Amazon's Best Books of August: Today's Releases

FuriesThe author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas traces Ireland's tumultuous post-war history through the eyes of Cyril Avery, a man unmoored and in search of where he came from, who spends far too much of his life trying to shake off feelings of shame, and illegitimacy. At 562 pages, would-be readers might shy away from the novel's literal, and emotional heft, but as reviewer Al Woodworth assures: "Boyne has paced The Heart's Invisible Furies perfectly, providing the reader one of the greatest gifts that fiction can deliver: hope."

Learn more about today's best books of the month releases below, or browse all of our favorites for August here.

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Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
“This book nearly destroyed me; you gotta read it." That’s what a colleague said to me about Ayobami Adebayo’s searing debut novel, Stay with Me (and not sadistically!). Taking place in Nigeria, it's the story of Yejide and Akin--a young married couple who are experiencing fertility issues. When the in-laws’ solution is a second wife, they conspire separately to save their relationship, with devastating consequences. I quickly gathered what my colleague meant--much of this novel is a series of unfortunate events. So much so, and sometimes to such cinematic extremes, that when Adebayo interjects humor into the narrative, it’s easily mistaken for something sinister (even when it involves breastfeeding a goat). But her gift is making these extremes make sense. After all, it’s some of our most intimate and profound struggles that can compel us to react in the craziest of ways—ways that just might destroy what was meant to be preserved. Adebayo is such a skilled storyteller that you will forgive Yejide and Akin some serious trespasses; you will weep for their once-happy union that buckles so spectacularly beneath the weight of cultural pressures--pressures that warp their sense of what constitutes a worthwhile life. The couple’s efforts to disentangle their true desires from the ones tradition and society have foisted upon them is what imbues Stay with Me with unexpected power, and heart. You definitely gotta read it. --Erin Kodicek
 

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Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams
In many ways Patricia Williams’ has led an extraordinary life. Raised in a family of alcoholics and hustlers, she was at ground zero when the crack epidemic of the 1980s hit the impoverished neighborhoods of inner city Atlanta. Her mother taught her to roll drunks by the time she was eight; if they were hungry enough she and her siblings would go to the ER and wait for the candy stripers to come through with sandwiches for waiting families. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In the third grade Williams—nicknamed Rabbit—first saw the possibility of a different life, thanks to a teacher who took a sympathetic interest. But the rules and role models in the rest of her world had a stronger pull, and soon enough Williams began to model the success she saw every day—in the drug dealers. As you read Williams’ memoir it’s impossible not to be shocked and bewildered. But you will also feel compassion. And Williams not only allows you to laugh, she makes it damn near impossible not to. Her wit and levity, hand-in-hand with hardship, mistakes, and self-discovery, makes Williams’ memoir, Rabbit, impressive and memorable. --Seira Wilson
 

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