Judith Rossner’s 70s novel, August, is about a psychoanalyst and the young adult client she sees during the month when all therapists take vacation. Someone needs to write the novel about an agent and the young adult novelist who pitches in August and hears crickets. Is everyone on vacation in August? Yup.

August is about beach books and cabin reads. Swinging in a hammock with a great novel or lounging by the pool reading new nonfiction, reading al fresco is a summer pleasure. Enjoy.

So what’s on my summer reading list?


Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

Perish by LaToya Watkins


Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative by Melissa Febos

We Carry Their Bones: The Search for Justice at the Dozier School for Boys by Erin Kimmerle

How to Read Now: Essays by Elaine Castillo


Inheritance: An Autobiography of Whiteness by Baynard Woods

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama

Happy Go Lucky by David Sedaris

If you’re getting ready to seek an agent or publisher, you have even more reason to relax with a good book. Like therapists, agents and acquisition editors are often on a summer hiatus the next four to six weeks. It’s the off-season for new book deals. Sit back and enjoy this month to read. It’s an especially good time to read your comps. What are your comps? Your market competition, the books your readers are buying right now, your comparables. How do you find your comps?

So glad you asked! Because @GuerillaMemoir AKA Allison K Williams on Twitter posted a thread that is well worth your attention. And I wish I’d written it myself:

“I say this with love in my heart: Every time an author says ‘My book doesn’t have any comps’ I think one of two things: 1) You don’t read very much, do you? 2) You haven’t done even the most cursory of web searches on your topic. HERE’S HOW TO FIND YOUR DAMN COMPS.”

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