August 2020 Books

What’s new and good to read this month? Annakarin Klerfalk has a look at what’s on offer and chooses three good reads for August. The Midnight Library, Eight Detectives and Shuggie Bain are all out in August.

The Midnight Library

Matt Haig, bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How to Stop Time, is back with a time travel novel called The Midnight Library.

Nora Seed’s life has been full of misery and regret but when she enters the midnight library, she has a chance to make things right. The books in the library allow Nora to live as if she had made different choices in her life. But, by doing so, she puts herself and the library in extreme danger. Will she find the best way to live before she runs out of time?

Matt Haig’s books have sold over a million copies in the UK and his work has been translated into over forty languages. He also writes children’s books and has won the Blue Peter Award and the Smarties Book Prize. The Midnight Library is published by Canongate on 13 August and it’s their lead fiction for 2020.

Eight Detectives

Eight Detectives is written by Alex Pavesi, a former Waterstones bookseller. Michael Joseph (Penguin Randomhouse) pre-empted eight other publishers to this debut.

A professor of mathematics, Grant McAllister, once sat down and worked out all the rules for murder mysteries and wrote seven detective stories to prove it. Thirty years have passed and Grant now lives on a remote island where an editor, called Julia Hart, turns up and wishes to republish his book. She quickly finds herself with a mystery to solve but she doesn’t yet know about the murder.

The reviews for this thriller have been extraordinary. Alex North, bestselling author of The Whisper Man, said “I couldn’t put Eight Detectives down… I genuienly wanted to applaud at the end.”
Eight Detectives is published on 20 August.

Shuggie Bain

Shuggie Bain is a coming-of-age debut written by Douglas Stuart, who was born and raised in Glasgow, where the novel is set.

The year is 1981 and the families in Glasgow are struggling to survive. Shuggie’s alcoholic mother, Agnes, ends up alone with her three children and they are trapped in hopeless poverty. But Shuggie thinks that if he tries really hard, he can live a normal life and not only help his mother escape but also save her.

Washington Post reviewed it as “A debut novel that reads like a masterpiece, Shuggie Bain gives voice to the kind of helpless, hopeless love that children can feel toward broken parents.”
Shuggie Bain is a leading debut for Picador and it’s published on 6 August.

Annakarin Klerfalk

Anna is a literary agent based in Chiswick who is keen to hear from authors trying to get their books published. Contact her on She used to run the Waterstones bookshop in Chiswick. You can read more about her and Intersaga here.

See more of Anna’s book choices here