The 13 Best Fiction Books Of September 2018 Are Perfect For Fall Reading

by Melissa Ragsdale

September is here, and I don't know about you, but whenever autumn blows in, I get the craving to read a really good new book release. Even if you're not going back to school this semester, fall is filled with that spirit of learning and curiosity that book-lovers thrive on. The days are cooling down, the leaves are changing, and there are plenty of pumpkin-spiced treats to sip on as you dive into a great read. This month I'm especially excited to share with you the best fiction new releases coming out this September.

This is a wonderful month for historical fiction. There are books coming out this month that explore riveting moments in history — from the Civil War to the Trojan War to the founding of Liberia. Some of these books pull out stories and perspectives that have previously been unheard, while others incorporate magic and mystery to spin reality into new directions.

In this month's selection of new releases, you'll spy many authors you probably already love, including Khaled Hosseini, Deborah Harkness, V.E. Schwab, Sarah Bird, Pat Barker, and Kate Atkinson. But I also encourage you to check out an author you've never heard of before. Now's the perfect time to try something completely new on for size.

So happy fall, book-lovers! It's time to embark on another season of great new reads. Here are the best new fiction books of September 2018:

'Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen' by Sarah Bird (September 4; St. Martin's Press)

Beloved author Sarah Bird is back, and this time she's telling the story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman to ever serve with the Buffalo Soldiers. Though she was born into bondage on a tobacco farm in Missouri, Cathy was never allowed to think of herself as a slave. In this powerful novel based on her life, you'll follow her intense journey as she disguises herself as a man in order to join one of the Army's most legendary regiments.

Click here to buy.

'Ponti' by Sharlene Teo (September 4; Simon & Schuster)

Set in Singapore, Ponti tells the story of 16-year-old Szu, who has spent her entire life in the shadow of her beautiful, former-actress mother, Amisa. But when Szu meets another girl named Circe, the two strike up a potent, life-changing friendship. This debut novel is perfect for you if you love Zadie Smith or Elena Ferrante.

Click here to buy.

'The Silence of the Girls' by Pat Barker (September 4; Doubleday)

From the author of the Booker Prize-winning Regeneration trilogy, The Silence of the Girls offers a fresh perspective on the story of The Iliad by centering the stories of the women who lived in camps during the Trojan War. The novel follows Briseis, who was queen of one of Troy's neighboring kingdoms until Achilles sacked her city and murdered her husband and brothers. Now, she is Achilles' concubine, but when Agamemnon demands her for himself, Briseis finds herself trapped between two of history's most powerful men.

Click here to buy.

'The Wildlands' by Abby Geni (September 4; Counterpoint)

Get ready to turn some pages with this new novel from the author of The Lightkeepers. After a tornado ravages Mercy, Oklahoma and destroys the McClouds' home, orphaned siblings Darlene, Jane, and Cora find themselves the subject of newspaper headlines. But the media attention is too much for their brother, Tucker, who abandons his siblings. Three years later, he reappears after another tragedy strikes, and he enlists nine-year-old Cora to join him on a cross-country mission to make war on human civilization.

Click here to buy.

'Leave No Trace' by Mindy Mejia (September 4; Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

If you couldn't tear yourself away from Everything You Want Me to Be, you definitely need to pick up this new book by Mindy Mejia. This novel introduces readers to a place in Minnesota called the Boundary Waters — hundreds of miles of wilderness untouched by humanity. Ten years ago, a man and his son disappeared there, and the evidence suggests they were attacked by a bear. But now, the son has reappeared. He's violent and uncommunicative, and it's up to Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist at his psychiatric facility, to figure out what really happened to him.

Click here to buy.

'She Would Be King' by Wayétu Moore (September 11; Graywolf Press)

You absolutely cannot miss this remarkable debut novel which reimagines the formation of Liberia. The story is told through the lenses of three characters: Gbessa, who has been exiled from the West African village of Lai, and has survived starvation and the bite of a poisonous snake; June Dey, who was raised on a plantation in Virginia, and has been hiding his unusual strength, until a confrontation forces him to flee; and Norman Aragon, the child of a white British colonizer and a Maroon slave from Jamaica who possesses the ability to become invisible. When the three encounter each other in Monrovia, they realize their gifts might be just the thing to resolve tensions between African American settlers and the indigenous tribes.

Click here to buy.

'Crudo' by Olivia Laing (September 11; W.W. Norton & Company)

You might know Olivia Laing from her nonfiction book The Lonely City. Her novel is set during the summer of 2017. Between Brexit and Trump's successful rise to the presidency, the world is falling apart. Meanwhile, writer Kathy is freaking out about her impending marriage and the life ahead of her. As the jacket copy asks: "How do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all?"

Click here to buy.

'The Dinner List' by Rebecca Serle (September 11; Flatiron Books)

If you could have a dinner party with anyone, living or dead, who would it be? That classic ice breaker question comes to life in this delightful novel, when Sabrina arrives to her 30th birthday dinner to find her best friend, three significant people from her past, and Audrey Hepburn. (Yes, that Audrey Hepburn.) If you want a fun ride with a little romance, this is definitely your next read.

Click here to buy.

'Sea Prayer' by Khaled Hosseini (September 18; Riverhead Books)

The author of The Kite Runner is back with this beautiful piece of fiction that addresses the refugee crisis with heartbreaking precision. Sea Prayer is a short illustrated book written in the form of a letter from a father to his son on the eve of their journey out of Syria.

Click here to buy.

'Washington Black' by Esi Edugyan (September 18; Knopf)

This remarkable book has already made it onto the Man Booker Longlist for 2018, and so you definitely want to read it right away. Washington "Wash" Black is an 11-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. When his master's brother, Titch, chooses him to be his manservant, Wash is terrified. But it turns out that Titch is an abolitionist, a naturalist, explorer, scientist, and an inventor, and he introduces Wash to a whole new world. And when a bounty is placed on Wash's head, Titch abandons everything to save him.

Click here to buy.

'Transcription' by Kate Atkinson (September 25; Little, Brown and Company)

Kate Atkinson's new book is a spy story, set in the '40s and '50s. In 1940, 18-year-old Juliet Armstrong is recruited into MI5 and tasked with monitoring British Fascist sympathizers. After the war ends, she assumes all that is over — until she is unexpectedly confronted with figures from her past.

Click here to buy.

'Time's Convert' by Deborah Harkness (September 25; Viking)

If you loved A Discovery of Witches, buckle up. Deborah Harkness is releasing a new series set in the same universe as the All Souls Trilogy — but this time, she's writing about vampires. On the battlefields of the American Revolution, a young surgeon named Marcus MacNeil accepts vampire Matthew de Clermont's offer of immortality, only to find that the de Clermont family's values clash with his own. Centuries later, Marcus has fallen in love with Phoebe Taylor, a young Sotheby's employee. But things get complicated when Phoebe embarks on her own journey to becoming a vampire.

Click here to buy.

'Vengeful' by V.E. Schwab (September 25; Tor Books)

The sequel to Vicious is finally here. In the first book, super-villain Victor sought answers from fellow super-villain (and his former college roommate) Eli. In the sequel, Victor seeks revenge.

Click here to buy.