Here are six of the most intriguing novels and deep-dive nonfiction to add to your queue in the last weeks of summer.
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August Books
Credit: Penguin (3); Random House (2); Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The days are already shortening, but that's what reading lamps and last vacations are for. Wrap up the season with these standouts below, from Broadway babies and brutally honest memoirs to read-them-in-one-night debuts.

August Books
Credit: Random House

How to Fall Out of Love Madly by Jana Casale

Like a Stateside cousin of Sally Rooney, Jana Casale explores the low-grade calamities of young adulthood through an unfiltered female gaze: Madly's three main protagonists are all smart and self-aware and somehow still flailing on the cusp of 30, in life and romance and career. Casale (The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky) writes with the confiding tone of a friend on a midnight text chain, but there are sharp corners lurking in all that late-Millennial malaise, and real wisdom too.

August Books
Credit: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers by Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green

Born into Broadway royalty — her father was the Rodgers in Rodgers and Hammerstein — Mary Rodgers went on to make her own name as a screenwriter (Freaky Friday) and composer (Once Upon a Mattress). This frank, gossipy memoir, published in collaboration with New York Times theater critic Jesse Green some eight years after her death, is both a joyful chronicle of a life well lived and a box-seat view on some of the best, brightest, and most idiosyncratic creative minds of the 20th century.

August Books
Credit: Penguin

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Matthews

Coming-of-age novels tend to clutter up the shelves every summer, most of them not worth skimming past the title page; Different easily pulls away from that pile, a dazzling and wholly original debut. It's the early days of the second Obama administration, and 22-year-old Sneha — brown, queer, stranded in wintry Wisconsin — is attempting to navigate her first post-college corporate job, dating in the Midwest, and the ongoing legacy of her immigrant parents. Matthews writes about things great (shame, poverty, identity) and small (drunk texts, dive bars) with such mordant wit, insight, and specificity, it feels like watching a new literary star being born in real time.

August Books
Credit: Random House

Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Nearly every Taylor Jenkins Reid novel reads like a survey course in some flagrantly glamorous speciality of an era: Golden-age Hollywood, Me-decade rock excess, sun-baked '80s surf culture. In her eighth outing, Reid pivots to professional tennis and a fictional player, Carrie Soto, so fiercely competitive that she reneges on retirement in the mid-'90s at the unspeakable age of 37, determined to reclaim her title record. Come for the King Richard-level attention to the art of the game; stay for the more personal soap operas unfolding off the court, and the final score. 

August Books
Credit: Penguin

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

"One morning Anders, a white man, woke up to find he had turned a deep and undeniable brown." With that indelible sentence, White Man begins, though this slim fable is less immediate and plot-driven than previous Hamid outings like The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Exit West, and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Instead, with just the sparest suggestion of a plot, the British Pakistani writer's latest — unspooled in long, looping sentences like a tone poem — gently prods at the mysteries of race and class and other social constructs (P.S., it's also a love story).

August Books
Credit: Penguin

Acceptance by Emi Nietfield

What kind of comfortable lies do we tell ourselves about what it means to "make it"? Nietfeld, who escaped a nightmare childhood with a mentally unstable mother — years that included homelessness, hospitalizations, and foster care — for an Ivy League degree and later a shiny startup job in Silicon Valley, interrogates the easy clichés of feel-good bootstrap stories and American meritocracy in her vivid, unsparing debut. 

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