6 books we can't wait to read in August

A new month means new books. Here are the most exciting Canadian new releases hitting shelves in August.

A new month means new books. Here are the most exciting Canadian new releases hitting shelves in August.

Trust No Aunty by Maria Qamar

Maria Qamar has translated her South Asian background into pop art, which has garnered her Instagram handle @hatecopy more than 100,000 followers. (Touchstone/The National)

What it's about: Artist Maria Qamar has penned a comic "survival guide" to her overbearing, but well-meaning, South Asian family. 

Why we're excited: Based on the popular Instagram account @hatecopy, Trust No Aunty promises to be a frank, fresh and funny exploration of growing up in between cultures while also tapping into the universal feeling that families can be, well, a bit much sometimes.

When you can read it: Aug. 1, 2017

Curry by Naben Ruthnum

Naben Ruthnum won the Journey Prize for short fiction in 2013. He also writes crime fiction under the pen name Nathan Ripley. (Coach House Books)

What it's about: The 2013 Journey Prize winner, crime fiction writer (under the pen name Nathan Ripley) and cultural critic tackles all things curry in this long-form essay. How did a dish that doesn't really exist come to ubiquitously represent Indian food and culture?

Why we're excited: Naben Ruthnum is one of Canada's most promising young writers and the Exploded Views series has brought forth eye-opening essays from exciting young voices such as The Last Word by Julia Cooper, which explored grief, and Closer by Sarah Barmak, which looked at female sexuality.

When you can read it: Aug. 14, 2017

A Mariner's Guide to Self Sabotage by Bill Gaston

Bill Gaston has been a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. (Douglas & McIntyre/Jen Steele)

What it's about: A short story collection bound by a cast of characters defined by the secrets they keep, including a vegan working at a fish farm, a man who is exchanging his car for a goat and someone planning to sink the very boat they are repairing.

Why we're excited: Bill Gaston is one of Canada's best storytellers. He's published more than a dozen books, and his previous two short story collections — Gargoyles and Juliet Was a Surprise — were finalists for the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. Gaston won the CBC Short Story Prize in 1998.

When you can read it: Aug. 26, 2017

The Last Wave by Gillian Best

The Last Wave is Gillian Best's first novel. (House of Anansi Press)

What it's about: Martha is a wife and mother who swam across the English Channel 10 times. A family drama that covers six decades and explores how one woman's drive to do the extraordinary has a lasting impact on those she loves and cares for.

Why we're excited: A novel that involves impressive physical feats and insightful explorations into a family over time by an exciting new voice in fiction? We're in.

When you can read it: Aug. 26, 2017

Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran

Gurjinder Basran's debut novel, Everything Was Good-bye, won the 2011 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. (Karolina Turek)

What it's about: Simran's marriage is falling apart. She's estranged from her daughter. And her mother has just died. All these things force Simran to confront her past and question the life she's built for herself. 

Why we're excited: Someone You Love Is Gone promises to be a compelling portrait of grief and adversity. Gurjinder Basran's debut novel, Everything Was Good-bye, won the 2011 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

When you can read it: Aug. 29, 2017

The Burning Girl by Claire Messud

Claire Messud is a creative writing professor and the author of eight novels. (W.W. Norton & Company/Canadian Press)

What it's about: Two young girls grow up best friends, close as sisters. But when they become teenagers, they begin to grow apart. When one of them decides to go on a dangerous journey, she risks their friendship as they know it forever.

Why we're excited: Canadian-American writer Claire Messud is one of the best at creating compelling characters and exploring the nature of human relationships. Her previous novel, The Woman Upstairs, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2013.

When you can read it: Aug. 29, 2017


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?