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Your Shelf Life: 5 Books to Read in August

A curated list of this month's top reads


Patrick deWitt’s French Exit is the story of a New York high society widow who decamps to Paris with her son, running from scandal and bankruptcy, only to spiral hilariously downward in the City of Lights.

With unreliable narrators, Caz Frear’s debut novel, Sweet Little Lies, is the perfect summer police procedural. Detective Cat Kinsella’s father is a suspect in a case, forcing her to investigate a murder from her past.

Laura van den Berg’s The Third Hotel reflects on marriages and horror movie tropes. The novel places its protagonist in Havana for a horror film festival after the death of her husband, whom she sees alive in the streets.

Screenwriter, TV scribe, and Esquire Contributing Editor Lea Carpenter’s Red, White, Blue follows Anna, a young girl coping with the loss of her father. Her journey uncovers new intel about him, like ties to the CIA.

New York Times journalist C. J. Chivers’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting on a marine’s postwar violence culminates in The Fighters, capturing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through those deployed.

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