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Books you need to read this September

It’s back-to-school time and even if we're not of school age, there’s a lot to be said for embracing a reading list. Here's nine must-reads for the month ahead.

So, it’s getting a little bit darker, a little bit colder and thoughts are starting to tip towards log fires and cosy blankets on comfy sofas. A hearty stew bubbling on the hob, a glass of red and a brilliant book helps complete the picture. What’s that? Only got a ridiculous summer bonkbuster on your bedside table? Ah, well, it’s time to get your book life up to scratch.

The Wild Silenceby Raynor Winn

The Wild Silence Raynor Wynn.jpg

The wonderful Raynor Winn returns with her captivating follow-up to The Salt Path. In The Wild Silence, Raynor and Moth are learning to adapt to life beyond the Salt Path. Learning to trust the outside world again and coming to terms with Moth’s debilitating illness weighs heavily on them both and the sense of ‘home’ seems just beyond their reach. Until an incredible gesture from a stranger sets them on a new journey of discovery and ultimately hope as once again their love of the land and each other prevails. 

Us Three by Ruth Jones

Us Three by Ruth Jones

Catrin, Judith and Lana have been best friends since primary school, having sworn their loyalty to each other on a curly wurly wrapper. As the friends grow older and seek out new adventures away from their small Welsh village, they are determined to hang on to the friendship that has bound them together for so long. Spanning several decades and told from differing points of view, Us Three is a bighearted, touchingly funny story of the power of female friendship. 

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld 

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

Growing up in 1950s suburban Chicago, Hilary Rodham was known for being “awfully opinionated for a girl”. Her fierce intellect and ambition leads her to Yale, where she meets the charismatic Bill Clinton. What follows is the ultimate ‘what if’ story… What if Hilary hadn’t married Bill? What if she had pursued a political path? Rodham is a witty, clever and at times wonderfully romantic re-imagining of what might have been. 

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Retirement village residents Ron, Joyce, Elizabeth and Ibrahim love nothing more than a good murder. Which is why, once a week, they meet to investigate unsolved murders. But when a murderer strikes close to home, they find themselves in the middle of their first live case. A wonderful mix of humour, suspense and British quirkiness, The Thursday Murder Club will have you rooting for these plucky septuagenarians from start to finish. 

Flavourby Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage

Flavour by Ottolenghi

Flavour is the much anticipated third instalment of the bestselling ‘Plenty’ series. Focusing on vegetable dishes, Yotam and co-writer Ixta Belfrage have delved into what flavour really is and how can easily achieve this at home by following some simple rules. As with all of Yotam’s books, the recipes are deliciously easy to recreate. Even hardened meat eaters will be prepared to go veggie after they tried some of these recipes! 

The Soup Movement by Ben Davis

The Soup Movement by Ben Davis

I don’t think the blurb on The Soup Movement really captures what a brilliantly moving and funny story this is. Jordan is recovering from illness and experiencing all the awkwardness of trying to fit in at a new school, including the difficulties of an embarrassing mum who gives him homemade soup for lunch – not the way to impress new friends!  But when he hands this lunch to a local homeless man, this one simple act of kindness marks the start of a wonderfully unlikely friendship and The Soup Movement, a campaign to give soup to the local homeless community, begins. Ben Davis touches on some tricky issues – cancer, the positive power of social media, PTSD, homelessness – with great sensitivity and humour. Just as you must never judge a book by its cover (certainly not this one!) this heart-warming story encourages us all not to take people at face value but embrace opportunities to discover what’s inside. 

The White Ship by Charles Spencer

The White Ship by Charles Spencer

Described by Charles Spencer as ‘Game of Thrones meets Titanic’, The White Ship is the story of one of the greatest (but little known) disasters that England has ever suffered. When King Henry I set sail for England from French shores on a freezing November night in 1120, he had no idea that by the morning the course of history would be changed for ever. Charles Spencer is a master storyteller who has vividly brought to life the story of a bitter and bloody fight for power that saw families turn against one another in a brutal civil war.

Loud Black Girls: 20 Black Women Writers Ask: What’s Next?

The Black Lives Matter protests have inspired publishers to augment BAME voices including this important and timely anthology of black British writing, edited and curated by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinene, authors of the highly acclaimed, ground-breaking book and podcast Slay In Your Lane. It features essays from the diverse voices of twenty established and emerging black British writers.

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

One to catch up on, if you’ve missed it! Oyinkan Braithwaite’s brilliantly received 2019 black comedy about two sisters, one who murders her way through her men and the other who cleans up after he,r in a Lagos-set debut that mixes crime, love story and family drama.

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