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What do Don Quixote, Condé Nast (the person and the company) and an Icelandic prosthetics expert have in common? Not too much, honestly. Except, that is, that they’re all featured in nine of September’s most highly anticipated new books.

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the whisper man alex north
cover: celadon books; background: ANDRII SHELENKOV/GETTY IMAGES

the whisper man by alex north

In this creepy tale, a widower and his son move to a tiny English town to start fresh. Except, the town has a scary history, including a serial killer who abducted and murdered five young boys. But, lo and behold, the culprit is caught. So why does the widower, Tom, start to feel like something isn’t right? Another boy goes missing, and Tom’s young son says he hears someone outside his window at night. Did “The Whisper Man” have an accomplice?

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conde nast susan ronald
cover: St. Martin's Press; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

Condé Nast: The Man and His Empire by Susan Ronald (September 3)

Moving to New York in the early 20th century with just the shirt on his back, Condé Nast quickly became the highest paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913. This fascinating biography covers his creation of the first-ever international magazine empire, his rivalry with William Randolph Hearst and more juicy media gossip.

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quichotte salman rushdie
cover: Random House; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

Quichotte by Salman Rushdie (September 3)

In this modern adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote, an aging salesman loses his job as a pharmaceutical rep. Assuming the alias of Quichotte, he then embarks on a journey across America to win over the heart of a beautiful celebrity in New York City whom he knows only through the TV screen (his Dulcinea, natch). It’s a meditation on storytelling, memory and truth, with nods to the current political climate.

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the testaments margaret atwood
cover: Nan A. Talese; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (September 10)

This long-awaited sequel to Atwood’s masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, picks up 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. Atwood’s publisher is keeping many of the details under wraps, but she has said, “Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." Intriguing…

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akin emma donoghue
cover: Little, Brown and Company; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

Akin by Emma Donoghue (September 10)

The latest novel from the author of 2010’s Room is about a retired Manhattanite professor, whose life is turned upside down when, accompanied by a young relative he barely knows, travels to the French Riviera in the hopes of uncovering his own mother's wartime secrets.

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red at the bone jacqueline woodson
cover: Riverhead Books; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (September 17)

Beginning in 2001 and moving forward and backward in time, Woodson’s (Brown Girl Dreaming) latest is about how an unexpected teenage pregnancy unites families from different social classes, in the process exposing the private hopes and disappointments that can bind or divide us. It explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification and class through multiple generations of a Brooklyn family.

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juliet takes a breath gabby rivera
cover: Dial Books; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (September 17)

In this queer, coming-of-age story, Juliet is a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx who, after moving to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer, comes to terms with her sexual and racial identities.

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motherhood so white nefertiti austin
cover: Sourcebooks; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin (September 23)

When she decided she wanted to adopt a black baby boy out of the foster care system, Austin discovered that American society saw motherhood through a white lens. In Motherhood So White, she tells the story of her fight to create her own type of family while examining the history of adoption in the African American community and the stereotypes of single, black motherhood.

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a fist or a heart kristin eiriksdottir
cover: Amazon Crossing; background: Andrii Shelenkov/getty images

A Fist or a Heart by Kristin Eiriksdottir (September 23)

In her English-language debut, Icelandic author Eiriksdottir introduces Elín, an older woman in Reykjavík (who makes props and prosthetics for Nordic crime flicks), and Ellen, a sensitive young playwright and illegitimate daughter of a famous writer. As Ellen arouses maternal feelings in Elín, the two realize that they’re linked by a shared trauma in their past.

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