The Best Books To Read This September

The Best Books To Read This September

If you want something new to read this month, look no further. From a follow up to one of the biggest thrillers in recent years to new books from Sally Rooney and Elizabeth Day, September’s selection has something for everyone.

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Crying In H Mart by Michelle Zauner

A memoir from US indie musician Japanese Breakfast, this unflinching, powerful, deeply moving book is about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her mother and forging her own identity. In this story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a singer, songwriter and guitarist. With humour and heart, she tells of growing up the only Asian-American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's high expectations of her; and of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the east coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, performing gigs with her fledgling band – and meeting the man who would become her husband – her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was 25, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language and history her mother had given her

I love Michelle Zauner's beautiful, moving and insightful book about love and loss, grief and identity and the role of food in all that. It is brilliant.” – Claudia Roden, bestselling cookbook author


Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

It’s finally here: Sally Rooney’s follow-up to the phenomenally successful Normal People. Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a distribution warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend Eileen is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. Alice, Felix, Eileen and Simon are still young, but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? And will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world? Out on 7th September.


Bewilderment by Richard Powers

The remarkable The Overstory earned Richard Powers a Pulitzer Prize. Now his latest novel has been nominated for the Booker – and it hasn’t even come out in the UK yet. Bewilderment follows Theo Byrne, a promising young astrobiologist who has found a way to search for life on other planets dozens of light years away. He is also the widowed father of a most unusual nine-year-old. Robin is funny, loving, and filled with plans; he is also on the verge of being expelled for smashing his friend's face. What can a father do, when the only solution offered to his troubled boy is to put him on psychoactive drugs? The answer? Take the boy to other planets, while all the while fostering his son's desperate crusade to help save this one.

It changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it… It changed how I see things and that's always, for me, a mark of a book worth reading.” – Barack Obama on The Overstory


Snow Country by Sebastian Faulks

It’s 1914. Young Anton Heideck has arrived in Vienna, eager to make his name as a journalist. While working part-time as a private tutor, he encounters Delphine. Entranced by the light of first love, Anton feels blessed. Until his country declares war on hers. In 1927, life for Lena with a drunken mother in a small town has been impoverished and cold. She is convinced she will amount to nothing until a young lawyer, Rudolf Plischke, spirits her away to Vienna. But the capital proves unforgiving, and Lena leaves her metropolitan dream behind to take a menial job at the snow-bound sanatorium, the Schloss Seeblick. 1933: Still struggling to come terms with the loss of so many friends on the Eastern Front, Anton, now an established writer, is commissioned by a magazine to visit the mysterious Schloss Seeblick. In this place of healing, where the depths of human suffering and the chances of redemption are explored, two people will see each other as if for the first time. Crossing Europe as it recovers from one war and hides its face from the coming of another, Snow Country is a novel of yearnings, dreams of youth and the sacredness of hope.

A fine and profoundly intelligent novel, written by an author who balances big ideas with human emotion. Wistful, yearning and wise.” – Elizabeth Day, author of How To Fail


Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead

To his customers and neighbours on 125th street, Ray Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child. Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. One day, his cousin Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa, and volunteers Ray's services as the fence – but the heist doesn't go as planned. Now, Ray has to cater to a new clientele, one made up of shady cops on the take, vicious minions of the local crime lord, and numerous other Harlem lowlifes. Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he starts to see the truth about who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?

“Don’t be surprised if this one wins Whitehead another major award.” – Publishers Weekly


Matrix by Lauren Groff

Matrix is the newest book from American novelist Lauren Groff (Florida, Fates & Furies). Born from a long line of female warriors and crusaders, yet too coarse, wild and rough-hewn for courtly life, Marie de France is cast from the royal court. Woefully, she is sent to the muddy fields of England to take up her new duty as the prioress of an impoverished abbey. The abbey is a dreadful place: its inhabitants are on the brink of starvation, beset by disease, stoic and stern, yet plagued with an unholy tendency to gossip. Marie cannot help but pine for the decadence and comfort of France; her secret lover Cecily, her queen Eleanor, and the very court that had spited her. Yet Marie soon realises that, though she may be tied to a life of duty, she wields more power than she could have imagined. With the fearlessness that has always set her apart, she inspires her new sisterhood to awaken their spirits and finally claim what is theirs.

An audacious piece of storytelling, full of passion, wisdom and magic.” – Sarah Waters, author of The Night Watch


The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman

A year after the release of his record-breaking, million-copy bestselling debut novel, The Thursday Murder Club, Richard Osman is back with a much-anticipated follow-up. It's the following Thursday. Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He’s made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life. As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists the rest of the gang – Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron – in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn't bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?

Smart, compassionate, warm, moving and so VERY funny.” – Marian Keyes, author of Grown Ups


Magpie by Elizabeth Day

This new novel from the bestselling author of The Party and How to Fail is a thrilling, stylish and psychologically astute story of jealousy, motherhood and power. Marisa may have only known Jake a few months, but she has never felt this certain about anyone. When he asks her to move in with him and they start trying for a baby, she knows she has finally found the steadfast love and support she has been looking for all her life. But their relationship is tested when they take in a lodger, Kate, who has little regard for personal boundaries and seems to take an uncomfortable interest in Jake – as well as the baby they are hoping to have. Why is Kate so obsessed with the couple? And, more worryingly, why doesn't Jake share Marisa's concern? In her determination to find the answers, Marisa risks losing everything she holds dear. A tense, twisting novel about mothers and children that crime fans will love.

A book that needed to exist in the world. It is the book that was missing.” –  Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women And Animal


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