Friday, September 5, 2014

5 Fiction titles to look for in September

It's September, which means that we've reached the start of Fall publishing season and the weight of publishers catalogues falling on my desk takes its annual, seasonal jump. The fall books season stretches from late August (hardly autumn at all, I know, but I'm not the one who defined this season) through to late November and traditionally it's a time when publishers bring out their biggest names and most anticipated titles. Makes it hard to select just five for this month, but here's what I've whittled it down to for September.

Paying Guests by Sarah Waters (September 2). Sarah Waters is a favourite of Halifax Public Libraries readers: her books Fingersmith, The Little Stranger and others were popular when they were released and remain well-borrowed today. Folks are already lining up for her latest: add your name to the hold list now! "A truly extraordinary, masterful novel of brilliant storytelling, sensuality, and psychological suspense set in post-WWI London. The year is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned, the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. In South London, in a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as Mrs Wray and her daughter Frances are obliged to take in lodgers. With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, the routines of the house and the lives of its inhabitants will be shaken up in unexpected ways."

The Monogram Murders: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah. (September 9). The wildly popular Agatha Christie series is getting a new addition! I'm not sure there is much more I need to say about this one, especially when you know that the publisher claims that "since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie's novels have been sold around the globe." British author Sophie Hannah is a well respected author of crime fiction in her own right. Will Christie fans be happy with what she brings to the series? Only time will tell!

The Preacher by Sander Jakobsen (September 9). It's been a few years since Steig Larsson made the Scandinavian thriller a North American reading sensation, and although the trend is waning slightly, there are still lots of great writers thrilling fans with dark tales in this genre. This one is a debut from a duo writing under the pseudonym of Sander Jakobsen. The publisher calls it "an astonishingly clever, gripping thriller with a killer hook - from the hottest new name in Scandinavian crime writing." Interesting fact about this one: the Danish authors submitted their manuscript in English, having written and translated it themselves.

Broken Hours by Jacqueline Baker (September 23): Looking for a gothic tale? Look no futher! "A brilliantly written, compelling and deeply creepy novel. In the spring of 1936, horror writer H.P. Lovecraft is broke, living alone in a creaky old house and deathly ill. At the edge of a nervous breakdown, he hires a personal assistant, Arthor Crandle. As the novel opens, Crandle arrives at Lovecraft's home with no knowledge of the writer or his work but is soon drawn into his distinctly unnerving world: the malevolent presence that hovers on the landing; the ever-shining light from Lovecraft's study, invisible from the street; and visions in the night of a white-clad girl in the walled garden."

Consumed by David Cronenberg (September 30). Wait, what? David Cronenberg, novelist? The Canadian director whose disturbing visions in films like The Fly, A History of Violence and others have made him both celebrated and controversial has turned his attention to fiction, with a novel that (like many of his films) is being lauded as brilliant but not for the faint of heart."In the book-filled, artfully messy Paris apartment of the famous French intellectuals Celestine and Aristide Arosteguy, an astonishing discovery is made - the grisly, butchered remains of Celestine, partially eaten. Her husband, sought by police for questioning, is nowhere to be found. Naomi Seberg, a young journalist, embarks upon a quest to uncover the truth of Celestine's death and Aristide's role in it."

If these last two Canadian authors have left you looking for more Canadian fiction, head over to Twitter and check us out at @halifaxreader. We'll be posting some of our favourite fall publishing season releases from Canadian authors with the tag #fallforCanLit.

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