Amazon's best books of August

Erin Kodicek on August 18, 2020
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Amazon's best books of August

A heart-wrenching memoir from a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, another from "an astronomical Indiana Jones," and the latest thriller from the author of Anatomy of a Scandal

Learn more about these and all of our picks for the Best Books of the Month.


Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Natasha Trethewey’s taut memoir will leave you breathless and sad, but please trust me when I say it’s worth the read. Perhaps it’s no surprise this poet is a beautiful, provocative writer; the way she describes, unpacks, and shares what it was like to grow up with a Black mother and a white father, and to have her mother killed when Trethewey was only 19, is tragically clear-eyed. Trethewey digs into her mother’s life, and her own childhood, and in so doing she gives shape to the embedded racism of this country, which feels incredibly relevant today. At the same time, she describes how childhood trauma and the fierce love of her mother shaped her heart, mind, and art. —Sarah Gelman


The Smallest Lights in the Universe: A Memoir by Sara Seager

Sara Seager is an MIT professor, an astrophysicist, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient, and is referred to by NASA as “an astronomical Indiana Jones.” And now she can add brilliant memoirist to her list of accomplishments. In The Smallest Lights in the Universe, Seager shares the landscape of her own cosmos—her childhood and life as an astronomer, discovering companionship when your mind works a bit differently than everyone else’s, and how she navigated the loss of her husband. There’s something familiar and hopeful about her words, or maybe she’s just effortlessly channeling her beloved night sky: comforting, limitless, dark, and dazzling. —Al Woodworth


Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

In Anatomy of a Scandal, Sarah Vaughn wove a white-knuckle thriller out of the #MeToo movement. White knuckles will be the order of the day with Little Disasters too, as Vaughn spins a story out of what has to be every parent's nightmare. When the baby daughter of one of her friends is brought to her for treatment, pediatrician Liz faces a dilemma. As sure as she is that Jess would never harm her own child, there's irrefutable medical evidence that someone has. But Liz's obligation to report her findings will cause problems: personal, professional, and legal. —Vannessa Cronin


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