The Best Books We Read in August

by |September 3, 2019
Best Books We Read in August - Header

August has been a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ kind of month, but luckily our resident booklovers managed to get a lot of good reading done. With books by Tayari Jones, Elif Shafak, Chloe Higgins and more in the mix, scroll down to see the best books we read in August!


Olivia Fricot – Senior Content Producer

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Best Books We Read in August - An American Marriage

Why I loved it: The 2019 winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction and a favourite of notable readers like Barack Obama, Tayari Jones’ novel about a young African-American couple in the deep south is like a knife to the heart. Roy and Celestial have barely been married a year when Roy is falsely accused of rape and imprisoned. Years later, with his conviction overturned, Roy returns to find that everything with Celestial has changed and that the past they once shared may not survive their future. An American Marriage is a stunning novel about disrupted love that is sharp, eloquent and breathtaking in its compassion.

Buy it here.


Bron Eley – Social Media Coordinator

Monuments by Will Kostakis

Best Books We Read in August - Monuments

Why I loved it: From the first sentence I was utterly hooked! This is a super fun, fast-paced read that really proves why Will Kostakis is a YA star. His protagonist Connor is a delight and I was constantly chuckling amidst all the action! With an imagination to match the best of them, Kostakis’ Monuments is an absolute must.

Buy it here.


Ben Hunter – Fiction Category Manager

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

August - 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World

Why I loved it:

A love letter to Turkey’s conflicted, cosmopolitan capital and the innumerable, wonderful people who live there in various states of oppression, this is one of the most creative and exhilarating books I’ve read this year. The author has given herself the challenge of writing a main character who has been murdered moments before the novel begins. In the 10 and a half minutes it takes for her brain to finally shut down, we rush through her life in a kind of Proustian recall.

This is a thoughtful, funny, enraging and heartbreaking novel full of history and wisdom – the perfect vessel to explore the contradictions where east meets west, capitalism meets fundamentalism and where democracy meets totalitarianism.

Buy it here.


Joel Naoum – Non-Fiction Category Manager

The Girls by Chloe Higgins

August - The Girls

Why I loved it: Darkly funny, moving and engaging, The Girls is a fascinating, almost novelistic treatment of a young woman’s grief and how she interacts with her family and rebuilds herself following a tragic accident. It’s in a similar vein to a trend of close-perspective non-fiction lately, so if you liked The Erratics, Three Women or Any Ordinary Day I’m betting you’ll love this.

Buy it here.


Shanulisa Prasad – Lifestyle Category Manager

Hungry by Jeff Gordinier

August - Hungry

Why I loved it: This book is a really thoughtful and contemplative exploration of the psyche of one of the world’s most respected chefs, Rene Redzepi. It’s also a rollicking adventure tale, with evocatively-described locations and food – I highly recommend!

Buy it here.


Sarah McDuling – Kids & YA Category Manager

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Best Books August - The Deathless Girls

Why I loved it: Deeply engaging and beautifully written, this compelling feminist retelling of Dracula explores the fascinating origin story of Dracula’s brides. A tale of myth and legend, full of vivid descriptions of gothic Transylvanian castles and deep, tangled woods, The Deathless Girls unfolds with mesmerising prose like a dark romantic fantasy. This book is a fierce fairytale about sisterhood, courage and the extraordinary resilience of women – the perfect book for readers who loved The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White … and, of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula!

Buy it here.


Robert O’Hearn – Academic & Professional Category Manager

Castaway by Robert Macklin

Best Books August - Castaway

Why I loved it: Just when you think you know all the quirky stories of Australia’s colonial past, another bobs to the surface. Castaway tells the fascinating true story of Narcisse Pelletier, a 14-year-old French cabin boy stranded by an 1858 shipwreck in Cape York and rescued by the local indigenous community. A riveting story, it adds depth to our scant knowledge of the considerable French interaction with the Australian colony, and restores the role of Aboriginal saviours to stories of white heroics. This previously obscure tale of seventeen years of survival in a very harsh place is backed by considerable research. Extraordinarily told with verve and skill by Macklin, Castaway is sure to take you away.

Buy it here.


Cass Sharpe – Merchandising Coordinator

The Adventure Zone Vol. 1: Here There Be Gerblins by Carey Pietsch, Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy and Justin McElroy

Best Books August - The Adventure Zone

Why I loved it: The McElroy family and artist Carey Pietsch have blended the comedic mayhem of the hit D&D podcast The Adventure Zone into a graphic novel you won’t be able to put down! I loved every page of this, from Griffin’s interjections to Merle, Taako and Magnus’ bickering, along with Carey Pietsch’s eye for detail, with stunning backgrounds and seemingly effortless gestures. If you love the podcast, you need this in your life.

Buy it here.


There you have it – the best books we read in August! Let us know what the best book you read this month is in the comments!

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About the Contributor

Olivia Fricot is the Editor of the Booktopian Blog. After finishing a soul-crushing law degree, she decided that life was much better with one's nose in a book and quickly defected to the world of Austen and Woolf. You can usually find her reading (obviously), baking, writing questionable tweets, and completing a Master's degree in English literature. Just don't ask about her thesis. Olivia is on Twitter and Instagram @livfricot - follow at your own risk.

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