Have you ever wondered why it’s called “the dog days of summer”? I have, too. Unfortunately, my computer melted before I could look it up, so it’s going to have to remain a mystery for now. There are a lot of ways to take your mind off the heat this month, like reading some great new books while submerged in ice water beats pretending to care about the NFL preseason. And even though August is a traditionally slow month for publishing, this month brings us a creepy horror novel about a haunted house, a memoir by a cult-favorite B-movie actor, a fascinating look at American sports arenas, and more. They’re well worth the drive to your favorite bookstore (and I say that as the owner of a car with a broken air conditioner).