All The Books Hitting UK Shelves In September 2019 That You Need To Read ASAP

by Aoife Hanna
Originally Published: 

Holla at all my bookworms out there, summer is a great time to fill up your literary cup but you know what you are really waiting on. For autumn to roll in over the horizon. For winter to unfurl its chilly brow. Because there is absolutely nothing better than being snug as a bug in a rug while it's raining outside and falling into the pages of a book that has you hooked. Now, if, like me, you've exhausted your reading list, you'll be keen to find out about books out in the UK in September 2019.

Hell yes guys because supporting authors, both well known and newer on the scene, is important AF. Actually, it's kind of vital. Not only are you are giving yourself a chance to escape into a new world and practice some self care, but you're also paving the way for more and more upcoming writers to carve out a path and totally carry on the good work.

This list is made up of names you might recognise, books you've been waiting on for quite some time (cough, blessed be the fruit), and, of course, a whole lot of names you might not know. So get ready, get reading, and feel all of the benefits of a good book. Because there's nothing quite like that is there?


'The Testaments' — Margaret Atwood, Sept. 10

Set 15 years after the end of the legendary Handmaid's Tale, which has since become the basis for the hit TV series of the same name, this new book is being hailed by the Guardian as the "literary event of the year."

The narrators of this book are female, and sharing their experience of that time in Gilead.

Expect harrowing, dark subject matter in a sequel that is incredibly well timed. As Atwood said herself in a statement for Penguin, the world we live in is sadly inspiring for writing this book:

"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."

Pre-order here


'Cantoras' — Carolina de Robertis, Sept. 3

Cantoras is set in 1977 Uruguay, during a time of great unrest. A military government has brutally brought political dissent to a sharp end. In this time and space, people's human rights are being taken from them. And being openly homosexual is dangerous and punishable by law.

Cantoras, which translate to "women who sing," is about five woman who, despite all of this chaos, manage to discover each other. Romina, Flaca, Anita, Paz, and Malena manage to seek out and find a place that is practically uninhabited and make it their very own sanctuary. Cabo Polonio is an escape for them from their lives in the city of Montevideo. A place they can bring lovers, see each other, and, most importantly, be true to themselves. Even in the face of all of the risks involved.

A beautiful ode to queer love, history, and the struggles of the past.

Pre-order here


'The Shadow King' — Maaza Mengiste, Sept. 24

Set in 1935, The Shadow King is set during Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia at the beginning of World War II.

Hirut is a maid, working for an army officer in Emperor Haile Selassie’s army, Kidane, and his wife Aster. Kidane is a brute and sadly harasses Hirut with unwanted advances. Leaving her angry and determined to change her situation.

When the battles begin, the strongest and most skilled fighters of Ethiopia are quickly felled by the superior Italian forces. A combination of technology and numbers bringing them rapidly to their knees.

The women of Ethiopia grow tired of simply treating the wounded and burying the dead. Hirut chooses to get involved, hoping to boost morale and encourage women to take up arms.

Pre-order here


'Pet' — Akwaeke Emezi, Sept. 10

Set in the fictional city of Lucille, Pet is the young adult book you need in your life.

Jam and her best friend Redemption are growing up in Lucille, living under the long-held belief that there's no such thing as monsters. Then one day a creature climbs out of one of Jam's mother's paintings. Pet, a creature "made of horns and colours and claws", has in fact come to catch a monster. And the shadow of something awful in Redemption's house.

Jam needs to not only catch the monster but discover the truth. In a world where nobody believes that what she's hunting for even exists.

Pre-order here


'Well Met' — Jen Deluca, Sept. 5

The small town of Willow Creek isn't necessarily where Emily wants to go live for a while. But after her sister suffers an accident, she steps in to help at home. And now she's been dragged into volunteering for the local Renaissance fair alongside her teenage niece. It's here that she meets Simon, a very irritating schoolteacher whose family created the whole event.

However, once they are all in costume, she sees an entirely different side to Simon. Suddenly he's suave and flirtatious. And she's left wondering — is this the real Simon? Or is this just all a part of the show? And with everything turned upside down, Emily has to choose whether to make this move permanent in the name of love.

Pre-order here


'American Royals' — Katherine McGee, Sept. 5

Set in an alternative world where there's an American royal family, this one is all about the juicy goss.

HRH Samantha is a bad gal. She's the socialite whose misbehaviour grabs the headlines. Especially when juxtaposed to her goodie-two-shoes sister. Princess Beatrice is not only perfect but also an ideal candidate to represent her family.

However, both girls need to keep on their toes because there's another potential object of the heir Prince Jefferson's affections, Daphne Deighton.

Little do these women know that, in actual fact, hiding in plain sight is the biggest competition of all. Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the King's secretary.

Pre-order here


'The Rabbit Girls' — Anna Ellory, Sept. 1

It's 1989 and Miriam Winter is caring for her dying father Henryk. As he is in the throws of pain and approaching death, he cries out the name Frieda. While making her father feel more comfortable she discovers a tattoo under his wristwatch. A prisoners' tattoo from Auschwitz.

After discovering a Ravensbrück women's camp uniform in her mothers belongings, with letters from Frieda sewn into the seams, Miriam begins to unravel the long-held secrets of her father's past. The letters tell of the "rabbit girls," the women experimented on by Nazi scientists for medical purposes.

What follows is a lot of heartbreak and strength in the face of adversity.

Pre-order here

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