10 New Books to Read in August
Round out your summer with a thriller set in 1960s Europe, a deep dive into the history of deep-sea exploration or a kids' book about the first T. Rex discovery.
In heat like this, it’s hard to believe fall is just around the corner. Before month’s end, school will be back in session and pumpkin-spice-everything will return to grocery store shelves. But for now, there’s still summer reading to do. Try one of these new reads for your last beach trip or end-of-season pool lounging.
The following information is provided courtesy of the Arlington Public Library.
The Continental Affair
By Christine Mangan
Take a thrilling train ride through 1960s Europe, where two strangers, Henri and Louise, aren’t really strangers after all. Henri, a former gendarme exiled from Algeria, is tasked with retrieving stolen money from Louise, a woman escaping her shadowy past in London. As their cat-and-mouse chase spans various iconic cities, their secrets and pains are revealed, as is their unexpected attraction to one another. Author Christine Mangan’s evocative prose brings midcentury Europe to life in this unconventional heist narrative—a literary caper that balances suspense, romance and cultural commentary. // Available August 22. Library catalog link here.
By Kiersten White
Val believes she was kidnapped as a child and raised in isolation by her father. After his death, strange men come forward, claiming to be her co-stars from the cult-classic children’s show, “Mister Magic,” which had been abruptly cancelled after the death of a cast member. The fact that the show’s footage was scrubbed from the internet made it the subject of conspiracy theories and legends. As the remaining cast reunites for a podcast interview, memories resurface, suggesting the show’s history is shrouded in more mystery and conspiracy than they realized. Author Kiersten White explores themes of religious trauma, childhood abuse and the allure of nostalgia in this eerie and suspenseful tale. // Available August 8. Library catalog link here.
By Temi Oh
In the London of the near future, a brain implant called Pulse connects people to the internet, offering augmented reality and a wealth of information, but also giving the government startling control. Moremi eagerly embraces the Pulse to combat her loneliness, while Orpheus, who was raised off-grid, gets involved in designing dreams for the government’s Panopticon. Then their paths collide, sparking a whirlwind romance and entanglement in a political conspiracy. Drawing inspiration from the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, author Temi Oh envisions a future world dominated by technology, government control and the struggle for freedom. // Available August 15. Library catalog link here.
By Sarah MacLean
Lady Imogen Loveless is a brilliant explosives expert and a member of the Hell’s Belles, a covert group dedicated to helping the forgotten members of society. Tasked with keeping tabs on Imogen, Detective Inspector Thomas Peck finds himself irresistibly drawn to her chaotic and unconventional nature. Danger mounts as they investigate a series of explosions in London’s East End and their attraction grows undeniably stronger. Fans of this series have long enjoyed watching Imogen get under Thomas’s skin, but in this book the results are downright explosive. // Available August 22. Library catalog link here.
Dream Town: Shaker Heights and the Quest for Racial Equality
By Laura Meckler
For decades, the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights was hailed as a progressive model of racial diversity. In the 1950s, it was lauded for its efforts toward housing integration, and the town was voluntarily busing students years before other school districts. But today its schools have a persistent achievement gap. Washington Post journalist Laura Meckler, who grew up in Shaker Heights, explores why, drawing insights gleaned from more than 250 interviews and return visits to her hometown. The result is a nuanced and thought-provoking study of the ongoing quest for racial integration and the challenges that plague even well-intentioned strategies. // Available August 22. Library catalog link here.
The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean
By Susan Casey
Award-winning journalist Susan Casey explores the mysteries lurking beneath the ocean’s surface, delving into the history of deep-sea exploration and the cutting-edge technologies that allow scientists and explorers to venture miles below. A world traveler, Casey has joined dives to the deepest places on the planet, interviewing experts in marine geology, biology and oceanography. Her awe-inspiring descriptions shed light on the vibrant and astonishing life forms thriving in the depths, as well as the most pressing threats to marine ecosystems today. // Available August 1. Library catalog link here.
Empire of the Sum: The Rise and Reign of the Pocket Calculator
By Keith Houston
This engaging look at the evolution of mathematical calculation starts with counting on our fingers, then moves onto tools like abacuses and slide rules, and ends with digital technology, including the pocket calculator that revolutionized modern mathematics. Author Keith Houston introduces readers to a diverse cast of characters and presents complex technical advancements with wit and charm. This captivating and enlightening read will appeal to math enthusiasts and history lovers alike. // Available August 22. Library catalog link here.
Silent film star Anna May Wong is having a bit of a literary moment (she’s also the subject of Gail Tsukiyama’s historical novel The Brightest Star) but the true story of her life is just as engaging. In this captivating biography, author Yunte Huang explores Wong’s life and career, from her humble beginnings in her family’s Chinese laundry and her rise to Hollywood fame, where she left a lasting impact, despite rampant racism and stereotypes in the film industry. Thoroughly researched and lively, it’s fascinating portrait of a trailblazing artist who faced extreme prejudice with resilience and talent. // Available August 22. Library catalog link here.
The Monster’s Bones: The Discovery of T. Rex and How it Shook Our World
By David K. Randall
Intrepid fossil hunter Barnum Brown was the very first to unearth evidence of the terrifying T. Rex—journeying through the desolate Badlands, bustling Manhattan and the wilds of Patagonia in search of the remains of these magnificent creatures. The narrative delves into the world of geology, paleontology and evolution, while also highlighting the fierce rivalry between natural history museums in the 19th century. Author David K. Randall brings the past to life and reveals how the T. Rex discovery transformed our understanding of the Earth’s history. // Available August 15. Library catalog link here.
In the small, liberal town of Albany, California, a Korean American junior started a private Instagram account centering on racist and sexist memes targeting predominantly Black and Black biracial girls, some of whom were his friends. As the account grew, the community was rocked by shock, outrage, protests, lawsuits and the emotional aftermath. Author Dashka Slater presents the perspectives of those involved, exploring themes of accountability, complicity and the real-world consequences of online actions—for the perpetrators, the victims and the bystanders. This must-read sparks deep reflection on the impact of online speech and massive harm that can be inflicted from behind the relative anonymity of a screen. // Available August 22. Library catalog link here.