Your August Reading List

Emily Calkins of the King County Library System offers binge-able titles that will keep you engrossed through August. Find these digital titles and more at, or check out a hard copy with KCLS’ new Curbside to Go pickup service, available at select library locations. Find one near you at

The Fixed Stars by Molly Wizenberg

At 36, Seattle writer Molly Wizenberg felt like she’d checked all the boxes she was supposed to. She and her husband had been married nearly a decade. They owned two successful restaurants and had a toddler. Then, while serving jury duty, Wizenberg developed a fascination with a female attorney that led her to question her sexuality and ended her marriage. In this intimate memoir, Wizenberg recounts that experience, and explores how her understanding of herself changed as a result. Compelling and beautifully written, The Fixed Stars is a moving meditation on gender, marriage, and motherhood.

The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Quế Mai’s heartbreaking novel follows a Vietnamese family through much of the 20th century. Told through the eyes of a grandmother and granddaughter, it explores unimaginable loss but also moments of incredible beauty and tenderness. For fans of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell

This psychedelic ode to late ’60s rock follows the fictional band Utopia Avenue during its brief but wild career. Mitchell, best known for Cloud Atlas, brings his spiraling storytelling to a smaller scale here, moving back and forth through the band members’ lives in chapters named after their songs.

About Emily Calkins

Emily Calkins is the readers services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.

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