Litty Committee: Spring Is Officially Here & So Are These Blooming Brilliant Books

litty committee best new books september releases
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Hey Litty Committee, it’s Bella here! We’ve just entered a whole new season and a whole new era. Spring has sprung and it’s time for this little birdy to leave the nest, but not before sharing some of our top picks for September.

That’s right, I’m spreading my wings and taking on a new adventure. Back in November 2021, Kathleen Farmilo and I picked up this old column from PTV alumni, Steff Tan, brushed off all the dust and transformed it into Litty Committee 2.0. A year later, Kath moved on to do her own thing so you’ve all met my wonderful co-chair, Soaliha. I’m leaving knowing that our cosy little book nook is in great hands and since reading all of these books is a lot of work (but also a great joy), I can’t wait for you all to meet the new co-chair of Litty Committee in next month’s edition, so keep an eye out.

Alright, enough sappiness. Let’s talk books! This month, we’ve got quite a few sequels coming out, from the next book in Toshikazu Kawaguchi‘s Before The Coffee Gets Cold series to a new Percy Jackson book (my inner child is squealing right now) and even the next book in Richard Osman‘s bestselling Thursday Murder Club mysteries.

So clear your shelves and pull out your TBR list, because we’re about to drop some red hot book recs.

The best new fiction books coming out in September

Songs for the Dead and the Living by Sara M. Saleh (Soaliha’s Pick)

About the book:

litty committee best new books september releases

I have been following the work of activist, award-winning poet/writer and human rights lawyer Sara M. Saleh for years, ever since I was a wee angsty teen, and I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting her in person a few times. She is incredible, so when I heard that she had a book coming out, I *had* to share the hype. I can’t wait for this one, I just know it’s going to hit me right in the feels.

Jamilah has always believed she knows where her home is: in a house above a paint shop on the outskirts of Beirut, with her large, chaotic, loving family. But she soon learns that as Palestinian refugees, her family’s life in Lebanon is precarious, and they must try to blend in even as they fight to retain their identity.

When conflict comes to Beirut, Jamilah’s world fractures, and the family is forced to flee to Cairo: another escape, and another slip further away from Palestine, the homeland to which they cannot return. In the end, Jamilah will have to choose between holding on to everything she knows and pursuing a life she can truly call her own.

Release date: August 29

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim (Soaliha’s Pick)

hapiness falls, best mystery book september release 2023

About the book:

Described as “sublime”, “thought-provoking” and “life-changing”, Happiness Falls isn’t just another missing-person mystery (though I do love those). Instead, it’s supposed to be much richer and more layered, with the interpersonal relationships at the centre of the story — and its themes of racism and ableism — creating a truly beautiful and compelling read. This is my most anticipated book of the month!

“We didn’t call the police right away.” Those are the electric first words of this extraordinary novel about a biracial Korean American family in Virginia whose lives are upended when their beloved father and husband goes missing.

Mia, the irreverent, hyper-analytical twenty-year-old daughter, has an explanation for everything—which is why she isn’t initially concerned when her father and younger brother Eugene don’t return from a walk in a nearby park. But by the time Mia’s brother runs through the front door bloody and alone, it becomes clear that the father in this tight-knit family is missing and the only witness is Eugene, who has the rare genetic condition Angelman syndrome and cannot speak.

What follows is both a ticking-clock investigation into the whereabouts of a father and an emotionally rich portrait of a family whose most personal secrets just may be at the heart of his disappearance.

Release date: August 29

The Golem of Brooklyn by Adam Mansbach (Soaliha’s Pick)

About the book:

There’s nothing I love more than fantasy rooted in diverse mythology, so obviously this is one of my month’s picks. Despite the delightful and hilarious premise of The Golem of Brooklyn, it wrestles with issues much more contemporary and serious, and looks to be quite a cathartic read. Honestly, get ’em king!

In Ashkenazi Jewish folklore, a golem is a humanoid being created out of mud or clay and animated through secret prayers. Its sole purpose is to defend the Jewish people against the immediate threat of violence. It is always a rabbi who makes a golem, and always in a time of crisis.

But Len Bronstein is no rabbi—he’s a Brooklyn art teacher who steals a large quantity of clay from his school, gets extremely stoned, and manages to bring his creation to life despite knowing little about Judaism and even less about golems. Unable to communicate with his nine-foot-six, four hundred-pound, Yiddish-speaking guest, Len enlists a bodega clerk and ex-Hasid named Miri Apfelbaum to translate.

Eventually, The Golem learns English by binge-watching Curb Your Enthusiasm after ingesting a massive amount of LSD and reveals that he is a creature with an ancestral memory; he recalls every previous iteration of himself, making The Golem a repository of Jewish history and trauma. He demands to know what crisis has prompted his re-creation and whom must he destroy. When Miri shows him a video of white nationalists marching and chanting “Jews will not replace us,” the answer becomes clear.

Release date: September 26

The best new historical fiction books coming out in September

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown (Bella’s Pick)

litty committee best new books september releases

About the book:

That’s right! The Stranger Things darling herself, Milly Bobby Brown has written a book and unlike Hilary Duff‘s debut novel from 2011 (IYKYK), she’s gone down the historical fiction route. Inspired by the events in her family history, Brown weaves an imagining of the events of WWII based on the stories her grandmother shared with her. Aww!

Despite the raging war, spirited 18-year-old Nellie Morris lives a quiet life in the tight-knit East End community of Bethnal Green. Her family and friends all tease that she will marry air raid warden Billy, the boy next door who’s always been sweet on her. The arrival of Ray, a handsome American airman stationed nearby, causes Nellie to question everything she thought she knew about her future.

Nellie’s newfound happiness is short-lived when a tragic accident occurs during an air raid. Even the closest family can’t escape the devastation of war, and as the secrets and truth about that fateful night become clear, they threaten to tear Nellie – and those dearest to her – apart.

Inspired by the true events of her family history, Millie Bobby Brown’s dazzling debut novel is a moving tale of longing, loss and secrets, and the lengths that we will go to fight for love.

Release date: September 20

The best new thrillers coming out in September

The Last Devil To Die by Richard Osman (Bella’s Pick)

About the book:

You can’t stop Richard Osman, the man’s a crime-writing madman. His fourth book in the Thursday Murder Club series is coming out very soon and there’s even talk that the movie adaptation about the mystery-solving pensioners (!!) might be coming in 2024-2025. So now’s as good a time as any to brush up on this gripping series.

An old friend in the antiques business has been killed, and a dangerous package he was protecting has gone missing.

As the gang springs into action they encounter art forgers, online fraudsters and drug dealers, as well as heartache close to home.

With the body count rising, the package still missing and trouble firmly on their tail, has their luck finally run out? And who will be the last devil to die?

Release date: September 12

Not Forever, But For Now by Chuck Palahniuk (Soaliha’s pick)

litty committee best new books september releases

About the book:

Chuck Palahniuk leads a genre of his own and his books are best known for being, well, kind of batshit bonkers (in a good way). This is the guy who gave us Fight Club — which, I would like to remind the alpha dude-bros, is a satire about toxic masculinity written by a gay man. My hopes are high.

Meet Otto and Cecil. Two brothers growing up privileged in the Welsh countryside. They enjoy watching nature shows, playing with their pet pony, impersonating their Grandfather…and killing the help. Murder is the family business after all. Downton Abbey, this is not.

However, it’s not so easy to continue the family legacy with the constant stream of threats and distractions seemingly leaping from the hedgerow. First there is the matter of the veritable cavalcade of escaped convicts that keep showing up at their door. Not to mention the debaucherous new tutor who has a penchant for speaking in Greek and dismembering sex dolls. Then there’s Mummy’s burgeoning opioid addiction. And who knows where Daddy is. He just vanished one day after he and Mummy took a walk in the so called “Ghost Forest.”

With Grandfather putting pressure on Otto to step up, it becomes clear that this will all end in only two ways: a nuclear apocalypse or just another day among the creeping thistle and tree peonies. And in a novel written by Chuck Palahniuk, either are equally possible.

Release date: September 5

The best new fantasy releases coming out in September

Before We Say Goodbye by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Bella’s Pick)

litty committee best new books september releases

About the book:

Before The Coffee Gets Cold is a Japanese book series that’s been translated for our putty little hands. It’s a poignant, reflective and heartbreaking series of short tales about random visitors to magical cafés situated all over Animé-a-go-go land. Each story will make you sob your little heart out, so keep a box of tissues in arm’s reach.

The regulars at the magical Cafe Funiculi Funicula are well acquainted with its famous legend and extraordinary, secret menu time travel offering. Many patrons have reunited with old flames, made amends with estranged family, and visited loved ones. But the journey is not without risks and there are rules to follow. Travellers must have visited the cafe previously and most importantly, must return to the present in the time it takes for their coffee to go cold.

In the hauntingly beautiful Before we say goodbye, Kawaguchi invites us to join his characters as they embark on a journey to revisit one crucial moment in time: The husband with something important left to say, the woman who couldn’t bid her dog farewell, the woman who couldn’t answer a proposal and the daughter who drove her father away.

Release date: September 12

Athena’s Child by Hannah Lynn (Soaliha’s pick)

About the book:

Feminist retellings of ancient myths always have my heart, but I’m particularly invested in the story of Medusa — she’s been done so dirty by most Greek mythology-inspired novels, and now it’s her turn to have her truth be told!

Gifted and burdened with stunning beauty, young Medusa seeks sanctuary with the Goddess Athena. But when she catches the eye of the lecherous but mighty Poseidon, she is beyond protection. Powerful men rarely answer for their actions, after all. Meanwhile, Perseus embarks on a seemingly impossible quest, equipped with only bravado and determination…

Medusa and Perseus soon become pawns of spiteful and selfish gods. Faced with the repercussions of Athena’s wrath, blamed for her assault, Medusa has no choice but to flee and hide. But can she do so without becoming the monster they say she is?

Medusa’s truth has long been lost. History tells of conquering heroes, of men with hearts of gold. Now it is time to hear the story of how history treats women who don’t comply.

Release date: September 26

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Chalice of the Gods by Rick Riordan (Bella’s Pick)

About the book:

Guys, I’m screaming! Percy Jackson was literally my childhood! Greek mythology in a modern-day setting? Sign me TF up! Looks like my favourite demigod hasn’t fought enough monsters yet, since he’s back for another round in his final year of high school.

Percy Jackson has saved the world multiple times, but these days the modern-day son of Poseidon is hoping for a regular final year at school. Too bad the Greek gods have other plans, and three new quests for Percy to complete.

First up – the cupbearer of the gods, Ganymede – is missing his golden chalice. Not only is this embarrassing (why do the gods keep losing their magical items?), it’s also potentially disastrous. One sip from the cup will turn any mortal into a powerful god. And the old gods do not take kindly to newbies.

Can Percy and his friends Annabeth and Grover find the chalice before it falls into the wrong hands? And even if they do, will they be able to resist its awesome power.

Release date: September 26

Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim (Bella’s Pick)

About the book:

If you’re keen to digest some more Asian-inspired fantasy, Elizabeth Lim is your gal. Her latest novel, Her Radiant Curse, is a spin-off and (potentially) a villain origin story for one of the characters in her extremely popular Six Crimson Cranes duology. Just make sure you read the other two books first, because y’know, spoilers.

Channi was not born a monster. But when her own father offers her in sacrifice to the Demon Witch, she is forever changed. Cursed with a serpent’s face, Channi is the exact opposite of her beautiful sister, Vanna-the only person in the village who looks at Channi and doesn’t see a monster. The only person she loves and trusts.

Now seventeen, Vanna is to be married off in a vulgar contest that will enrich the coffers of the village leaders. Only Channi, who’s had to rely on her strength and cunning all these years, can defend her sister against the cruelest of the suitors. But in doing so, she becomes the target of his wrath – launching a grisly battle royale, a quest over land and sea, a romance between sworn enemies, and a choice that will strain Channi’s heart to its breaking point.

Release date: August 29