“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” — Henry Rollins

I can’t help but sigh at the thought that summer has come to an end. Imagining the cool days of autumn, curled up under a blanket reading a book is what keeps me going.

Even though it’s only September, I’m already in a spooky mood in anticipation of Halloween. They say that if you chant ‘pumpkin spice latte’ three times in front of a mirror at midnight, the ghost of the Starbucks lady will appear in the reflection with a coffee cup in hand.

I think I’ve had a bit too much coffee today. Let’s get to some of the top rated new releases in September that stood out on the bestseller lists:

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

**Oprah’s Book Club Pick** Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. An unexpected journey takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures. This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. A tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut.

My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring

Evelyn Taylor-Clarke sits in her chair at Forest Lawns Care Home in the heart of the English countryside. Evelyn is a woman with secrets and remembers everything. She can never forget the promise she made to the love of her life, to discover the truth about the mission that led to his death, no matter what it cost her… When Evelyn’s niece Pat opens an old biscuit tin to find a photo of a small girl with a red ball entitled ‘Liese, 1951’ and a passport in another name, she has some questions for her aunt. And Evelyn is transported back to a place in Germany known as ‘The Forbidden Village,’ where a woman who called herself Eva went where no one else dared, amongst shivering prisoners, to find the man who gambled with her husband’s life…

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell

By the New York Times bestselling author of Outliers, Gladwell recounts the true story of a young black woman named Sandra Bland, who in 2015 was pulled over for a minor traffic violation in rural Texas. Minutes later she was arrested and jailed. Three days later, she committed suicide in her cell. What went wrong? Talking to Strangers is all about what happens when we encounter people we don’t know, why it often goes awry, and what it says about us. How do we make sense of the unfamiliar? Why are we so bad at judging someone, reading a face, or detecting a lie? Through a series of puzzles, encounters and misunderstandings, from little-known stories to infamous legal cases, Gladwell takes us on a journey through the unexpected. You will read about the spy who spent years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the man who saw through the fraudster Bernie Madoff, the suicide of the poet Sylvia Plath and the false conviction of Amanda Knox.

She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who broke the news of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse for the New York Times, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the thrilling untold story of their investigation and its consequences for the #MeToo movement. For many years, reporters had tried to get to the truth about Harvey Weinstein’s treatment of women. In 2017, when Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey began their investigation into the prominent Hollywood producer for the New York Times, his name was still synonymous with power. During months of confidential interviews with top actresses, former Weinstein employees, and other sources, many disturbing and long-buried allegations were unearthed, and a web of onerous secret payouts and nondisclosure agreements was revealed.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

The Institute by Stephen King

Prolific and legendary horror author Stephen King presents a psychically terrifying novel with the spectacular kid power of It. In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did. In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. As each new victim disappears, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it’s his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Lea and Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved. What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never ending. 

The Prisoner’s Key by C.J. Archer

From USA Today best-selling author C.J. Archer ~ India’s study into the language of spells is interrupted by the arrest of her teacher for an unpaid debt. Before Matt can repay it for him, the powerful magician escapes from his prison cell. To make matters worse, the moneylender is murdered and the magician is implicated. Convinced of his innocence, India and Matt must discover who really killed the moneylender before the police find the magician. Their investigation leads them down a path littered with lies, betrayal, scandal, and interference from people they don’t trust.

The Woman Upstairs by Ruth Heald

**The Number One contemporary women fiction on Kobo.com** You’d be lost without her… She’s the shoulder you cry on when the father of your children disappears. She’s the person you turn to when he comes back, begging for forgiveness. She’s by your side when you discover his guilty secrets. She helps rock your babies to sleep when they cry. She’s your friend when you have no one else. She’s the woman upstairs, whose feet you hear treading around as you drift off at night, thankful you aren’t alone. But what if you’re about to lose everything because of her?

News from the Book World

  • Washington Post discussed two upcoming Greta Thunburg books to look out for this fall. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has inspired millions around the world to join her protests against climate change. At sixteen years old, she has already been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Margaret Atwood’s 30-years-in-the-making sequel to The Handmaids Tale, titled The Testaments, breaks Canadian book sales records. Read what CBC News has to say about her award-winning speculative fiction series.
  • In the spirit of KWL’s audiobook upload launch, check out Oprah Magazine’s list of the 21 best book podcasts to listen to when you’re not reading.
  • The Guardian discussed why Instagram’s biggest book accounts aren’t your usual influencers. ‘They stage backdrops and match book covers to flowers. But they’re also avid readers. Could they actually be living the lives they promote online?”

Monthly Writing Playlist

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Amy is the Author Engagement Intern for KWL. She comes up with creative blog content related to the craft and business of self-publishing, book news, and more. Amy studied Social Sciences at the University of Ottawa and Publishing at Ryerson University. She has worked as a content author of literature study guides and as an online literature educator.

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