14 New Books for August

This month, we’ve got our eyes on The Golden Fortress, The Cold Canyon Fire Journals, and 12 other titles by writers of the West.

august 2022 new books
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1 ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORIES OF THE UNITED STATES, BY CATHERINE CENIZA CHOY
alta new august 2022 book picks
Beacon Press

Almost 200 years of Asian American history are gathered into this book, which covers immigration, labor, daily life, anti-Asian violence and erasure, social histories, and artistic and scientific work. Drawing on a diverse range of individuals and experiences, Choy analyzes the many nuances of Asian American history. Beacon Press, August 2.

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2 CARRIE SOTO IS BACK, BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID
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Ballantine Books

After her minor role in Reid’s novel Malibu Rising, Carrie Soto gets the full-on treatment she deserves. Six years after retiring from professional tennis as the world’s best player, Carrie decides to get back into the game after watching a newcomer smash her records. But she’s slower and more vulnerable and has to deal with her unpopularity in the tennis world. Ballantine Books, August 30.

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3 THE COLD CANYON FIRE JOURNALS: GREEN SHOOTS AND SILVER LININGS IN THE ASHES, BY ROBIN LEE CARLSON
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Heyday

Ecological rebirth is the grounding force of this book, which highlights Carlson’s skills as a writer and artist. Based on five years of observing and researching Cold Canyon, which burned in the Wragg Fire in 2015, the author’s field notes, accompanied by detailed illustrations, remind us that fires are regenerative natural processes that convey the growing need for connection with the natural world. Heyday, August 2.

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4 DIARY OF A MISFIT: A MEMOIR AND A MYSTERY, BY CASEY PARKS
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Knopf

An Oregon transplant from the South, Parks came out in college and was met with intolerance. In Diary of a Misfit, she intertwines her own story with that of Roy Hudgins, a stranger her grandmother described as a woman who also lived as a man. Knopf, August 30.

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5 THE FISHERMEN AND THE DRAGON: FEAR, GREED, AND A FIGHT FOR JUSTICE ON THE GULF COAST, BY KIRK WALLACE JOHNSON
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Viking

Johnson investigates the circumstances that ignited unrest on the Texas Gulf Coast in the 1970s. As crab and shrimp disappear, white fishermen direct their ire at the newly arrived community of Vietnamese refugees, but one woman has the foresight to identify the real problem: companies spilling toxic waste into the Gulf. Viking, August 9.

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6 GOLDEN AX, BY RIO CORTEZ
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Penguin Books

Cortez’s poetry collection redefines frontierism through the lens of Black history and womanhood, rewriting the myths of the American West as she ruminates on the history of her family and ancestors. The poems are witty, weighty, and often profoundly radical in their approach to what has been and what may be to come. Penguin Books, August 30.

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7 THE GOLDEN FORTRESS: CALIFORNIA’S BORDER WAR ON DUST BOWL REFUGEES, BY BILL LASCHER
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Chicago Review Press

During the Great Depression, as thousands of displaced Americans fled the Dust Bowl for the promise of California, Los Angeles police chief James “Two-Gun” Davis employed a posse of handpicked officers to stem the tide of migrants. In this history, Lascher reveals the devastating consequences that police brutality against the poor imposes on democracy itself. Chicago Review Press, August 9.

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8 INTO ENEMY WATERS: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF THE DEMOLITION DIVERS WHO BECAME THE NAVY SEALS, BY ANDREW DUBBINS
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Diversion Books

George Morgan was only 17 when he joined the U.S. Navy’s then-new Underwater Demolition Teams, forerunner of the Navy Seals, during World War II. Dubbins re-creates that experience, which involved everything from clearing Nazi coastal defenses ahead of D-Day to traversing shark-infested waters in the Pacific, to produce a profile of courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Diversion Books, August 23.

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9 THE LAST HOUSEWIFE, BY ASHLEY WINSTEAD
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Sourcebooks Landmark

Winstead’s novel revolves around Shay Evans, who thought she had put the past behind her when she and her friend Laurel escaped from the cult that had entrapped them as college students in New England. Years later, however, after Laurel dies mysteriously, Shay leaves her safe Texas suburb to return to the scene of her nightmares. Sourcebooks Landmark, August 16.

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10 THE MANY DAUGHTERS OF AFONG MOY, BY JAMIE FORD
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Atria Books

When her five-year-old daughter starts to remember events that happened to her ancestors, poet Dorothy Moy undergoes an experimental treatment to save her daughter and find peace. Dorothy must confront the unresolved pain of her family, as well as a stranger who has been searching for her throughout generations, in Ford’s imaginative and vivid novel. Atria Books, August 2.

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11 MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS, BY ANTHONY MARRA
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Hogarth Press

Marra’s new novel tells the story of Italian immigrant Maria Lagana, whose stability is threatened when the United States plunges into World War II. Mercury Pictures, where she works as a producer, is flooded with a slew of European intellectuals looking for jobs, and among the newcomers is a stranger from her father’s past who knows secrets that have the power to shape her fate. Hogarth Press, August 2.

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12 THE RABBIT HUTCH, BY TESS GUNTY
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Knopf

In apartment C4 of a decrepit building known as the Rabbit Hutch, located in a dying midwestern town, live four teenagers who have just hit the age limit of state foster care. Los Angeles resident Gunty’s novel, which takes place over a week of their lives, revolves around the only woman in the group and raises questions of alienation, loneliness, intimacy, freedom, and rebirth. Knopf, August 2.

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13 TERRAFORM: WATCH/WORLDS/BURN, EDITED BY BRIAN MERCHANT AND CLAIRE EVANS
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MCD X FSG Originals

Vice’s Terraform science fiction series finds a new home in this anthology edited by Merchant and Evans, which imagines the near future of our crumbling, burning planet. The stories here—written by contributors Ellen Ullman, Elvia Wilk, and Gus Moreno, among others—are intended to upend our ideas of the inevitable. MCD X FSG Originals, August 16.

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14 TOMORROW IN SHANGHAI, AND OTHER STORIES, BY MAY-LEE CHAI
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Blair

From a doctor harvesting organs in rural China to an immigrant trying to make it working at a restaurant in Denver, the characters in Chai’s complex and beautiful collection must confront multiculturalism, their own desire for approval, the hopes and disappointments of immigration, racism, and much more. Blair, August 30.

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