Features

10 Must-Read Books of September

Our editors pick their favorite books coming out this month.

Happy September! Fall is in the air, which means it’s time to put great new fall books on our bookshelves. Here are ten of our favorite books coming out this month, including works of sci-fi, fantasy, memoir, environmental reportage, and much, much more.

City of Sparrows
By Eva Nour; Translated by Agnes Broomé
Melville House

“Growing up in Syria in the 1990s, Sami’s childhood was unremarkable. His day-to-day life largely sheltered him from the horrors of the authoritarian government, until he founded a successful internet company—which landed him on the regime’s radar. Suddenly Sami finds himself in jail, then forcibly enlisted into the Syrian army during the early days of a fast-growing civil uprising.”

Master of Poisons
By Andrea Hairston
Tor.com

“Awash in the rhythms of folklore and storytelling and rich with Hairston’s characteristic lush prose, Master of Poisons is epic fantasy that will bleed your mind with its turns of phrase and leave you aching for the world it burns into being.”

Evening
By Nessa Rapoport
Counterpoint

“In her thirties, Eve is summoned home by her distraught family to mourn the premature death of her sister, Tam, a return that becomes an unexpected encounter with the past. Eve bears the burden of a secret: two weeks before Tam died, Eve and Tam argued so vehemently that they did not speak again. Her sister was famous, acclaimed for her career as a TV journalist and her devoted marriage. But Tam, too, had a secret, revealed the day after the funeral, one that inverts the story Eve has told herself since their childhood.”

The Bass Rock
By Evie Wyld
Pantheon

“Surging out of the sea, the Bass Rock has always borne witness to the lives that pass under its shadow on the Scottish mainland. And across the centuries, the fates of three women are inextricably linked to this place and to one another. Sarah, accused of being a witch, is fleeing for her life. Ruth, in the aftermath of the Second World War, is navigating a new marriage and the strange waters of the local community. Six decades later, Viv, still mourning the death of her father, is cataloging Ruth’s belongings in the now-empty house. As each woman’s story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that their choices are circumscribed, in ways big and small, by the men who seek to control them.”

Red Pill
By Hari Kunzru
Knopf

“After receiving a prestigious writing fellowship in Germany, the narrator of Red Pill arrives in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee and struggles to accomplish anything at all. Instead of working on the book he has proposed to write, he takes long walks and binge-watches Blue Lives—a violent cop show that becomes weirdly compelling in its bleak, Darwinian view of life—and soon begins to wonder if his writing has any value at all.”

Transcendent Kingdom
By Yaa Gyasi
Knopf

“Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after an ankle injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.”

A Girl is A Body of Water
By Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Tin House Books

“In her twelfth year, Kirabo, a young Ugandan girl, confronts a piercing question that has haunted her childhood: who is my mother? Kirabo has been raised by women in the small village of Nattetta—her grandmother, her best friend, and her many aunts, but the absence of her mother follows her like a shadow. Complicating these feelings of abandonment, as Kirabo comes of age she feels the emergence of a mysterious second self, a headstrong and confusing force inside her at odds with her sweet and obedient nature. Seeking answers, Kirabo begins spending afternoons with Nsuuta, a local witch, trading stories and learning not only about this force inside her, but about the woman who birthed her, who she learns is alive but not ready to meet.”

The Baddest Bitch in the Room
By Sophia Chang
Catapult

Sophia Chang’s debut memoir The Baddest Bitch in the Room is an inspiring story about her life as the first Asian woman in hip-hop, working with such acts as The Wu-Tang Clan and A Tribe Called Quest. The book spans her career in the music business, her path to becoming an entrepreneur, and her candid accounts of marriage, motherhood, aging, desire, marginalization, and martial arts.

Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains
By Kerri Arsenault
St Martin’s Press

“Kerri Arsenault grew up in the rural working class town of Mexico, Maine. For over 100 years the community orbited around a paper mill that employs most townspeople, including three generations of Arsenault’s own family. Years after she moved away, Arsenault realized the price she paid for her seemingly secure childhood. The mill, while providing livelihoods for nearly everyone, also contributed to the destruction of the environment and the decline of the town’s economic, physical, and emotional health in a slow-moving catastrophe, earning the area the nickname “Cancer Valley.” Mill Town is a personal investigation, where Arsenault sifts through historical archives and scientific reports, talks to family and neighbors, and examines her own childhood to illuminate the rise and collapse of the working-class, the hazards of loving and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxins and disease.”

Out of Mesopotamia
By Salar Abdoh
Akashic Books

“Informed by firsthand experience on the battlefronts of Iraq and Syria, Abdoh captures the horror, confusion, and absurdity of combat from a seldom-glimpsed perspective that expands our understanding of the war novel.”

0 comments on “10 Must-Read Books of September

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: