So, so, so: it's September. Sad times for us summer lovers as the long sunny days fade away, but great news for literature lovers as we come up to the busiest time of the publishing year. There are so many books from big name authors coming out this month, it's hard to know where to start with this post. I'm betting lots of folks are already aware of The Illegal by Lawrence Hill (September 8), Purity by Jonathan Franzen (September 1) and Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood (September 29), or if not, you certainly will be once those books hit the major media circuits. Those are new releases by the biggest name authors, but there are lots more great books being released this month too. Here are a few to keep an eye out for.
Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (September 1): At the top of my September to-be-read list is the fourth book in Italian author Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels. This series of books has steadily been gaining readership over the last years. The story follows the lifelong friendship of Elena and Lila, who meet as children in a poor suburb of Naples Italy. The first book in the series--My Brilliant Friend--was a staff pick here at the Reader back in June. Take a peek at that post to get a bit more flavour of this series that's bound to become a classic.
Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper by Caroline Woodward (September 5): Lighthouses are often thought of as part of our heritage, but this book takes a look at the modern experience of lighthouse keeping. "In 2007, Caroline Woodward was itching for a change. With an established career in book-selling and promotion, four books of her own and having raised a son with her husband, Jeff, she yearned for adventure and to re-ignite her passion for writing. Jeff was tired of piecing together low-paying part-time jobs and, with Caroline's encouragement, applied for a position as a relief lightkeeper on a remote North Pacific island. They endured lonely months of living apart, but the way of life rejuvenated Jeff and inspired Caroline to contemplate serious shifts in order to accompany him. When a permanent position for a lighthouse keeper became available, Caroline quit her job and joined Jeff on the lights."
Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick Dewitt (September 5): Patrick Dewitt made headlines in 2011, when his post-modern Western novel The Sisters Brothers was nominated for just about every book award you can think of. That certainly makes his latest book hotly anticipated in certain circles, but I'm not sure Dewitt has made it into the category of a household name just yet: maybe this will be the book to push him there. "A love story, an adventure story, a fable without a moral, and an ink-black comedy of manners, international bestselling author Patrick deWitt’s new novel is about a young man named Lucien (Lucy) Minor, who accepts employment at the foreboding Castle Von Aux. While tending to his new post as undermajordomo, he soon discovers the place harbours many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux."
Entry Island by Peter May (September 15) Canadian fans of the Scottish author Peter May, are sure to be excited about a standalone thriller from him, set close to home. From the library catalogue: "Travelling as part of an eight-officer investigation team, Detective Sime Mackenzie's destination lies in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Only two kilometers wide and three long, Entry Island is home to a population of around 130 inhabitants - the wealthiest of which has just been discovered murdered in his home. The evidence points to a crime of passion. But for Sime the investigation is turned on its head when he comes face to face with the prime suspect, and is convinced that he knows her - even though they have never met."
Meadowlark by Wendi Stewart (September 15) A debut Canadian novel that is getting a little bit of pre-press buzz as a sensitive portrayal of childhood and grief. "When her family's car goes through the ice on Rainy Lake one cold March day in 1962, six-year-old Rebecca Archer is the only person her father is able to pull from the sinking vehicle. But as Rebecca grows up in a farmhouse haunted by the absence of her mother and baby brother, raised by a man left nearly paralyzed with grief, she wonders if her father really did save her after all.Eventually, though, Rebecca finds solace in the company of her friends: Chuck, the sensitive son of a violently abusive father; and Lissie, an Aboriginal girl being raised alone by a perfectionist white mother. As these three young people protect and support one another, Rebecca discovers that by saving Chuck and Lissie, she may also save herself."
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (September 15): I started this post with one book by an author I'ma big fan of, and I'll finish it with another. I've previous written about Groff at the Reader with a review of her 2008 novel The Monster's of Templeton. Her fourth book brings the story of a marriage: "Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets... At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed."