September’s best new books

September’s best new books

In Reading Lists - Best New Books by Katie Winters

September’s best new books

This month’s change in seasons from summer vacation to back-to-school and work brings with it some of the most anticipated books of the year. Don’t miss these new novels from the authors of Normal People and All the Light We Cannot See, plus moving memoirs from Michaela Coel, Dawn Turner, and Tarana Burke.

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

With her signature literary style, Rooney (Normal People) immerses readers in the complexities of desire, friendship, and sex through the lives of Irish millennials grappling with a turbulent world. Told through emails between two bookish friends, Beautiful World, Where Are You is another absorbing, intimate novel from one of the best writers of her generation.

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The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

Brooklyn Brujas author Córdova conjures up an enchanting tale of family, legacy, and magical realism in her first adult novel. When the mysterious matriarch of the Montoya family dies, she leaves behind more questions than answers about her magic. Years later, desperate to stop a sinister killer, family members flee to Ecuador on a quest to uncover her secrets.

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Misfits by Michaela Coel

An empowering rallying cry for anyone who’s ever felt different. In this slim manifesto, Coel, the creator and star of TV’s I May Destroy You, rejects the idea of trying to fit in. Instead, she calls on all the “misfits” out there to honor their wonderfully weird selves, support fellow outsiders, and build a space where differences can shine in all their glory.

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L.A. Weather by María Amparo Escandón

Sunny beach weather all the time, right? Wrong. Howling Santa Ana winds, drought-parched hills, and raging wildfires are also native to Los Angeles, and the well-to-do Mexican American family at the heart of L.A. Weather is forced to deal with fallout from climate change. Publishers Weekly raves about Escandón’s “rollicking and hilarious family drama of telenovela-esque proportions that doubles as a fiery love letter to Los Angeles.”

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Three Girls from Bronzeville by Dawn Turner

Heartbreaking and inspiring, Turner’s memoir explores the power of friendship and the inequality of opportunity. Three Black girls grow up the best of friends on Chicago’s South Side in the 1970s, but their paths split in dramatically (and tragically) different directions in this thought-provoking page-turner.

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Act Cool by Tobly McSmith

Living your dream is hard enough. Living your truth proves even harder for August, a transgender teenager who flees to his gay aunt’s house in New York City after his parents threaten to send him to conversion therapy. While he’s in NYC, he’s determined to attend one of the best acting schools, even if he’s forced to play the part of a girl. A heartfelt #OwnVoices story.

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Unbound by Tarana Burke

The founder of the #MeToo movement shares her moving life story in this brave memoir. A survivor of sexual assault, Burke has dedicated her life to fighting for justice, empowering fellow survivors, and embracing the power of empathy.
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A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

This steamy rom-com from the author of You Had Me at Hola had us at friends-to-lovers meets fake dating. Childhood ex-best friends get a second chance at a first crush in this charming romp.

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White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Supernatural and societal horrors abound when a blended family moves into a renovated, rent-free house in a Detroit-esque town. Everyone in the neighborhood knows the house’s bad rap, but Marigold, who has anxiety and is trying to avoid relapsing into drug abuse, has to learn the hard way about dealing with ghosts. Jackson proves once again why she has become one of YA’s most esteemed voices.

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It All Comes Back to You by Farah Naz Rishi

In a cruel twist of fate, the siblings of two secret exes start dating each other. Animosity proliferates after Kiran was ghosted by Deen, and Kiran is determined not to let Deen’s little brother break her younger sister’s heart. Part romantic comedy, part sobering drama, It All Comes Back to You is all fun.

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The Exotic by Hampton Sides

This brief but thorough biography of Mai, the subject of one of England’s most famous paintings, tells how a low-born Polynesian man made his way from poverty in Tahiti to upper-crust British society, where he charmed the king and plotted revenge against his enemies back home. Mai’s story has largely remained a mystery, but adventure writer Sides sets the record straight and retells the whirlwind of events with flair.

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Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

Woodward (Fear, Rage) and Costa team up to reveal the inside story of one of the most precarious — and potentially dangerous — political periods in American history. The Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed reporter take readers behind-the-scenes in this deeply researched account of the tumultuous presidential transition from Trump to Biden.

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All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Historical fiction that’s inspired by true crime books like In Cold Blood. In the late 1950s, more than a dozen people have been found murdered, eerily with no blood left behind at the scene. That is, until a 15-year-old girl is caught at the scene of a crime, covered in blood. Blake (Three Dark Crowns) evokes a spooky, surreal atmosphere as a young, aspiring journalist tries to figure out the truth behind the killings.

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Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

The dazzling tale of a long-lost ancient Greek manuscript from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See. Interconnected stories spanning hundreds of years — from a medieval walled city to present-day Idaho to a spaceship in the near future — explore the connections that make us human and the power of hope in dark times.

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Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

In this spinoff of the Caraval series, Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, gets his time to shine. Evangeline Fox loses the love of her life to her stepsister, but Evangeline’s determined to stop the wedding and secure her rightful Happy Ever After. To do so, she makes a magical, dastardly deal with Jacks. A new series start that has an abundance of imagination and heart.

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About the Author: Katie Winters

Katie is the Senior Editorial Associate at Scribd who digs bikes, beers, baseball, and — surprise, surprise — books! She loves putting her librarian training to work connecting readers with fantastic books.

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