10 must-read books you don't want to miss this August

Aug 5 2021, 3:00 pm

From romantic comedies and bone-chilling thrillers to important works of nonfiction on topics of autism and racism, these are the 10 books you need to read this month. 

Falling by TJ Newman

A pilot boards a flight with 143 passengers on board. Right before take off, he finds out that his family has been taken hostage, and he has two choices. He can crash the plane to save his family, or save the passengers and his family will be killed. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. This is the best thriller I’ve read all year! 

Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller

Nationally and internationally recognized activist and survivor Clayton Thomas-Muller ties together personal stories of survival that bring the realities of the First Nations of this land into sharp focus in this heart stopping memoir. This book binds together the urgent issues of Indigenous rights and environmental policy, and is an absolute must-read. 

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

Favourite romantic comedy of the summer, Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is hilarious, heartwarming, and beautifully written. Nina George Dean, born August 3, 1986, is the protagonist in Alderton’s debut novel. She’s a highly relatable and witty food writer with one book out and two more on the way. 

When she downloads a dating app, she does the seemingly impossible: meets a great guy on her first date and the two hit it off immediately. But when Max ghosts her, Nina is forced to deal with everything she’s been trying so hard to ignore.

The Heartbeat of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

This book transported me to the calming and lush surroundings of the forest. In an era of social media addiction, climate change, and city life, many of us fear we’ve lost our connection to nature, but author Peter Wohlleben is convinced that age-old ties linking humans to the forest remain alive and intact. The Heartbeat of Trees shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste the forest. 

The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

If you like reading about startup culture, you’ll love this book. The Startup Wife centres around the lives of Asha Ray and Cyrus Jones. Cyrus inspires Asha to write a new algorithm. Before she knows it, she’s abandoned her PhD program, they’ve exchanged vows, and gone to work at an exclusive tech incubator called Utopia. 

We’re Not Broken by Eric Garcia

We’re Not Broken is an expansion of Eric’s insightful 2015 article “I’m Not Broken,” about his life and career as an autistic journalist working at high-profile news outlets in Washington, DC. He put into writing what so many autistic people have been saying for years: autism is a part of their identity, and they don’t need to be fixed.

We’re Not Broken includes broadening the narrative of autism to include people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, women, people from low-income households, and people with careers of all kinds. An important read for everyone, this book took my breath away. 


An ambitious mother puts her art career on hold to stay at home with her newborn son, but the experience isn’t quite what she imagined it would be. Two years later, while taking a break from her toddler’s demands, she discovers a dense patch of hair on the back of her neck and becomes convinced she’s turning into a dog. An outrageously original novel of ideas about art, power, and womanhood wrapped in a satirical fairy tale, Nightbitch will leave you howling for more.

Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Written by Lisa Bird-Wilson, a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer, Probably Ruby is a  brave and beautiful book about an adopted woman’s search for her Indigenous identity. Given up as an infant, Ruby is placed in a foster home and adopted by Alice and Mel, but when her new parents’ marriage falls apart, Ruby begins to search, in the unlikeliest of places, for her Indigenous roots.

The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat

Set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Most Precious Substance on Earth is both darkly funny, deeply moving, at times unsettling, even shocking. This book, by award-winning New Westminster-based author Shashi Bhat, examines the fraught relationships that can exist between teachers and students, and between those who take and those who have something taken.

Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir by George Elliott Clarke

Brought to us from one of Canada’s best known poets and our former Parliamentary Poet Laureate, Where Beauty Survived is a vibrant, revealing memoir about the cultural and familial pressures that shaped Clarke’s early life in the Black Canadian community he calls Africadia, centred in Halifax. 

Where Beauty Survived is the tale of a complicated family, of the emotional stress that white racism exerts on Black households, of the unique cultural geography of Africadia, of a child who became a poet, and of long-kept secrets.

Sean LoughranSean Loughran

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