Bookshelf

August Books

FICTION

The Boy in the Field, by Margot Livesey

The New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy delivers a novel written with with the deceptive simplicity and power of a fable. One September afternoon in 1999, teenagers Matthew, Zoe and Duncan Lang are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed.

Squeeze Me, by Carl Hiaasen

Brightening even the darkest of days, Squeeze Me is pure, unadulterated Hiaasen. Irreverent, ingenious and highly entertaining, it captures the absurdity of our times. A prominent high society dowager suddenly vanishes during a swank gala, and is later found dead. She was an ardent fan of the Winter White House resident just down the road, and a founding member of the POTUSSIES, a group of women dedicated to supporting their president, who immediately declares that Kiki was the victim of rampaging immigrant hordes, which is far from the truth.

Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy

In an effort to find the last flock of Arctic terns, a young Irish woman with a tragic past finagles her way onto a fishing boat in Greenland to follow their migratory path. This is a staggering tale of hardship, loss, danger, adventure and, most of all, it is a wake-up call that the humans of this world need to answer.

The Wright Sister, by Patty Dann

An epistolary novel of historical fiction, The Wright Sister imagines the life of Katharine Wright and her relationship with her famous brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright. After Wilbur passed away, Katharine lived with and took care of her increasingly reclusive brother Orville, who often turned to his more confident and supportive sister to help him through fame and fortune. When Katharine became engaged to their mutual friend Harry Haskell, Orville felt abandoned and betrayed.

The Orphan Collector, by Ellen Marie Wiseman

From the internationally bestselling author of What She Left Behind comes a gripping and powerful tale of upheaval: a heartbreaking saga of resilience and hope perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Kristin Hannah, set in Philadelphia during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak, the deadly pandemic that infected one-third of the world’s population.

NONFICTION

The Smallest Lights in the Universe,
by Sara Seager

In this luminous memoir, an MIT astrophysicist must reinvent herself in the wake of tragedy and discovers the power of connection on this planet, even as she searches our galaxy for another Earth. With the unexpected death of Seager’s husband, the purpose of her own life becomes hard for her to see. Suddenly, at 40, she is a widow and the single mother of two young boys. For the first time, she feels alone in the universe. Seager takes solace in the alien beauty of exoplanets and the technical challenges of exploration. She also discovers earthbound connections that feel every bit as wondrous.

Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy, by Edward Ball

A descendant of a carpenter in Louisiana who took up the cause of fanatical racism during the years after the Civil War, Ball reconstructs the story of his great-great-grandfather, who had a career in white terror of notable and bloody completeness: massacres, night riding, masked marches, street rampages. It was all part of a tireless effort that he and other Klansmen made to restore white power when it was threatened by the emancipation of 4 million enslaved people. Ball seeks out descendants of African Americans who were once victimized by “our Klansman” and his comrades, and shares their stories.

Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain, by David Eagleman

The magic of the brain is not found in its parts, but in the way those parts constantly reweave themselves in an electric, living fabric. With his hallmark clarity and enthusiasm, the renowned neuroscientist reveals the myriad ways the brain absorbs experience: developing, redeploying, organizing, and arranging the data it receives from the body’s own absorption of external stimuli, enabling us to gain the skills, facilities and practices that make us who we are.

Reaganland: America’s Right Turn 1976-1980, by Rick Perlstein

From the bestselling author of Nixonland and The Invisible Bridge comes the dramatic conclusion of how conservatism took control of American political power. Backed by a reenergized conservative Republican base, Reagan ran on the campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” — and prevailed. Reaganland is the story of how that happened, tracing conservatives’ strategies to gain power and explaining why they endure four decades later.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Summer Song, by Kevin Henkes

The song of summer is loud sprinklers and lawn mowers and thunder, and also quiet dragonflies and lightning bugs and foggy mornings. The song of summer is long, long days until summer is bored and ready for a new song. The latest in Henkes’ wonderful season series, Summer Song will have young readers running through sprinklers in their minds long after the orange oak leaves begin to fall. (Ages 3-6.)

Randy, The Badly Drawn Horse,
by T. L. McBeth

Randy is a beautiful horse. Everyone says so. With his flowing mane, long powerful legs, culinary expertise and stunning visage, Randy knows he is practically perfect — until one day he sees his reflection and begins to doubt what he is certain is the truth. This hilarious adventure in self-confidence and believing in yourself is perfect for story time or together time and is sure to have young readers begging: Again! Again! Randy is a real hero for our time. (Ages 4-7.)

Soaked, by Abi Cushman

Ugh, days and days and days of rain are just TOO MUCH, so Bear and friends head into the cave. Once inside, moose becomes too much when he begins to juggle hula hoops in an attempt to change the mood of the crew. Readers who adore Ryan Higgins’ 1 Grumpy Bruce will adore this grumpy rain-soaked crew, who finally come around to some serious joviality. (Ages 3-6.)

I Got the School Spirit, by Connie Schofield-Morrison

A new school year, whether virtual or in person, just begs for a rush of school spirit! Fresh kicks, new friends, new backpacks, and fun energetic teachers are amazing opportunities just filled with discovery and delight in this new back-to-school book that celebrates a spirit of discovery and joy. (Ages 5-7.)  PS

Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally

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