10 new books to read in August

August is the Sunday of Summer, where the days melt and slide into one another like melting poolside popsicles and students begin to return to school (whether in person or virtually this year). Though these final summer days may feel sleepy, there are many exciting, energizing books coming out this month that we can’t wait to read. Below, we’ve listed ten recent and upcoming releases that have caught our eye.

Email us at bookfest@texasbookfestival.org if there are any additional books we’ve missed that you think we should share.

The Comeback by Ella Berman

Released August 4th, 2020

Novelist Ella Berman shares her debut work: a psychological fiction thriller that tells of a mistreated child actress who ran away in order to protect herself. Finally, she has returned, deciding it is now her time to strike back.

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria

Released August 4th, 2020

This new romantic comedy features soap opera stars Jasmine Lin Rodriguez and Ashton Suárez. With their respective careers on the line, the two actors must work together to display convincing on-screen chemistry, and to not get too distracted by one another behind-the-scenes.

Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De Leon

Released August 4th, 2020

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz faces bigotry towards she and her family at her new nearly all-white school. There comes a point where Liliana must decide whether she will stand up for herself and speak her truth or risk losing what matters most.

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Released August 4th, 2020

As an undocumented immigrant on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manuela Azul feels suffocated by her life spent running and hiding. When her family is arrested by ICE, Manuela loses her home and must call on her internal, inherited strength, which brings her closer to her Argentinian heritage.

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed

Released August 4th, 2020

Novelist Christina Hammonds Reed shares her debut work: a bildungsroman novel narrated by Ashley Bennett, a wealthy Black teenager whose family becomes caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. As protests surge, Ashley embarks on a journey of self-reckoning alongside the City of Los Angeles.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Released August 4th, 2020

In Akwaeke Emezi’s electrifying novel of family and friendship, one afternoon, a Nigerian family discovers their son’s body has been wrapped in colorful fabric and left at their front doorstep. The reader comes to understand the brilliant protagonist Vivek whose life was mysterious to nearly all but one, his high-spirited cousin, Osita.

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Released August 4th, 2020

Famous for her sensational true-crime podcast and her proclivity towards justice, Rachel Krall finds a letter left on her windshield, pleading for her help. She becomes wrapped up in two unsolved small town case trials that will alter the course of her life and her work forever.

Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins

Released August 4th, 2020

Author Morgan Jerkins explores The Great Migration, a time between 1916 and 1970, when six million Black Americans left their rural homes in the South for jobs in cities in the North, West, and Midwest. Following in her ancestors’ footsteps, Jerkins traces their stories back 300 years and seeks to understand the event that disconnected Black Americans from their roots, their land, and their sense of identity.

The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-Eun

Released August 4th, 2020

The month of August is dedicated to honoring Women In Translation. This work was authored by Yun Ko-Eun and translated from Korean into English by Lizzie Buehler. In this novel eco-thriller, protagonist Yona works as a programming coordinator for Jungle, a travel company that specializes in sending their clients to destinations that have been ravaged by disaster. After a senior colleague acts inappropriately, Yona tries to speak up, and in an effort to silence her, Jungle sends her to the remote desert island of Mui, where Yona learns she and other customers face grave, intentional danger.

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

Coming: August 25th, 2020

When justice is denied by the American legal system or the the trial council, Virgil Wounded Horse, local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, is enlisted to deliver his own punishment. However, after drugs make their way from outside into the reservation and raise the stakes, raising questions of money and power, Virgil witnesses first-hand how being Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an astonishing cost.

Additional August 2020 releases on our to-read lists: