10 Must-Read Books for September


As we start slowly weaning ourselves off the beach and trade in shorts for pants, sunscreen for scarves, and sandals for duck boots, September gives us that one last month to really enjoy sitting outside while reading a book if you can find the time while gearing up for the months ahead. Autumn is undeniably a reader’s season, what with the promise of cozy afternoons drinking apple cider while the leaves fall all around you, and all that other jazz. That’s why we urge you to take advantage of this bounty of new releases that you should consider checking out before you decide you want to just hide out in your apartment from the cold weather that is fast approaching.

Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon (September 17th, Penguin Press)

How can you call a new Pynchon novel anything but an event? The reclusive author returns with his latest that is set in a post-9/11 New York, and finds the main character, Maxine Tarnow, “mixed up with a drug runner in an art deco motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler’s aftershave, a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues, plus elements of the Russian mob and various bloggers, hackers, code monkeys, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Foul play, of course. ”

Of course.

One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocolypses, Lucy Corin (September 3rd, McSweeney’s)

At times strange, but undeniably beautiful all the way through, Lucy Corin’s collection of stories could appeal to fans of Lydia Davis, and should act as a starting point for those unfamiliar with this unique and wonderful writer.

Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin (September 17th, Vintage International)

For those that haven’t had the chance to bask in the greatness of Baldwin’s work, this new version of the book Baldwin said was “the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else,” is a pretty great place to start.

Traveling Sprinkler, Nicholson Baker (September 17th, Blue Rider Press)

We’re at the point where saying that Nicholson Baker is one of our truly greatest writers isn’t pure hyperbole. The author that can change it up from great essays to wonderful novels has put out more than enough great material to earn that sort of praise, and with this latest novel, that features a return from the main character of 2009’s The Anthologist, he’s piling another great book atop his impressive stack.

Hanging Man, Barnaby Martin, (September 17th, FSG)

Ai Weiwei became one of the most talked about and important artists in the world following his April, 2011 arrest by Chinese police. British journalist Barnaby Martin, sneaking into the artist’s home while he was under house arrest, talked with Weiwei at length about China, art, and so much more. The result is this illuminating and comprehensive book that is an absolute must read for anybody interested in art or international affairs.

MaddAddam, Margaret Atwood (September 3rd, Nan A. Talese)

The third and final book in Atwood’s trilogy that started with Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. We can’t say you should pick this book up if you haven’t read those first two; we’ll just tell you to read the entire series.

Dissident Gardens, Jonathan Lethem (September 10th, Doubleday)

We don’t have to do much hyping on this one if you’re already a fan, but if you are still on the fence about Mr. Lethem, this novel about love, family, and revolutionaries might be his most accessible novel yet.

The Facades, Eric Lundgren (September 12th, Overlook Press)

Reading the press release for Eric Lundgren’s debut novel, you might notice terms like “Borgesian metropolis” and the comparisons to David Lynch and Haruki Murakami probably pop out at you. Obviously you can’t go on the opinion of the press that’s putting out the book, but we’re here to tell you that it’s all true, and Lundgren is part of the new breed of Midwestern novelists that you really can’t ignore. Don’t pass up this gem of a book.

The Explanation for Everything, Lauren Grodstein (September 3rd, Algonquin)

The bestselling author returns with her latest engrossing work that takes a look at what happens when we think we may have been wrong all along for not believing.

Duplex, Kathryn Davis, (September 3rd, Graywolf)

Kathryn David might possibly be one of the most constantly overlooked great novelists around. The type that can make you think that even though you’ve had your fill of coming-of -age novels, maybe you have room in your life one more. If that’s the case, Duplex is really the book you must seek out.