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Featured Books for August 2021

Book covers of Balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera's What If It's Us

August Books

On August 25, we'll release our Book Club episode focusing on Balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (Amazon |, but before that releases, we'll have an IG chat mid-month. (We're working on shuffling our episode order for Season 5!) We'll also have two IG chats about our Buddy Read pick, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera's YA novel What If It's Us (Amazon | Stay tuned @unabridgedpod for announcements and updates.

Here are the synopses from the publisher:

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

"A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages—a spicy and alluring mix of Together Tea and Calendar Girls.

"Every woman has a secret life . . .

"Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

"Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

"As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s "moral police." But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all."

What If It's Us

"Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in this smart, funny, heartfelt collaboration about two very different boys who can’t decide if the universe is pushing them together—or pulling them apart."

"ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

"BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

"But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

"Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

"Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

"But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

"What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

"What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

"But what if it is?

"What if it’s us?"

Book cover of Darcie Little Badger's Elatsoe (the cover appears twice)

September Books

In September, we'll be discussing the same book for our Book Club and Buddy Read, Darcie Little Badger's Elatsoe (Amazon | Stay tuned @unabridgedpod for announcements and updates.

Here is the synopsis from the publisher:

"A Texas teen comes face-to-face with a cousin's ghost and vows to unmask the murderer.

"Elatsoe—Ellie for short—lives in an alternate contemporary America shaped by the ancestral magics and knowledge of its Indigenous and immigrant groups. She can raise the spirits of dead animals—most importantly, her ghost dog Kirby. When her beloved cousin dies, all signs point to a car crash, but his ghost tells her otherwise: He was murdered.

"Who killed him and how did he die? With the help of her family, her best friend Jay, and the memory great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother, Elatsoe, must track down the killer and unravel the mystery of this creepy town and its dark past. But will the nefarious townsfolk and a mysterious Doctor stop her before she gets started?

"A breathtaking debut novel featuring an asexual, Apache teen protagonist, Elatsoe combines mystery, horror, noir, ancestral knowledge, haunting illustrations, fantasy elements, and is one of the most-talked about debuts of the year."

Book covers of Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone and Laekan Zea Kemp's Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

July Book

If you missed our July pick, be sure to check out episode 185, in which we discuss Jacqueline Woodson's Red at the Bone (Amazon | We had some amazing chats about the Buddy Read book, Laekan Zea Kemp's YA novel Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet (Amazon |, as well!

(A note to our readers: click on the hashtags above to see our other blog posts with the same hashtag.)

Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.

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