20 September 2019

8 Books to Read This Month

When it comes to books, I’m so often the kid in the candy store: I want one of this and two of those and, oh, and don’t forget a handful of them. Naturally, I can’t read every book that captures my attention or imagination. All is not lost, though, because I can still share my book love with you.

That brings us to today’s roundup, which is a random collection of books I've placed on my reading list. The titles here—all published this month—were chosen because you may have missed them in big buzz about some of our favorite authors (like Margaret Atwood and Alice Hoffman).

Although I am unlikely to get to the entire list before September 30, each book is still very much on my radar. If you read any of these before I do, I’ll be sure to pay attention to your thoughts, reactions, or reviews.

reivew of Wildhood by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn BowersWildhood by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers (Scribner, Sept. 17). Humans aren’t the only animals who experience great change as they mature from puberty to adulthood. In this well-researched book, an evolutionary biologist and science journalist team up to talk about what it’s like to be a teenager for a variety of animals, from penguins to whales, from wolves to humans. No matter the species, young adults share universal struggles as they learn key lessons for becoming successful adults, such as finding a good mate, feeding oneself, and staying safe. Audiobook: Narrated by Robin Miles (Simon & Schuster Audio; 10 hr, 23 min). Digital copy provided by the publisher.

review of The Sisters of Summit Avenue by Lynn Cullen The Sisters of Summit Avenue by Lynn Cullen (Gallery, Sept. 10). Set during the Depression, this is the story of two estranged sisters and what happens when their mother attempts to orchestrate a long overdue reconciliation. Long-held jealousies and misunderstandings divide the sisters, while their mother struggles with her own issues. Accurate 1930s cultural details provide the backdrop for this story of a family fractured by betrayals and secrets. Audiobook: Narrated by Madeleine Maby (Simon & Schuster Audio; 9 hr). Digital and audio copies provided by the publisher.

review of Inheritance by Evelyn ToyntonInheritance by Evelyn Toynton (Other Press, Sept. 17). After her husband’s sudden death, Annie, a lifelong Anglophile, escapes to London, where she meets a new love, who eventually takes her home to his family’s Devonshire estate. There, Annie’s romantic views of British country life are shattered after she witnesses the family’s drama, guilt plays, and mutual manipulation. Set in the 1980s, the novel explores relationships and families. Audiobook: no information. Print copy provided by the publisher.

review of The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri (trans. Stephen Sartarelli; Penguin Books, Sept. 3). I love this fun mystery series set in Sicily; the books are part police procedural and part cozy. In this installment, Inspector Montalbano is trying to keep the peace both along the docks as the island prepares for an influx of refuges and at home by agreeing to buy a new suit for an upcoming wedding. The two worlds collide in a grizzly murder, which Montalbano solves in his signature unorthodox manner. Sadly, Camilleri died this past July, which means this is likely my last visit with Montalbano. Audiobook: Narrated by Grover Gardner (Blackstone Audio; 7 hr, 13 min). Print copy provided by the publisher.

review of Song for a New Day by Sarah PinskerSong for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker (Berkley, Sept. 10). In this take of the world after one too many terrorist attacks and deadly diseases, the government has forbidden any kind of public gathering, including concerts, sporting events, and even a night out at the pub. What happens when musicians flout the law to perform live and people who grew up in isolation risk everything to listen? Themes of humanity, the arts, virtual reality, and defiance. Audiobook: Narrated by Dylan Moore and Nicol Zanzarella (Penguin Audio; 12 hr, 31 min) Print copy provided by the publisher.

review of Verify by Joelle CharbonneauVerify by Joelle Charbonneau (HarperTeen, Sept. 24). This mashup of mystery and dystopian fiction takes place in a cleaned-up, safe Chicago where everyone and everything is environmentally responsible and the government keeps order. Meri trusts her world and the facts she grew up with until, while trying to understand her mother’s recent death, she uncovers an alternate truth and history that leaves her confused and far less naive. Familiar dystopian plot lines (a resistance, a controlling government, banned books) won’t stop me from giving this a try. Audiobook: Narrated by Caitlin Kelly (HarperAudio; 9 hr, 38 min) Audio copy provided by the publisher.

review of The Siege of Troy by Theodor KallifatidesThe Siege of Troy by Theodor Kallifatides (trans. Marlaine Delargy; Other Press, Sept. 10). This retelling of the Iliad is set in Greece during the bombings of World War II. A village schoolteacher tries to distract her students from their current circumstances—hiding in a cave to wait out the attack—by recounting the Greek classic, focusing on the human elements more than the interventions of the gods. The bloodiness of war, death, and soldiers' homesickness and fear were a part of ancient Greece just as much as the Greece of the last century and, of course for all people at war at all time periods. Audiobook: Narrated by Kate Mulligan and Armando DurĂ¡n (Blackstone; 5 hr, 24 min) Print copy provided by the publisher.

review of A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. WeymouthA Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth (HarperTeen, Sept. 10). This stand-alone dark, historical fantasy, mixed with mystery, is set in an alternative England. Returning home after a long exile (caused by her father’s misdeeds), Violet finds her family’s great house in disrepair and the magic that keeps their people and lands flourishing in decline. Mourning everything that was dear to her and fearing for the fate of her estate, Violet vows to restore her realm to its former glory, no matter the cost. Audiobook: Narrated by Fiona Hardingham (HarperAudio; 10 hr, 29 min) Audio copy provided by the publisher

What books are still on your reading list for September?


Daryl 9/20/19, 7:23 AM  

A Treason of Thorns sounds like a nice escape ... as do several others .. thanks!!!

bermudaonion 9/20/19, 8:14 AM  

What a great list of books! I'm reading The Sisters of Summit Avenue right now, after hearing Cullen speak at SIBA. One of the sisters is one of many women who portrays Betty Crocker.

Tina 9/20/19, 10:18 AM  

That’s quite a good list. I’m on board for all but the dystopian. My to-read list for September is finishing Inheritance by Dani Shapiro, a book of letters between an American and British pen pals from the 1947 time period and a Lisa Jewell novel , mystery.

sherry fundin 9/20/19, 1:46 PM  

too many books too little time for me too.
sherry @ fundinmental

Mystica 9/21/19, 2:13 AM  

There are so many good books around you want to embrace them all. Not possible of course.
Thanks for your list.

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