy it on Amazon

I Feed Her To The Beast And The Beast Is Me by Jamison Shea

Young Adult Horror

August 29, 2023

Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.

The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.

But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is—monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.

Why I'm excited to read it: I can't resist a book about an antihero, and this antihero sounds wicked. I hope she causes entertaining chaos.

Buy it on Amazon

The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead & Wendy Mass

Middle Grade Fantasy

August 29, 2023

When a mysterious little free library (guarded by a large orange cat) appears overnight in the small town of Martinville, eleven-year-old Evan plucks two weathered books from its shelves, never suspecting that his life is about to change.

Evan and his best friend Rafe quickly discover a link between one of the old books and a long-ago event that none of the grown-ups want to talk about. The two boys start asking questions whose answers will transform not only their own futures, but the town itself.

Why I'm excited to read it: Rebecca Stead wrote When You Reach Me, which is one of my favorite middle grade books. Its structure is brilliant. I know that's probably a weird thing to say about a book, but I'm obsessed with creative storytelling, and When You Reach Me is creative. I'm excited for Rebecca Stead's newest book because I love my neighborhood's Little Free Library! I keep it well-stocked and have discovered a few excellent books in there. I want to read a mystery about an LFL!

Buy it on Amazon

Which August book releases are you looking forward to reading?


  1. These all sound like great picks AJ! GMA just announced that Family Lore is also their August pick! I hope that you enjoy them all and have a great month.

  2. I have also enjoyed books by Acevedo, Bowling, and Stead. I am most curious about the Acevedo book since she is crossing age groups.

  3. The Narrow sounds good - her blurbs are always super creepy!

  4. Emma Donoghue is hit-or-miss with me, too. Dust looks good to me.

  5. I love a couple of authors from your post, TA Kingfisher, Emily Carroll, Rebecca Stead & Wendy Mass. Hope you enjoy them.

  6. I've never read Elizabeth Acevedo before, but I've only heard great things and Family Lore sounds so good already too!

  7. I've loved every Rebecca Stead book I've read. I also have the Elizabeth Acevedo's first adult book on my TBR. Will I get to it soon, though, that is the question.

    This month I am discussing what to do if one finds out an author is a terrible person. Anne@Headfullofbooks