By: EM PERPER

Welcome back to Sneak Peek Sunday! A graphic memoir about a perfectly imperfect dog, an exploration of the literal air we breathe, and admission to a Scandinavian dystopia—expect to see these titles on our shelves Tuesday, July 18.

Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home by Nicole J. Georges is the book I can’t stop talking about. Georges is an award-winning cartoonist, teacher, and animal advocate, and her newest book is a graphic memoir about an unexpectedly powerful bond with a troubled pup. When she was only in high school, Georges and her boyfriend co-adopted Beija, a Shar-Pei mix who didn’t play well with others. Long after Georges and her high school beau split, Beija stayed. She growled often and cuddled selectively, comforting and frustrating her owner in equal measure. Fetch explores how our pets’ personalities challenge and change us, for better or worse. With its blend of bildungsroman, family angst, and captivating characters—both canine and human—it’s a solid entry point for folks who haven’t read graphic memoir before. (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin, $17.95)

It takes a talented writer to make air interesting. Award-winning science writer and NPR regular Sam Kean is up to the task. Caesar’s Last Breath: Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us earned a stamp of approval from our Pre-Pub Book Club; it’s well-researched, yet colloquial and funny. The book is divided into three parts, exploring the origin of our planet’s air, the gaseous components of air, and recent changes to our atmosphere and those of other planets. Kean transmutes dry theories of chemistry, history, and physics into accessible anecdotes, guiding readers from Mount Saint Helens to the Moulin Rouge. (Little Brown and Company/Hachette, $28)

When Margaret Atwood tweets about a book, I pay attention. The latest object of her affection is The Unit, a novel of dystopian suspense by Swedish author Ninni Holmqvist. The Unit is reminiscent of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Atwood’s own dark imaginings. In Holmqvist’s world, unmarried, childless, middle-aged men and women are given luxury accommodations with the understanding that they’re living organ donors. Dorrit Weger is a new resident, ready to accept her fate in the Unit—until she falls in love with another resident. Her renewed will to live stands in stark contrast to her society’s ethical status quo. “Neither satirical nor polemical, The Unit manages to express a fair degree of moral outrage without ever moralizing…it has enough spooks to make it a feminist, philosophical page-turner,” raves Time Out Chicago. (Other Press/Random House, $15.95)

Other new releases:

  • The Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrard (sci-fi)
  • The Body in the Clouds by Ashley Hay (fiction)
  • The Breakdown by B.A. Paris (psychological thriller)
  • Pretend We Are Lovely by Noley Reid (fiction)

This is Not a Border: Reportage & Reflection from the Palestine Festival of Literature, ed. Ahdaf Souief and Omar Robert Hamilton (essay/memoir)