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September – October 2019 Book Releases to add to your Reading Wishlist

September and October 2019 is peak season in the publishing industry, so book lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to new book releases.

New Books September & October 2019

I will do a quick recap of some of the blockbuster new fiction releases and then take a closer look at the titles I am particularly looking forward to, often considerably less well-publicised.

Luckily for me, I already have a few of these books on my reading pile. So, check back for links to my reviews once they are published.

Warning: I take no responsibility for the impact reading this may have on your own book wishlist. Happy reading!

Clicking book covers will take you to book details on Book Depository and text links to that title’s Amazon (or Booktopia) page which features editorial reviews. Worth noting also, most of these titles are available in audiobook which you can download and listen to FREE with Audible’s 30-Day Trial.

New Book Releases in September 2019

( or jump to Book Releases in October 2019 below )

In terms of blockbuster book releases, you do not get much bigger than The Testaments by Margaret Atwood (a Booker-Prize shortlisted title pre-release), the sequel to her cult classic The Handmaid’s Tale. After what must rate as the strictest embargo ever known, this novel is finally available for public consumption.

The Institute - Stephen King  The Testaments - Margaret Atwood  The Water Dancer - Ta-Nehisi Coates

Other authors with almost cult-like followings releasing new novels in September 2019 include Stephen King (‘The Institute’) and Ta-Nehisi Coates (‘The Water Dancer: A Novel’). All three are high on Audible’s most wished for Audiobooks list right now!

The Ticking Heart by Andrew Kaufman

Regular readers of Booklover Book Reviews will know I am drawn to quirky literature, and Andrew Kaufman is a master of it. He is best known for his debut novel All My Friends Are Superheroes (1999) but in my opinion his lesser-known novella The Tiny Wife (2010) is far superior. That I read it twice in a single-sitting and gifted it to several of my friends for Christmas, gives you some indication of my adoration.

What is his new title The Ticking Heart about?

One cold winter night, Charlie shares a cab with a stranger in a purple hat. As they talk, a cloud of purple smoke overwhelms him and he wakes up to find himself behind the only desk in the Epiphany Detective Agency. Charlie, as it turns out, is trapped in Metaphoria, an otherworldly place that reality has forgotten, a place where everything means something else. His first client is Shirley Miller, who insists on hiring Charlie to find her husband’s missing heart. In fact, she’s so insistent that she replaces Charlie’s heart with a bomb. He has twenty-four hours to find Twiggy Miller’s heart — and its meaning — or his own will explode.

It is described as ‘a modern fable’ that is ‘tender and brutal, optimistic and despairing’. Find out more…

The Ticking Heart - Andrew Kaufman  The Secrets We Kept - Lara Prescott  The Ten Thousand Doors of January - Alix E Harrow

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

I have not read a lot of historical fiction lately and The Secrets We Kept sounds like the perfect title to remedy that.

A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice–inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

Prescott’s debut is earning her high praise from the critics. Find out more…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow

Another debut novel The Ten Thousand Doors of January sounds tailor-made for book lovers.

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to go past a book about a book. And this escapist treat is being described as lyrical and captivating. Find out more… 

To Be Taught If Fortunate - Becky Chambers  The Crossed Out Notebook - Nicolás Giacobone Translated Megan McDowell  Akin - Emma Donoghue

To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Well established author Becky Chambers’ new novella is most intriguely titled To Be Taught, If Fortunate.

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight…. With the fragility of the body no longer a limiting factor, human beings are at last able to journey to neighboring exoplanets long known to harbor life.

A team of these explorers, Ariadne O’Neill and her three crewmates, are hard at work in a planetary system fifteen light-years from Sol, on a mission to ecologically survey four habitable worlds. But as Ariadne shifts through both form and time, the culture back on Earth has also been transformed. Faced with the possibility of returning to a planet that has forgotten those who have left, Ariadne begins to chronicle the story of the wonders and dangers of her mission, in the hope that someone back home might still be listening.

With Claire North (author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August) calling it “a joyful antidote to crushed spirits and a celebration of the power of curiosity, love, adventure and discovery”, this has just earned a spot on my reading wishlist. Find out more…

The Crossed Out Notebook by Nicolás Giacobone (trans. Megan McDowell)

I enjoy how thought-provoking translated fiction can be, and The Crossed Out Notebook (translated from Spanish) has an intriguing meta premise.

From the Academy Award-winning cowriter of the movie Birdman, a wonderfully eccentric, suspenseful debut in the tradition of Misery and Kiss of the Spiderwoman about a screenwriter kidnapped by a world-famous director who orders him to compose a masterpiece. Every night, after finishing work on the script, Pablo writes in his notebook and every morning he crosses out what he wrote the night before.

Described as ‘darkly funny’ and ‘a short, crazy ode to any artist whose brilliance shines through strangeness and adversity’, this title sounds right up my alley. Find out more…

Akin by Emma Donoghue

The internationally bestselling author of Room, Emma Donoghue opts for brevity in her titles. Akin has been on many of the ‘most anticipated releases of 2019’ lists.

Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France. He is days away from his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he’s discovered from his mother’s wartime years. But he receives a call from social services: Noah is the closest available relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he’s never met, who urgently needs someone to look after him. Out of a feeling of obligation, Noah agrees to take Michael along on his trip. Find out more…

Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.

New Book Releases in October 2019

To The Land of Long Lost Friends - Alexander McCall Smith  Olive, Again - Elizabeth Street  The Diver's Game - Jesse Ball

Although I was underwhelmed by Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, I know she has legions of adoring fans who will be excited to hear that prickly Olive is back in her new title Olive, Again.

Other authors with loyal readerships releasing new books in October 2019 include Alexander McCall Smith (‘To the Land of Long Lost Friends’, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency #20) and poet and absurdist Jesse Ball (‘The Diver’s Game’).

Bruny - Heather Rose  The Weekend - Charlotte Wood  The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes

Bruny by Heather Rose

Heather Rose’s The Museum of Modern Love left a lasting impression on me and so came as no surprise when it subsequently won the 2017 Stella Prize and several other Australian literary accolades. I cannot wait to dive into her much-anticipated, chunky new novel Bruny.

A right-wing US president has withdrawn America from the Middle East and the UN. Daesh has a thoroughfare to the sea and China is Australia’s newest ally. When a bomb goes off in remote Tasmania, Astrid Coleman agrees to return home to help her brother before an upcoming election. But this is no simple task. Her brother and sister are on either side of politics, the community is full of conspiracy theories, and her father is quoting Shakespeare. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane. Until Astrid discovers how far the government is willing to go.

UPDATE: Read our review of Bruny

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood is a writer of the highest calibre. I was impressed by her uncompromising narrative in Nanoparticles and felt her novel Animal People is contemporary literature at close to its best. I inevitably have high expectations for her new release The Weekend also.

Four older women with a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?…

The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we’re forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book, a celebration of tenderness and friendship that is nothing short of a masterpiece.

UPDATE: Read our review of The Weekend

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

While I enjoyed Jojo Moyes’ novels The Peacock Emporium, The Girl You Left Behind and The One Plus One immensely, I did not like the storyline of her blockbuster hit Me Before You, and so had disengaged with her releases in recent years. But, after reading the synopsis for her new book The Giver of Stars

Set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond…  Though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job with Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library–bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope.  At times funny, at others heartbreaking, this is a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

I think it is high time for me to reconnect with Moyes’ compelling brand of fiction. Find out more…

Cilka's Journey - Heather Morris  Dead Man Switch - Tara Moss  Maybe The Horse Will Talk - Elliot Perlman

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

I found Heather Morris’ worldwide bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz compelling reading, so I expect more of the same from her sequel, Cilka’s Journey.

After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator by the Russians and sent to a desolate, brutal prison camp in Siberia known as Vorkuta, inside the Arctic Circle. Innocent, imprisoned once again, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, each day a battle for survival. Cilka befriends a woman doctor, and learns to nurse the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under unimaginable conditions. And when she tends to a man called Alexandr, Cilka finds that despite everything, there is room in her heart for love.

Cilka’s Journey is a powerful testament to the triumph of the human will. It will move you to tears, but it will also leave you astonished and uplifted by one woman’s fierce determination to survive, against all odds. Find out more…

Dead Man Switch by Tara Moss

I loved Tara Moss’ Makedde Vanderwall PI crime series – the titles reviewed on this website include Siren #5 (2009) and Assassin #6 (2012). If you are looking for a gripping and compelling thriller with a feisty and intelligent leading lady, I wholeheartedly recommend that series. After a little hiatus, Moss is back on the writing scene releasing the first title Dead Man Switch in a new PI series.

Meet PI Billie Walker – smart and sexy, with a dash of Mae West humour, she’s a hard-boiled detective with a twist. She’s a woman in a man’s world …

Sydney, 1946. Billie Walker is living life on her own terms. World War II has left her bereaved, her photojournalist husband missing and presumed dead. Determined not to rely on any man for her future, she re-opens her late father’s detective agency. Billie’s bread and butter is tailing cheating spouses – it’s easy, pays the bills and she has a knack for it. But her latest case, the disappearance of a young man, is not proving straightforward … Soon Billie is up to her stylish collar in bad men, and not just the unfaithful kind – these are the murdering kind. Smugglers. Players. Gangsters. Billie and her loyal assistant must pit their wits against Sydney’s ruthless underworld and find the young man before it’s too late. Find out more…

UPDATE: Read our review of Dead Man Switch

Maybe The Horse Will Talk by Elliot Perlman

Elliot Perlman is not a prolific author but what he writes is so perceptive and compelling — each title is well worth the several years wait between releases. I was entranced by Seven Types of Ambiguity (2003) and The Street Sweeper (2011) is one of the most moving and memorable novels I have ever read. His new book is the originally titled Maybe The Horse Will Talk:

Warm, dramatic, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, with the narrative pull of a thriller, Maybe the Horse Will Talk is a love story, a reflection on contemporary marriage, and on friendship. It is also an unflinching examination of sexual harassment in the workplace and an exposé of corporate corruption that taps directly into the pulse of our times.

Sounds like it will be another immersive, thought-provoking read. Find out more…

Soon - Lois Murphy
BONUS OCTOBER BOOK RELEASE: Although released in Australia back in 2017, I am so pleased to report that Lois Murphy’s utterly gripping debut literary horror-thriller novel SOON is being released in the US and UK by Titan Books in time for Halloween reading.

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Which of these September & October 2019 book releases are you eager to start reading?

In the comments below, tell us about any other titles that have got your bookworm radar buzzing.

And remember, most of these titles are available in audiobook which you can download and listen to FREE with Audible’s 30-Day Trial.

Related Article: July – August 2019 Book Releases to add to your Reading Wishlist