For me, reading is the ultimate escape, anti-anxiety balm and tranquilizer. I'm already stressing about the end of summer and back to school, whatever that means this year. With so much unknown about the fall, down to when and if my four kids will have a regular schedule (and when I’ll find time to work myself!), I’m turning to the pages of a new crop of books. These compelling stories written by stellar debut and established authors promise to get me out of my own head and into their worlds, problems and imaginations.
With so many plans uncertain, at least you can add these upcoming releases to your calendar.
'Cleo McDouglas Regrets Nothing' by Allison Winn Scotch
When Senator Cleo McDougal decides to run for president, an old childhood friend writes an op-ed about secrets from her past, even calling into question the paternity of her son. Cleo decides to craft a list of regrets and heads off to make amends in this commentary on women in politics, overcoming the past, and what it means to be truly sorry.
'GMA' August Book Club Pick - 'The Lions of Fifth Avenue' by Fiona Davis
Best-selling historical fiction author Fiona Davis spins two intersecting tales rooted in the history of the New York Public Library. The wife of the superintendent of the library in 1913 questions her role as a wife and mother and then has her beliefs questioned after a series of thefts at the library. 80 years later, her granddaughter does some digging into family lore as a curator at the library and discovers some unsavory information about her own complicity in recent crimes. Read an excerpt here!
'The Death of Vivek Oji' by Akwaeke Emezi
A family struggles to understand a son they barely knew in "The Death of Vivek Oji." Set in Nigeria, where the author grew up, the beautifully written narrative follows Vivek’s journey — including his blackouts, his transition from adolescence to adulthood and his close relationship with his cousin. Slices of mystery, violence, fear and love combine in this dramatic tale which is on many "most anticipated" lists.
'Luster' by Raven Leilani
"Luster," by debut novelist Raven Leilani, promises to be an August hit. When twenty-something aspiring artist Edie meets Eric, she learns about his open marriage which comes with many rules. But then she unexpectedly gets thrown into his home-life by becoming allies with his wife and grows close to his adopted daughter. As Edie searches for her identity as an artist and a Black woman, she spins a tale of intrigue and coming-of-age, all with electric storytelling.
'Lost Souls at the Neptune Inn' by Betsy Carter
A head-turning grandmother who never “took to motherhood,” her daughter who tries in vain to get her love needs met and a music-loving granddaughter have their lives uprooted in 1950s New Rochelle when a strange new man comes to town.
'Inferno: A Memoir of Motherhood and Madness' by Catherine Cho
The daughter of Korean immigrants, Catherine Cho takes her newborn son on a trip from London to the U.S. where she unexpectedly develops psychosis and ends up being hospitalized by her husband at a psychiatric facility. Catherine takes us through her past traumas, recounts her experiences and gives an explosive account of the pitfalls of motherhood.
'Our Lady of Perpetual Hunger: A Memoir' by Lisa Donovan
James Beard Award-winning essayist and southern pastry chef Lisa Donovan documents her struggles in a male-dominated field, her mixed-race heritage, her own experience with abuse and assault and how she put her life back together through the salvation of food.
Donovan herself had been told at every juncture that she wasn’t enough: she came from a struggling southern family that felt ashamed of its own mixed race heritage and whose elders diminished their women. She survived abuse and assault as a young mother. But Donovan’s salvations were food, self-reliance, and the network of women in food who stood by her.
'The Boys’ Club' by Erica Katz
A story of sexual abuse that occurs at a top-tier law firm written under a pseudonym by a currently practicing lawyer, "The Boys’ Club" tracks one woman’s entry into the male-dominated world of high-stakes law and what happens when her carefully planned life spins out of control.
'With or Without You' by Caroline Leavitt
A page-turner by The New York Times bestselling author and co-founder of "A Mighty Blaze," this story about a nurse who falls into a coma raises issues of loyalty, friendship, love and life, all set to music. When Stella wakes from her coma, she develops an uncanny ability to draw and identify everyone’s innermost feelings. Her husband and best friend, who bonded during her illness, may have formed a new relationship as she lay sleeping.
'My Life as a Villainess: Essays' by Laura Lippman
New York Times bestselling crime novelist Laura Lippman writes about motherhood (as an older mom), her close relationships, her newspaper career and more in this collection of new and previously published, relatable essays.
'Migrations' by Charlotte McConaghy
Franny Stone, a wanderer, travels to Greenland to find the last flock of arctic terns, hoping to track their final migration. Her troubled history emerges as she travels by boat with a crew whose safety she threatens in her own quest to find birds, while hiding her own dark secrets.
'Why I Don’t Write: And Other Stories' by Susan Minot
This collection of short pieces from Susan Minot who has been writing for decades, including a story on why she has trouble writing herself, sheds light on the complexity of human relations, love, jealously, and more.
'The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story of How Marijuana Went Mainstream' by Heather Cabot
Told like a fast-paced thriller, this peek behind the curtain of the U.S. marijuana industry by award-winning former ABC correspondent Heather Cabot, takes us from the Willy Wonka of weed to Snoop Dog’s doorstep.
'Grand: A Memoir' by Sara Schaefer
Emmy Award winning writer and comedienne Sara Schaefer writes about finding out her family lore was based on a lie. Her parents turned to the church to confront their wrecked social status while Sara developed anxiety, depression and OCD tendencies. When she turned 40, Sara took trips with individual family members, including one to the grand canyon with her sister, in this family true story.
'The Patron Saint of Pregnant Girls' by Ursula Hegi
A story about the power of maternal love and female friendship, Ursula Hegi’s latest book takes place on the shores of a German beach in 1878 when a giant wave crashes and takes the lives of three children. The after-effects of the tragedy linger in three families whose lives intersect to create a searing tale of loss, strength and the power of perseverance.
'The Erratics: A Memoir' by Vicki Laveau-Harvie
Vicki and her sister travel home to the Canadian foothills to help their elderly parents, from whom they are estranged, only to find out that their manic mother has entrapped their father and starved him. The sisters must work together to patch their family back together in this dark family memoir.
'Be All In: Raising Kids for Success in Sports and Life' by Christie Pearce Rampone and Dr. Kristine Keane
Olympic gold medalist and soccer superstar Christie Pearce Rampone teams up with sports neuropsychologist Dr. Kristine Keane to help parents navigate their kids’ relationships to sports — and their own. With personal stories from Christie and actionable tips from Dr. Keane, "Be All In" will help kids feel self-confident on and off the field. A must-read for anyone parent who has ever questioned the best way to raise healthy, happy mini-athletes — or debated whether or not to email the coach.
'Impersonation' by Heidi Pitlor
Allie, a ghost writer and single mother, keeps taking on unsavory freelance writing projects for celebrities and other notables to pay her mounting bills. A unique examination of the relationship between a ghost writer and her subject — this time a prestigious woman hoping to soften her image with a memoir on motherhood — "Impersonation" highlights what’s important in life, parenthood, and ambition in this compulsively-readable story.
'The Heat Wave' by Kate Riordan
Sylvie and her youngest daughter, Emma, head to their family home in the South of France to confront approaching fires. Afraid of bringing back the events that threatened to wreck their family a decade earlier when her oldest daughter died suddenly at age 14, Sylvie wrestles with the past in this page-turner and family saga.
'Against the Loveless World' by Susan Abulhawa
Nahr, a Palestinian refugee born in Kuwait, reflects on her unexpected life while in prison. From the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which made her a refugee, to jilted love, poverty, prostitution, a trek through Jordan, and falling in love, Nahr’s life unfolds in twists and turns, told beautifully by the internationally bestselling author of "Mornings in Jenin."