August's Best Books of the Month

Posted by Cybil on August 9, 2017


Every month, Goodreads editors comb through our data to find which of the latest new releases are resonating with readers. Then we select the fiction and nonfiction that meet the bar of 'best of the month.' For August, we're highlighting a story about two Muslim families in London, a sweeping epic set in 1940s Ireland, a LGBT young adult novel, and more.

In addition, this month we interviewed author Tom Perrotta, who discusses how he was inspired by changing attitudes toward sex for his latest book Mrs. Fletcher. We also talked with Claire Messud, who explores the mystery of young adulthood in The Burning Girl. Plus, you'll find new book recommendations from your favorite writers here.

Be sure to add the books that spark your interest to your Want to Read shelf.


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Home Fire
by Kamila Shamsie

In this modern-day take on the classic tragedy Antigone, two Pakistani Muslim families in London find their lives entangled in love, politics, and conflict. Amirah says, “I tore through this, literally could not tear my eyes away from this brave, searing novel.”



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The Heart's Invisible Furies
by John Boyne

This sweeping novel by the author of The Boy in Striped Pajamas begins in 1940s Ireland, when Cyril Avery is born to an unwed teen mother, and follows his journey of self-discovery. Caroline says, “There’s little about this deeply moving and immersive story that isn’t perfect. Boyne realized an ambitious premise, and he did so with a thoughtful touch.”



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Little & Lion
by Brandy Colbert

In this YA novel Suzette returns home from boarding school when her stepbrother, Lionel, is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Suzette soon finds herself falling for the girl Lionel loves. Ashley says, “Damn, this was everything I wanted it to be. Messy, beautiful, completely satisfying.”




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Happiness: A Memoir: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After
by Heather Harpham

This memoir of a single mother who gives birth to a child with a life-threatening illness is also a larger look at unconditional love and the path to happiness. Miller says, “I highly recommend this memoir...it was a definite page-turner and tearjerker. It also gives you a shock to reality and makes you want to enjoy each and every moment with your kids.”




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Map of the Heart
by Susan Wiggs

In this heartwarming novel, a woman mourning her husband's death is propelled into an adventure when a mysterious package arrives from her father's family in France. Jackie says, “Having read other books by Susan Wiggs, I knew I wouldn't be disappointed in this one. It was a great story that encompassed tragedy, hope, a little mystery, and ultimately a fine outcome.”




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The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet
by Henry Fountain

This narrative history of North America's largest recorded earthquake—the 1964 Alaska quake—explores how scientists confirmed the theory of plate tectonics. Haris says, “Henry Fountain provides a captivating story of destruction, courage, and, most importantly, revelation.”



The 'Best Books of the Month' list debuts each month in our general newsletter. Missing out on our general, romance, or young adult newsletters? Be sure to sign up.


Check out more recent blogs:
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Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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message 1: by Yaaresse (new)

Yaaresse While there's nothing on this month's list that calls to me, I do appreciate the inclusion of a (non-memoir and non-celebrity fluff) non-fiction and that the synopses are in full sentences instead of reading like random thesaurus entries.


Olivia "So many books--so little time."" What a list of good-sounding books! I want to read them all.


message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate What I want to know is what books I can read so when the "Best Books" contest comes in the winter I will have read some of the books in the running. I almost always have read a bunch of the sci-fi, fantasy and mystery but how do the original books get selected?


message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Olivia "Don't Blame Me I Voted for Hillary" wrote: "What a list of good-sounding books! I want to read them all."
Me too! Almost all sound great to me..


message 5: by Richard (new)

Richard It’s a complete and interesting blog for me. I enjoyed reading your articles and I wish to read more of yours. Amazon.com


message 6: by Brina (new)

Brina I'm looking forward to Home Fire.


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Can't wait to read Home Fire!


message 8: by Havelock (new)

Havelock Surely it's a little early for the best books of August? We're not even halfway through the month.


message 9: by Sophie (new)

Sophie I just finished reading, "The Life She Was Given" released in July '17 ....decent writing & a compelling storyline.
Also if you're open to more international writers, "Midnight Blue" by Simone Van Der Vlugt was also a great summer read.


message 10: by Yaaresse (new)

Yaaresse Kate wrote: "What I want to know is what books I can read so when the "Best Books" contest comes in the winter I will have read some of the books in the running. I almost always have read a bunch of the sci-fi,..."

I'm not sure this will help much, but here were the eligibility rules for last year. https://www.goodreads.com/choiceaward...
It seems they end up being a lot of the same books featured in these "best of" and "most loved" blogs throughout the year.

Good luck with it, though. I find I almost never have read more than a handful of the nominees and never more than one per category, so instead of voting for the "best," I feel more like I'm voting "Yeah, I read that." It does stuff my to-read list for the following year, though.


message 11: by hayden (new)

hayden i thought this was books of the WEEK and went to B&N to pick up THE HEART'S INVISIBLE FURIES. to no avail. :(


message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate Yaaresse wrote: "Kate wrote: "What I want to know is what books I can read so when the "Best Books" contest comes in the winter I will have read some of the books in the running. I almost always have read a bunch o..."

Thank you! This was really helpful


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