Amazon's Best Books of August: Today's Releases

Erin Kodicek on August 07, 2017

\ BOTM_ABRTwo sisters vanish, and when only one turns up to tell the harrowing tale, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter doubts her story. Proving that the reign of the unreliable narrator is not yet over, Wendy Walker’s Emma in the Night will have you guessing until the very last page. Senior Editor Seira Wilson calls it "a memorable and highly satisfying thriller."

Learn more about today's best books of the month releases below, or browse all of our favorites for August here.


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The Locals by Jonathan Dee
Back in 2012, Jonathan Dee wrote, “Only bad literature proselytizes…Great literature sees, without advocacy and without pity.” His new novel, The Locals, is indeed great, partly because it fulfills the requirements of that dictum. Dee doesn’t proselytize, but does “see” very clearly the intersecting lives of the residents of Howland, a fictional town in the Berkshires. After 9/11, a wealthy New York financier moves in, and in short order becomes the town’s First Selectman, eschewing a salary, repealing taxes, and behaving, in both popular and unpopular ways, like the prince of a blue-collar fiefdom. Dee, an extraordinary mimic, inhabits the quirky voice of one character, and then another. Those shifts of perspective give a polyphonic, democratic feel to this novel. Social isolation, real-estate speculation and the promise of love: it’s America in a microcosm, but it’s to Dee’s credit that his readers are never entirely sure how he thinks any of us could do better. --Sarah Harrison Smith

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Playing Hurt by John Saunders
For three decades beginning in 1986, John Saunders was a mainstay at ESPN, a jack-of-all-trades providing of thoughtful play-by-play, analysis, and commentary across a wide range of sports including basketball, football, and hockey, as well as anchoring the network’s flagship program, SportsCenter. For many, Saunders would appear to be leading an ideal existence – a happy family combined with a career that also happened to align with his passions – but off-camera, he was harboring a secret: debilitating depression that threatened everything he held dear, including his life. In this autobiography (written with John U. Bacon), Saunders lays bare his struggles, and the story is as harrowing as it is inspirational, a journey through our darkest pathways where the only way out is through. Made all the more profound by his unexpected death in 2016, Playing Hurt is a testament to human will, generosity, and the triumph of optimism.


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