10 New Books to Read in September
Cozy up with a baseball movie tell-all, a postwar account of life behind the wall in East Germany, and a comic noir tale of a hitman posing as a rabbi.
School is back in session and pumpkin-spice season has started, but the weather hasn’t gotten the memo. Whether you’re still sitting poolside and enjoying summer as long as you can, or are off to the apple orchard to enjoy fall’s early glory, this month brings some great books for you to enjoy, including several new installments of much-loved series.
The following information is provided courtesy of the Arlington Public Library.
By Zadie Smith
Eliza Touchet works as the housekeeper for her once-famous novelist cousin, William Ainsworth. The money’s running out and Ainsworth is about to marry his former maid (a woman half his age, with whom he has a daughter.) At the same time, most of England (Eliza and the new Mrs. Ainsworth included) is captivated by the ongoing trial of an Australian butcher claiming to be the long-lost Sir Robert Tichborne, heir to a massive estate. Based on real people and events, author Zadie Smith’s latest novel is a riveting look at racism, classism and the lies we tell ourselves, both individually and as a society. // Available September 5. Library catalog link here.
Gangsters Don’t Die
By Tod Goldberg
With the FBI hot on his trail, mafia hitman Sal Cupertine fled Chicago for Vegas, where he reemerged as Rabbi David Cohen. The identify swap worked for a few years, but now—in the final book of Tod Goldberg’s Gangsterland trilogy—a fight at a bar mitzvah has undone Cupertine’s plastic surgery and the new boss in Chicago is gunning for him. As his enemies on both sides of the law start to close in, it’s time for the protagonist to make one last stand in this delicious comic noir. // Available September 12. Library catalog link here.
Mammoths at the Gates
By Nghi Vo
After wandering the land and collecting stories, Cleric Chih returns to the Singing Hills abbey, only to discover that everything has changed. Chih’s mentor, Cleric Thien, has died, and two northern soldiers claiming to be Thien’s granddaughters and are demanding the body. This fourth novella in the Singing Hills Cycle explores grief and the ownership of memory. This series, which can be read in any order, showcases author Nghi Vo’s talent for encapsulating sweeping worlds and epic stories in short, jewel boxes of novels. // Available September 12. Library catalog link here.
Yellow Rambutan Tree Mystery
By Ovidia Yu
In the seventh installment of Ovidia Yu’s Crown Colony series, World War II has ended, the Japanese have left Singapore and the British (and Le Froy) have returned. When an associate of Su Lin’s Uncle Chen dies at the family house during Lunar New Year, suspicion falls on the family. In between solving the murder and preparing for her best friend’s wedding, Su Lin must figure out how, and if, she fits into her family and postwar Singapore. Yu’s mysteries are wonderful historical cozies, full of nuance and detail about life in 1930s and ’40s Singapore. // Available September 23. Library catalog link here.
Filled with behind-the-scenes stories and gossip, this account by entertainment journalist Erin Carlson traces the long path and many screenplay iterations that led to A League of Their Own becoming an instant box-office smash hit. From Geena Davis learning how to play baseball, to Madonna’s off-set hijinks, plus a detailed look at Penny Marshall’s life and career, it’s a fun and charming read about one of the highest-grossing baseball movies of all time. // Available September 5. Library catalog link here.
Beyond the Wall: A History of East Germany
By Katja Hoyer
Created in the aftermath of World War II and reunified with West Germany in 1990, East Germany’s short history has often been reduced to a Cold War caricature. Drawing on a wide variety of sources and interviews, author Katja Hoyer takes a kaleidoscopic look at the country to reveal a much fuller and nuanced portrait of the nation and its people, from politics and social movements to the realities of daily life. // Available September 5. Library catalog link here.
Ten Birds that Changed the World
By Stephen Moss
Stephen Moss offers a captivating exploration of the historical and cultural significance of ten remarkable bird species—including ravens, pigeons, dodos and emperor penguins—revealing how their interactions with humans have shaped the course of history. Landing on topics such as warfare, agriculture, myth and climate change, the author highlights how these birds have impacted human life, while also sounding an urgent call for the conservation of endangered species. // Available September 12. Library catalog link here.
Born in France and educated in England, Lucy Schwob never quite felt like they fit in. Then Schwob fell in love with Suzanne Malherbe, and the two, working under the names Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, began creating surrealist art that explored themes of gender expression and presentation. Hoping for a quieter life, they moved to the island of Jersey; but when the Nazis invaded, the couple joined the resistance, creating and distributing anti-Nazi pamphlets. This graphic novel, which incorporates photographs of the artist, is an uplifting look at courage in the face of oppression. // Available September 12. Library catalog link here.
By Charles Waters and Traci Sorrell
When Callie Crossland moves to the fictional D.C. suburb of Rye, Virginia, she’s struck by the school’s mascot—a stereotypical caricature of a Native American, complete with a tomahawk-chop chant. Her English teacher then assigns a group writing project about the “Pros and Cons of Indigenous Peoples as Mascots.” This verse novel, told in the voices of seven students from different backgrounds, explores the issue of cultural misappropriation and its effects on the school and the wider community. A timely and engaging story. // Available September 5. Library catalog link here.
Of All Tribes: American Indians and Alcatraz
By Joseph Bruchac
Under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie—an agreement between the federal government and the Lakota Tribe—all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal land was supposed to be returned to the indigenous people. A little over a century later, a group of Native Americans representing several different tribes traveled to the abandoned federal prison on Alcatraz Island and reclaimed it. For 19 months, the occupation shed light on the myriad issues facing Native Americans, including the U.S. government’s legacy of discriminatory policy. Author Joseph Bruchac presents a riveting story of an oft-forgotten, pivotal event. // Available September 26. Library catalog link here.