Grown-Up Reads

The Best Grown-Up Reads
of August 2018

by Jennie Yabroff

Photo credit: jayk7, Moment Open/Getty Images

Can you believe it’s August already? Labor Day is just around the corner, and with it shorter days, cooler nights, back-to-school season, and the troubling sensation that summer is over before it began. But fret not. More time indoors means more time to read, and this month offers books so riveting and transportive, you’ll completely forget your end-of-summer blues.

  • Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America

    by Beth Macy

    It seems undeniable that we are in the midst of an epidemic, with opioids destroying lives and shattering families across the country. But how did we get to this sad place? And is there any way out? In this exhaustive investigation into how and why so many Americans are addicted to opioids, journalist Beth Macy travels around the country looking for answers, writing that, astonishingly, our widespread dependence on painkillers may be the one thing that unites us as a nation.
    (On sale: 8/7/18)

  • The Masterpiece

    by Fiona Davis

    If you’ve ever traversed the Grand Concourse of New York City’s Grand Central Station, you may have been overwhelmed by the crowds. You may have been charmed by the old-fashioned furnishings. You may even have looked up and been delighted by the constellations painted on the ceiling. But it’s a good bet you didn’t know you were passing the site of a former art school. Davis takes that school as the basis for her historical novel about two women — one in 1928, the other in 1974 — who work in Grand Central, and for whom the art school will come to mean nearly as much as life itself.
    (On sale: 8/7/18)

  • The Victorian and the Romantic: A Memoir, a Love Story, and a Friendship Across Time

    by Nell Stevens

    For a very long time, everything we thought we knew about Charlotte Brontë came from one woman: Elizabeth Gaskell, Brontë’s friend and biographer. After writing what would become the definitive biography of Brontë, Gaskell traveled to Rome, where she fell head over heels in love with a man 17 years her junior. Almost a century later, writer Nell Stevens also traveled to Rome, to research Gaskell and also to figure out what to do about her own head-over-heels romance. In this funny, engaging, and provocative book, Stevens explores love, literature, and the timeless allure of Rome itself.
    (On sale: 8/7/18)

  • The Cut Out Girl: A Story of War and Family, Lost and Found

    by Bart van Es

    Growing up in Holland, Bart van Es heard the story of Lientje, the Jewish girl his grandparents had hidden from the Nazis during World War II and raised as their own after the war ended. But he didn’t know how the story ended, and it was only when he was an adult, living in England, that he learned Lientje was alive. Together, they pieced together the history of Lientje’s time with the van Es family, the secrets that caused an irreparable break, and the larger history of Holland’s collaboration with the Nazis during the war.
    (On sale: 8/14/18)

  • Where the Crawdads Sing

    by Delia Owens

    In this debut novel, Delia Owens mixes nature writing, a coming-of-age story, and a murder mystery to unforgettable effect. Kya Clark is known locally as the Marsh Girl, because she lives among the gulls, rather than the people, in her small town on the North Carolina coast. But when a resident goes missing, questions arise about Kya’s unconventional lifestyle, and whether she, like the landscape itself, is actually as benign as she may initially appear, or whether she harbors a capacity for secret violence.
    (On sale: 8/14/18)

  • How to be a Happier Parent

    by KJ Dell’Antonia

    Many parents would say the days their babies were born were the happiest days of their lives. So why does what comes after feel so hard? In this book, parenting columnist and editor Dell’Antonia explores the simple things parents can do to find more joy and satisfaction from raising their kids. She identifies the basic stressors of parenting and suggests how to make them less work and more joyful. In her view, parenting can — and should — be fun, and this book will help you get there.
    (On sale: 8/21/18)

  • Vox

    by Christina Dalcher

    In this chilling, ingenious dystopian novel, Dalcher imagines a world where misogyny grows unchecked and women are only allowed to speak one hundred words per day. Her heroine, Jean, knows that silencing half the population will have dire consequences for her, her daughter, and humanity as we know it — but can she help the women of the world regain their voices before it’s too late? Winning comparisons to both Margaret Atwood and #Metoo, this novel will have you thinking about one of the basic rights we all take for granted: the power of speech.
    (On sale: 8/21/18)

  • The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves

    by Eric Kandel

    Eric Kandel won a Nobel Prize for his work on memory and the brain. Now he looks at how the brain works — or, more specifically, when it doesn’t. By exploring the neuron misfirings that characterize conditions like autism, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, Kandel asks deep questions about the way our brains determine who we are. In disordered brains, Kandel finds answers to how we create meaning out of sensation, how we experience pleasure and pain, how we present a unified personality, and how we go about the essential business of being human.
    (On sale: 8/28/18)

  • We That Are Young

    by Preti Taneja

    In this modern retelling of King Lear, the king’s kingdom has become the Company — a vast, multinational corporation whose figurehead is quickly descending into dementia. His youngest daughter has disappeared, his son has returned home to New Delhi after years abroad, and his other two daughters are vying to control the family fortune. Taneja mixes family intrigue, corporate politics, and piercing insights into the way we break each others’ hearts in this ambitious debut novel.
    (On sale: 8/28/18)

What new books are you looking forward to picking up for yourself this month? Let us know in the comments below!