16 Books to Watch for in August 2011

From a striking debut novel set in 1930s Manhattan to a literary ghost story, August 2011 has something for everyone.
Among the Wonderful
Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Among the Wonderful

464 pages; Steerforth
Phineas T. Barnum figures prominently in Among the Wonderful (Steerforth), less ribald than The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb, but an equally engaging novel from newcomer Stacy Carlson. Here the heroine, Ana Swift, is Mrs. Tom Thumb's opposite—a professional giantess, with her own gripes about life in the spotlight. The great strength of this book is Carlson's evocation of time and place. Who knew 19th-century taxidermy could be so interesting?
— Sara Nelson