10 of the best new books coming out in August

Laura Hampson
·4-min read

As we enter August, the holiday feeling is well and truly here.

If you’re not part of the set decamping to Cornwall as soon as possible, plonk yourself in your nearest local park and escape with a good book instead.

This month, there’s plenty of fresh novels to get stuck into - from Zadie Smith’s hyper relevant essays to Daisy Johnson’s new twisty thriller and Irish poet Elaine Feeney’s striking debut.

Read on to see what to pick up from your local bookstore this month.

Summer by Ali Smith

image

Ali Smith’s highly anticipated finale to her seasonal quartet is here and, with its arrival, we also get the first great coronavirus novel. As with its predecessors, it's grounded in current events, set to the backdrop of Australia’s bushfires, global warming, inklings of Covid hysteria and even George Floyd’s death. Summer neatly ties the events of Smith’s previous novels together and offers a hopeful outlook for the future.

Buy it here.

The Fleet Street Girls: The Women who Broke Down the Doors of the Gentlemen’s Club by Julie Welch

image

Up until the 70s, journalism was largely a man’s game. In 1973, Julie Welch became Fleet Street's first female football reporter and, in her new book, Welch charts the steps that led to that moment and spotlights other trail-blazing women in the media.

Buy it here.

Luster by Raven Leilani

image

Touted by Queenie author Candice Carty-Williams as ‘remarkable’ and ‘the most delicious novel she’s ever read’, Raven Leilani’s sparkling debut follows Edie, a 20-something artist in a dead-end job. Suddenly, she finds herself unemployed and falling into someone else’s open marriage - it’s darkly comic and razor sharp.

Buy it here.

Intimations by Zadie Smith

image

Written during the height of lockdown, Zadie Smith’s new book of essays may be short (just 82 pages), but her thoughtful and whip-smart observations capture what it’s been like to live through the past few months. Across the six essays, she discusses everything from the death of George Floyd to Donald Trump and even Dominic Cummings-gate.

You can read our full review of Intimations here.

Buy it here.

As You Were by Elaine Feeney

image

As You Were is Irish poet Elaine Feeney’s first foray into fiction, and the resulting novel is one of 2020’s best debuts. It follows Sinéad Hynes, a young property developer with a terrifying secret - it’s both tragic and full of wry humour.

Buy it here.

Final Cut by SJ Watson

image

From the author of Before I Go To Sleep, Final Cut is a seaside noir set in the north of England where filmmaker Alex discovers a town’s dark secret. Each page is more suspenseful than the last.

You can read our full review of Final Cut here.

Buy it here.

Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh

image

For anyone currently waiting with bated breath for the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale, Booker longlisted author Sophie Mackintosh’s new novel is a feminist dystopia to quench your thirst. With motherhood and free will at the centre, women face a ‘lottery’ on the day of their first bleed - a white ticket means children, a blue ticket means freedom and explores what happens if you’re given the wrong one.

Buy it here.

The Wish List by Sophia Money-Coutts

image

With her third novel in as many years, Standard columnist Sophia Money-Coutts cements her stance as the new Queen of rom-coms. The perfect holiday read (or just for when you need a pick-me-up), The Wish List is as pacey, laugh-out-loud funny and as heart-warming as its predecessors. Our new heroine Florence works in a book shop in Chelsea and discovers she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places.

Buy it here.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

image

As the title suggests, The Death of Vivek Oji is a story of loss and transcendence. Set in a town in southeastern Nigeria, one family grapples with the death of their son that they soon realise they hardly knew.

Buy it here.

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

image

In 2016, Daisy Johnson at 27 became the youngest-ever author shortlisted for the Booker Prize for her novel Everything Under. Her new novel Sisters is pacey, haunting and deeply suspenseful and sees sisters July and September moved across the country by their mother into an old family home with a life of its own.

Buy it here.