9 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in September

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Did you procrastinate back-to-school reading as a kid and now long for the days when all you had to do was pick up a book and take it all in? (Don’t worry, same here.) Luckily, just because we’re a few years decades past that point in our lives doesn’t mean we can’t use September to get back on track, book-wise. Especially when there are so many fabulous new offerings this month, from a guide to riding the waves of anxiety rather than swimming against them to a fun friends-to-enemies-to-lovers rom-com.

The Best Books PureWow Editors Have Read This Summer

september books awad

1. Rouge: A Novel by Mona Awad

The author of 2019’s Bunny is back with another dark fairytale-esque novel. For as long as she can remember, Belle has been obsessed with her skin and skincare videos. When her estranged mother mysteriously dies, Belle goes back in Southern California to deal with her mother’s considerable debts. The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother’s demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. Soon, Belle is lured to the same lavish, culty spa to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother’s) obsession with the mirror—and what lurks on the other side of the glass.

september books nancherla

2. Unreliable Narrator: Me, Myself and Impostor Syndrome by Aparna Nancherla

Aparna Nancherla is a popular comedian with stand-up specials, headlining sets and late-night appearances. If you ask her, though, she’s a total fraud. In her debut essay collection, Nancherla writes about her interior life, one constantly bossed around by her depression, laced with anxiety and plagued by a love-hate relationship with her career as a painfully shy standup comedian. Her essays are hilarious and insightful meditations on body image, productivity culture, the ultra-meme-ability of mental health language and more.

september books taranto

3. How I Won a Nobel Prize by Julius Taranto

In this debut novel, Helen is a young physicist on a path to save the planet, but when she discovers that her brilliant adviser is involved in a sex scandal, she’s torn: Should she give up on her work with him, or should she accompany him to a controversial university that hosts academics other schools have thrown out? Helen decides to go, bringing along her partner, Hew, who is much warier about the experience. On campus, Helen finds herself drawn to an older novelist, while Hew gets involved in an increasingly radical protest movement. Their rift deepens until both confront choices that will reshape their lives—and maybe the world.

september books katz

4. Thank You for Sharing: A Novel by Rachel Runya Katz

Friends to enemies to lovers is the name of the game in Rachel Runya Katz’s debut novel. Daniel and Liyah’s last conversation, 14 years ago at summer camp, ended their friendship. Imagine their surprise, then, when they find themselves sitting next to each other on a plane. Luckily, they can go their separate ways again after landing...or so they think. But then, Daniel's marketing firm gets hired by the Chicago museum where Liyah works, and they’re forced to collaborate with potential career changing promotions on the line. As the tension (and chemistry) between the two builds, they’re eventually forced to confront why they broke apart years ago at camp.

september books groff

5. The Vaster Wilds: A Novel by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies, Florida) is back with the story of an unnamed young servant girl who flees a settlement in colonial America and sets out across the wilderness as she encounters, along with the beauty of nature, wild animals and an unruly man who also lives in the wild. Groff’s seventh book is described as being “at once a thrilling adventure story and a penetrating fable about trying to find a new way of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism,” The Vaster Wilds asks how—and if—we can adapt to save ourselves.

september books washington

6. Thicker Than Water: A Memoir by Kerry Washington

In her debut memoir, actress, director, producer and activist Kerry Washington chronicles her upbringing and life’s journey thus far, candidly revealing challenges, setbacks and childhood traumas, recounting extraordinary mentors, career highs and how she ultimately came to discover her truest self and a deeper sense of belonging.

september books cook

7. Generation Anxiety: A Millennial and Gen Z Guide to Staying Afloat in an Uncertain World by Dr. Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is a licensed clinical psychologist and career coach. Her first book focuses on the many nuanced reasons why these millennials and Gen Z are struggling, mental health-wise, in different ways than their predecessors. Using a feminist and intersectional lens, Cook shares her own struggles with anxiety and provides easy, actionable steps to help readers ride the waves of anxiety rather than swimming against them, while also incorporating evidence-backed psychological research and diverse client experiences to help readers gain insight into their own stressors and combat them.

september books mcdonnell

8. The World According to Joan Didion by Evelyn McDonnell

Evelyn McDonnell is a journalist, essayist, critic, feminist and university professor who regularly teaches the work of Joan Didion. Inspired by the iconic late writer’s own words and informed by the people who knew Didion and those whose lives she shaped, The World According to Joan Didion is an illustrated journey through her life, from Sacramento and Malibu to Manhattan and Hawaii. Published a few years after the revered writer’s death in 2021, it aims to help readers answer the question as they sit in a café, or on a plane or train, pondering the future: What would Joan Didion have seen?

september books knoll

9. Bright Young Women: A Novel by Jessica Knoll

Knoll’s (Luckiest Girl Alive) latest thriller centers on two women from opposite sides of the country who are brought together by the violent acts of the same man. It’s a Saturday night in 1978 when a murderer descends upon a Florida sorority house. The lives of those who survive, including sorority president and key witness, Pamela, are forever changed. Across the country, Tina is convinced her missing friend was targeted by the same man. Determined to find justice, Pamela and Tina join forces to pursue justice for their friends.

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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