Hot new books of August

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Stylist Team
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Never mind the Olympics, we've got a star line-up of book releases for August. From Will Self's Booker Prize-nominated Umbrella to Sweet Tooth, the latest novel from Ian McEwan, the book charts will be firing up for the summer. Click on to see what's on our August reading list ...

Click any of the images below to launch the gallery. Think we've missed any out? Tweet us @StylistMagazine to let us know what you'll be reading in August

Words: DA

  • Toby's Room, Pat Barker

    Toby and Elinor, brother and sister, friends and confidants, are sharers of a dark secret, carried from the summer of 1912 into the battlefields of France and wartime London in 1917.When Toby is reported 'Missing, Believed Killed', another secret casts a lengthening shadow over Elinor's world: how exactly did Toby die - and why? Enlisting the help of former lover Paul Tarrant, Elinor determines to uncover the truth. Only then can she finally close the door to Toby's room.

    Booker prize-winning author Pat Barker returns with this masterful tale about ruptured memories, hidden lives and piecing together the mysterious death of young solider Toby Brooke through the hallucinations of his friend Kit Neville. Barker captures the gripping effects of the Great War on the human psyche with an ease and elegance of style.

    Release date: 30 August

  • Goodbye for Now, Laurie Frankel

    When Sam Elling invents a computer programme that enables his girlfriend Meredith to have one last conversation with her dead grandmother, nothing can prepare them for the success and the complications that follow. For every person who wants to say goodbye, there is someone else who can't let go. And when tragedy strikes, they have to find out whether goodbye has to be for ever. Or whether love can take on a life of its own...

    Frankel's novel is a bittersweet account of loss and the very modern phenomenon that is online immortality. If you're a fan of One Day, this one's going to have you hooked.

    Release date: 16 August

  • Kimberly's Capital Punishment, Richard Milard

    Kimberly Clark was born to the sound of cackling witches in 1984. Having moved to London to follow her heart’s dream, the sweet-but-slow Stevie, she soon tires of him and decides to destroy the relationship from within by being as vile as is humanly possible. When this tactic leads to Stevie’s violent death by his own hand, Kimberly’s soul hangs in the balance - will she ultimately spend eternity in the great TopShop in the sky? Or will she be hurtled into an abyss of endless physical torture, sexual humiliation and bad stand-up comedy? This is the story of Kimberly’s redemption

    Simultaneously shocking, nauseating and laugh-out-loud good, Milard's writing has been likened to that of Irvine Welsh and Chuck Palahniuk. In this, his third novel published by Faber & Faber, you'll find his dark comic voice utterly irresistible.

    Release date: 16 August

  • Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan

    The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight goes on, especially in the cultural sphere.Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a ‘secret mission’ which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.

    Set within the frenzied period of the Cold War, McEwan's novel combines a story of betrayal, intrigue and love. A dazzling novel that follows that author's last offering Solar, released back in 2010.

    Release date: 23 August

  • The Adult, Joe Stretch

    Jim Thorne is eight years old when his family move to The North. Jim's mum has three brilliant, famous sisters, while Jim’s Dad has disengaged himself from the family and spends his time obsessively playing computer games. Jim’s sister, Elaine, is busy creating art, and creating havoc along the way. And Jim is planning his domination of the world of table tennis, muddling his way through puberty, and trying to understand love and how it might be related to Dilly, his inflatable dolphin.

    Bursting with wit, Joe Stretch's addictive tale of Jim Thorne is a must for anyone who grew up in the nineties.

    Release date: 2 August

  • Rook, Jane Rusbridge

    In the village of Bosham, Sussex, the future is invading. A charming young documentary maker has arrived to shoot a film about King Cnut and his cherished but illegitimate daughter, whose body is buried under the flagstones of the local church. As Jonny disturbs the fabric of the village, digging up tales of ancient battles and burials, the threads lead back to home, and Ada and Nora find themselves face to face with the shameful secrets they had so carefully buried.

    A mesmerising story of family, legacy and turning back the tides, Rook beautifully evokes the shifting Sussex sands, and the rich seam of history lying just beneath them

    Release date: 2 August

  • My First Wife, Jakob Wassermann

    This is the story of Alexander Herzog, a young writer, who goes to Vienna to escape his debts and a failed love affair. There he is pursued by book-loving Ganna: giddy, girlish, clumsy, eccentric and wild. Dazzled and unnerved by her devotion to him, and attracted to the large dowry offered by her wealthy father, he thinks he can mould Ganna into what he wants. But no-one can control her troubling passions. As their marriage starts to self- destruct, Herzog will discover that Ganna has resources and determination of which he had no idea - and that he can never escape her.

    In this masterful new translation by Michael Hoffmann (Alone in Berlin), Wassermann's novel was based on his own difficult marriage. Almost 80 years after it was published posthumously, the story still unfolds to reveal a tragic, bittersweet experience between two former lovers.

    Release date: 30 August

  • The Devil I Know, Claire Kilroy

    A novel of greed and hubris, set against the backdrop of a brewing international debt crisis. Told by Tristram in the form of a mysterious testimony, it recounts his return home after a self-imposed exile only to find himself trapped as a middle man played on both sides - by a grotesque builder he’s known since childhood on the one hand, and a shadowy businessman he’s never met on the other.

    Framed in Kilroy's sensitive prose, this boom-to-bust story is fearless in its portrayal of the protagonist and rings close to home with its tale of economic instability and greed.

    Release date: 16 August

  • Cold Hands, John. J. Niven

    Donnie Miller counts himself lucky. Living in a beautiful, spacious house in the wild and remote landscape of central Canada, he spends his days writing for the local newspaper, working on a film script, and acting as house husband. But his peace is soon to be broken. There are noises in the nearby woods, signs of some mysterious watcher. When the family dog disappears, Donnie makes a horrifying discovery. Is it wolves, as the police suspect, or something far more dangerous, far darker? What secrets has Donnie been keeping? And why does he have the terrible sense that his dream was never going to last?

    "Perhaps the most cleverly constructed and incendiary thriller I've ever read. The great books in this genre take you on an emotional roller-coaster, but the best, like this one, also have you trampling through a moral minefield." - Irvine Welsh

    Release date: 2 August

  • Close Your Eyes, Ewan Morrison

    In 1981, a mother abandoned her child and drove into the night, never to return. Her disappearance was reported in the press as a fatal road accident. Her body was never found. Thirty years later, Rowan has a child of her own. Afflicted by post-natal depression, she is convinced that she’ll hurt her daughter unless she unpicks the mystery of her past, buried deep within a commune in the remote highlands of Scotland. There, with a looming cult leader, amongst the rites and rituals, the sacraments and ceremonies is a single postcard, dated a week after her mother’s death. As she draws ever closer to the truth about her mother, she fears she might lose even herself.

    A novel that deals with post-natal depression that is both sensitive and unflinchingly honest, Morrison's story explores the bond and limits of motherhood.

    Release date: 2 August

  • Umbrella, Will Self

    "A brother is as easily forgotten as an umbrella." James Joyce, Ulysses

    Recently having abandoned his RD Laing-influenced experiment in running a therapeutic community - the so-called Concept House in Willesden - maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner arrives at Friern Hospital, a vast Victorian mental asylum in North London, under a professional and a marital cloud. He has every intention of avoiding controversy, but then he encounters Audrey Dearth, a working-class girl from Fulham born in 1890 who has been immured in Friern for decades.

    If you're not a fan of the stream of consciousness style, you might find Self's latest novel tough going, with its uninterrupted continuous prose. But stick with it, as it's one of the summer's most ambitious and imaginative reads.

    Release date: 30 August

  • The Falcons of Fire and Ice, Karen Maitland

    1539, Lisbon. The Inquisition displays its power and ruthlessly spreads fear. Heretics are tortured and burned. Any who oppose the Church's will realize that silence is preferable to a slow and agonizing death. Isabela, daughter of the Falconer at the Royal Court, is about to be caught in the Church's terrifying schemes. The slaughter of two of the King's precious white falcons sees her father arrested and imprisoned. As punishment he and his family will be killed unless the birds are replaced.

    This powerful historical thriller will have Maitland fans yearning for more medieval intrigue and supernatural tales in her peculiar vision of the 16th century world.

    Release date: 16 August

  • The Rise of Nine, Pittacus Lore

    "Until I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive. Together we are much more powerful. But it could only last so long before we had to separate to find the others . . . I went to Spain to find Seven, and I found even more, including a tenth member of the Garde who escaped from Lorien alive. Ella is younger than the rest of us, but just as brave. Now we're looking for the others - including John."

    This tense story forms the third part of Pittacus Lore's Lorien Legacies series and is a perfect read for those fans of The Hunger Games.

    Release date: 30 August

  • Tigers in Red Weather, Liza Klaussmann

    Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summers at Tiger House, the glorious old family estate on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As World War II ends they are on the cusp of adulthood, the world seeming to offer itself up to them. Helena is leaving for Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is to be reunited with her young husband Hughes, due to return from London and the war. Everything is about to change. Neither quite finds the life she had imagined, and as the years pass, the trips to Tiger House take on a new complexity. Then, on the brink of the 1960s, Nick’s daughter Daisy and Helena’s son Ed make a sinister discovery. It plunges the island’s bright heat into private shadow and sends a depth-charge to the heart of the family. Summer seemed to arrive at that moment, with its mysterious mixture of salt, cold flesh and fuel

    Likened to great American novels like Tender is the Night and Revolutionary Road, Tigers in Red Weather is Liza Klaussmann's debut novel that has already set the publishing world alight. One for those who love the 20th century American classics.

    Release date: 2 August

  • England's Lane, Joseph Connelly

    Jim and Milly. Stan and Jane. Jonathan and Fiona. Winter, 1959. Three married couples: each living in England’s Lane, each with an only child, and each attending to family, and their livelihoods – the ironmonger, the sweetshop and the butcher. Each of them hiding their lies, coping in the only way they know how.

    Comic, painful and utterly addictive - Connelly is in a class of his own.

    Release date: 30 August

  • Never Fall Down, Patricia McCormick

    Eleven-year-old Arn is walking through the countryside in Cambodia. His whole town is walking with him. They’re walking into one of the most tragic moments of history: the Killing Fields. Music will save him. Hope, luck and kindness will save him. This is his story.

    A raw and evocative story based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, McCormick renders a moving tale set against the backdrop of one of the worst genocides ever inflicted. The book has been praised by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "“one of the most inspiring and powerful books I’ve ever read.”

    Release date: 2 August

  • Everybody's Right, Paolo Sorrentino

    ‘I’m going back to what I was twenty years ago. I’m riding across a terrain of buried curiosity, the adrenaline is starting to flow again, and the old obsessions are coming back: I want to run after every female who passes, I want to smell the smells of Italy again, I want my old life back. It’s a bit late for all that, I know, but who gives a fuck? I want to die stark naked, drowned in a well of Ballantine’s, surrounded by whores. All this I want, suddenly, I want it very much indeed. But I hide it well.’

    Already a bestseller in Italy, this novel by Sorrentino (director of the film This Must Be the Place) tells the story of Tony Pagoda, as he returns from exile to revisit his extravagant and dangerous life back in Naples and Capri. But will he be able to resist the old temptations?

    Release date: 2 August

  • As Far as I Know, Roger McGough

    Take comfort from this

    You have a book in your hand

    not a loaded gun or a parking fine

    or an invitation card to the wedding

    of the one you should have married

    From a series of haiku on a London tube strike and a striking reworking of his famous 60s poem Let Me Die a Youngman's Death, Roger McGough's latest poetry collection is as rich, evocative and as limitless as any of his previous works.

    Release date: 30 August

  • Girls in White Dresses, Jennifer Close

    Isabella, Mary and Lauren feel like everyone they know has a plan, a good job, and an appropriate boyfriend. Isabella, on the other hand, has a blind date with a gay man, Mary is working so hard she's hoping to get hit by a car just so she can have some time off work and Lauren is dating a man who can't spell her first name.

    A hit in America, this wry and witty novel will pull at your heartstrings as you watch the characters navigate through work crises, romance and their turbulent twenties.

    Release date: 9 August

  • Bryant & May and the Invisible Code, Christopher Fowler

    Two small children are playing a game called ‘Witch-Hunter’. They place a curse on a young woman taking lunch in a church courtyard and wait for her to die. An hour later the woman is found dead inside St Bride’s Church - a building that no-one else has entered.

    Refused the case and embroiled in Home Office politics, octagenarian Detectives Arthur Bryant and John May must try to circumnavigate the system, to look for answers, in a place where no else is prepared to go. As the members of the Peculiar Crimes Unit dig behind the city’s facades to expose a world of private clubs, hidden passages and covert loyalties, they realise that the case might not just end in career disaster - it might also get everyone killed.

    These crime novels have enjoyed a cult following, thanks to Fowler's writing which has been compared to Agatha Christie and Ben Aaronovitch. A cracking summer read.

    Release date: 9 August