Litty Committee: Kiss Yr Winter Reading Slump Buh-Bye Thanks To These New August Books

August New Book Releases
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ATTENZIONE BOOKWORMS! Not only does the lovely month of August come with a warm almost-spring breeze to show us there is in fact some light at the end of this wintery tunnel, but there’s also a whole bunch of exciting new book releases to bless us in the coming weeks. It’s all lookin’ up, baby!

Narrowing down our picks for Litty Committee this month was honestly a challenge because there were so many good books coming out in August. You’ll notice a real focus on twisty murder mysteries (courtesy of me, Soaliha) and memoirs (hand-picked by Litty Committee co-chair Bella) — and, of course, some fantasy rooted in non-western mythology which is perhaps my favourite genre of fantasy in the world.

So go on ahead and get your wishlist ready, because there are some real bangers soon to be released. Enjoy!

Best new memoirs coming out this month

The Villain Edit by Alisha Aitkin-Radburn (Bella’s Pick)

August New Book Releases

About the book:

Anybody that’s a fan of reality TV knows the term “villain edit” all too well, when a contestant is edited in a way that makes them appear as the antagonist of the show. Bachie Australia lovers will remember Alisha Aitken-Radburn from the Honey Badger‘s season, where she was the unfortunate victim of the aforementioned villain edit. But when her stint came on Bachelor in Paradise‘s second season, she received more of a sweetheart edit and found her happily ever after with another contestant. In this memoir, Aitken-Radburn reflects on the lasting effect of the villain edit and how it can deeply affect our sense of self.

When former government staffer Alisha Aitken-Radburn was given a ‘villain edit’ on her first season of The Bachelor, she wasn’t entirely surprised-after all, there are only a handful of character tropes producers can manipulate into storylines. But the backlash on social media was unexpectedly intense, and Alisha found her sense of identity completely rocked by a single comment: ‘You are a bad person’.

Determined to shake the ‘villain’ label, she returned to reality TV screens, and this time, she got a different edit. She was met with praise and empathy, and her portrayal led to a third and final season, where she met the man she would marry.

The Villain Edit charts Alisha’s journey through the smoke-and-mirrors worlds of politics, reality TV and social media. Navigating the secrets, lies and hard truths that are laced through even the most fairytale of endings, it reveals how the perceptions of others can rewrite the story of who we think we are, and how important it is to know when to go off-script and take control of the narrative.

Release date: August 29

Big Meg by Tim Flannery and Emma Flannery (Bella’s Pick)

August New Book Releases

About the book:

There’s nothing Hollywood loves more big animal movies, except maybe a killer shark movie. From the likes of Jaws to Deep Blue Sea and The Shallows, it’s no surprise that The Meg is getting a sequel this month. If ya wanna know more about this aeons-old sea monster, father-daughter duo, Tim and Emma Flannery, have delved into the history behind the Megalodon.

When Tim Flannery was a boy he found a fossilised tooth of the giant shark megalodon at a Port Philip Bay beach near his home. This remarkable find-the tooth was large enough to cover his palm-sparked an interest in palaeontology that was to inform his life’s work and a lifelong quest to uncover the secrets of the world’s largest ever predator, the great shark Otodus megalodon.

Tim passed on his love of the natural world and interest in the fossil record to his daughter, Emma, a scientist and writer. And now, together, they have written a fascinating account of this ancient marine creature.

Big Meg charts the evolution of megalodon, its super-predator status for about fifteen million years and its decline and extinction. It delves into the fossil record to answer questions about its behaviour and role in shaping marine ecosystems as well as its impact on the human psyche. It contains stories of the scientist and amateur fossil hunters who have scoured the seas, and land, for fossil remains, drawn to the beauty and mystique of the great shark, sometimes meeting their death in the process.

Release date: August 1

Best new fiction releases coming out this month

The Invisible Hour by Alice Hoffman (Bella’s Pick)

August New Book Releases

About the book:

IDK about y’all, but my TikTok feed is being bombarded by the Practical Magic quote, “there are some things I know for certain: always throw spilt salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.” Not only is it making me itch for a rewatch, but it also led me to discover that the 1998 film is based on a book by Alice Hoffman!!! So, if you want to try reading something from the author herself, give this enchanting novel a whirl.

Sixteen-year-old Ivy is pregnant and alone. Cast out by her family, she runs away and finds safety in the arms of Joel Davis. He offers a simpler life than the one she had in Boston, a quiet, rural life of rules, peace and community. Little does she realise, Joel is the charismatic leader of a cult known as the Community, and all is not quite as it seems.

Daughter Mia has only known the claustrophobic life of the Community. While out serving the Community one weekend, she secretly commits a transgression – reading. Discovering a world beyond the edges of the Community’s property is intoxicating. But breaking rules carries serious consequences, and sends Mia on a path she could never have imagined.

Release date: August 16

Cutting Teeth by Chandler Baker (Soaliha’s Pick)

About the book:

Described as “part murder mystery, part motherhood manifesto”, Cutting Teeth is a satirical dark comedy novel about the horrors of motherhood: the standards people hold mothers too, the standards mothers hold *themselves* too, and just how far mums will go to appease their (blood-sucking) kids.

Darby, Mary Beth, and Rhea are on personal quests to reclaim aspects of their identities subsumed by motherhood – their careers, their sex lives, their bodies. Their children, though, disrupt their plans when an unsettling medical condition begins to go around the Little Academy preschool: the kids are craving blood.

Then a young teacher is found dead, and the only potential witnesses are ten adorable four-year-olds. Soon it becomes clear that the children are not just witnesses, but also suspects and so are their mothers.

Release date: August 22

12 Steps to a Long and Fulfilling Death by Sarah Smith (Soaliha’s Pick)

August New Book Releases

About the book:

Contrary to what the premise may suggest, this novel is actually a comedy! Set in the colourful city of LA, it follows a woman who tries to investigate her own murder — but really, it’s about pondering on your own ambitions, friendships and life’s big questions. Imagine coming of age after your death. RIP.

Stacey is trying to live her best life. Or at least she was until she died. Now a ghost – yet still going through an existential crisis – Stacey is attempting to find out who killed her.

As her murder is investigated, Stacey examines her relationships – the seemingly perfect fiance, an unreliable father, a pathological ex, toxic girlfriends and a controlling psychologist – looking for who killed her and why.

Release date: August 2

Best new fantasy books coming out this month

And Break the Pretty Kings by Lena Jeong (Soaliha’s Pick)

About the book:

If you love fantasy novels based on non-western mythology, then this book is one to add to your list! Based on Korean mythology, And Break the Pretty Kings follows a queen and her band of friends as they try to save her kidnapped brother. Female lead + found family + grand adventure = the perfect fantasy novel, IMO.

Mirae was meant to save her queendom, but the ceremony before her coronation ends in terror and death, unlocking a strange new power within her and foretelling the return of a monster even the gods fear. Amid the chaos, Mirae’s beloved older brother is taken—threatening the peninsula’s already tenuous truce.

Desperate to save her brother and defeat this ancient enemy before the queendom is beset by war, Mirae sets out on a journey with an unlikely group of companions while her unpredictable magic gives her terrifying visions of a future she must stop at any cost.

Release date: August 2

Best new thriller releases coming out in this month

The Drowning Girls by Veronica Lando (Soaliha’s Pick)

About the book:

If superstitious small-town mysteries about ritual sacrifices are your thing, then The Drowning Girls is for you. The reviews weren’t kidding when they said this book is “claustrophobic” — it’s very much a psychological thriller and one that’ll have you up all night binging it in one go. And even better, it’s set on the marshy shores of Queensland.

Nate can’t believe he’s found himself at Port Flinders’ mangrove-lined shores during the annual Drowning Girl festival: sacrifice a girl at sea, and the fishing hauls that keep the town afloat will prosper. Or don’t and the whole town will sink. But it’s just a legend, a gimmick. Everybody knows that.

As fireworks light up the night sky, a woman’s body is pulled from the inky waters of the gulf. Shock waves threaten to tear Port Flinders apart when she’s identified as Kelsey Webb: a local teenager thought dead for twenty-five years.

As Nate tries to find the truth about what happened to Kelsey, he uncovers a string of deadly accidents over the decades. All women. All drowned. And always during the festival. In his search for answers, he begins to question which sacrifices are truly necessary.

Release date: July 5

The Girl in the Eagle’s Talons by Karin Smirnoff (Bella’s Pick)

August New Book Releases

About the book:

Lisbeth Salander is back in a brand new thriller full of conspiracies, betrayal and corporate greed, set in Sweden’s wintry wilderness. If you ever binged the books back in the day, now’s as good a time as any to pick ’em all back up again.

The untapped natural resources of Sweden’s far north are sparking a gold rush, with the criminal underworld leading the charge. But it’s not the prospect of riches that brings Lisbeth Salander to the small town of Gasskas. Her niece’s mother is the latest woman in the region to have vanished without trace. Two things soon become clear: Svala is a remarkably gifted teenager – and she’s being watched.

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is also heading north. He has seen better days. Millennium magazine is in its final print issue, and relations with his daughter are strained. Worse still, there are troubling rumours surrounding the man she’s about to marry. When the truth behind the whispers explodes into violence, Salander emerges as Blomkvist’s last hope.

Release date: August 29

Best new romance books coming out this month

The Hundred Loves of Juliet by Evelyn Skye (Bella’s Pick)

About the book:

Book publishing has gone through many “retelling eras”, from Greek mythology to fairytale reimaginings, it seems we’re finally back in our Shakespeare era. Evelyn Skye‘s newest novel is a roman-tasy that re-spins literature’s most tragic love story, Romeo & Juliet.

I may go by Sebastien now, but my name was originally Romeo. And hers was Juliet. It’s a frosty fairytale of an evening when Helene and Sebastien meet for the first time. Except it isn’t the first time. You already know that story, though it didn’t happen quite as Shakespeare told it.

To Helene, Sebastien is the flesh-and-blood hero of the love stories she’s spent her life writing. But Sebastien knows better – Helene is his Juliet, and their story has always been the same. He is doomed to find brief happiness with her over and over, before she dies, and he is left to mourn. This time, Helene is determined that things will be different. But can these star-crossed lovers forge a new ending to the greatest love story of all time?

Release date: August 8

Best new nonfiction books coming out this month

Fake Love: Understanding and Healing from Narcissistic Abuse by Nova Gibson (Soaliha’s Pick)

August New Book Releases

About the book:

At a time where words like “narcissist”, “gaslighting” and other forms of “therapy speak” are making their way into the zeitgeist with reckless abandon, it’s probably a good idea that we all get across what these words actually mean!

Counsellor and narcissistic abuse expert Nova Gibson brings her insight into the lived experience of victims and helps identify behaviours like coercive control and gaslighting, pathological lying, the love-bomb-devalue-discard cycle, hoovering, smear campaigns and many, many more.

In this deeply compassionate book, Nova offers hope, support and concise, practical strategies to break the toxic cycle, extricate and protect yourself and most importantly, heal.

Release date: August 2