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The Top 50 New Novels and Non-fiction Books of September 2022

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New month, new books! Book Light is our Dandelion Chandelier curated list of the most-anticipated new book releases every month, and next up is September 2022. If you ask us, the ideal September read is a perfect balance of light and heavy; silly and serious; sweet and sour; escapist, and yet filled with hard truths. So what are the best new book releases of September 2022? Our intrepid team has been exploring and here’s what we found: the best, most anticipated new novels, poetry and essay collections and non-fiction books coming out in September 2022.

what are the most-anticipated new novels and nonfiction book releases for September 2022?

Wondering what to read in September 2022 among all the new novels and new non-fiction books coming our way? There’s a bountiful fall harvest of outstanding new reads on the way, and we’ve rounded up the most highly anticipated new book releases in September 2022.

The best releases and most anticipated new novels, poetry and essay collections and non-fiction books coming out in September 2022.
The best releases and most anticipated new novels, poetry and essay collections and non-fiction books coming out in September 2022.

new novels and books of poetry September 2022

It’s a blockbuster month for new novels and poetry collections. September 2022 will see new works from Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Elizabeth Strout, Maggie O’Farrell, Ling Ma, Andrew Sean Greer, Ian McEwan and Kate Atkinson. There are also buzzed-about new novels from writers like Tracey Lien.

The best releases and most anticipated new novels, poetry and essay collections and non-fiction books coming out in September 2022.

new non-fiction books September 2022

The non-fiction aisle will see the arrival of memoirs from British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, the poet Javier Zamora and talk show host Kelly Ripa. There’s a new history of pop music. An account of the untold story of the female spies who were instrumental in the early days of the CIA. A diary about the first year of life for a puppy. And a comprehensive history of the skirt.

50 of the best new novels and non-fiction books coming in September 2022

Here’s our pick of what to read from the crop of eagerly anticipated new book releases coming in September 2022: the best books from a range of genres, including novels, essay collections, poetry and non-fiction. You can pre-order them now if you like.

new novels and non-fiction book releases – September 6, 2022

1. On the Rooftop by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

On the Rooftop is a new novel in one of our favorite genres: the literature of the music business and novels that take us deep inside the life of pop stars. This one’s about a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her three daughters collides with the daughters’ ambitions for their own lives—set against the backdrop of gentrifying 1950s San Francisco. Sexton’s previous novel, 2019’s The Revisioners, was a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year.

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2. The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

The author of Hamnet returns with a new novel. The Marriage Portrait is set in 16th-century Renaissance Italy. When her sister dies on the eve of her wedding, Lucrezia de Medici unexpectedly marries her late sister’s fiancé. As Lucrezia sits for her marriage portrait, she ruminates about the character of her new husband, and what her ultimate fate might be.

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3. The Unfolding by A.M. Holmes.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

In her first novel since the Women’s Prize award-winning May We Be Forgiven, the author returns with a stunning alternative history, The Unfolding. Undone by the results of the 2008 presidential election, “The Big Guy” taps a group of like-minded men to build a scheme to disturb and disrupt. While he’s trying to reclaim America, he also faces turbulence within his family. His wife grieves a life not lived, while his 18-year-old daughter begins to realize that her favorite subject—history—is not exactly what her father taught her.

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4. The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

In new novel The Two Lives of Sara, a young mother finds refuge and friendship at a boardinghouse in 1960s Memphis, Tennessee. But then her newfound love affair with a local schoolteacher is threatened when secrets related to the owner of the boarding house that has taken her come to light.

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5. Sacrificio by Ernesto Mestre-Reed.

 

Set in Cuba in 1998, Sacrificio is a novel that follows a group of young HIV-positive counterrevolutionaries who seek to overthrow the Castro government.

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6. The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh.

 

In the new novel The Fortunes of Jaded Women, a female-led Vietnamese family long ago cursed to give birth to females only—until a prophecy predicts a son, beginning a phase of reuniting and healing for many generations.

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7. The Means: A Novel by Amy Fusselman.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

Shelly Means, a wealthy stay-at-home mom and disgraced former PTA president, is poised to get the one thing in life she really wants: a beach house in the Hamptons. It might be a very small house, and it might be in the least-fancy part of the Hamptons. But Shelly has a vision board, an architect, and a plan. “A novel of real estate, ambition, family, and money.” Who could resist that?

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8. The Deceptions by Jill Bialosky.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

In this new novel from a best-selling author, an unnamed narrator’s life is unraveling. Her only child has left home, and her twenty-year marriage is strained. Anticipation about her soon-to-be-released book of poetry looms. She seeks answers to the paradoxes of love, desire, and parenthood among the Greek and Roman gods at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

9. Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams (aka Selena Montgomery).

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

Rules of Engagement is the latest romance novel penned by the current Democratic candidate for Governor of Georgia. Dr. Raleigh Foster, an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization, doesn’t hesitate when asked to infiltrate Scimitar, a terrorist group. But when she’s assigned a partner—brooding, sexy Adam Grayson—to pose as her lover, Raleigh discovers that the most dangerous risk of all…is falling in love.

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10. The Cloisters by Katy Hayes.

 

best new books coming in September 2022

In the modern Gothic novel The Cloisters, Ann Stillwell, a curatorial associate to The Cloisters Museum in NYC, uncovers 15th-century tarot cards that seem to have some fortune-telling powers—and are therefore highly coveted by sinister divination scholars.

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11. Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity in the Twentieth Century by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

In Skirts, a fashion historian recounts the history of 20th century womenswear, highlighting the influential and transformative styles that changed how women actually dressed. And while you might think that women’s ability to wear pants was the most liberating sartorial change, the author argues that all of the most important and consequential fashion statements for women in this era featured skirts.

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12. A Visible Man: A Memoir by Edward Enninful.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

In A Visible Man, the first Black man to become editor-in-chief of British Vogue shares his life story. It’s an inspiring story of how he began as a working-class immigrant and ultimately rose to the top of the fashion world by championing overlooked communities, including civil rights activists, first-responders and people of color.

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13. In Search of Mary Seacole: The Making of a Black Cultural Icon and Humanitarian by Helen Rappaport.

 

In Search of Mary Seacole reveals the life story of a woman who had previously been lost to the mists of history.

Popularly known as ‘Mother Seacole’ for her extraordinary services as a battlefield nurse, Mary Seacole was the most famous Black celebrity of her generation in Victorian England. Like a page ripped from Bridgerton, she socialized effortlessly with the royal and military luminaries of her day.

Finally receiving her due, there’s now a statue of Seacole outside St Thomas’s Hospital in London. And a portrait on display in the National Portrait Gallery.

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14. America Made Me a Black Man by Boyah J. Farah.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

A searing memoir of American racism from a Somalian-American who survived hardships in his birth country only to experience firsthand the dehumanization of Blacks in his adopted land, the United States.

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15. Solito: A Memoir by Javier Zamora.

 

In Solito, a young poet tells the story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to join his parents in the United States at the age of nine. It’s already being praised as an important new entry in the literature of migration and displacement.

16. All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns by Betty Gilpin.

 

“If you’ve ever felt like you were more, or at least weirder, than the world expected―welcome to All the Women in My Brain.” Intimate essays from Emmy Award-nominated actress and writer.

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17. Let’s Do It: The Birth of Pop Music: A History by Bob Stanley.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

Let’s Do It is essential reading for students and lovers of pop culture and American history. It turns out that “pop music didn’t begin with the Beatles in 1963, or with Elvis in 1956, or even with the first seven-inch singles in 1949.” It actually dates back to the first recorded music at the turn of the century. The prequel to the author’s music history Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!, this new volume tells the story of pop music, from the invention of the 78 rpm record to the birth of rock and the modern pop age.

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18. Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence by Nicholas Reynolds.

 

The author of Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy, uncovers the definitive history of American intelligence during World War II, illuminating its key role in securing victory.

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19. Wild Ride by Hayley Arceneaux.

 

her odyssey, from her cancer diagnosis at age ten and the yearlong treatment that inspired her goal of working with pediatric cancer patients. After achieving her lifelong dream job at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a physician’s assistant, she thinks she’s at the pinnacle of her life. And then she is invited to be the hospital’s representative in the space program and becomes the youngest American to ever orbit the earth.

20. Off with Her Head: Three Thousand Years of Demonizing Women in Power by Eleanor Herman.

 

exploring the history of misogyny against women with power from Cleopatra to Kamala Harris. There is a particular kind of rage reserved for women, especially women in power or vying for it. From the ancient world, through the European Renaissance, up to the most recent U.S. elections, the Misogynist’s Handbook, as the author calls it, has been consistently wielded to put uppity women in their place.

new novels and non-fiction book releases September 13, 2022

21. Bliss Montage: Stories by Ling Ma.

 

The author of Severance returns with Bliss Montage, an anthology comprised of eight different stories. Themes of twisted friendship, love, loneliness, and toxic relationships abound, including a story about a young woman who hangs out with 100 of her ex-boyfriends.

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22. Lessons by Ian McEwan.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

Lessons is a novel that traces the trajectory of one man’s life. As the publisher notes: “From the best-selling author of Atonement and Saturday comes the epic and intimate story of one man’s life across generations and historical upheavals. From the Suez Crisis to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall to the current pandemic, Roland Baines sometimes rides with the tide of history, but more often struggles against it.”

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23. How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water by Angie Cruz.

 

This new novel from the author of Dominicana , How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water, centers on a woman in her mid-50s. Cara Romero loses her job during the Great Recession and is forced to compete in the job market for the first time in decades. Set up with an employment counselor, Cara instead begins to narrate the story of her life.

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24. A Very Typical Family by Sierra Godfrey.

 

Natalie Walker is the reason her older brother and sister went to prison over 15 years ago. She hasn’t seen either sibling since and doesn’t plan to. Until their mother dies and leaves their family home to three of them, with the stipulation that they must claim it in person – together.

25. People Person by Candice Carty-Williams.

 

Author of Queenie returns with the story of Dimple Pennington, who knows of her half siblings, but doesn’t really know them. Five people who don’t have anything in common except for faint memories of being driven through Brixton in their dad’s gold jeep. But when a dramatic event brings her half siblings Nikisha, Danny, Lizzie, and Prynce crashing back into her life, they’re all forced to reconnect with Cyril Pennington, the absent father they never really knew.

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26. All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien.

 

In the debut novel All That’s Left Unsaid, we follow the journey of a young Vietnamese-Australian woman who returns home to her family in the wake of her brother’s shocking murder, determined to discover what happened.

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27. Natural History: Stories by Andrea Barrett.

 

Natural History is a collection of interconnected stories from the  National Book Award–winning author. In this compilation, she revisits the intertwined lives of a family of scientists, teachers, and innovators that populated her prior collection, Ship Fever.

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28. The Enigma of Room 622 by Joel Dicker.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

In the new thriller The Enigma of Room 622, a writer needs inspiration for his next book. So he heads to the Hotel Verbier, which is famous for an unsolved murder in room 622.

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29. The Mosquito Bowl.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, college football was at the height of its popularity. And one branch of the service dominated the aspirations of college football stars: the United States Marine Corps. Which is why, on Christmas Eve 1944, as the 4th and 29th Marine regiments trained for the invasion of Okinawa, their ranks included one of the greatest pools of football talent ever assembled. The two regiments decided to play each other in a football game despite in the dirt and coral of Guadalcanal. The bruising and bloody game that followed became known as “The Mosquito Bowl.” And for some of the players, it was last time they’d play their beloved sport.

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30. Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv.

 

The award-winning New Yorker writer raises fundamental questions about how we understand ourselves in periods of crisis and distress. Drawing on original reporting she profiles people who have come up against the limits of psychiatric explanations for who they are, and asks how the stories we tell about mental disorders shape their course in our lives.

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31. Mother Brain: How Neuroscience Is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood by Chelsea Conaboy.

 

Weaving the latest neuroscience and social psychology together with new reporting, a health and science journalist shares the emerging research behind the major structural and functional brain changes in new parents, and the implications for how we think about good parenting.

32. Wise Gals: The Spies Who Built the CIA and Changed the Future of Espionage by Nathalia Holt.

 

Reveals the never-before-told story of a small cadre of influential female spies in the precarious early days of the CIA—women who helped create the template for cutting-edge espionage in the treacherous post-WWII era. Adelaide Hawkins, Mary Hutchison, Eloise Page, and Elizabeth Sudmeier: throughout the Cold War era, each played a vital role on the international stage.

new novels and non-fiction book releases on September 20, 2022

33. Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout.

 

The third book in the author’s Lucy Barton series, Lucy by the Sea, is set in 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic hits, Lucy leaves her life in New York to live in isolation with her ex-husband in Maine. Alone, they fret over the state of the country and worry over their adult children. And ultimately they find that they must come to terms with their complex past if they ever hope to move forward.

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34. Less Is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

The 2017 satirical comedy Less—about a man who takes a whirlwind trip around the world just to avoid his former partner’s wedding—won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. This sequel, Less is Lost, finds Arthur Less thriving—until the death of an old lover prompts him to take a road trip across America.

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35. The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

The Frederick Sisters are Living the Dream centers on two siblings. Maggie is a recently separated mom of two. Ginny is a sugar-loving diabetic with learning issues. After Ginny overdoses on strawberry Jell-O, Maggie insists that her sister move in with her, and takes on the role of caretaker. What could go wrong?

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36. The Old Place by Bobby Finger.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

The Old Place is a debut novel about Mary Alice Roth, a wry retired high school teacher struggling to adapt to retirement. When the sister of her close friend Ellie arrives in town, she shares secrets from several decades ago that threaten to derail the community in Mary Alice’s small Texas town.

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37. Lady Secrets: Real, Raw, and Ridiculous Confessions of Womanhood by Keltie Knight, Jac Vanek and Becca Tobin.

 

best new nonfiction books, novels, poetry and essay collections coming in September 2022

A manifesto for revealing and reclaiming un-ladylike behavior from the bestselling authors of Act Like a Lady and hosts of the popular podcast LadyGang.

38. Starry Messenger: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

 

Starry Messenger sees the well-known scientist and astronomer train his eyes on Earth. He makes an impassioned case for the power of enlightenment and science, and tackles many of the thorniest issues confronting the world today.

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new novels and non-fiction book releases on September 27, 2022

39. Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson.

 

Set in 1926 London, Shrines of Gaiety follows Nellie Coker, who has fought ruthlessly to earn the status of queen of the Soho club scene. Nightlife in Soho has become a haven for those recovering from the Great War, and with six children to feed, she’s done what she has to. But success breeds enemies, and the dark underworld of London threatens to ruin everything she has built.

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40. Jacqueline in Paris by Ann Mah.

 

A beloved author is back with new historical fiction, Jacqueline in Paris. The story of 20-year old Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and her college year abroad in postwar Paris in 1949. The experience had a lasting impact her view of style, culture and what America meant to the world.

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41. Gordon Parks: Segregation Story by Gordon Parks, edited by Peter W. Kunhardt Jr.

 

In the summer of 1956, Life magazine sent Gordon Parks to Alabama to document the daily realities of African Americans living under Jim Crow laws in the rural South. The resulting color photographs are among Parks’ most powerful images. After the photographs were first published, the bulk of Parks’ assignment was thought to be lost. Five years after Parks’ death, the Gordon Parks Foundation found more than 200 color transparencies belonging to the series. Since then, new photographs have been uncovered, lending depth to an important chapter in Parks’ career-long endeavor to use the camera as a weapon for social change.

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42. Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories by Kelly Ripa.

 

The beloved talk show host shares stories in her first book of her life’s adventures, including how she met her husband, the level of male chauvinism she experienced on set, and how Jersey Pride follows her wherever she goes.

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43. Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen by George McCalman.

 

collection of 145 original portraits that celebrates Black pioneers—famous and little-known–in politics, science, literature, music, and more—with biographical reflections. Each entry includes a lush drawing or painting by artist George McCalman, along with an insightful essay summarizing the person’s life story. The 145 entries range from the famous to the little-known, from literary luminary James Baldwin to documentarian Madeline Anderson, who produced “I Am Somebody” about the 1969 strike of mostly female hospital workers; from Aretha Franklin to James and Eloyce Gist, who had a traveling ministry in the early 1900s; from Colin Kaepernick to Guion S. Bluford, the first Black person to travel into space.

44. This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You by Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas.

Why do you like the music you like? We all know how much music plays a part in our daily lives—how it makes us feel, how it helps us too feel—but what’s going on in our brains when it’s working its magic? Cognitive neuroscientist Susan Rogers (who was the chief engineer on Prince’s Purple Rain!) tries to answer that question by breaking down why we like what we like, and suggests that everyone has a unique “listener profile” based on seven basic elements of any song.

45. Best of Friends: A Novel by Kamila Shamsie.

Zahra and Maryam have been best friends since childhood in Karachi, even though—or maybe because—they are unlike in nearly every way. Their bond survives even the fateful night when a moment of adolescent impulse upends their plans for the future. Three decades later, Zahra and Maryam have grown into powerful women who have each cut a distinctive path through London. But when two troubling figures from their past resurface, they must finally confront their bedrock differences—and find out whether their friendship can survive.

46. The Furrows: A Novel by Namwali Serpell.

 

The award-winning author of The Old Drift returns with a piercing story of grief and sorrow. A 12-year old girl inadvertently causes her younger brother’s death. His loss tears their family apart, and his body is never found. In the following years, she sees his image everywhere around her. And then, at 35, she meets a man who looks like her lost brother – and who also shares his name.

47. Stay True: A Memoir by Hua Hsu.

Penned by a New Yorker staff writer, Stay True is a poignant reflection on friendship and loss. The author forged built a deep connection with his college friend on the foundation of late-night conversations, long drives and the joys and traumas of everyday college life.

Then suddenly and violently, his friend is gone, killed in a carjacking just before their senior year at the University of California, Berkeley. Determined to hold on to the only thing left of his friend—his memories—Hsu began writing this book. It’s a poignant memoir about growing up and the lifelong search for meaning and belonging.

48. Entry Level by Wendy Wimmer.

debut short story collection, Entry Level, contains a range of characters who are trying to find, assert, or salvage their identities. These fifteen stories center around the experience of being underemployed—whether by circumstance, class, gender, race, or other prevailing factors—and the toll this takes on an individual.

49. The Year of the Puppy by Alexandra Horowitz.

In our personal favorite among the new non-fiction books of September 2022, The Year of the Puppy records everything a celebrated dog cognition expert learned in the first year of her new puppy’s life. Cool science about our beloved doggos, plus a sweet family story and an adorable pup? We’re in.

50. A House in the Orchard by Elizabeth Brooks.

When a WWII widow inherits a Cambridge estate, she finds the diary of its former inhabitant. Most of this book actually takes place within the diary’s pages, as teenage Maude tries to figure out how much she can trust her new caretaker (who everyone in her family maligns).

most anticipated releases of new novels and non-fiction books in September 2022

Those are our picks for what to read this month: 50 of the best and most anticipated new book releases coming in September 2022. So many options to answer the pressing matter of what to read in September 2022 . . .  What’s at the top of your list? Whatever you decide, stay safe and strong and have a great month, dear reader.

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