The Best New Books to Read This Month

September may signal the end of summer, but the literary world is heating up. Powerhouse authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Ann Patchett, and Emma Donoghue are just a few of the names returning with page-turning reads this month. Pull up a chair and get cozy!

1

Leave Me, by Gayle Forman

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Photo by amazon.com

Maribeth is the modern everywoman. A working mother of 4-year-old twins, she is constantly trying to balance motherhood and her career as an editor. But it all catches up with her when, at age 45, she has a heart attack. Forced to slow down and recuperate, Maribeth calls in her mother to help with the twins and her husband, Jason. Except her mother is no help at all. She refuses to go the store in the rain and Maribeth finds herself still having to handle the laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Sick, tired, and fed up, Maribeth flees to Pittsburgh where she finally starts to take care of herself. Funny and insightful, YA author Forman’s adult debut reveals sometimes you have to leave to find your way back to where you belong.

To buy: $18, amazon.com.

Released September 6.

 


2

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

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Photo by amazon.com

Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is under house arrest. It’s 1922 in Moscow, and a Bolshevik tribunal has sentenced the aristocrat to live out his days in the Metropol hotel for writing a revolutionary poem. While the count has lived in a grand apartment at the Metropol for years, he is sequestered to a small attic room where he looks out at the Kremlin each day. Forbidden to step outside, Rostov befriends the hotel’s talented chef, a French expatriate maître d’, a beautiful actress, and a precocious nine-year-old, who opens his eyes not only to his current surroundings but also to the world outside. Spanning 30 years, this remarkable work explores how human connection can transcend the darkness of history.

To buy: $21, amazon.com.

Released September 6.


3

A Boy Made of Blocks, by Keith Stuart

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Photo by amazon.com

Guardian editor Keith Stuart channels his experience with his own son in this heartwarming novel. Alex is a young dad, struggling to connect with his 8-year-old son, Sam. Sam is autistic and his frequent tantrums and outbursts have pushed Alex’s marriage to the brink. When Sam becomes obsessed with the popular video game Minecraft, Alex worries the game will only continue to cause Sam to isolate himself. But when they play Minecraft together, Alex finally finds a way into Sam’s world. This touching work will have you looking at video games in a different light. 

To buy: $20, amazon.com.

Released September 6.



4

Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Photo by amazon.com

The author of Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close returns with his first novel in 11 years, a psychological epic that weighs in at nearly 600 pages. It follows Jacob and Julia Bloch, a Washington, D.C.-based couple who are considering divorce. When a 7.6 magnitude earthquake rocks the Middle East, a war breaks out and Israel calls American Jews to come and defend their homeland. Jacob must decide whether to stay—or go and fight. Both catastrophes, at home and abroad, beg the same questions: What is a home? What would you risk to save it? 

To buy: $21, amazon.com.

Released September 6.


5

Mischling, by Affinity Konar

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Photo by Hachette Book Group

There’s no denying it, the premise of this novel is a challenging one. Pearl and Stasha are 12-year-old twin sisters who arrive at Auschwitz in 1944. The pair is picked to be subjects for the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele’s experiments, where they experience horrors that leave them forever changed. Their stories are told in alternating chapters, in which each girl does her best to protect her sister. For readers brave enough to take on the dark subject matter, they will be rewarded with an incredibly powerful, beautiful story they won't soon forget.

To buy: $19, amazon.com.

Released September 6.


6

Commonwealth, by Ann Patchett

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Photo by amazon.com

When Bert sees Beverly, it is love at first sight. It just so happens that they meet at the christening for Beverly’s second child, Franny... and they are both married. A stolen kiss sets in motion a series of events that changes the course of their two families forever. Spanning five decades, the Bel Canto author’s family drama explores how this chance encounter affects the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Patchett spends the most time with Franny, who, when in her 20s, begins a romance with the legendary author Leon Posen. Before long, her family’s saga becomes the inspiration for his wildly successful book, which impacts her siblings in different ways. Told with humor and a great deal of heart, Commonwealth explores the idea of who owns our stories and the inextricable ties that bind. Don’t miss this must-read book.

To buy: $17, amazon.com.

Released September 13.



7

Nutshell, by Ian McEwan

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Photo by amazon.com

Prepare to meet the most unconventional of narrators: a fetus. Poised to overhear everything from his mother Trudy’s womb, our unborn narrator becomes privy to her murderous plan. See, Trudy is separated from her husband, John, and now in love with his brother, Claude, who has his eyes set on John’s ritzy London townhouse. If Trudy and Claude bring to mind Hamlet’s Gertrude and Claudius, you are correct. But this isn’t just a simple retelling. The Atonement author delivers a clever crime caper packed with humor and suspense from a totally original perspective.

To buy: $19, amazon.com.

Released September 13.


8

The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue

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Photo by amazon.com

Set in 1859, the Room author’s latest novel follows a widowed nurse who has been called from London to assist a young girl in rural Ireland. When Lib, who trained under Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War, arrives, she learns she has been hired to watch Anna, an 11-year-old girl who, mysteriously, has not eaten a morsel of food for months. Is it a carefully crafted hoax? Is Anna, as she claims, living off of “manna from heaven?” Intelligent and skeptical, Lib wants nothing to do with the case until she grows more attached to Anna as Anna’s health suddenly begins to deteriorate. Inspired by the true cases of more than 50 “Fasting Girls” who lived throughout Europe and North America between the 16th and 20th centuries, Donoghue’s superb thriller will keep readers hanging on to every word, pondering how far one will go to prove her faith.

To buy: $18, amazon.com.  

Released September 20.


9

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan

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Photo by HarperCollins

Nina is a literary matchmaker. At the library where she works, she finds the perfect book for each person she encounters. When she gets laid off, Nina is in need of a fresh start. She moves to Scotland and opens a mobile bookshop, driving from town to town, sharing her love of books. Along the way she meets a cast of quirky characters—and a potential love interest in a poetry-loving train conductor. This light, fresh romantic comedy is the perfect escape for bibliophiles. Enjoy it with a cup of tea on a crisp day.

To buy: $10, amazon.com.

Released September 20.