Labor Day has come and gone, and the debate over whether it's still summer or finally autumn has commenced. (It's still summer, IMHO.) Regardless of how you feel about the extremely subtle change in temperature, September is the perfect month to sit outdoors in a light sweater with a beverage of your choice and dive into a new book release.
If you love reading thrillers in the fall, you're in luck. This week brings with it more than a few riveting new books, namely Sadie, in which author Courtney Summers interweaves podcast transcripts with first-person narrative to craft a truly stunning story about a girl on the hunt for the man she believes murdered her sister. It's a poignant and intelligent examination of American's collective obsession with true crime and "dead girls" all wrapped up as a twisted thriller novel.
But if mysteries aren't your thing, maybe try a romance novel instead: Christina Lauren's new friends-to-lovers rom-com might just be the book you need to curb your To All The Boys I've Loved Before obsession for a little while.
This week brings with it a slew of intelligent memoirs, essay collections, mysteries, horror novels, and more. Here are the 15 new books you need to know this week:
'Sadie' by Courtney Summers
This book combines so many things you probably love: missing girl stories, true crime podcasts, and read-til-the-last-page mysteries. When Sadie goes missing, her guardian asks radio broadcaster West McCray to investigate her disappearance, since local police haven't been able to find her. West agrees, and he starts a podcast to track his investigation. As it turns out, Sadie is on the move to find the man she believes killed her younger sister — and she's always one step ahead of West.
'Small Fry' by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs, tells her story — and his — in this poignant, unforgettable memoir. In it, she describes her father as a moody, mercurial, and somewhat mythical figure who fluttered in and out of her until she grew older. But her story is not contingent upon her father's, and you'll be riveted by her insightful, intelligent, and funny voice.
'Vanishing Twins' by Leah Dieterich
It's easy to shrug off "ethical non-monogamy" as a trendy phrase used on Tinder by men who live in Brooklyn and don't want to "settle down." But as Leah Dieterich beautifully explores in her new memoir Vanishing Twins, an open relationship can allow two individuals to make room to discover who they truly are — within and outside of a relationship.
'Leave No Trace' by Mindy Mejia
Ten years ago, a man and his son went missing while on a hike through a treacherous region of Minnesota called the Boundary Waters. They were presumed dead — until the son re-emerged a decade later. Maya Stark, a language therapist, is tasked with communicating with the non-responsive patient — but no matter what she tries, she can't get him to reveal what happened out there in the wilderness.
'On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope' by DeRay Mckesson
You may already know DeRay Mckesson from Twitter or from the Crooked Media podcast he hosts, Pod Save The People. In On The Other Side of Freedom, the author and activist lays down exactly how oppression is threaded into the framework of our society, and how modern institutions exacerbate and perpetuate it. But, as evidenced by the title, this is a work that ultimately argues for hope — hope that Americans can come together and build a country free from political and social oppression.
'Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy without Drinking Herself to Death' by Erin Gibson
From the creator of the Throwing Shade podcast comes Feminasty, a hilarious, smart essay collection about all the ways — big and small — that the patriarchy works to make women's life more difficult and more dangerous.
'The Glass Ocean' by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White
The Glass Ocean tells three love stories — two set in the past, one in the present — all of them inextricably tied together by the tragedy of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. In 2013, Sarah Blake discovers a haunting secret about her great-grandmother, who died on the Lusitania. In 1915, Caroline Telfair Hochstetter boards the Lusitania in hopes of reconnecting with her distant husband — but instead finds herself drawn to an old friend. Also in 1915, con-woman Tessa Fairweather boards the second-class of the Lusitania and tries to pull of one final heist aboard the ship.
'The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers' by Maxwell King
There are few things I know to be unassailably true, but one of them is this: Every good person cried watching the Mr. Rogers documentary. Maxwell King's biography is an even more exhaustive examination into the life of a man who devoted himself to spreading compassion, empathy, and kindness to all those around him.
'And The Ocean Was Our Sky' by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai
If you have never been torn to pieces by a Patrick Ness novel, well... I'm willing to bet you have never read a Patrick Ness novel. If you want to start with a vivid, vibrant retelling of Moby Dick from the whale's point of view, let me direct you to his latest novel, And The Ocean Was Our Sky.
'Two Dark Reigns' by Kendare Blake
'Josh & Hazel's Guide To Not Dating' by Christina Lauren
Summer might be on it's way out the door, but frothy, joyful romances that make you shine from the inside out always deserve a place on your nightstand, no matter the weather. In the latest from Christina Lauren, best friends Josh and Hazel decide to start dating after 10 years of being purely platonic. OK, well... not dating exactly. They're just setting each other up on a series of bad dates. Because they're not dating. They're just friends — and besides, how would Hazel's zany, eccentric personality ever mesh with Josh's mellowness?
'A Room Away From The Wolves' by Nova Ren Sum
Nova Ren Sum is a YA horror legend, and in her latest book, A Room Away From The Wolves, she proves her prowess at writing dark, unsettling, page-turning tales. Bina is estranged from her family when she arrives at Catherine House, a woman's residence in Greenwich Village with a terrifying history and magical secrets. It's there that Bina befriends Monet, a girl with secrets of her own. As she becomes more entangled with Monet — and with Catherine House — she comes to realize that it may be harder than she realizes to leave.
'I Should Have Honor: A Memoir Of Hope And Pride In Pakistan' by Khalida Brohi
Khalida Brohi grew up in a traditional society where arranged marriage was the norm. But her story was unlike many others in one critical way: Her father refused to allow her to become a child bride, and he wanted her to get an education. She was on track to become a doctor when she learned of a horrifying family tragedy: Her uncle murdered her cousin in an "honor killing" because she fell in love with a man who was not her betrothed. Enraged, 16-year-old Brohi decided to become an activist and bring education — and empowerment — to women across the globe.
'The Wildlands' by Abby Geni
When a Category 5 tornado ravages an Oklahoma town, the McCloud children lose everything — their farm, their home, and their parents. After the tragedy, newly orphaned Darlene, Jane, and Cora become media darlings — so much so, that their older brother, Tucker, abandons them in order to escape the spotlight. But when he reappears three years later, he's got a new vendetta against human civilization — and he convinces his nine-year-old sister, Cora, to join him on a road trip marked by unthinkable violence.
'Nevertheless, We Persisted: 48 Voices of Defiance, Strength, and Courage' foreword by Sen. Amy Klobuchar
In this invigorating essay collection, 48 activists — from Sen. Amy Klobuchar to actress Alia Shawkat to poet Azure Antoinette — write about persistence and why it matters so much right now. Read one or two or all of them to prepare yourself for the midterm elections and the fight ahead.