Is your book club scrambling for a September read? We’ve got you covered! Here, we’ve pulled the best book club picks coming out this month. Whether you’re in the mood for a moving story about immigration, or would prefer a gripping thriller, we have the book to get your club chatting. For more excellent picks, check out our Fall Previews!
Readers, we don’t have to tell you who Sophie Hannah is, and now she’s back with a gripping tale based on the famous JonBenét Ramsey case. Cara Burrows is at the end of her rope, so she books herself a hotel room to get away from her all-too-complicated life. But when she turns the key and the door swings open, she sees there are already two people in the room. One of them is supposed to be dead—at least, that’s what the news reported. Melody Chapa’s murder made the front page when it happened, and her parents are still in prison for it. Did Cara’s eyes play a trick on her, or did she stumble upon the truth?
What would you be willing to do and how far would you be willing to go for your family? When an asteroid strikes the Earth, civilization crumbles and the world turns into a chaotic and dangerous place. Edgar Hill’s family is evacuated by a rescue helicopter, but he’s separated from them and left behind. It’s in that moment that Edgar must ask himself if he’s prepared to follow them, crossing 450 miles on foot. Edgar has to move quickly if he hopes to catch up with them. He isn’t a runner, but it’s the only chance he has of ever seeing his family again.
Readers will meet a Spanish princess named Eulalia in this exciting novel based on the life and times of a real historical figure. Eulalia grew up in the Spanish court and had an isolated childhood. After such a stifling early life, she broke free when she, along with Thomas Aragon, traveled to Cuba and then America in the 1890s, where she sought to publish her autobiography. This story has it all: historical flair, struggles for power and autonomy, and even romance. We bet this story will keep your book club up chatting long into the night.
Inspired by “Snow White,” Melissa Bashardoust’s novel explores the contentious relationship between a young girl and her stepmother, who have more in common than they realize. When Queen Mina was a young girl, her sorcerer father replaced her human heart with a glass one. It’s a decision that drives her to win over the widowed King Nicholas—Mina hopes that if he falls for her, she can experience the love that her glass heart denies her. Becoming queen means gaining a stepdaughter: Lynet—a young girl created out of snow in her mother’s image by a magician, on her father’s orders. Both Mina and Lynet have had their lives forever altered by their fathers, which Bashardoust uses to explore the harmful nature of misogyny.
Historical fiction fans, this is the book for you. Travel back in time to 1939, when the Dempsey brothers, Francis and Michael, are making their way to New York City where their third brother, Martin, lives. There, the brothers take on NYC together and navigate the challenges of dealing with their past and trying to make it in their new city, and all the while the world stands on the brink of World War II. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raved: “With the wit of a ‘30s screwball comedy and the depth of a thoroughly researched historical novel, this one grabs the reader from the beginning to its suspenseful climax.”
In this moving nonfiction account, journalist Lauren Markham follows twin 17-year-old brothers as they flee El Salvador and make their way to California. The two had been living in the village of La Colonia, but when Ernesto was threatened by the local gangs, he and Raúl decided to leave their home and search for their 24-year-old brother Wilber, who lived in Oakland, CA. The journey to America was treacherous, but the challenges only grew once they arrived and needed to apply for citizenship, learn English, find money to pay for their legal counsel (not to mention basic needs), and more. In a starred review, Kirkus called this timely and important read “One of the most searing books on illegal immigration since Sonia Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey.”
Does your book club love reading thrillers that explore the fault lines in relationships and marriages? If so, look no further than Kaira Rouda’s Best Day Ever. In it, Paul and Mia Strom are setting out on a road trip and it is supposed to be, as the title of the novel suggests, the best day ever. They’re headed to their lake house for a weekend of romance and fun, and on the surface, it sounds ideal. But as they begin their trip, things begin to unravel. Will Paul and Mia, not to mention their relationship, make it out of the weekend unscathed?
Book clubs that love generational sagas will want to dive right into this tale about three generations of an Indian-American family. The tale begins in 1965 when matriarch Ranee Das moves her family to New York City. Her daughters, Sonia and Tara, find themselves torn between their parents’ expectations for their futures and their own dreams. In 1998, Ranee’s granddaughters, Chantal and Anna, enter the picture and reveal their own struggles with identity. Mitali Perkins’ novel is inspired by her own experience of immigrating to America in the 1970s.