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Here Are the 12 New Books You Should Read in August



What can history teach us about who we are today? It’s a question of enormous scope, but one that the authors of this month’s best books tackle with honesty and care. In her highly anticipated book Caste, journalist Isabel Wilkerson outlines a new framework to understand social hierarchy in the United States. In their twisty novels, Daisy Johnson and Charlotte McConaghy examine what makes people run away from the lives they once led. And in a sweeping collection of Native poetry, the voices of more than 160 poets demonstrate the evolution of Native literature. These books, among several others, pose crucial questions about how the past shapes the present.

Here, the 12 new books to read in August.

The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi (Aug. 4)

The first chapter of Akwaeke Emezi’s latest novel contains just one sentence: “They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.” From there, the story moves forward and backward in time, unveiling the titular character’s coming-of-age in Nigeria, where his family struggled to accept who he wanted to be. In chapters that flip between various voices in Vivek’s life, including Vivek’s own, Emezi dissects how a community can grieve a person they never truly understood.

Buy Now: The Death of Vivek Oji on Bookshop | Amazon

The Disaster Tourist, Yun Ko-Eun (Aug. 4)

After being sexually assaulted by her colleague, Yona Ko wants to leave Jungle, the travel agency where they both work. But when she tries to resign, she’s presented with an intriguing offer: a paid trip to one of Jungle’s destinations. But Jungle isn’t a normal travel agency—they specialize in disaster tourism, building itineraries in areas once hit by tsunamis, hurricanes and more. The Disaster Tourist follows Yona as she embarks on an increasingly strange and thrilling trip to the island of Mui, where she discovers the very dark sides of the tourism industry.

Buy Now: The Disaster Tourist on Bookshop | Amazon

Migrations, Charlotte McConaghy (Aug. 4)

Franny Stone has just arrived in Greenland, and she’s on a mission: to track the last migration of the Arctic tern. The 30-something from Galway talks her way onto a fishing boat and begins a dangerous journey at sea. Set in a world eerily similar to our own, Migrations is a bleak look into a future where wildlife is disappearing at a rapid rate, leaving Franny desperate to chase the terns before they’re gone for good. But why that bird? In uncovering the answer, McConaghy paints a gutting portrait of a woman worn down by a world she never quite fit into.

Buy Now: Migrations on Bookshop | Amazon

Love After Love, Ingrid Persaud (Aug. 4)

In the years that follow the death of her abusive husband, Betty Ramdin opens up her home to her colleague Mr. Chetan. The two live together platonically and raise Betty’s son Solo, rebuilding a family unit that was once shattered. But this new unit falls apart when Solo discovers a secret from his mother’s past—one that drives him to flee their home in Trinidad for New York. Written in Trinidadian dialect, Ingrid Persaud’s bruising debut delves into the heartbreaks that accompany everyday life, culminating in a powerful examination of what it means to be part of a family.

Buy Now: Love After Love on Bookshop | Amazon

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, Isabel Wilkerson (Aug. 4)

The latest book from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson focuses on the formation of social hierarchy in the United States by exploring the country’s unspoken caste system. Wilkerson provides a masterful framework for understanding American inequality, building on more than a decade of research, to illuminate the divisions that occur in the United States, widening the scope beyond race and class. In highlighting the ways the caste systems of America, India and Nazi Germany are all connected, Wilkerson forces her readers to reevaluate the systems into which people are born.

Buy Now: Caste on Bookshop | Amazon

Belabored: A Vindication of the Rights of Pregnant Women, Lyz Lenz (Aug. 11)

Writer and editor Lyz Lenz wants us to start treating pregnant women differently. In her searing new book, she analyzes why it’s so difficult to be pregnant in America, blending together historical research, feminist theory and her own experiences as an expectant parent. She asks us to consider our definitions of pregnancy and motherhood, the imagery that they conjure and the myths that need debunking. In a voice full of humor, passion and urgency, Lenz asks that women be the ones making decisions about their bodies.

Buy Now: Belabored on Bookshop | Amazon

A House Is a Body: Stories, Shruti Swamy (Aug. 11)

In her debut collection, Shruti Swami explores lust, loss and loneliness through 12 short stories set in the United States and India. The characters in A House Is a Body navigate disasters on small and large scales: in one story a man wrestles with grief over his wife’s death as he continues to raise their child, in another a woman is trapped in her home as a nearby wildfire picks up speed. Throughout, Swamy connects the narratives through her clean prose, punctuating moments both surreal and eerily realistic.

Buy Now: A House Is a Body on Bookshop | Amazon

When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry, Joy Harjo (editor)(Aug. 25)

More than 160 poets from almost 100 Indigenous nations comprise this comprehensive anthology, which showcases poetry that span centuries. The five sections of the collection represent the different geographical regions of the United States, and include a range of voices, from Eleazar, a 17th-century student at Harvard, to contemporary poets like Tommy Pico and Layli Long Soldier. The anthology, edited by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, celebrates the power of Native literature and underlines the impact it has had on American poetry.

Buy Now: When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through on Bookshop | Amazon

Sisters, Daisy Johnson (Aug. 25)

Can sisters ever be too close? It’s the question at the core of Daisy Johnson’s unsettling new novel, which traces the plight of teenage sisters July and September. The girls recently moved with their mother to a remote cottage on the coast after fleeing their home in Oxford. In unraveling exactly what the sisters are running away from, Johnson crafts an aching thriller about the dangers of loving too intensely.

Buy Now: Sisters on Bookshop | Amazon

Vesper Flights, Helen Macdonald (Aug. 25)

In her 2015 memoir H is for Hawk, naturalist Helen Macdonald reflected on how her relationship with a goshawk helped her grieve her father’s death. In her new collection Vesper Flights, Macdonald again grapples with feelings of loss and love and relates them to wildlife. In essays both new and old, Macdonald makes stunning observations about the animals that surround us, from cranes in Hungary to songbirds in New York City, revealing what these creatures can teach us about ourselves.

Buy Now: Vesper Flights on Bookshop | Amazon

Summer, Ali Smith (Aug. 25)

Like its predecessors, the fourth and final installment of Ali Smith’s beloved Seasonal Quartet series is anchored in the very real tensions of our present moment. Set against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, Summer dives into our current sociopolitical landscape through the story of siblings Sacha and Robert. As the duo attempts to understand their place in the world, Smith weaves in characters from past books and tackles issues like immigration and Brexit.

Buy Now: Summer on Bookshop | Amazon

Winter Counts, David Heska Wanbli Weiden (Aug. 25)

At the center of David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s crime thriller is Virgil Wounded Horse, the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Though he’s used to doling out punishments in his community, things get personal when his nephew overdoses on heroin. In Winter Counts, Virgil becomes obsessed with figuring out how the drugs got into the reservation, leading him on a gripping journey to Denver with his ex-girlfriend.

Buy Now: Winter Counts on Bookshop | Amazon

Write to Annabel Gutterman at


S.H.I.E.L.D. Series Finale Mystery: Is [Spoiler] Now an Agent of S.W.O.R.D.?



The following contains spoilers from the series finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series finale on Wednesday left a few characters in a somewhat curious place. Could it be that they now agents of… S.W.O.R.D.?

After the team vanquished one Chronicom army with, well, kindness, and obliterated the other (as well as Nathaniel Malick) with the quake to end all quakes (and almost end Quake herself!), the series leaped forward one year, where, Coulson, Daisy et al reunited at ye olde Swordfish club. (Wait, the whatfish?)

As the former teammates caught up with each other one by one, Jemma (played by Elizabeth Henstridge) asked Daisy (Chloe Bennet) how things were going with her and The Man Out of Time, Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj).

“They’re… going, yeah,” Daisy reported with a warm smile. “We’re just loving the journey together.

“He’s made for this work, he’s solid,” she added, not specifying what said work is. “But he does keep calling us the ‘Astro Ambassadors,’ so yeah… he’s a dork. But he says hi.”

When the brief gathering — which we realized was virtual, the Zoom call of Zoom calls! — ended, we saw Mack and Yo-Yo return to their respective S.H.I.E.L.D. gigs (aboard a helicarrier and chasing an 0-8-4)… FitzSimmons resume a picnic with daughter Alya… and May head off to give Flint and other cadets a lecture at the new Coulson Academy.

As for Daisy, we realized that she in actuality was aboard Zephyr 3 (!) with Sousa and her redeemed sister Kora, where they were about to marvel at on an out-of-this-world sight in deep outer space. (Daisy did joke earlier that she prepped Sousa for this gig by screening E.T., which she said made him cry like a baby.)

It is tempting to surmise that Daisy & Co. are now working for S.W.O.R.D., the Marvel comics entity that Nick Fury seemed to be starting up, alongside some Skrull, in a bonus scene from 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. S.W.O.R.D. is also rumored to have some sort of presence in Disney+’s upcoming WandaVision series starring MCU vets Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany.

The Sentient World Observation and Response Department in comic book lore is described as a “counterterrorism and intelligence agency” whose “purpose is to deal with extraterrestrial threats to world security. and is the space-based counterpart of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Some deft freeze-framing during Daisy’s final scene in the series finale, however, reveals that regular ol’ S.H.I.E.L.D. logos — no S.W.O.R.D. sword — are on the Zephyr’s seat backs and glass partitions. But maybe they just haven’t gotten around to ordering new furnishings…?

S.H.I.E.L.D. co-showrunner Jed Whedon said (joked?) at a press event this week that “yes,” he would be open to an Agents of S.W.O.R.D. follow-up — though as fellow executive producer Jeffrey Bell noted, “We tried S.W.O.R.D. early [in the series] and we were shut down.”

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Transplant: NBC Sets Fall 2020 Premiere for Medical Drama Series (Video)



Transplant: NBC Sets Fall 2020 Premiere for Medical Drama Series (Video) – canceled + renewed TV shows – TV Series Finale



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Khloé Kardashian & Tristan Thompson Are House Hunting As A Couple For ‘Permanent’ Digs!



Things are getting serious… AGAIN!

Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson‘s romance is apparently in the fast lane right now, with True Thompson‘s parents reportedly looking to purchase a new home together in the Hidden Hills or Calabasas neighborhood of California.

Related: Khloé Teases ‘Confident’ Rob Kardashian’s Possible Comeback To KUWTK

An insider spilled to Us Weekly on Wednesday:

“Khloé and Tristan want to buy a house together. Tristan wants to prove to Khloé that he has changed and wants to make this permanent with a family home.”

Sounds like they’re ready for a fresh start!

We just hope Tristan knows commitment isn’t a single gesture of buying a home — or a ring — but rather and ongoing promise that you stick to every day. And yes, even after the coronavirus is in the past, and he has to travel for basketball games again.

It’s been all but confirmed after MONTHS of speculation that the former couple have rekindled their romance once more after splitting in February 2019 following a cheating scandal involving Kylie Jenner‘s ex-BFF Jordyn Woods, as well as video evidence of cheating with other women.

Though Khloé didn’t exactly comment on her relationship status, she DID reaffirm that co-parenting is their priority during a recent sit-down with People, saying:

“So many people don’t understand it, but I lead with love and we put our child first. If you have that mindset, everything else follows easily. We have a family together. Don’t make it more difficult by dragging your feet. This is going to be forever, so we want to make it the best that we can.”

The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star also put her heart on her sleeve, candidly sharing:

“Tristan and I needed that time to heal and I needed time to go through my emotions. But now he’s literally one of my best friends. A lot of that has been because of quarantine. We spend a lot of time together with no distractions, and seeing him as a dad and how helpful he is, I’m so grateful. Especially during this time because it’s such an isolating time. I’m really grateful for that support and that additional help.”

She also explained that much of the reason she’s been able to positively co-parent her toddler with the NBA star is because of the examples she’s seen in her own life, namely that of her parents and stepfather:

“Having my parents and seeing how seamlessly it seemed that they did it, we never knew anything negative. I’m sure it was difficult for them too but we never knew anything negative. My stepdad and my dad would play golf would play golf once a week and my dad would come over for dinner once a week and to my little sisters, that was their uncle Robert [Kardashian]. We were very close and it was all led with love.”

As long as True is the focus, that’s what matters!! Let’s just hope their relationship can stay strong and, well, true, if they are getting this serious again…

[Image via Khloé Kardashian/Instagram.]

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