New Reads for the Rest of Us for August 2018
Welcome to New Reads for the Rest of Us for August 2018!
With these monthly lists, I aim to amplify the books written by those who are historically underrepresented including, but not limited to: women of color, women from the Global South, women who are black, indigenous, disabled, queer, fat, immigrants, Muslim, sex-positive, and more. My lists are intersectional, feminist, and trans-inclusive. I also want to highlight books by gender non-conforming people.
If you’d like to learn more about which books I focus on, see my Review Policy. These are just guidelines and I reserve the right to include (or not!) any books I see fit. I usually add to this list as I learn of others; if you have a suggestion, please share it in the comments below!
So here are the New Reads for the Rest of Us for August 2018! There are so many great titles here, which will you read??
Born To Kwaito: Reflections on the Kwaito Generation by Esinako Ndabeni and Sihle Mthembu
Tags: South Africa, music, #OwnVoices, debut
Jacana/Blackbird, 225 pages
“Born to Kwaito revisits history as told through the vibrant lens of Kwaito, which is more than just music. Kwaito presented a new unbridled expression of Black South African youths. It carried the political significance of Black South Africans deciding to take a moment to enjoy themselves and the promise of their freedom.”–Description
True North by Ali Spooner
Tags: Lesbian, women writers, #OwnVoices, series, romance, adventure
Affinity Rainbow, 155 pages (ebook)
“Cam’s story continues as the Gator Girlz business continues to thrive under her leadership, but will self-doubt jeopardize her relationship when Bugsy reveals the family moonshine business to an unsuspecting Luce?
Will a devastating injury to Sandy end her career as a gator hunter or will it open a door to love?
Join the St. Angelo family for a third adventure to find out more about life, loving and family in Bayou Country.”–Description
Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley (@DawnEQuigley)
Tags: YA, family, coming of age, #OwnVoices, women writers
North Dakota State University Press, 264 pages
“I absolutely love how Quigley captures the distinct Turtle Mountain accent and, more importantly, the gentle lessons on tribal traditions the grandparents give, along with some truly humorous moments!”–Denise K. Lajimodiere, enrolled citizen, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, author of Stringing Rosaries: Stories from Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors
Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar
Tags: Mystery, crime, women writers, India, debut
Penguide Books, 326 pages
“A remarkable whodunit that’s as sharp as it is concise. Brar enhances her taut murder mystery with an engaging setting that effectively incorporates the local culture. The smart, believable denouement will have readers looking forward to Brar’s next endeavor.”–Kirkus Reviews
“A literary mystery saga that includes far more depth and psychologicaland cultural insights than your typical murder mystery’s scenario.”–D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah (@BinaShah)
Tags: Dystopian, women writers, Pakistan, Muslim women
Delphinium, 256 pages
“A haunting dystopian thriller…Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t want to miss this one.”–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“This dystopian novel from one of Pakistan’s most talented writers is a modern-day parable, The Handmaid’s Tale about women’s lives in repressive Muslim countries everywhere. “–Description
Contemporary Feminist Research From Theory to Practice by Patricia Leavy and Anne Harris
Tags: Feminism, women writers, research
Guilford Press, 302 pages
“A good introduction to feminist research methodology that grounds the reader in history and theory and then moves to actual research practice, thoroughly covering the types of research that feminists are doing today. I appreciate the inclusion of contemporary digital practices, which are very important currently.”–Stacie Craft DeFreitas, PhD, Department of Social Sciences, University of Houston–Downtown
The Court Dancer: A Novel by Kyung-Sook Shin and Anton Hur (Translator)
Tags: Korea, women writers, #OwnVoices, literary, historical fiction
Pegasus, 336 pages
“A gorgeous epic that seamlessly combines history and fiction to create a hybrid masterpiece. The court dancer’s latest journey west should command substantial, eager audiences.”–Booklist (starred)
If They Come for Us: Poems by Fatimah Asghar (@asgharthegrouch)
Tags: Poetry, Pakistan, Muslim, #OwnVoices, debut, women writers
One World, 128 pages
“Fatimah Asghar’s work isn’t simply some of the most innovative poetry I’ve read; page after page, the book weaves productive ambiguity, textured explorations of the body, and lyrical precision into a work that is somehow just as much a mammoth book of short stories, an experimental novel, and a soulful memoir. I’m not sure this nation is deserving of such a marvelous, sensual, and sensory book, but I know we needed this. We so needed this.”–Kiese Laymon, author of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America and Long Division
If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim (@crystalhanak)
Tags: Korea, family, literary, women writers, war, debut
William Morrow, 432 pages
“An unforgettable story of family, love, and war set against the violent emergence of modern Korea.”–Gary Shteyngart
“A gripping, heartrending tale of the birth of modern Korea filtered through the prism of an intimate love story. In fresh, often astonishing prose, Kim brings her characters to life: complicated, flawed, and hard not to fall in love with. A strikingly original work.”–Jessica Shattuck
Judas: How a Sister’s Testimony Brought Down a Criminal Mastermind by Astrid Holleeder
Tags: Memoir, women writers, crime, #OwnVoices, family, Netherlands
Mulholland Books, 416 pages
“Written while awaiting her brother’s trial, Holleeder’s engrossing story reads like the last will and testament of a dead woman walking.”–Publishers Weekly
“A harrowing, courageous account of murder and family…riveting, sensational, unforgettable.”–Kirkus (Starred Review)
Temper: A Novel by Nicky Drayden (@nickydrayden)
Tags: South Africa, speculative,women writers, magical realism
Harper Voyager, 400 pages
“[Drayden] excels at making every twist and turn of the plot meaningful to the story. Moreover, the world-building is deliciously lush and complex. “–Booklist (starred review)
“Drayden is an amazing writer and deft plotter. The twists are unexpected and never feel contrived, just as the novel explores real-world issues without sounding preachy.”–Library Journal
This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga (@efie41209591)
Tags: Zimbabwe, women writers, literary, #OwnVoices, historical fiction
Graywolf Press, 304 pages
“A searing novel about the obstacles facing women in Zimbabwe, by one of the country’s most notable authors.
In This Mournable Body, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the protagonist of her acclaimed first novel, Nervous Conditions, to examine how the hope and potential of a young girl and a fledgling nation can sour over time and become a bitter and floundering struggle for survival.”–Amazon
Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World by Snigdha Poonam (@snigdhapoonam)
Tags: India, women writers, #OwnVoices
Harvard University Press, 288 pages
“A brilliant dive into the seething psyche of India’s small-town youth: a mayhem of sexuality, sentimentality, and insatiable hunger for success―at whatever price.”–Sunil Khilnani, author of The Idea of India
“Diligently reported and crisply written, Dreamers is an eye-opening guide to India’s troubling present―and future. No recent book has so astutely charted the treacherous Indian gap between extravagant illusion and grim reality.”–Pankaj Mishra, author of Age of Anger
This Time by S.W. Andersen (@SW_Andersen)
Tags: Lesbian, women writers, romance, paranormal, #OwnVoices
SW Anderson Books, 232 pages
“Some people believe love transcends time and space…
Neuropsychologist Dr. Contessa “Tess” Kenner isn’t one of them…
Free spirited artist Elena Jake, on the other hand, wants to fall in love with the woman of her dreams—quite literally… Will these two souls rediscover an epic love? Or are they destined to forever be star-crossed lovers? This paranormal romance is a must read for every true romantic who believes true love knows no bounds.”–Description
Assata Taught Me: State Violence, Mass Incarceration, and the Movement for Black Lives by Donna Murch
Tags: Black Lives Matter, Black women, women writers, feminism, politics, race, incarceration
Haymarket Books, 200 pages
“Black Panther and Cuban exile, Assata Shakur, has inspired multiple generations of radical protest, including our contemporary Black Lives Matter movement. Drawing its title from one of America’s foremost revolutionaries this collection of thought-provoking essays by award-winning Panther scholar Donna Murch explores how social protest is challenging our current system of state violence and mass incarceration.
Assata Taught Me offers a fresh and much-needed historical perspective on the fifty years since the founding of the Black Panther Party, in which the world’s largest police state has emerged.”–Description
Flights by Olga Tokarczuk with Jennifer Croft (Translator)
Tags: Translation, women writers, Poland, short stories, literary, magical realism
Riverhead, 416 pages
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize
“An indisputable masterpiece…Punctuated by maps and figures, the discursive novel is reminiscent of the work of Sebald. The threads ultimately converge in a remarkable way, making this an extraordinary accomplishment.”–Publisher’s Weekly (starred)
“A magnificent writer.”–Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize-winning author of Secondhand Time
Pretty Things by Virginie Despentes and Emma Ramadan (Translator)
Tags: Sisters, contemporary women, women writers, gender, feminism
The Feminist Press at CUNY, 245 pages
“An intoxicating pop-trash plot of stolen identity that reveals the brutal and hilarious rules of gender—the high-octane philosophy beach read of the summer.”–Joanna Walsh, author of Worlds from the Word’s End
“Virginie Despentes had me in a headlock the whole time I was reading: she’s a feminist Zola for the twenty-first century.”–Lauren Elkin, author of Flâneuse: Women Walk the City
A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua (@vanessa_hua)
Tags: China, immigration, family, debut
Ballantine Books, 304 pages
“Splits ‘the Chinese immigrant story’ into a kaleidoscopic spectrum, putting faces to the many groups who come to America. Vanessa Hua’s debut is an utterly absorbing novel about the ruthless love of parenthood and the universal truth that sometimes family runs deeper than blood alone.”–Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You
“Illuminates the lives of her characters with energy, verve, and heart. Hua tracks the minutest emotional terrain of these characters while simultaneously interrogating the cultural and economic forces that shape their worlds.”–Emma Cline, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls
Tags: Humor, women writers, debut
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 304 pages
“A biting indictment of late-stage capitalism and a chilling vision of what comes after . . . [Ma] knows her craft, and it shows. [Her protagonist] is a wonderful mix of vulnerability, wry humor, and steely strength…. Ma also offers lovely meditations on memory and the immigrant experience. Smart, funny, humane, and superbly well-written.”–Kirkus, starred review
“Embracing the genre but somehow transcending it, Ma creates a truly engrossing and believable anti-utopian world. Ma’s extraordinary debut marks a notable creative jump by playing on the apocalyptic fears many people share today.”–Booklist, starred review
The Story of H: A Novel by Marina Perezagua
Tags: Literary, thrillers, historical fiction, women writers, debut
Ecco, 304 pages
“Marina Perezagua is an exciting new voice, one of the best of the new generation of Spanish writers.”–Salman Rushdie
“Rich with symbolism and recurring motifs, the story folds in on itself like origami. . . This thought-provoking novel charting the aching distance between the heart and tongue gives voice to the mutability and resilience of the human spirit.”–Booklist
You Have the Right to Remain Fat by Virgie Tovar (@virgietovar)
Tags: Women writers, feminism, health, fat positivity
The Feminist Press at CUNY, 136 pages
“Long-time body positive writer, speaker and activist Virgie Tovar is gifting brown round girls the book we’ve been hungry for.”–Mitú
“In this bold new book, Tovar eviscerates diet culture, proclaims the joyous possibilities of fat, and shows us that liberation is possible.”–Sarai Walker, author of Dietland
“Tovar’s words provide crucial guidance, clarity, and support for all those who champion universal body liberation.”–Jessamyn Stanley, author of Every Body Yoga
Racial Ecologies by Leilani Nishime and Kim D. Hester Williams (eds.)
Tags: Race, women writers, women of color, Black women
University of Washington Press, 288 pages
“The authors in this wonderful volume make an utterly compelling case for why ecological discussions can no longer be taken seriously if they do not center race, indigeneity, and coloniality. This is a powerful and important book that should be read by everyone concerned with how to understand and address the ecological crisis that is upon us.”–Claire Jean Kim, professor of political science and Asian American studies, University of California, Irvine
Dance and the Arts in Mexico, 1920-1950: The Cosmic Generation by Ellie Guerrero
Tags: Mexico, women writers, art, dance, history, nonfiction
Palgrave Macmillan, 210 pages
“This is a solid contribution to the academic field of postrevolutionary culture and art in Mexico. […] This well-researched book rethinks the postrevolutionary canon by using new theoretical tools and incorporating little-known cultural processes.”–Jorge Quintana-Navarrete, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies, Dartmouth College
Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century by Barbara Ransby (@BarbaraRansby)
Tags: Women writers, nonfiction, Black women, Black Lives Matter, #OwnVoices
University of California Press, 240 pages
“I can imagine no more perfect example of the dedicated scholar/activist than Barbara Ransby. She now offers us an analysis of the Movement for Black Lives, and its historical continuities and ruptures, that reflects both her considerable skills as a historian and her rich experience as an activist. This book passionately urges us to adapt the radical and feminist versions of democracy that will move us forward.”–Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
The Air You Breathe: A Novel by Frances de Pontes Peebles
Tags: Brazil, women writers, #OwnVoices, friendship, historical, literary, coming of age
Riverhead, 464 pages
“Although this novel is set during the 1930s in Brazil, the tale between two friends remains timeless…Each page is as intoxicating as the characters themselves; the perfect read for a long weekend or day off.”–Fashion Week Online
“Samba music and its allure beats beneath this winding and sinuous tale of ambition, memory, and identity…Peebles’ detailed and atmospheric story is cinematic in scope, panoramic in view, and lyrical in tone.”–Kirkus, STARRED review
Brazil: A Biography by Lilia M. Schwarcz and Heloisa M. Starling
Tags: Brazil, women writers, nonfiction, #OwnVoices, history
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 800 pages
“A thoughtful and profound journey into the soul of Brazil . . . The Brazil that emerges from this book is, indeed, a fascinating, complex, multicolored, contradictory and challenging organism, more like a living being than a political, cultural and geographical entity.”–Laurentino Gomes, Folha de São Paulo
Poso Wells by
Tags: Ecuador, translation, women writers, feminism, humor, magical realism, #OwnVoices, debut
City Lights Publishers, 128 pages
“Poso Wells explores the dichotomy between the new and old worlds of Ecuador through an exciting noir about missing women, corrupt politicians, and a journalist’s attempt to unravel the secrets of the infinitely labyrinthine cityscape of Poso Wells. This is an exciting debut translation of a celebrated Ecuadorian author, and one that should lead to more translations of her work.”–Ely Watson, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore (Madison, WI)
Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism by Barb Cook and Dr. Michelle Garnett
Tags: Autism, women writers
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 288 pages
“Barb Cook and 14 other autistic women describe life from a female autistic perspective, and present empowering, helpful and supportive insights from their personal experience for fellow autistic women.”–Description
Tags: Lesbian, thriller, women writers
“For a long time, Captain Brenda Borelli has had it all―a devoted girlfriend, a dedicated partner, loyal friends and a fulfilling career. Her world seemed perfect. But somehow it all fell apart. While she was busy investigating crimes, the things she valued most just slipped away. […] As if solving the murder isn’t enough, trying to figure out whether she wants to start over with her old lover―or explore the possibilities with a potential new one―might prove to be the most difficult task of all.”–Description
Virginia Woolf, the War Without, the War Within: Her Final Diaries and the Diaries She Read by Barbara Lounsberry
Tags: Virginia Woolf, biography, women writers, United Kingdom, European history
University Press of Florida, 408 pages
“In her third and final volume on Virginia Woolf’s diaries, Barbara Lounsberry reveals new insights about the courageous last years of the modernist writer’s life, from 1929 until Woolf’s suicide in 1941.”–Description
“Lounsberry establishes how central to Woolf’s personal and creative being was diary-writing.”–Panthea Reid, author of Art and Affection: A Life of Virginia Woolf
Everyday People: The Color of Life–A Short Story Anthology by Jennifer Baker (ed.)
Tags: Short stories, women of color, women writers, literary
Atria Books, 334 pages
“An excellent sampling of some of the most exciting voices in literature from the past two decades and beyond that will leave readers with plenty of authors to revisit or discover.”–Publishers Weekly
“A vital, riveting anthology that emphasizes the complexity and diversity of minority experience.”–Kirkus
I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya (@vivekshraya)
Tags: Gender, queer, memoir, women writers, trans, #OwnVoices
Penguin Canada, 96 pages
“In I’m Afraid of Men, Vivek Shraya owns and exposes her own history with masculinity and offers a way out of this harmful and old-fashioned binary we call gender. My head nodded along quietly in agreement any time I wasn’t wiping away rising tides of tears. Vivek Shraya is a superior voice, and this book is essential reading for everyone.”–Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara
My review coming soon!
Mirage: A Novel by Somaiya Daud (@somaiyadaud)
Tags: Morocco, race, women writers, #OwnVoices, YA, fantasy
Flatiron Books, 320 pages
“With its breathtaking worldbuilding and characters who grabbed me from the first page, Mirage is by turns thrilling and ruminative, sexy and heartbreaking. Somaiya Daud has written a moving and unforgettable debut.”–Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes
“Readers will appreciate the rich world and prose built by a much-needed diverse voice.”–Kirkus Reviews
Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America by Sharmila Sen
Tags: Race, women writers, immigration, India, memoir
Penguin, 224 pages
“In this intimate, passionate look at race in America, Sen considers the price paid by nonwhite immigrants who try to become white, while always wearing a smiling face. Her provocative solution is for people like us to defiantly embrace not being white. That feels just right to me.”–Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Sympathizer and The Refugees
Praise Song for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden (@queenazsa)
Tags: West Africa, religion, girlhood, women writers
Akashic Books, 224 pages
“A tale set in [West Africa], where a girl is given up by her family, endures a very hard life, and, once set free, must find a way to heal and live forward.”–Philadelphia Inquirer, included in Must-Read Books for Summer 2018
“An engrossing novel that truly is a praise song for survivors everywhere.”–Kirkus Reviews
Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers (@CharleneCac)
Tags: Queer, Black women, women writers, politics, race
Beacon Press, 184 pages
“Charlene Carruthers is a powerful organizer, radical thinker, paradigm-shifter, and one of the most influential political voices of her generation. Anyone seriously interested in the struggle for Black liberation in this country needs to listen carefully to what she has to say.”–Barbara Ransby, author of Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement and Making All Black Lives Matter
“Leadership is the ability to not only make your own way but to return to give others a roadmap that they, too, can follow. This is what Charlene Carruthers does with Unapologetic. She offers us a guide to getting free with incisive prose, years of grassroots organizing experience, and a deeply intersectional lens. She doesn’t forget any of us, and reminds us that bringing all of ourselves and our people with us is the only way any of us will get free.”–Janet Mock, author of Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty
Fruit of Knowledge: The Vulva Vs. The Patriarchy by Liv Strömquist
Tags: Graphic novel, feminism, health
Fantagraphics, 144 pages
“From Adam and Eve to pussy hats, people have punished, praised, pathologized, and politicized vulvas, vaginas, clitorises, and menstruation. In this feminist graphic novel, Swedish cartoonist Liv Strömquist calls out how genitalia-obsessed men have stigmatized women’s bodies, denied their sexuality, created a dubious gender binary, and much more.”–Publisher
Kicking Center: Gender and the Selling of Women’s Professional Soccer by Rachel Allison
Tags: Sports, women writers
Rutgers University Press, 220 pages
“In Kicking Center, Rachel Allison investigates a women’s soccer league seeking to break into the male-dominated center of U.S. professional sport. Through an examination of the challenges and opportunities identified by those working for and with this league, she demonstrates how gender inequality is both constructed and contested in professional sport.”–Description
So there you have it! The New Reads for the Rest of Us for August 2018 list! What titles are you excited about?
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25 thoughts on “New Reads for the Rest of Us for August 2018”
Interesting list. I am curious about ‘Pretty Things’ I think I will look into that next moth when my book budget is available. (I went a little OTT this month and luckily Hubby is my voice of reason. Mania + Amazon account = need a new book shelf)
I get it. It is so hard to argue against spending money on books, though! I thought Pretty Things looked really interesting too. I’d love to read her work in the original French. But would need to brush up on it first!
Wow its such a long list of books(that I actually didn’t know about). I am myself from Pakistan and its a bit strange I didn’t know about these books. I will definitely read your reviews.
I look far and wide for books by women around the world to include! Even so, I always come across more later that I have missed. I was thinking I should break the list down into subheadings perhaps, as it gets longer every month!
This is an amazing list! All the covers just grab your attention.
I only wish I had time to read them all! The covers are amazing.
What an awesome list! I’ve been meaning to read more diverse authors, so this made my search a whole lot easier, thanks. 🙂
Hooray! That is the point of my lists, for sure, to make it easier to find amazing books by diverse womxn! Hope you find something there you like 😀
This is a very diverse and interesting list. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for coming by!
Impressive – I believe you hit every continent except Antarctica 😉
Damn! Well I will do better next time haha 😉
What a great list! They all look great!
Thanks for taking a look!
I think I only recognize a couple of these, so thanks so much for the ideas. 🙂
It’s only a pleasure! Happy reading!
There are few that have really caught my eye.
Great! Thanks for checking it out!
Fantastic list of books. If You Leave Me is going straight on my TBR.
It looks so good – would love to hear your thoughts if you read it!
What a lovely lot of books. They all look so good. Thanks for sharing.
Right? So hard to narrow down what I want to read this month!
Oooh! Tied to Deceit and Judas sound right up my alley!!
Erica | Erica Robyn Reads
I just added Tied to Deceit after seeing it on the LitCelebrAsian list for August! Otherwise I would’ve completely missed it!
I will need some time to browse through this list! What I can say is that “JUDAS’ is a blockbuster book here in The Netherlands. Written by W. Holleder’s sister (W was one of the Freddie Heinekin kidnappers)…she was so terrified by her brother that she wore a wire for two years to gather evidence against her brother. Testimonies are on-going as we speak, the author is in a witness protection plan (even her children have no idea where she stays) and her brother is seething in a cell. He still pulls a lot of ‘criminal’ strings in the NL drug world. This book calls to mind many questions: Are you as member of the family accountable for your brother’s crimes? Can you sitll love a ‘criminal’ brother? How far can somebody be pushed (sister) so that she decides to defy this criminal boss to protect her children? I still haven’t read it yet (…I’ll read it in dutch)…but they say it is a page-turner!
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