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Be Still My Bookish Heart: All the Spectacular Books Out this September 2020

by  | September 11
Anxious People book on a coffee table

The leaves are beginning to flip, both those upon the trees and the pages of all our BEAUTIFUL books. In September especially, there are so many books to get excited about and keep track of that it’s sending our bookish hearts all aflutter. From Fredrik Backman’s newest release to unbelievably strong debuts, here’s what we’re curling up with to read this month!

The Loop

The Loop

by Jeremy Robert Johnson

Emily's Pick #1

The Loop is basically Stranger Things meets Blake Crouch. And, exploring a lot more murder and heavier themes, it also strikes notes similar to Dark (which is my latest Netflix binge). Set in an eerie Oregon town, The Loop features an evil corporation's science experiment that malfunctions, turning several neighborhood kids into murderous fiends. It's up to another group of teenage misfits to fight the evil biotech corporation, and avoid their newly-turned psychopathic peers at the same time. Fast-paced and spooky, this a perfect read for fall and to get you in the Halloween mood!

Publication Date: September 29, 2020

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One by One

One by One

by Ruth Ware

Saimah’s Pick 

Ruth Ware is back again with another twisty story. In her latest thriller, One by One, a group of employees at tech startup Snoop head to a luxury ski chalet in the French Alps for a corporate retreat. But upon arrival, there seems to be some tension among the employees. One of the co-founders of the company escalates things by bringing up a lucrative and contentious buyout. The company is on the brink—depending on how the shareholders vote, it could mean disaster or a massive payday. In an attempt to take a break from the weighty decision they must make, the group decides to hit the slopes and mull things over. While out on the mountain, the group gets separated, and then a mammoth avalanche hits, causing a power outage. They are left stranded. When one among them is found dead, the anxiety and distrust escalate, and the group starts to dwindle one by one....

 Publication Date: September 8, 2020

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Legendborn

Legendborn

by Tracy Deonn

Nicole's Pick #1

Bree Matthews begins the Early College program at the University of North Carolina with a chip on her shoulder and grief in her heart. After her mother dies in a tragic car accident, all Bree wants to do is start fresh, far away from home where the reminders of her mother are plentiful. But then Bree witnesses a magical attack on campus. A teenage mage attempts to wipe Bree’s memory of the events of that night, but when he fails, Bree’s unique magic is revealed. She’s able to remember that on the night of her mother’s accident, another mage attempted the very same memory wipe.

Determined to get to the bottom of her mother’s death, Bree finds herself embroiled in the Legendborn secret society. It’s a world of scions and oaths and the descendants of King Arthur’s really really old white legacy. A war is coming, and Bree has to decide how far she’s willing to go to get at the truth, and whether or not she will use her magic to join the fight. More than just a tale of fantasy, Legendborn is a powerful look at institutionalized racism in the South, whitewashing and gatekeeping of history, Black girl magic, and what legacy truly means.

Publication Date: September 15, 2020

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The 2084 Report

The 2084 Report

by James Lawrence Powell

Fiora’s Pick

The 2084 Report is as captivating as it is terrifying. This book taught me not only about the science behind climate change but the humanity (and inhumanity) of it—what signs have been actively ignored by government officials, the emotional repercussions of living with the earth’s destruction, and the general interconnectedness of people across the globe, united by their disappearing landscapes. Not for the faint of heart, set in the year 2084, Powell’s book will make an activist of you yet.

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

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Grown

Grown

by Tiffany D. Jackson

Nicole's Pick #2

From the moment I learned about this book, I was hooked. And then gorgeous cover art came out and somehow my excitement increased even further. In Grown, the mysterious death of a R&B star Korey Fields rocks the world of Enchanted Jones, an aspiring singer and mentee of Korey’s. When Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and no memory of what transpired the night before, she’s beyond confused. Before the murder though, Enchanted was a teenager trying to fit in as the only Black person at her school and dreaming of a future as a famous singer. Grown is a gripping look at how misogyny and rape culture affect young Black girls, and has been described as required reading for the current era.

Publication Date: September 15, 2020

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Anxious People

Anxious People

by Fredrik Backman

Ariele’s Pick

“A bank robbery. A hostage drama. A stairwell full of police officers on their way to storm an apartment. It was easy to get to this point, much easier than you might think. All it took was one single really bad idea.” So begins Fredrik Backman’s latest novel, Anxious People, and who wouldn’t want to read on to find out what the really bad idea was? Once the puzzle pieces of this locked-room mystery, comedy, and character study start to come together, you will be racing toward an exceptional conclusion. Along the way, you will laugh and cry and perhaps even shout at your book, but in the end, it will all be totally worth it. In a year in which we thought the election would be the most anxiety-inducing topic, it turns out that this novel about anxious people getting through a day—and its ultimate message of hope and how being kind to one another can change lives—could not be more timely.

Publication Date: September 8, 2020

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The Appointment

The Appointment

by Katharina Volckmer

Morgan’s Pick 

This is a debut novel that you will not forget. A compelling read for fans of Ottessa Moshfegh and Han Kang, this story is told through a stream of consciousness narrative as a young woman addresses her doctor for the duration of her gynecological appointment. It’s dark, it’s comical, it’s audacious, and it’s thought-provoking.

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

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Solutions and Other Problems

Solutions and Other Problems

by Allie Brosh

Erin’s Pick

I still remember the first Allie Brosh story I read. It was on her Hyperbole and a Half blog in 2010. After reading that first story (The Party, in case you're wondering) and nearly dying of laughter, I knew I had to read everything else she'd ever posted. Then, when her first book (titled Hyperbole and a Half, after the blog) was published, I rushed out to buy it, thrilled to both reread some of my favorite stories of hers and discover new ones. It's now been seven years since the publication of that first book and since Allie's posted anything on her blog, but as an Allie Brosh fan, I have something huge to be excited for this fall. Her long anticipated second book, Solutions and Other Problems, will hit shelves this September, and I cannot wait! Allie's stories, complete with ingenious doodles, are always hilarious, while also tackling more serious topics such as mental health. If you haven't read any of Allie's work before, I highly recommend buying both Hyperbole and a Half and the new Solutions and Other Problems. They're filled with the type of stories we all need to make it through this grueling year.

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

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Transcendent Kingdom

Transcendent Kingdom

by Yaa Gyasi

Emily’s Pick #2

After reading Homegoing, I put Yaa Gyasi down on my list of authors-whose-new-book-I-will-drop-everything-for. In that debut novel, the author navigated time jumps and generations so expertly and concisely, that I can’t wait to see how she’ll break my heart this time with the more linear, granular story of Transcendent Kingdom. Gifty is a brilliant neuroscience student, studying addiction and depression in the neural pathways of mice. Outside her professional life, she approaches her personal life with a similar scientific process. Questioning everything, she attempts to arrive at conclusions about Christianity, mental illness, love, and all the other forces that run through her family’s devastating history and what they left in its wake.

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

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The Dynasty

The Dynasty

by Jeff Benedict

Molly’s Pick

The 2020 NFL season officially started on September 10, which means I can no longer pretend Tom Brady is still a Patriot. What do I do? Pledge my allegiance to Cam Newton? Repeat “In Bill We Trust” to anyone who will listen? Purchase a Vince Wilfork jersey because he has never, and will never, let me down? (Even ending his career with the Texans gave us that glorious season of Hard Knocks.) I suppose the mature thing to do—instead of, like, getting a 28–3 tattoo—would be to feel gratitude for witnessing my team run a dynasty for two decades. It’s been a truly thrilling experience that all started with Robert Kraft purchasing the team in 1994; Bill Belichick quitting as head coach of the Jets just ONE DAY after accepting the post to join the Patriots in 2000; and the drafting of Tom. Fricking. Brady in the sixth round of the draft a few months later. Jeff Benedict’s The Dynasty, based on access to the Patriots organization for over a year and hundreds of hours of interviews with players and officials, is a comprehensive look at how this dynasty began and how it managed to last so long. Patriots fan or not, you cannot deny how impressive and unprecedented this run was. And now you can enjoy looking back on it because, ugh, it is officially in the past.

Publication Date: September 1, 2020

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Can't Even

Can't Even

by Anne Helen Petersen

Heather’s Pick 

I placed my pre-order for this weeks ago—that’s how ready I am to read the follow-up to Anne Helen Petersen’s viral Buzzfeed article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.” As someone who experiences a constant hum of low-grade anxiety, and especially during the pandemic, Petersen’s relatable article about “errand paralysis” and its root cause was strangely comforting. While I’ve already braced for the fact that there’s no cure for this type of burnout, I know that Can’t Even will at least remind me that I’m not alone in wondering if my generation can ever really attain the American Dream we grew up believing was within reach. You know, before multiple “once-in-a-lifetime downturns,” stagnating wages, mountains of student debt, and skyrocketing housing prices caught up with us. 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

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Piranesi

Piranesi

by Susanna Clarke

Sara’s Pick 

We’re all probably more than a little sick of being stuck inside, but if you lived in Piranesi's house, you’d never get bored. He’s got infinite doors and hallways to explore, though he never gets lost. The only other person in this strange house is a man called the Other, who helps Piranesi with his bizarre research. However, the two might not be as alone as they think, and slowly the labyrinth they call home becomes more and more sinister. A twisting tale of a world within a house with its own set of rules and mysteries, this book is very different from Clarke’s hit Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but it’s just as immersive and satisfying. If you’re looking for a fantasy that will challenge you and bring something unique to your reading list, Piranesi fits the bill with style to spare.

Publication Date: September 15, 2020

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Older

Older

by Pamela Redmond

Emily's Pick #3

For any fans of TV Land's Younger, you'll love the sequel to the book the show is based on: Older! In this feel-good read, we follow the ever-ambitious Liza when her novel gets picked up by a TV studio and, after flying to LA with Kelsey to create the pilot, she finds herself torn between two cities—and two love interests. If you miss Liza, Josh, Kelsey, and the gang, then dive into this read in these waning days of summer.

Publication Date: September 8, 2020

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