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What to read this September

A new month means new books. But before we talk about September, I would be remiss if I did not mention The Silmarillion, an audiobook narrated by Andy Serkis released on June 22.

I thought this audiobook was still several months away. It is a prequel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. It provides a comprehensive history of Arda, of which Middle Earth is merely a tiny part, and you couldn’t ask for a better narrator than Serkis.

On a less interesting note, The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordan (September 26) is the sixth Percy Jackson novel. The standalone book takes place between The Heroes of Olympus and The Trials of Apollo. Percy must accomplish three tasks to secure three letters of recommendation for college.

This series is not my cup of tea, but the books are incredibly popular, having sold more than 180 million copies worldwide. Fall of Ruin and Wrath by Jennifer L. Armentrout (September 12) is the first book in the ‘Awakening’ series. Calista, the protagonist, lives in a world the gods destroyed.

A courtesan to the Baron of Archwood, Calista’s life changes when she uses her gifts to save a traveling prince. Calista knows the stranger will bring her joy in the short term and doom in the long run. But for now, he will warm her bed while she fights the monsters at her city’s gates.

The book has a promising 4.22 star rating on Good Reads. The Fragile Threads of Power by V.E. Schwab (September 26) is a historical fantasy. The story unravels in a realm where four worlds sit side by side. Long ago, the doors were sealed to prevent these worlds from spilling into one another.

Of those magicians that could open the doors, only Kell Maresh of Red London, Delilah Bard of Grey London, and Holland Vosijk of White London remain, and no one has seen them for seven years.

Now, a new Queen has taken Holland’s throne. But her religious fervor may drown White London in blood. Schwab is an award winner (Locus Award) responsible for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue from 2020.

Early reviews have commended this book for the plotting, suspense, magic system, and world-building. This is How We End Things by R.J. Jacobs (September 12) is an isolation thriller in which five graduate students are studying the act of lying under the enigmatic Professor Joe Lyons. His lessons are turning the students into liars, teaching them to better guard their secrets.

When one of them dies and a snowstorm traps them on campus, the students must work with a local detective to find the killer among them. Unlike the 600-page tomes above, this is a tiny 300-page novel that early reviews have praised for its dynamic pacing and eerie atmosphere.

The Library of Shadows by Rachel Moore (September 5) is a YA novel that takes readers to Radcliffe Prep, the third most haunted school in the nation. Students disappear all the time.

Este Logano does not believe in ghosts. Nonetheless, she enrolls at the school, hoping to find her dead father. When a ghost named Mateo frames her for the theft of a rare book, Este must track him down before they expel her. One review has compared this book to Wednesday, the TV show, with elements of The Haunting of Bly Manor.

While You Were Out by Meg Kissinger (September 5) is non-fiction, a memoir that chronicles the real lives of Meg Kissinger’s family. Seemingly perfect on the outside, the clan of eight children and two loving parents was beset by secrets.

The memoir shines a spotlight on the key players, including the violent, manic father, the heavily medicated, anxiety-ridden mother, and Kissinger’s depressed siblings. That should do it for September.


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