In the wonderful world of books, the new titles released in August herald the approach of the always-exciting, fall book lineup. There is a little something for everyone this month, so have fun.
The Buzz Book: “We Are Not Ourselves,” by Matthew Thomas (release date: Aug. 19, 2014)
After 15 editors at several top-tier publishing houses fought over the rights to this manuscript, Simon & Schuster finally won the prize that is sure to be the major publishing event of the season, and with good reason.
This grand, multigenerational portrait of an Irish-American family is told through Emily Tumulty. Raised by immigrant parents in Queens and filled with dreams of inhabiting a better, higher world, she marries Ed Leary, with the hope he will deliver her there. As life rolls on this idea of better things, bigger houses and domestic bliss give birth and give way to a darkness that threatens it all.
With probing genius, emotional truthfulness and generous heart, this is a work of art that charts the anatomy of the middle class in post-World War II America and introduces us to a significant, new voice in American fiction.
The Local Author Buzz Book: “Sweet Thunder,” by Ivan Doig (paperback release date: Aug. 5, 2014)
Ivan Doig elevates language in a way that never fails to astound me. And you’ve gotta love a story where one of the heroes is a librarian.
This is the third book featuring Doig’s loveable, crafty Morrie Morgan. Morgan returns to Butte, Mont., where he ends up taking a job at a fledgling union-backed newspaper that lands him smack in the middle of the labor dispute between the miner’s union and Anaconda Copper Mines. Tensions rise, violence ensues and Morgan must use his wits to elude his past mistakes, while trying to win the war of words between these two factions.
Doig has spun another fine tale, with rich and diverse characters to enjoy.
Ivan Doig will sign books at Queen Anne Book Co. (1811 Queen Anne Ave. N.) on Saturday, Aug. 9, at 1 p.m.
The Kids’ Buzz Book: “Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods,” by Rick Riordan (release date: Aug. 19, 2014)
With his signature sarcastic asides, Percy Jackson explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who’s who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. This volume will have dramatic, full-color illustrations throughout by Caldecott honoree John Rocco and will be as stunning as it is entertaining and informative.
If you know any Percy Jackson fans, this is the perfect book for their collection.
(Coming soon: “The Blood of Olympus,” book No. 5 of “The Heroes of Olympus” series.)
The Nonfiction (Narrative Journalism) Buzz Book: “War of the Whales,” by Joshua Horwitz
The culmination of six years of research, this is the fascinating, true story of a field scientist and an environmental lawyer who waged a decade-long campaign to stop a clandestine U.S. Navy sonar program they believed was driving whole pods of whales onto beaches.
Joshua Horwitz does a superb job of showing what happens when principled individuals with opposing missions battle to the end for what they believe in. This book takes you from the Caribbean to the Cold War, from research labs to the depths of the ocean, from weaponized dolphins to the Supreme Court.
This is narrative journalism at its finest and one of the best nonfiction books of the year.
JOANN MORENO is a community bookseller. To comment on this column, write to QAMagNews@nwlink.com.