September is one of my favorite months – my anniversary, the first full month of college football, the start of fall, AND filled with amazing new releases. So many great books are coming out this month, so I must share my most anticipated with you!
- American Royals, Katharine McGee – out September 3
“What if America had a royal family? … When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne.“
American Royals sounds like the most indulgent, dramatic alternative universe, and I am here for it. I’m so interested in royal goings-on, so this is the perfect light read. I’m thinking this will be a royal version of Gossip Girl (not that Blair wasn’t Queen B of the Upper West Side). Plus, the author is a native Houstonian!
- Dominicana, Angie Cruz – out September 3
“Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate.“
Dominicana sounds moving, heartfelt, and complicated. Healthy doses of both familial obligation and personal resilience mixed in with the important topics of immigration and The American Dream, I imagine this novel will be very thought-provoking.
- Permanent Record, Mary H. K. Choi – out September 3
“After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies… Leanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Disney Mouskateer; Age fifteen: first #1 single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen: *tenth* #1 single… When Leanna and Pab randomly meet at 4:00 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn, they both know they can’t be together forever.“
Permanent Record has received wonderful praise already, and contemporary, socially-conscious YA books are my jam. Inclusive and honest, this promises to be an engrossing and timely story.
- The Secrets We Kept, Lara Prescott – out September 3
“A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice – inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russian, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.“
Truthfully, The Secrets We Kept was not on my radar until Reese Witherspoon announced it as her September book club pick. What better reason to dabble in the heretofore untouched genre of historical WWII fiction than because queen Reese recommends it? Also, not totally sure who or what Doctor Zhivago is, but I’m always happy to go into a book blind!
- Frankly in Love, David Yoon – out September 10
“Frank Li is a Limbo – his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance – “Date Korean” – which proves complicate when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful – and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom.“
I started reading this last night and I’m already so hooked on this highly anticipated YA novel! The writing is sharp and witty, and the themes tackled at once infuriating, eye-opening, and lighthearted. This book is everything, and I’m so excited to share final thoughts.
- The Institute, Stephen King – out September 10
“As physically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.“
I’m sure you’ve never heard of Stephen King – he’s a new-kid-on-the-block author who’s going to make a splash! Honestly, though, I’ve never read a King novel (don’t shun me, please). I’m very excited to read this one, but also looking forward to reading his classics like The Shining and Pet Semetary.
- The Nanny, Gilly Macmillan – out September 10
“In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.“
The Nanny is giving me serious The Au Pair vibes – and I loved The Au Pair! I just read a rave review about this book, so I’m particularly excited to dive into this world of lies. Family suspense is one of my favorite thriller troupes, so I’m sure I’ll love this one.
- The Nobodies, Liza Palmer – out September 10
“Closer to 40 than 30, single, living with her parents again, Joan decides she needs to reinvent herself. She goes to work as a junior copywriter at Bloom, a Los Angeles startup where her bosses are all a decade younger and snacks and cans of fizzy water flow freely… Charming, candid, hilarious, and deeply moving“
I expect The Nobodies to be fiercely entertaining, deeply satirical, and wholly engrossing. As someone toying with the idea of change, I look forward to following along on Joan’s journey to re-self discovery. Plus, humorous reads are my favorite.
- Out of Darkness, Shining Light, Petina Gappah – out September 10
“the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingston’es body, his papers and maps, fifteen hundred miles across the continent of African, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there… this is the story that encompasses all of the hypocrisy of slavery and colonization – the hypocrisy at the core of the human heart – while celebrating resilience, loyalty, and love.“
I mean, that synopsis… whoa. Out of Darkness, Shining Light sounds like such a powerful novel that digs deep into the hearts and minds of humanity. This is set during a very interesting period of time in both Africa and the UK, and I’m positive that it will teach me something new about history and that it will be deeply moving.
- The Ten Thousand Doors of January, Alix E. Harrow – out September 10
“In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.“
The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a fantasy YA novel that has received wonderful praise. I’m not usually a huge fantasy or historical fiction reader, but for some reason this synopsis draws me in – and I’ve been loving quality YA writing lately. I can’t wait to experience the magic.
- The Testaments, Margaret Atwood – out September 10
“In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.“
Need I say more? I actually haven’t read The Handmaid’s Tale yet, but I’m reading it this month in anticipation for this release. I’m sure both books will be life changing.
- Generation Friends, Saul Austerlitz – out September 17
“A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at Friends… The show that defined the 1990s remains wildly popular today and has a legacy that has endured beyond wildest expectations. And in this hilarious, informative, and entertaining book, readers will now understand why.“
Could I BE any more excited for this book? I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m obsessed with Friends. This tell-all seems like a must-read for us. There are other Friends tell-alls – none of which I’ve read – and I hear this one has the juciest secrets.
- Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson – out September 17
“An unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other“
Red at the Bone is receiving rave reviews because of its beautiful prose, in-depth character development, and complex themes. I’m always a fan of the intricacies of families, and I’m sure I’ll be blown away by this piece of fiction.
- The Stranger Inside, Lisa Unger – out September 17
“Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while waling to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky… Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice–and killed him in cold blood… Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.“
I’m always on the hunt for that next great thriller, because they can be elusive! I’m hoping The Stranger Inside is just that. The kidnapping aspect reminds me of The Chain – which I didn’t love, but the blurred lines of morality remind me of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things – which I LOVED – and pique my interest. Here’s hoping this is a great thriller.
- Make It Scream, Make It Burn, Leslie Jamison – out September 24
“A new collection of essays about obsession and longing… A combination of memoir, criticism, and journalism, Make It Scream, Make It Burn is Leslie Jamison’s profound exploration of the oceanic depths of longing and the reverberations of obsession.“
Leslie Jamison is lauded as being a master of nonfiction writing and I’m so excited to experience her genius. I love well-crafted essay collections; they give you such a clear glimpse into the mind of another. This is one of the few nonfiction books on my radar this season, and I’m so looking forward to it!
- The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates – out September 24
“Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her – but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known… This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children – the violent and capricious separation of families – and the war they waged to simple make lives with the people they loved.“
A compelling story around the history of slavery told through the lens of magical realism – The Water Dancer promises to be a lyrical, unique, and utterly affecting novel. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.
Thanks so much for checking out some of my most anticipated September releases! Are you planning on picking any of these up? Have you read and have thoughts on one on the list? Am I missing a seriously amazing book coming out this month? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!