Most Anticipated August 2018 Books

Leah Angstman
The Coil
Published in
6 min readAug 9, 2018


The Coil dishes the best new books to read this month. Poetry for our times, debut story collections, historical feminism, & more.

The Carrying
Ada Limón
Limón’s poems are tender, vulnerable, timely, important, and filled with heart.

TV Girls
Dana Diehl
Winner of the 7th Annual New Delta Review Chapbook Contest, Diehl’s story collection touches on the lives of vulnerable women and reality TV.

The Girl and the Fox Pirate
Kate Gehan
Gehan’s debut story collection is a wry, candid look at our relationships with families and ourselves.

Glimmerglass Girl
Holly Lyn Walrath
Beautiful poems about the hidden depths of womanhood, fragility, and strength.

Thanks for Nothing
Deb Jannerson
Jannerson’s poetry collection floats seamlessly between nature, pop culture, mythos, and politics.

French Exit
Patrick deWitt
One of our favorite weirdo writers returns with a darkly comic novel that is sure to showcase his fierce wit and oddball humor.

The Third Hotel
Laura van den Berg
Psychological surreality and metaphysical mystery abound in this ace storyteller’s latest novel of the secrets of a marriage and a death.

Stephen Markley
A lyrical novel set in smalltown Ohio amid a recession and an opioid crisis, where four former classmates confront their shared history.

True Ash
Elizabeth J. Colen & Carol Guess
Colen’s & Guess’ stories touch on technology, the cost of privacy, and intimacy in the heart of the digital age.

The Line That Held Us
David Joy
The master of dark and moody brings us a novel about the cover-up of an accidental death and the rippling consequences of it.

Crowd Surfing with God
Adrienne Novy
A coming-of-age story of mental illness, genetic disorders, and self-acceptance told through poems.

Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History
Keith O’Brien
The untold true stories of five defying women pilots who dared to break into the men’s club and race planes in the 1920s and ’30s.

How Are You Going to Save Yourself
J. M. Holmes
Four men struggle with being black in a racist, tumultuous America in this timely debut.

Whiskey When We’re Dry
John Larison
Gritty, lyrical historical fiction about an orphan in 1885 suddenly alone on a Western homestead.

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America
Beth Macy
A journalist with experience in the opioid crisis that is eating America’s center gives us the first comprehensive account of its kind.

Baby, You’re Gonna Be Mine
Kevin Wilson
Wilson’s first collection in nearly a decade brings out his oddities and quirkiness with stories about parents and children.

The World in a Grain
Vince Beiser
The story of our most overlooked commodity — sand — and how it transformed civilization.

A Girl’s Guide to Missiles
Karen Piper
A memoir of coming of age on a secretive missile facility out in the middle of a desert location built exclusively for war.

This Mournable Body
Tsitsi Dangarembga
Race, gender, class, and age issues in Zimbabwe and how these forces feed and act on women.

We That Are Young
Preti Taneja
A modern-day King Lear set in contemporary India focusing on power struggles within a family and the illness that is destroying it.

Ling Ma
A millennial, first-generation American office drone devoted to routine comes of age in this witty apocalyptic satire.

Certain American States
Catherine Lacey
A literary collection of stories about the human condition and ordinary people seeking to find the extraordinary in their lives.

Playing to the Gods: Sarah Bernhardt, Eleonora Duse, and the Rivalry That Changed Acting Forever
Peter Rader
The story of the rivalry between the two most renowned actresses of the 19th century and their lasting legacies.

Notes from the Fog
Ben Marcus
Timely existential dystopian visions of the modern world in stories that are comical, witty, and apt.

Pandemic 1918
Catharine Arnold
Arnold’s narrative of eyewitness accounts marks the 100th anniversary of the epidemic that altered world history: Spanish Flu.

Olga Tokarczuk
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize, a collection of stories perfect for our time by an acclaimed Polish author.

Everyday People: The Color of Life
Jennifer Baker, ed.
A thoughtfully curated anthology of short stories that presents new and renowned work by established and emerging writers of color.

Travels with Foxfire: Stories of People, Passions, and Practices from Southern Appalachia
Phil Hudgins & Jessica Phillips
Hudgins and Phillips collect stories that preserve and celebrate the culture of the folks who call Southern Appalachia home.

Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island
Earl Swift
A haunting, true, and timely portrait of a 200-year-old crabbing community that faces extinction in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters
Anne Boyd Rioux
Rioux examines why this tale of family and community ties still resonates with women 150 years later.

Hungry People
Tasha Coryell
Coryell’s stories are ripe and energetic in this collection of food for hungry hearts.

LEAH ANGSTMAN serves as Editor-in-Chief for Alternating Current Press and The Coil magazine, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a proofreader for Pacific Standard. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Electric Literature, Slice Magazine, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere. Find her at her website.



Leah Angstman
The Coil

Historian, The Coil & Alternating Current editor-in-chief, book nerd, author of OUT FRONT THE FOLLOWING SEA (Regal House, Jan 2022).