Books of the Month: August 2020

Books of the Month: August 2020

Every month, The Bookseller's expert previewers highlight a selection of the new fiction, non-fiction, children's and paperback titles coming out. Here, we share their top picks for August's new releases.

Please note, given the present COVID-19 situation, all publication dates are subject to change.

  1. 1

    Fiction Book of the Month

    Summerwater by Sarah Moss
    Publisher: Picador
    RRP: £14.99
    Publication date: August 20th 2020
    ISBN: 9781529035438

    Books editor Alice O'Keeffe selected Sarah Moss' Summerwater as her August Book of the Month. Summerwater is set in a rainy Scottish campsite over the course of a single day and night at the height of summer. The visitors are mostly stuck inside their cabins because of bad weather, with not much to do except watch the other residents. O'Keeffe said: "There is a sense of unease from the beginning of the novel, that builds — almost imperceptibly — to a deafening thrum of dread, and by the time I reached the end of the novel I could hardly breathe. So, so good."

    Subscribers can read the full August 2020 Fiction Previews here.

  2. 2

    Non-Fiction Book of the Month

    Vesper Flights by Helen Macdonald 
    Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
    RRP: £16.99
    Publication date: August 27th 2020
    ISBN: 9780224097017

    Helen Macdonald's collection of essays about human relationship to the natural world is Caroline Sanderson's choice for August non-fiction Book of the Month. Vesper Flights is a collection of "urgent pieces designed to open our eyes to these terrible times for the environment," says Sanderson.

    Sanderson also praised Macdonald's first title, H is for Hawk.

    Subscribers can read the full August 2020 Non-Fiction Previews here.

  3. 3

    Children's Book of the Month

    Death Sets Sail: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery by Robin Stevens
    Publisher: Puffin
    RRP: £6.99
    Publication date: August 4th 2020
    ISBN: 9780241419809

    "Fiendishly clever", "triumphant" and "superb" are just some of the ways that Fiona Noble described her August Book of the Month, Death Sets Sail.

    In this ninth and final installment of the series, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells head to Egypt for a Nile cruise, travelling with school friend Amina, boy detectives The Junior Pinkertons and Hazel's father and sisters. Also aboard are the Breath of Life, is a strange cult of genteel English ladies and gentlemen. When the cult leader is found in their cabin, the Detective Society sets out on their most dangerous adventure yet. 

    Subscribers can read the full August 2020 Children's Previews here.

  4. 4

    Paperback Book of the Month

    My Penguin Year by Lindsay McCrae
    Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks 
    RRP: £9.99
    Publication date: August 20th 2020
    ISBN: 9781529325478

    Alison Flood chose Lindsay McCrae's My Penguin Year: Living with the Emperors —A Journey of Discovery as her August Book of the Month. At age 14, McCrae wrote to "Springwatch" to tell them about a family of badgers he watched in his garden that would be prefect for the next series. They got in touch, and by 18 McCrae became a runner for "Springwatch" and soon after, a Bafta-winning cameraman. 

    His memoir tracks the year he spent with Emperor penguins in the Antarctic, a lifelong dream which he nearly didn't take up because the project lasted for 11 months, and meant he would miss the birth of his first child. Flood said: "My Penguin Year is a delight. The perfect corrective to our new stay-at-home lifestyle, it also features McCrae's stunning photography of the Antarctic region and its residents, and comes with a fluffy penguin chick on the front cover: what more could you want?"

    Subscribers can read the full August 2020 Paberback Previews here.