book blog · Bookish News

September Bookish News

September 26th, 2022

Hi Readers,

Some exciting and some sad news this month…

September Book Releases

Rings of Power, based on the works by J.R.R. Tolkien, started streaming on Amazon Prime.

The new Vampire Academy adaptation started streaming on Peacock.

The adaptation of Angie Thomas’s On The Come Up came out on Paramount+

Blonde, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates, is to be released September 28th.

We got a first look at the Bridgerton prequel, and it looks so good!!

We got a Percy Jackson teaser, and I’m already so happy about it!

A Casting Call has gone out for Candice Carty-William’s Queenie

Heartstopper season 2 is in production!

We lost a legend. Hilary Mantel passed away at the age of 70.

Riley Sager announced his next book, and it sounds creepy…

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

October 2022 Book Releases

September 20th, 2022

Hi Readers

Here are some books you can look forward to in October!

Maureen Fry and the Angel Of The North by Rachel Joyce
Releases: October 20th, Doubleday

Ten years ago, Harold Fry set off on his epic journey on foot to save a friend. But the story doesn’t end there.
Now his wife, Maureen, has her own pilgrimage to make.
Full Synopsis Here

Before I Do by Sophie Cousens
Releases: October 11th, G.P. Putnam’s Sons

What would you do if ‘the one that got away’ turned up the night before your wedding?
Full Synopsis Here

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
Releases: October 4th, Penguin

Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact. 
Full Synopsis Here

It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
Releases: October 18th, Atria Books

The sequel to It Ends With Us
Full Synopsis Here

Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli
Releases: October 6th, Magpie

Here are three things you should know about my husband:
1. He was the great love of my life despite his penchant for going incommunicado
2. He was, as far as I and everyone else could tell, perfectly happy.
3. On New Year’s Eve, he killed himself
And here is one thing you should know about me:
1. I found him.
Bonus fact: No. I am not okay

Full Synopsis Here

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Releases: October18th, Harper

A David Copperfield retelling set in the contemporary American South. ‘Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.’
Full Synopsis Here

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy
Releases: October 25th, Knopf

Traversing the American South, from the garrulous bar rooms of New Orleans to an abandoned oil rig off the Florida coast, The Passenger is a breathtaking novel of morality and science, the legacy of sin, and the madness that is human consciousness.

No Plan B by Lee Child & Andrew Child
Releases: October 25th, Delecorte Press

The new Jack Reacher: A man in a gray hoodie and jeans, moving like a shadow, pushes a woman to her death—before swiftly grabbing the dead woman’s purse and strolling away. Jack Reacher, after witnissing this, chases after him.
Full Synopsis Here

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake
Releases: October 25th, Pan Macmillan

Sequel to The Atlas Six
Full Synopsis Here

Lore of Olympus Vol. 3 by Rachel Smythe
Releases: October 11th, 2022

Witness what the gods do after dark in the third volume of a stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of the best-known stories in Greek mythology, featuring a brand-new, exclusive short story from creator Rachel Smythe.
Full Synopsis Here

Poster Girl by Veronica Roth
Releases: October 18th, William Morrow

A woman desperately searches for a missing girl after the collapse of the oppressive dystopian regime and uncovers the dark secrets about her family and community along the way.
Full Synopsis Here

Warrior Queens and Quiet Revolutions by Kate Mosse
Releases: October 13th, Pan Macmillan

Mosse has brought together female stories unheard until now. Celebrating their achievements that are too often left out of history books.
Full Synopsis Here

Soft Lad by Nick Grimshaw
Releases: October 27th, Hodder & Stoughton

These are Grimmy’s stories of things gone right and wrong across his life and career so far, with all the highs and lows and everything in-between. Nostalgic and heartfelt, it will shine a humorous and captivating lens on the ever-evolving cultural obsessions we live by.
Full Synopsis Here

Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries
Releases: October 4th, Canongate

Throughout his career Rickman kept diaries of his experiences with the intent of publishing. They run from 1993 to 2016, the year he past away, and are forewarded by Emma Thompson.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

September 15th, 2022

| Published: 1994 |
| Genre: Non-Fiction |
| Themes: Writing |
| Length: 237 Pages |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Bird by Bird is Anne Lamott’s guide to writing and life. She’s an accomplished writer and teacher, and shares what she knows and thinks will be useful to any want to be writer.

‘I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good enough at it.’

She is generous in sharing the wealth of knowledge she possesses about writing and the book industry. She has written this in a concise but entertaining way, with her personality shining through her words. I found myself laughing and nodding along the whole way through reading this book.

‘Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.’

This is a must read for any aspiring writer. Not only is it full of helpful advice, it’s also encouraging. It left me feeling a lot more confident that I knew what I was doing, but also with the knowledge that it’s okay if you don’t. As Lamott says herself:

‘You can’t – and, in fact, you’re not supposed to – know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing.’

I know that whenever I’m in the middle of writing, at any stage of the process, I will be turning to this book and flicking through I think are most relevent to my current state of mind. Hopefully it has the power of bringing me out of the dark hole of self-doubt.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

30 Autumnal Book Recommendations

September 13th, 2022

Hi Readers!

I’m not sure I’ve ever anticipated Autumn like I did this year. We had such a hot Summer, and I think most of Britain has been longing for a bit of rain the entirety of August. It’s not quite sweater weather and ankle boot season, but it’s definitely starting to feel Autumnal, and my reading is reflecting that.

If you yourself are looking for books that would perfectly fit the feel of Autumn, then here are some of my absolute go to’s!

First, one of my favourite genre’s to read this time of year, some gothic classics.

The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins

Walter Scott receives directions from a mysterious women he later discovers escaped from an asylum.
If you like something a little unsettling, with intrigue and plot twists, I would highly recommend this book. It’s Victorian Gothic at it’s finest.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Paris Opera is being terrorised by the Angel of Music.
I’m sure a lot of you will have watched the musical by now, but the book is also worth a read.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Dorian Gray stays youthful and beautiful, his portrait does not…
This book starts off bright and Summery, but the darkness soon consumes Dorian Gray and turns this into a gothic masterpiece.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Jane finds a job as a governess at Thornfield, the home of Mr Rochester.
It starts off on a cold, rainy day, and it never really warms up. It’s got a creepy manor, mysterious characters, and shocking twists. All the vibes for a perfect Autumn read.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Gothic obsessed Catherine often lets her imagination run away with her, which gets her into all sorts of trouble.
This one is more of a comedic look at the gothic genre. Don’t take it seriously. Austen was just having a bit of fun when she wrote this.

If you want something a little more supernatural, here are some perfect for you:

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue belongs to a family of clairvoyants, and they predict that when she kisses the boy she loves, he will die.
Need I say any more?

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Lyra sets out to find her best friend Roger after he goes missing.
Now especially is the perfect time to pick up these books if you haven’t already because the final season is soon to air! If you like the sound of witches, animal sidekicks and talking polar bears wearing suits of armour, you should absolutely be reading this series.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This follows a wandering circus of acrobats, ice gardens, and magicians.
I found this a bit of a slower book, but with the most beautiful writing. It would make the perfect companion once the nights start getting longer.

Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Tessa Gray arrives in London, only to be abducted when she steps off the boat.
It feels kind of redundent to recommend CC books, but I just had to mention these. Set in Victorian London, these books give me all the Autumnal feels.

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you’re looking for something with a bit more fantasy, then how about one with elves, wizards, and the odd Hobbit?
There is no cosier book than Lord of the Rings. They get dark, yes, but the characters are so easy to love and the settings are so vaste and beautiful.

Or, if you’re particularly looking for something with ghosts, here are a few I’d recommend:

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

The ghost of Yadrial’s classsmate appears and they set out to find his murderer.
This book might have ghosts, but it isn’t spooky. It’s cute and charming, but definitely has those darker Autumnal vibes.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

A group of strangers stay at Hill House and experience paranormal activity.
This is a bit of a slower ghost story and I didn’t personally find it creepy, but the writing was wonderful.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Maggie inherits a house that is famous for being haunted.
This one succeeded in creeping me out so much I had to sleep with the light on. I recommend not reading this when it’s dark, unless that’s what you’re looking for!

The Woman In Black by Susan Hill

Personally, I did find the movie scarier. But this book has some gorgeous writing and a really traditional ghost story feel to it.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

The ghost of Hamlet’s father appears before him and tells him the truth of his death.
This is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, the characters especially as so well done.

A huge Autumnal trend right now is Dark Academia. I really haven’t read many myself, but here are a few I have which I would recommend.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

A group of college students are burying a body, and then we go back to the moment they all meet in a classical studies class.
This book is so over recommended when it comes to Dark Academia, but I can’t have you thinking I haven’t read it, or wouldn’t recommend it!

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Two university students want to cheat death, and find it unlocks a terrible power within them.
These books brilliantly explore jealousy, the anti-hero, and the corruption of greed and power.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Obsessed scientist Frankentein tries to bring a corpse back to life and creates a monster, or does he?
This is the OG Dark Academia.

I also associate chillier weather with historical fiction. Here’s a few I would recommend for Autumn:

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore

Follows the witch trials that occured in Manningtree.
This is a dark story and the whole book feels dark and eerie. It’s very atmospheric.

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

A plot to steal a woman’s inheritance in Victorian England.
This book feels gritty and dirty. The writing is so immersive it will take you to the streets of Victorian London.

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Thomas Cromwell serves as chief minister to Henry VIII as he seeks divorce from Catherine of Aragon.
I know some find this a hard book to get into because of the writing, but when you do you’ll be blown away. If you’re still struggling, I highly recommend the audiobook.

Finally, here are some mysteries to keep you entertained on rainy days.

The Unseen World by Liz Moore

For all her life, it’s just been Ava and her excentric, computer obsessed father.
What will captivate you about this mystery is that it is more about the people involved. It’s got some of the most beautiful, heartbreaking relationships and bond between mother and daughter.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

The main protagonist of this novel is never given a name herself. Forever feeling overshadowed and haunted by her new husbands ex wife.
This one is set in a manor house with suspicious characters and unsettling mysteries.

Agatha Christie

I really haven’t read enough Christie. I’ve read a few Poirot and, of course, And Then There Were None. I always get the urge to pick up more this time of year.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Set in a boarding school with a dark past.
I personally wasn’t a huge fan of this, but it’s so Autumnal, I just had to mention it. For me this book would have been perfect if there hadn’t been a romance because the mystery and the setting were top notch.

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Holmes, Private Detective of 221B Baker Street and his sidekick Dr Watson solve mysteries across Britain.
I count any classic mystery as a ‘cosy mystery’, and what better time to pick up one of those than in Autumn? The TV Show also feels very Autumnal.

Not everyone would associate romance with Autumn but there are definitely some that fit the feel of this season…

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Years ago Anne rejected the man she loves, years later he reappears in her life.
I actually really can’t think of a season Austen isn’t perfect for, but this one features a blustery November trip to the coast, so it definitely has those Autumnal feels.

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Only Blue knows Simon is gay, until someone reads his emails.
This is autumnal because it’s set around the festive season. There’s even a Halloween party!

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

After a near death experience Chloe Brown decides to time to live.
This had all the warm fuzziness of a comfort romance, I loved all of the characters, and it’s set in the Autumn months.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath goes to college with anxiety and an obsession with Simon Snow fanfiction.
It’s been a few years but I remember finding this book so cute and cosy.

book blog

August 2022 Reading Wrap Up

September 5th, 2022

Hi Readers,

August was a slower reading month, but I think it’s clear to see why. Here’s everything I read and got up to in August!

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
A Room With A View by E.M. Forster
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
All In by Billie Jean King
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Seventy-Seven by Andy Murray
Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I got the sudden urge to start a rewatch of Merlin, and I’m not going to lie, it’s caused me some problems, because I literally can’t stop thinking about anything else. Thankfully it’s only five seasons long and I’m already on season three so I’ll be finished with it soon and I can move on (to fanfiction…).

Apparently I was feeling nostalgic in August because I also rewatched High School Musical, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I haven’t watched these films in years and, honestly, they’re still so good. I don’t care if they’re for kids, I had a great time.

I finally listened to Hadestown, and I’m so annoyed at myself for not doing to sooner! Believe it or not I thought this was about miners, and I thought that sounded boring so I’ve never had interest in it. Then I really Hadestown meant Hades Town. As in god of the underworld Hades, and this musical is about Hades and Persephone. And it’s incredible. I can’t get enough of Wait For Me!

Also, I just have to mention this of course, Taylor announced an album! Midnights sounds like an amazing concept and everything I have ever needed in life. I’m so excited for it. October can’t come soon enough!

I have writing updates for once!

I started a novel, and then stopped. But for good reasons! I’ve planned this novel for most of July and August and I got 8,000 words in and just realised, I need to do more research!

I also keep thinking how amazing it would be to take part and win NaNoWriMo this year.

I also can’t stop thinking about Merlin, and it is kind of hindering my creativity.

So, it’s on hold until November and then I can give more updates with how it’s going. So far though, I’m kind of liking it…

No knitting updates because it was far too hot to knit. I hope you all had a lovely Summer, but I’m sure most of us are looking forward to a (hopefully) cooler Autumn!

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog

September 2022 TBR

August 31st, 2022

Hi Readers!

I’m so excited that it’s September! This really is the best time of the year. There’s so much to look forward to! But, for now, lets focus on the reading. Here are my plans for September.

Sanditon by Jane Austen (And Another Lady)
I’m not really sure how I feel about reading this. Me and my Nan randomly started talking about Jane Austen at a BBQ in August and she mentioned she had this book where somebody had completed Sanditon, Jane Austens last and unfinished novel. I think it’s worth giving it a go, and I am curious to see where somebody might take it.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
I really didn’t read enough Rom Con’s this Summer so I definitely want to try and pick up a couple in September. I haven’t read a Beth O’Leary yet so I’m excited to see what I think, and I love the concept of this one…

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Oh, I’m excited for this one. I have quite high expectations so I hope it meets them! I’d also love to finally watch the Emma Thompson adaptation after. I’ve been putting that off for so long because I want to read the book first, of course.

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
I’ve been saying for a while now I want to catch up on Dickens Vs Tolstoy, and yes, I would pretty much be starting from the start. But I plan on mostly listening to audiobooks for the earlier Dicken’s works as I’m not particularly that interested in them…

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
This will be a reread, and I’m quite excited to pick this up again. My plan is to annotate heavily this time. I love this book so so much and, despite it’s length, I know I’m going to really enjoy it.

Aspects of a Novel by E.M. Forster
I am planning on taking part in NaNoWriMo in November. I have a really exciting plan for a novel. So I’m going to spend the next couple of months learning as much as I can about writing a novel so I can make it as good as I can.
I also just really love E.M. Forster.

Ithaca by Claire North
I was lucky enough to be sent this by the publisher, and I’m very excited to pick it up. I must admit, did not realise this was the same author as The Fifteen Lives of Harry August. But I love a mythology retelling and one that follows Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, has me so intrigued.

What do you plan on reading in September?

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Book Review

Book Review | Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

August 30th, 2022

| Published: August 30th by Hutchinson Heinemann |
| Genre: Contemporary |
| Length: 384 Pages |
| Themes: Sports, Romance |
| My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ |

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

Once again, Reid has excelled when it comes to characterisation. She has a way of creating the most unlikeable characters, who if I only knew a little bit about them (like how we go into this book knowing Carrie slept with Nina’s husband from Malibu Rising) I would just hate them. But Reid is somehow able to flip that and make them seem more human and, by giving us background and history, makes them so much more understandable.

You’re rooting for Carrie, but not just to win that grandslam, but to change as well. You can see her flaws, you can see how, even winning this extra slam, she still isn’t going to be happy. You want her to win the game of life as much as the game of tennis.

Carrie’s main reason for wanting to reenter the sport she’s retired from is because of the rise of Nicki Chan. I thought this was brilliantly done as it heroes what Nicki Chan had done for Asian women in tennis. Celebrating other women’s achievements, rather than feeling threatened by it, is a great message.

I personally found the tennis jargon quite tiring. I am a tennis fan and I watch it avidly throughout the year, mainly to cheer on the Brits and the greats, so I did understand it easily. But there was just too much of it and it got to the point where I felt like I was reading a tennis text book more than a novel.

There is some plot besides the tennis, but it’s quite a stereotypical, tropey kind of plot that felt quite predictable. The Mum died, the Dad’s been ill, the MC has trust issues when it comes to men. I’ve just read it all before, and it was quite boring to be honest with you.

I also found the pacing was off. We get an awful lot of backstory in one go, and the real story doesn’t get going until a good 20/25% of the way through.

Because of her past books I go into Reid’s books with very high expectations, and before she’s always met them. This one just disappointed me a little unfortunately.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

August Bookish News | Percy Jackson & Aristotle and Dante film news!

August 27th, 2022

Hi Readers!

August Book Releases

The cast of Percy Jackson celebrated his birthday in style! They were also spotted filming around New York!

Benjamin Alire Saenz has given the Aristotle and Dante adaptation a thumbs up!

He took to twitter to let fans know he has seen a screening of the film, and is pleased with what he saw. This is one of most incredible books I have ever read, and it’s so exciting to see it’s been made into a movie! Better yet, Lin Manuel Miranda worked as a producer on it. And we already know everything he touches turns to gold!

We got a first look at the next ‘Hunger Games’ film, based on the prequel story The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes.

Kit Young and other cast members shared the official poster with an October release date for School of Good and Evil, adapted from the books by Soman Chainani.

The two leads for Disney+’s upcoming adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles was cast.

The Readings Prize, a book prize for Australian Literature, released this years shortlist.

The Times released a list of the 50 Best Books of the Last One Hundred Years, put together by a panel of writers including Anne Enright and David Mitchell.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X

book blog · Bookish News

September Book Releases 2022

August 15th, 2022

Hi Readers!

We’re well into the second half of the year, but there are still some really exciting releases to look forward to! This is especially a good month for any greek myth retelling fans out there…

Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie
Releases: September 27th, Riverhead Books

From the acclaimed author of Home Fire, the moving and surprising story of a lifelong friendship and the forces that bring it to the breaking point.

Zahra and Maryam have been best friends since childhood in Karachi, even though–or maybe because–they are unlike in nearly every way. Yet they never speak of the differences in their backgrounds or their values, not even after the fateful night when a moment of adolescent impulse upends their plans for the future.

Three decades later, Zahra and Maryam have grown into powerful women who have each cut a distinctive path through London. But when two troubling figures from their past resurface, they must finally confront their bedrock differences–and find out whether their friendship can survive.

Love Untold by Ruth Jones
Releases: September 29th, Bantam Press

Grace is about to turn ninety. She doesn’t want parties or presents or fuss. She just wants to heal the family rift that’s been breaking her heart for decades.

But to do that she must find her daughter Alys – the only person who can help to put things right.

And when she finds her – if she does – she risks betraying granddaughter Elin. Who is far less forgiving of the past, with its hurts and secrets and lies. Meanwhile Grace’s great-grand-daughter Beca is oblivious to all these worries, too busy navigating the highs and lows of teenage life and keeping secrets of her own.

All families have their problems. And most of them get resolved. But Grace’s problem is thirty years old. And she doesn’t have time on her side.

So is it too late for her to make peace? Or is reconciliation still within reach?

Girl Friends by Holly Bourne
Releases: September 8th, Hodder & Stoughton

From the day they first meet as teenagers Fern and Jessica are best friends. Despite their differences, they are there for each other throughout everything, navigating the difficulties of growing up and fitting in. That is until Jessica crosses a line that Fern can’t forgive.

But now, more than ten years later, Jessica has unexpectedly reappeared in Fern’s life.

A lot has changed for them both – but can their relationship be different now they are older? Is it possible for either of them to rewrite the role that they have been cast in? Or will their shared history ultimately be doomed to repeat itself again?

Lark & Kasim Start A Revolution by Kacen Callender
Releases: September 27th, Faber Faber

Lark Winters wants to be a writer, and for now that means posting on their social media accounts––anything to build their platform. When former best friend Kasim accidentally posts a thread on Lark’s Twitter declaring his love for a secret, unrequited crush, Lark’s tweets are suddenly the talk of the school—and beyond. To protect Kasim, Lark decides to take the fall, pretending they accidentally posted the thread in reference to another classmate. It seems like a great idea: Lark gets closer to their crush, Kasim keeps his privacy, and Lark’s social media stats explode. But living a lie takes a toll—as does the judgment of thousands of Internet strangers. Lark tries their best to be perfect at all costs, but nothing seems good enough for the anonymous hordes––or for Kasim, who is growing closer to Lark, just like it used to be between them . . .

In the end, Lark must embrace their right to their messy emotions and learn how to be in love. 

The Winners by Fredrik Backman
Releases: September 27th, Atria

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The residents continue to grapple with life’s big questions: What is a family? What is a community? And what, if anything, are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

As the locals of Beartown struggle to overcome the past, great change is on the horizon. Someone is coming home after a long time away. Someone will be laid to rest. Someone will fall in love, someone will try to fix their marriage, and someone will do anything to save their children. Someone will submit to hate, someone will fight, and someone will grab a gun and walk towards the ice rink.

So what are the residents of Beartown willing to sacrifice for their home? Everything.

The American Roommate Exchange by Elena Armas
Releases: September 6th, Simon & Schuster

Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her. Luckily she has her best friend Lina’s spare key while she’s out of town. But Rosie doesn’t know that Lina has already lent her apartment to her cousin Lucas, who Rosie has been stalking—for lack of a better word—on Instagram for the last few months. Lucas seems intent on coming to her rescue like a Spanish knight in shining armor. Only this one strolls around the place in a towel, has a distracting grin, and an irresistible accent. Oh, and he cooks.

Lucas offers to let Rosie stay with him, at least until she can find some affordable temporary housing. And then he proposes an outrageous experiment to bring back her literary muse and meet her deadline: He’ll take her on a series of experimental dates meant to jump-start her romantic inspiration. Rosie has nothing to lose. Her silly, online crush is totally under control—but Lucas’s time in New York has an expiration date, and six weeks may not be enough, for either her or her deadline.

Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
Releases: September 27th, Doubleday

1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters, and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.

The notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven, whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie’s empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho’s gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.

With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson gives us a window in a vanished world. Slyly funny, brilliantly observant, and ingeniously plotted, Shrines of Gaiety showcases the myriad talents that have made Atkinson one of the most lauded writers of our time.

All The Broken Places by John Boyne
Releases: September 15th, Doubleday

1946. Three years after a cataclysmic event which tore their lives apart, a mother and daughter flee Poland for Paris, shame, and fear at their heels, not knowing how hard it is to escape your past.

Nearly eighty years later, Gretel Fernsby lives a life that is a far cry from her traumatic childhood. When a couple moves into the flat below her in her London mansion block, it should be nothing more than a momentary inconvenience. However, the appearance of their nine-year-old son Henry brings back memories she would rather forget.

Faced with a choice between her own safety and his, Gretel is taken back to a similar crossroads she encountered long ago. Back then, her complicity dishonoured her life, but to interfere now could risk revealing the secrets she has spent a lifetime protecting.

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
Releases: September 1st, Knopf

Winter, 1561. Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara, is taken on an unexpected visit to a country villa by her husband, Alfonso. As they sit down to dinner it occurs to Lucrezia that Alfonso has a sinister purpose in bringing her here. He intends to kill her.

Lucrezia is sixteen years old, and has led a sheltered life locked away inside Florence’s grandest palazzo. Here, in this remote villa, she is entirely at the mercy of her increasingly erratic husband.

What is Lucrezia to do with this sudden knowledge? What chance does she have against Alfonso, ruler of a province, and a trained soldier? How can she ensure her survival.

Lessons by Ian McEwan
Releases: September 13th, Knopf

When the world is still counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has closed, eleven-year-old Roland Baines’s life is turned upside down. Two thousand miles from his mother’s protective love, stranded at an unusual boarding school, his vulnerability attracts piano teacher Miss Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade.

Now, when his wife vanishes, leaving him alone with his tiny son, Roland is forced to confront the reality of his restless existence. As the radiation from Chernobyl spreads across Europe, he begins a search for answers that looks deep into his family history and will last for the rest of his life.

Haunted by lost opportunities, Roland seeks solace through every possible means—music, literature, friends, sex, politics, and, finally, love cut tragically short, then love ultimately redeemed. His journey raises important questions for us all. Can we take full charge of the course of our lives without causing damage to others? How do global events beyond our control shape our lives and our memories? And what can we really learn from the traumas of the past?

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurlan
Releases: September 7th, Park Row

Meet Chloe. First-year student, ordinary, legging-wearing, girl next door…and psychopath.

Chloe is part of a secret clinical study of young psychopaths run by the university’s Psychology Department. Most psychopaths aren’t criminals, but when a string of murders on campus causes upheaval, Chloe’s private vendetta is sidelined. Partnered with fellow study participants she can’t trust – and distracted by typical university life – Chloe has to walk the line between hunter and prey.

The Witch In The Well by Camilla Bruce
Releases: September 8th, Transworld

When two former friends reunite after decades apart, their grudges, flawed ambitions, and shared obsession swirl into an all-too-real echo of a terrible town legend.

Centuries ago, beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark was accused of witchcraft after several children disappeared. Her acquittal did nothing to stop her fellow townsfolk from drowning her in the well where the missing children were last seen.

When author and social media influencer Elena returns to the summer paradise of her youth to get her family’s manor house ready to sell, the last thing she expected was connecting with—and feeling inspired to write about—Ilsbeth’s infamous spirit. The very historical figure that her ex-childhood friend, Cathy, has been diligently researching and writing about for years.

What begins as a fiercely competitive sense of ownership over Ilsbeth and her story soon turns both women’s worlds into something more haunted and dangerous than they could ever imagine.

Ithaca by Claire North
Releases: September 6th, Orbit

This is the story of Penelope of Ithaca, famed wife of Odysseus, as it has never been told before. Beyond Ithaca’s shores, the whims of gods dictate the wars of men. But on the isle, it is the choices of the abandoned women—and their goddesses— that will change the course of the world.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
Releases: September 15th, Mantle

Medusa is the only mortal in a family of gods. Growing up with her sisters, she quickly realizes that she is the only one who gets older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know.

When desire pushes a God to commit the unforgivable, Medusa’s mortal life is changed forever. Her punishment is to be turned into a Gorgon: sharp teeth, snakes for hair, and a gaze that will turn any living creature to stone. Appalled by her own reflection, Medusa can no longer look upon anything she loves without destroying it. She condemns herself to a life of solitude in the shadows to limit her murderous range.

That is, until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon . . .

The Golden Enclaves by Naomi Novik
Releases: September 27th, Del Rey

Book Three In The Scholomance Series
Saving the world is a test no school of magic can prepare you for in the triumphant conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with A Deadly Education and The Last Graduate.

Almost singlehandedly–although backed by an increasingly large cadre of genuine friends–El has changed the nature of the Scholomance forever. But now that she is back in the real world, how will the lessons she learned inside the school apply? Will her grandmother’s prophecy come true? Will she really spell the doom of all the enclaves forever?

As the quest to save her one true love ramps up, however, El is about to learn the most significant lesson of all–the dire truth on which the enclaves and the whole stability of the magical world are founded. And being El, she is not likely to let it lie….

Fairy Tale by Stephen King
Releases: September 6th, Hodder & Stoughton

Charlie Reade looks like a regular high school kid, great at baseball and football, a decent student. But he carries a heavy load. His mom was killed in a hit-and-run accident when he was ten, and grief drove his dad to drink. Charlie learned how to take care of himself—and his dad. Then, when Charlie is seventeen, he meets Howard Bowditch, a recluse with a big dog in a big house at the top of a big hill. In the backyard is a locked shed from which strange sounds emerge, as if some creature is trying to escape. When Mr. Bowditch dies, he leaves Charlie the house, a massive amount of gold, a cassette tape telling a story that is impossible to believe, and a responsibility far too massive for a boy to shoulder.

Because within the shed is a portal to another world—one whose denizens are in peril and whose monstrous leaders may destroy their own world, and ours. In this parallel universe, where two moons race across the sky, and the grand towers of a sprawling palace pierce the clouds, there are exiled princesses and princes who suffer horrific punishments; there are dungeons; there are games in which men and women must fight each other to the death for the amusement of the “Fair One.” And there is a magic sundial that can turn back time.

Kingdom of the Feared by Kerri Maniscalco
Releases: September 27th, Little Brown

Book Three In Kingdom of the Wicked Series
Emilia is reeling from a shocking discovery about her sister, Vittoria. But before she faces the demons of her past, Emilia yearns to claim her king, the seductive Prince of Wrath, in the flesh. She doesn’t just desire his body; she wants his heart and soul-but that’s something the enigmatic demon can’t promise her.

When a high-ranking member of House Greed is assassinated, damning evidence somehow points to Vittoria as the murderer. Now, Emilia will do anything to get to the bottom of these accusations against the sister she thought she knew.

Together, Emilia and Wrath play a sin-fuelled game of deception to solve the murder and stop the unrest that’s brewing between witches, demons, shape-shifters, and the most treacherous foes of all: the Feared. Emilia was warned that when it came to the Wicked, nothing was as it seemed. But have the true villains been much closer all along?

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
Releases: September 13th, Hodder & Stoughton

Sequel to Once Upon A Broken Heart
After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed.Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts.Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can.

Thanks For Reading,
Jess X