Riot Headline The Most Read Books on Goodreads This Week

The Best New Book Releases Out August 1, 2023

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

This year is flying by! It’s already the first of a new month, and the new books I have for you are from popular and newer authors alike. YA darling Elizabeth Acevedo makes her adult debut with a delicately magical tale of the women of a Dominican American family. My lovely co-workers, Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams, have assembled a fire collection of Greek mythology-inspired stories — just as the Romans adapted the Greek mythos to fit themselves, so too does this new collection reflect us as we are.

Lost loves and talismans, memoirs penned with “one good finger,” historical Japanese American mysteries, and more await you in today’s new releases.

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo is the National Book Award-winning author of The Poet X, With the Fire on High, and more, and Family Lore is her adult debut. In it, Flor Marte has a gift that lets her predict when someone will die. It’s because of this gift that, when Flor tells her family she wants to have a living wake for herself, they’re worried. Has she seen her own death? Someone else’s? She keeps her sisters Matilde, Pastor, and Camila in the dark. Meanwhile, in the three days leading up to the wake, we learn of the rich inner lives of the Marte women — Matilde’s marriage issues, Pastora’s drive, and Camila’s need to stand out. We even learn of their cousins, Yadi and Ona, one of whom is being reunited with their love, who’s been imprisoned since they were young, and another who is struggling with the decision of having a child.

cover of Fit for the Gods: Greek Mythology Reimagined, edited by  Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams 

Fit for the Gods: Greek Mythology Reimagined, edited by Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams 

Greek mythology is forever That Girl, and here, Book Riot’s own Jenn Northington and S. Zainab Williams have edited and contributed to a collection that reimagines stories and characters that have traveled through several millennia. Authors Alyssa Cole, Zoraida Córdova, Zeyn Joukhadar, Mia P. Manansala, Valerie Valdes, and others all write these ancient myths into the modern day, bending gender and race, and making stories delightfully more queer.

cover of Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw: Reimagining Success as a Disabled Achiever

Sipping Dom Pérignon Through a Straw: Reimagining Success as a Disabled Achiever by Eddie Ndopu 

The official blurb for this book mentions how Ndopu, a global humanitarian with muscular atrophy, wrote this memoir with “one good finger.” And it’s with that one good finger that he excelled in school when told he wouldn’t make it past age 5, became a highly requested speaker on disability justice in his teens, and got accepted to Oxford University. But it’s also been a struggle — Ndopu speaks on how, while he has the opportunity to do things like sip on bubbly with the world’s leaders, he’s also had to fight that much harder for his success because of the ableist world we live in. Case in point, Ndopu has struggled to get accommodations from Oxford, with all their money and resources.

cover of Evergreen by NAOMI HIRAHARA

Evergreen by Naomi Hirahara

This is the second book in a series that has an award-winning first book — Clark and Division — but I don’t think you need to have read the first to appreciate this one. It’s 1946, and the Ito family has been released from the Manzanar detention center and allowed to return to their home state California like many other Japanese Americans who were forced into incarceration camps. Aki Ito returns to life as a nurse’s aide and comes across an abused elderly man who turns out to be the father of her husband’s best friend Shinji Watanabe. The case has her wondering if her husband’s friend could really be guilty of elder abuse, but then a shooting sets her on the path of answering even bigger questions.

cover of The Peach Seed by Anita Gail Jones

The Peach Seed by Anita Gail Jones

Off the coast of South Carolina, a tradition is born — for one family, on each son’s 13th birthday, he’ll be gifted a talisman made from a peach seed. This tradition starts in slavery and continues until one of the sons, Fletcher Dukes, breaks it, instead gifting his peach seed monkey to his love Altovise. And it’s Altovise’s perfume he smells on a trip to the grocery store one day when he’s in his 60s — and their history of marches, sit-ins, fairs, and even marriage plans unfolds. Through Altovise and Fletcher, we see how small choices can shape generations.

cover of Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping  Shane McCrae

Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping by Shane McCrae

When he was a toddler, McCrae was kidnapped from his Black father by his deeply racist white maternal grandparents. They tried their best to erase his Blackness and even had him participate in his own disappearance at one point. For years, he didn’t understand that what had happened to him was indeed kidnapping, but here he explores it with the deftness expected of an award-winning poet.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!