The last full month of summer has arrived, but there is a silver lining to that depressing thought: August nonfiction is coming, as well. Before September closes out this wonderful season, there is plenty of fun — reading and otherwise — to be had. While you’re taking advantage of your remaining opportunities to spend time at the beach, hanging in a backyard hammock, or relaxing in the park, you’ll have wonderful new options in the nonfiction category to bring along with you.
You can never have too much variety when it comes to potential reading material, as August shows. This month’s new releases cover everything from the impact of emojis on communication to the horrific murder of a woman’s former best friend. Whether you want to be shocked, awed, moved, or educated, the August selection has just the book to fit the bill.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Bustle books roundup without numerous empowering, female-driven stories. August’s new releases include multiple books centering on women who have broken new ground, overcome incredible obstacles, and literally reached new heights.
We still have a lot of summer left, so take advantage of it with the 13 nonfiction books, all due out in August, below.
'The Hot One' by Carolyn Murnick (Aug. 1; Simon & Schuster)
A tale of friendship takes a tragic turn in The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder. The book revisits author Carolyn Murnick’s relationship with her childhood best friend, Ashley, who was brutally murdered in her early 20s. A budding journalist at the time, Murnick goes to cover the trial, seeking answers as she copes with her loss.
'Happiness' by Heather Harpham (Aug. 1; Henry Holt and Co.)
Happiness: The Crooked Road to Semi-Ever After brings us on a deeply personal journey. Heather Harpham recounts the beginnings of her relationship with her boyfriend Brian and her unexpected entry into motherhood. As the title hints, her story isn’t without conflict; not only does Brian not want kids, their daughter faces serious health concerns.
'Unfu*k Yourself' by Gary John Bishop (Aug. 1; HarperOne)
If you like your self-help without any BS, look to Gary John Bishop’s Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life. The book aims to help readers who feel f*cked up work through their challenges. You’ll get advice and tools to combat negative self-talk and feel more empowered.
'A Woman’s Place Is at the Top' by Hannah Kimberley (Aug. 1; St. Martin’s Press)
A Woman’s Place Is at the Top: The Biography of Annie Smith Peck, Queen of the Climbers by Hannah Kimberley celebrates the accomplishments of an unconventional woman. Annie Smith Peck made waves as a climber — and she did it in pants (believe it or not, that was revolutionary at the time). On top of that, she was an activist, scholar, and writer. File this one under inspirational.
'Morningstar' by Ann Hood (Aug. 1; W.W. Norton Company)
Relatable for book-lovers, Morningstar: Growing Up with Books is a story about how literature changed writer Ann Hood’s life. Her memoir discusses key books that have transformed her, whether that was by inspiring her to travel, shedding light on sexuality, or challenging her political views. I think we can all agree that reading is the best.
'The Emoji Code' by Vyvyan Evans (Aug. 1; Picador)
I’m a stickler when it comes to proper grammar, but The Emoji Code: The Linguistics Behind Smiley Faces and Scaredy Cats makes a solid case for the power of emojis. Vyvyan Evans uses linguistics, neuroscience, and psychology, among other disciplines, to argue that the little shapes are actually enhancing our ability to communicate rather than harming it. Ah, the evolution of language. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
'The Girl in the Show' by Anna Fields (Aug. 8; Arcade Publishing)
Female comedians have come a long way over the decades, as we see in The Girl in the Show: Three Generations of Comedy, Culture, and Feminism. Specifically, author Anna Fields looks at how comedy and feminism are intertwined. To make her points, she ties in insightful interviews with funny women like Abbi Jacobson and Molly Shannon.
'Through a Glass Lightly' by Thomas Tylston Greg (Aug. 8; Pushkin Press)
Thomas Tylston Greg pays homage to a drink many of us love in Through a Glass Lightly: Confession of a Reluctant Water Drinker. Don’t let the title fool you; it is wine he celebrates, not H20. The author looks at the beloved beverage from the nostalgic perspective of someone who has had to give it up. As such, it’ll make you appreciate wine all the more.
'Of Mess and Moxie' by Jen Hatmaker (Aug. 8; Thomas Nelson)
Jen Hatmaker encourages readers to view pain and failure differently in Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight out of This Wild and Glorious Life. Her book highlights the strength of women and entertains with hilarious anecdotes from her past. She’ll show you it is OK to bench yourself on occasion — as long as you make sure to get back in the game.
'Good Booty' by Ann Powers (Aug. 15; Dey Street Books)
Ann Powers offers a fascinating history of popular music in Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music. Her book isn’t just about the music itself; she also looks at how specific artists and movements have shaped social issues like gender, sexuality, and race.
'To Siri with Love' by Judith Newman (Aug. 22; Harper)
Judith Newman shares a year in her family’s life in To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son, and the Kindness of Machines. In particular, Newman focuses on her son Gus, who has a special relationship with the Apple intelligent personal assistant Siri. Their story is unique, moving, and entertaining.
'Rabbit' by Patricia Williams, Jeannine Amber (Aug. 22; Dey Street Books)
Comedian Patricia Williams is candid about what it is like to grow up as a poor, black woman in Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat. Her story includes more than its share of struggle, but there are plenty of highs and humor, too. Having risen out of poverty, Williams shares the experience of not just surviving but thriving.
'Some Bright Morning, I’ll Fly Away' by Alice Anderson (Aug. 29; St. Martin’s Press)
Alice Anderson dives into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Some Bright Morning, I’ll Fly Away. Following the terrible storm, it wasn’t just her home and community that were damaged. When her husband’s mental health becomes a danger to her family, she has to rebuild her and her children’s lives.