There are few things in life that are better than a crisp September afternoon spent with a book in one hand and a pumpkin spiced latte in another! Taking in the beautiful fall colours, cuddling up in a cosy sweater and settling into an amazing new story.
This last year, plenty of us have gotten back into reading, rediscovering a focus and voracious reading appetite that we haven't had in years. It's a habit we don't want to lose now that restrictions are easing and the world is opening up again. So we've picked some of the best page turners coming out this September that really hook you so you can lose yourself between the pages for a little while…happy reading!
Published: September 7th
Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.
Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young—but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?
Published: September 28th
Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.
Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.
Published: September 23rd
Colm Tóibín’s new novel opens in a provincial German city at the turn of the twentieth century, where the boy, Thomas Mann, grows up with a conservative father, bound by propriety, and a Brazilian mother, alluring and unpredictable. Young Mann hides his artistic aspirations from his father and his homosexual desires from everyone. He is infatuated with one of the richest, most cultured Jewish families in Munich, and marries the daughter Katia. They have six children. On a holiday in Italy, he longs for a boy he sees on a beach and writes the story Death in Venice.
He is the most successful novelist of his time, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, a public man whose private life remains secret. He is expected to lead the condemnation of Hitler, whom he underestimates. His oldest daughter and son, leaders of Bohemianism and of the anti-Nazi movement, share lovers. He flees Germany for Switzerland, France and, ultimately, America, living first in Princeton and then in Los Angeles. The Magician is an intimate, astonishingly complex portrait of Mann, his magnificent and complex wife Katia, and the times in which they lived—the first world war, the rise of Hitler, World War II, the Cold War, and exile.
Published: September 2nd
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’
When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city.
But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long: who are the people who made her the way she is? And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections.
Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin.
Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.
‘Belonging: A Memoir of Place, Beginnings and One Woman's Search for Truth and Justice for the Tuam Babies’ by Catherine Coreless (Hachette Ireland)
Published: September 16th
One woman, the secrets of a small town, and a quest for justice that rocked a nation.
Catherine Corless could not have known where her interest in local history would lead her, as she began researching the Tuam Mother and Baby Home in Galway in 2010. Uncovering no less than 796 missing burial records of children born there, the stark truth of their place of rest became clear: a disused sewage tank on the old home site, where two boys had once stumbled upon bones.
But who were these lost children, and what had happened to them in the care of the Bons Secours order of nuns?
Determined to know more, Catherine's painstaking research led to a quest for justice that continues still as, often against fierce resistance, she brought to light a terrible truth that shocked the world, impacted the Vatican, and led to a Commission of Investigation in Ireland.
Part memoir, part detective story, Belonging is both a personal account – of identity, beginnings and Catherine's search for her own mother's lost story – and a recounting of her forensic crusade on behalf of the lost babies of Tuam.
Published: September 16th
It's the following Thursday.
Elizabeth has received a letter from an old colleague, a man with whom she has a long history. He's made a big mistake, and he needs her help. His story involves stolen diamonds, a violent mobster, and a very real threat to his life.
As bodies start piling up, Elizabeth enlists Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron in the hunt for a ruthless murderer. And if they find the diamonds too? Well, wouldn't that be a bonus?
But this time they are up against an enemy who wouldn't bat an eyelid at knocking off four septuagenarians. Can The Thursday Murder Club find the killer (and the diamonds) before the killer finds them?
‘Death on Ireland's Eye: The Victorian Murder Trial that Scandalised a Nation’ by Dean Ruxton (Gill Books)
Published: September 24th
One morning in September 1852, a handsome couple stepped onto a hired boat bound for Ireland's Eye, an uninhabited island and popular tourist spot off Howth Harbour. William Kirwan was an artist of considerable means and his wife, Maria, was a keen swimmer.
After sunset, when the boatmen returned to collect their customers, Maria was missing. A search was mounted, and she was found dead in a lonely, rocky inlet. An inquest ruled the death a drowning, and Maria Kirwan was laid to rest. But only weeks later a startling secret sparked an investigation, Maria's exhumation and William's arrest for her murder.
The story caused a sensation: a secret life and a sharply divisive trial that aroused the full force of Victorian moral outrage. A veil of mystery has hung over Maria's death for almost 170 years.
Now, this modern analysis casts greater doubt over the Crown's version of events than ever before, shedding new light on the question of whether William Burke Kirwan really was guilty of murder.