New Book Releases: August 25, 2020

Each week, I’ll catalog the biggest and most exciting adult and YA fiction — and the occasional nonfiction — coming out that Tuesday.

SUMMER, Ali Smith. The concluding entry in Smith’s quartet of seasonal novels. “Summer somehow exceeded every one of my expectations,” writes The Irish Times. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

KIND OF A BIG DEAL, Shannon Hale. A high school has-been who dropped out only to strike out on her Broadway dreams begins to read voraciously, only to discover she’s suddenly, literally, inside the novels she’s reading. Bookshop.

THE SEDUCTION, Joanna Briscoe. Unsettled by memories of a troubled past and the feeling that her daughter is keeping secrets from her, a woman goes to a new therapist, with disturbing consequences. The Guardian calls it “addictive, macabre fairground ride of a novel.” Bookshop.

THE WOODS, Vanessa Savage. A woman returns home to say goodbye to her ailing stepmother and finally unpack what happened to her sister, who died ten years before. Bookshop.

WINTER COUNTS, David Heska Wanbli Weiden. A vigilante enforcer on a Native American reservation finds his work suddenly gets personal when heroin emerges in the community and ensnares his nephew, and the vigilante is tasked with tracking down who introduced the drug to the reservation. In a starred review, Publisher’s Weekly calls it a “gorgeous debut… This is crime fiction at its best.” Bookshop.

TRAITOR, Amanda McCrina. A YA historical novel about a half-Ukrainian, half-Polish Red Army recruit who makes a mistake and is rescued by Ukrainian freedom fighters, whom he doesn’t trust. Bookshop.

SISTERS, Daisy Johnson. When two close sisters move to a rural area after a bullying incident, their relationship begins to strain, and a series of upsetting encounters reveals that all may not be as it seems for their family. From the author of Everything Under, which was short-listed for the Man Booker. Publisher’s Weekly says “readers of classic gothic fiction will find a contemporary master of the craft here.” Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

SQUEEZE ME, Carl Hiaasen. When a Palm Beach, Florida high society charity ball attendee goes missing, a wildlife removal specialist called to the property begins to suspect that she’s been eaten by an invasive python, though politicians blame her disappearance on an undocumented immigrant. The Tampa Bay Times calls it “riotously funny.” Bookshop.

THE FAMILY CLAUSE, Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Alice Menzies (Translator). The story of a family falling apart over the course of ten days, when the patriarch returns to Sweden from abroad in a yearly trip to keep his Swedish residency. Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

THE GREAT OFFSHORE GROUNDS, Vanessa Veselka. After years apart, two sisters return home to claim their inheritance, only to discover their father hasn’t left them money but, instead, given them a name and a secret that sends them on a journey of family discovery. “This gritty and unsentimental work is compassionate, funny, and deeply human,” writes Kirkus in a starred review. Bookshop.

AGAINST THE LOVELESS WORLD, Susan Abulhawa. A Palestinian-Kuwaiti woman locked in solitary confinement in an Israeli prison reflects on her eventful, harrowing past. Bookshop.

WHERE DREAMS DESCEND, Janella Angeles. A glamorous YA fantasy about a stage magician participating in a dangerous competition in which competitor after competitor disappears into thin air. Bookshop.

THE EXILES, Christina Baker Kline. Two English convicts — a pregnant governess and a child who stole a silver spoon — and an Aboriginal orphan try to scrape out a living in 19th-century Australia. The Houston Chronicle calls it “a tour de force of original thought, imagination and promise.” Aggregated critical reviews, Bookshop.

I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.

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