Welcome to the premiere edition of "What We're Reading," the MarieClaire.com guide to great — okay, and maybe a few not-that-great-but-still-fun — new books we're talking about. This week we realized, with a non-trivial amount of horror, that not only is it almost September, but also that the books we've been receiving from publishing houses have been getting seriouser and seriouser. That's right — beach read season is almost over. Here are a couple of the last ones to trickle in this year, along with some more substantial fare in case, for some insane reason, you're actually ready for fall.
Last Night at Chateau Marmont
Author: Lauren Weisberger, author of Chasing Harry Winston, Everyone Worth Knowing, and some little book called The Devil Wears Prada.
Genre: Chick-in-Louboutins Lit
What Happens: Brooke, a young nutritionist supporting her musician husband Julian, finds her marriage suddenly catapulted into the tabloid headlines after Julian scores a record deal and an appearance on the Tonight Show. Their newfound fame — complete with stays at, yes, swanky Hollywood hotel Chateau Marmont — soon becomes less-than-thrilling as their every move is governed by Julian's manager and publicist. Will Brooke put her career aside to tour with Julian? Will she be able to handle the shocking photos of her that appear in a tabloid? Will she wax off her arm hair?
When to Read It: On the plane en route to your last trip of the summer. Heck, spend $5 on a plastic cup of wine and pretend you're in first class.
Details: Atria Books, August 17, $25.99
Author: Susanna Daniel, a creative writing professor who lives in Wisconsin. This is her first novel.
Genre: Sweeping, Soulful Family Saga
What Happens: It's 1969, and Atlanta native Frances Ellerby visits and falls in love with Stiltsville, a group of houses built on pilings in the middle of Biscayne Bay, near Miami. She also falls in love with a Stiltsville resident, and they start a life together — but when their island home is suddenly gone, Frances and Dennis must struggle to figure out how to make their life work on dry land.
When to Read It: Right after you realize you can't actually afford a beach house.
Details: Harper, August 3, $25.99
Color Blind: A Memoir
Author: Precious Williams, a British journalist and magazine editor. This memoir is her first book.
Genre: Socioeconomic, Geographical, and Racial Confusion-Influenced Coming-of-Age Story
What Happens: Born in London to a glamorous Nigerian princess, Precious tells the story of how her mother quickly decided she couldn't raise a child, and found her a foster mother in rural Sussex, England. Said replacement-mother, a 60-year-old white woman, was proud to be "color blind," but couldn't prepare Precious for the challenges she would face as the only black child in an all white school.
When to Read It: After an argument with your mom.
Details: Bloomsbury USA, August 3, $24