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8/31/2023: Washington Post selects 10 Noteworthy Books for September

September is a great month to be a reader, with gems arriving from both best-selling and debut authors. You’ll find international mystery and intrigue, a Reconstruction-era western, fantasy that recasts a famous city as a magical world, and heartwarming nonfiction. The entire column with reviews is here.



Evil Eye: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062987907
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Published: Harper - September 5th, 2023

Yara Murad has built the life she thinks she wants — a husband and two children, a job teaching art to college students, and a house in a North Carolina suburb, far from the Palestinian-born mother who made her Brooklyn childhood so turbulent. Yet she still can’t shake the feeling that something is off, and when she responds to an indignity at work by calling out a colleague’s racism, thereby threatening her job security, her mother’s belief in a family curse echoes in her mind. Rattled, and worrying that she may be repeating generational mistakes, Yara uses therapy to delve into her past trauma, learning how to reclaim a measure of power.
Rum’s sensitive portrayal of Yara’s inner monologue paints a clear picture of the traditional gendered expectations that are placed on many modern Palestinian American women, and the ways an unsettled past can affect the present.

One Blood: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250276193
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Forge Books - September 5th, 2023

A powerful story of blood, secrets and love connects the lives of three unforgettable Black women. Teenage Grace is forced to flee 1960s Virginia and deceived into giving up her baby for adoption. Later that decade, Delores seizes the single opportunity she sees to escape an abusive childhood — get married to a man who will protect her, keeping her infertility a shameful secret from everyone. Thirty years later, Rae, whose family is starting to unravel, seeks answers about her upbringing and the decisions she has made as a result.
Millner skillfully explores how societal pressures have forced generations of Black women to make difficult choices.

Dearborn Cover Image
ISBN: 9781959030294
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tin House Books - September 5th, 2023

Both witty and thoughtful, Zeineddine’s tragicomic stories about Arab American characters in Dearborn, Mich., explore themes of immigration, prejudice, sexuality, belonging and more. In one, a man in a Speedo starts frequenting the local pool, prompting whispers among suburban wives and their husbands, whose reactions are vastly different. In another, a father teaches his young son how cash becomes untraceable when stored inside frozen chickens, laying a foundation for future economic calamity.

Coleman Hill Cover Image
ISBN: 9781638931140
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sjp Lit - September 5th, 2023

In an impressive blend of fiction and personal family history, Foote chronicles the lives of the Coleman and Grimes families’ early-20th-century migration from the post-Civil War South to Vauxhall, N.J. Each chapter, inspired by a family photo, offers a fictionalized perspective from members of the intertwined families based on the author’s family lore. The repercussions of violence-filled upbringings linger through generations spent battling poverty and racism — but descendants also work toward a better life.

Second Best Cover Image
By David Foenkinos, Megan Jones (Translator)
ISBN: 9781913547592
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallic Books - September 5th, 2023

In the alternate reality of this novel, the runner-up for the role of Harry Potter is child actor Martin Hill. If landing that part was a life-defining moment for Daniel Radcliffe, so too is being the boy not chosen. The missed opportunity starts a downward spiral of self-doubt that follows Martin into adulthood and is made worse by the inescapable worldwide celebration of Pottermania.

Foenkinos’s surreal yet relatable novel, a French bestseller, considers life in our age of anxiety, when other people’s picture-perfect lives make our own seem drab in comparison.

My Home Team: A Sportswriter's Life and the Redemptive Power of Small-Town Girls Basketball Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541702202
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - September 12th, 2023

In 1976, when Kindred was interviewing for a sportswriting position at The Washington Post, executive editor Ben Bradlee asked what he thought of George Allen, the controversial head coach of Washington’s football team. “I think he’s Nixon with a whistle,” Kindred said. Bradlee laughed, and Kindred got the job. Such insider anecdotes pepper this engaging memoir, offering insight into his coverage of such luminaries as Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. After retiring to his hometown near Morton, Ill., Kindred found himself writing game summaries for the local high school girls’ winning basketball team, which he dubbed “the Golden State Warriors with ponytails.” As he and his wife faced health struggles, the team became a lifeline, providing stability and a supportive community that embraced him, which, as any player, coach or parent knows, encapsulates sports at its best.

The Secret Hours Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641295215
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soho Crime - September 12th, 2023

This page-turning stand-alone novel is a perfect entry point into the eccentric world of civil servants and spies that Herron’s Slough House series so wittily portrays. In this new espionage thriller, two civil servants are assigned to a politically charged task force investigating British intelligence officers, placing them at odds with the head of MI5. With their careers hanging in the balance, they get a tip on a 30-year-old coverup of a scandalous classified operation in 1994 Berlin — one that may place former spies and modern politicians at risk.

Chenneville: A Novel of Murder, Loss, and Vengeance Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063252684
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - September 12th, 2023

John Chenneville, severely wounded in the Civil War, makes his way home to Missouri, where he learns that his beloved sister and her family were brutally murdered. Setting out on a mission to track down the killer and exact revenge, John tests the limits of his injured body as well as his spirit while his quarry seems to always stay one step ahead.
As in her previous bestseller, “News of the World,” Jiles creates an unforgiving Western landscape filled with memorable, morally ambiguous characters who are self-reliant in the face of adversity.

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The Fragile Threads of Power Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765387493
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Tor Books - September 26th, 2023

The author of “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” returns to a universe she created, launching a new trilogy set seven years after the final volume in her “Shades of Magic” series. In those novels, four magical worlds, once connected in London, were forced to close themselves off to each other, and only a few remaining people have the power to reconnect them. A fragile peace is endangered when an insurgency threatens the stability of Red London, while a new ruler in White London incites a religious fervor. It is up to old friends and new allies to fight their enemies, even if that means harnessing the power held by a young girl with a magical device that might either save the worlds or cause their ultimate destruction.

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Murder Most Royal: A Novel (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates #3) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063051201
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: William Morrow - September 26th, 2023

One imagines Christmas at the royal family’s country house at Sandringham Estate bustling with drama, but Bennett’s version raises the stakes when a severed hand, wearing local aristocrat Ned St. Cyr’s signet ring, washes up on nearby Snettisham Beach. As in the first two installments of the playful Her Majesty the Queen Investigates series, Queen Elizabeth II passes helpful knowledge to the police through her faithful private secretary. Bennett charmingly portrays relationships between royal family members, and the equine statues, Georgian gardens and old letters handwritten by the Queen Mum give this cozy mystery an unmistakable sense of place.