20 new books to read in September

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Fall’s First Reads

A new season, a new slate of books. New titles by Gary Shteyngart, Sally Field, J.K. Rowling (well, sort of), and Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, are just some of September’s must-reads. You don’t want to miss out on these. (Pre-orders can be made by clicking the release dates.)


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The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling 

This nuanced, emotional debut, already long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, traces one new single mother’s experiences as she ditches the city for the Northern California desert, where America’s deep divisions and unhealed wounds are unveiled before her eyes. (Sept. 4)

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Random House

Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart’s first novel in seven years is based on his own Greyhound bus trip across the country. In the book’s case, the journey is embarked on by Barry Cohen, a wealthy hedge-fund manager abandoning his family and job. Why? The author finds answers in a family portrait that doubles as a direct commentary on the Trump era. Call this Shteyngart’s stab at the Great American Novel. (Sept. 4)


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Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

You’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not much else to learn about Steve Jobs. You’d also be wrong. This revelatory memoir by the tech legend’s estranged daughter doesn’t add new dimension to the man; her exquisitely written prose allows Brennan-Jobs to — painfully, complexly, heroically — reclaim her own story. (Sept. 4)


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The Wildlands by Abby Geni 

The latest from Geni (The Lightkeepers) investigates the border between animal and human, depicting the riveting fallout of the bombing of a small-town cosmetics factory. (Sept. 4)


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Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

We’ve had plenty of Trump tell-all bombshells this year, but none by a journalist as distinguished — and effectual — as the man who helped bring down Richard Nixon. As one source told Politico, “everyone talked with Woodward.” (Sept. 11)


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Ordinary People by Diana Evans

The award-winning author of 26a and The Wonder returns with her first novel in nearly a decade, and it’s a doozy: a scandalous, explosive contrast of two marriages, both of which vie to survive crises over the course of a year. (Sept. 11)


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The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman

True crime aficianado Weinman turns her eye to a work of fiction in her new book, an intriguing, illuminating investigation into the real kidnapping that provided the basis for the groundbreaking, controversial novel Lolita. (Sept. 11)


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Boomer1 by Daniel Torday 

A sharp, funny take on the divide between millennials and the Baby Boomers, Torday’s new novel finds a disgruntled man in his 30s inadvertently kicking off an angry internet movement aimed squarely at the post-war generation. (Sept. 18)


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Heartland by Sarah Smarsh 

Smarsh has emerged as a major voice on rural America and the working class, and she proves why in this aching memoir, which explores despair and poverty in a landscape that feels forgotten by larger political and cultural forces. (Sept. 18)


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In Pieces by Sally Field

The two-time Oscar winner tells her life story for the first time in the pained, powerful In Pieces. Field sheds plenty of light on her acclaimed Hollywood career, but also focuses greatly on her tumultuous personal and family life. (Sept. 18)


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Little, Brown and Company

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

The latest installment in the popular Cormoran Strike series by Galbraith (better known as, you know, J.K. Rowling) finds our eponymous detective wrestling with fame while developing a relationship with a troubled young man named Billy, who’s forced to recall a traumatic crime from his childhood. (Sept. 18)


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Passing for Human by Liana Finck 

The lauded New Yorker cartoonist focuses her talents on her own life story in this beautiful graphic memoir. Finck uses visuals to get at big, difficult questions about identity and self-acceptance which have characterized her journey through life. (Sept. 18)


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Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

What does it take to become a vampire? Harkness fans will surely be eager to find out in this new paranormal thriller. (Sept. 18)


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Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group

Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll 

The beloved YA commentator and influencer has arrived with a novel of her own, an infectious story about friendship, politics, and falling in (and out) of love. (Sept. 18)


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Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

Washington Black paints an unflinching portrait of American slavery before tracing one boy’s arduous, globe-trotting journey to freedom. Says the author, “I wanted to show what happens [after] achieving a measure of freedom, with the cruelties of what happened still resonating throughout your life.” (Sept. 18)


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Penguin Random House

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Lu’s Warcross sequel places her among YA’s top fantasy writers. Be ready for a juicy, unpredictable ride. (Sept. 18)


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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

Yes indeed: The other half of the Green brothers has finally arrived with his first book. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is an adult novel, and an ambitious one at that. Will readers keep up? (Sept. 25


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The Caregiver by Samuel Park

This luminous mother-daughter saga marks a posthumous gem from Park, who died of stomach cancer last year. (Sept. 25)


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Little, Brown and Company

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

Atkinson (Life After Life) offers up an intriguing thriller about a woman whose past — tracking the movements of British Fascist sympathizers in WWII — comes back to haunt her. (Sept. 25)


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Waiting for Eden by Elliot Ackerman

The fragmented, demanding but slim new novel from the National Book Award finalist revisits the trauma of war and the buried secrets lurking within one man’s long marriage. (Sept. 25

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