10 September Books to Add To Your Wish List

Posted September 1, 2021 by Richetta in Book Excitement, Book News / 0 Comments

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September is going to be a great month for new books! My TBR this month is going to be hefty, but I am excited. The following list includes 10 September books to add to your wish list. It has a mix of veteran and debut authors across several genres.

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So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix

Author: Bethany C. Morrow

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

Cocoa Commentary: I heard Bethany C. Morrow discussing this book and pushing back on the remix label. She instead described it as a trojan horse because she wasn’t remixing as much as telling a new story. Which is exactly what we need – more BIPOC representation in historical fiction! This is at the top of my September TBR list! You can check out my review for the book tour I’m on in a few weeks!

Brief Synopsis: Four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War in So Many Beginnings, a warm and powerful YA remix of the classic novel Little Women, by national bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow.

North Carolina, 1863
. As the American Civil War rages on, the Freedpeople’s Colony of Roanoke Island is blossoming, a haven for the recently emancipated. Black people have begun building a community of their own, a refuge from the shadow of the “old life.” It is where the March family has finally been able to safely put down roots with four young daughters:

Meg, a teacher who longs to find love and start a family of her own.

Jo, a writer whose words are too powerful to be contained.

Beth, a talented seamstress searching for a higher purpose.

Amy, a dancer eager to explore life outside her family’s home.

As the four March sisters come into their own as independent young women, they will face first love, health struggles, heartbreak, and new horizons. But they will face it all together.

Beautiful Country

Author: Qian Julie Wang

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Memoir

Cocoa Commentary: As an educator, I have really gained an appreciation for memoirs over the past few years. Memoirs hold a powerful impact when comes to touching young readers. Narrative nonfiction is the best of both worlds. I have read about immigrant experiences from the Latinx perspective, but this will be my first time reading a story from a Chinese immigrant’s experience. I’m looking forward to it.

Synopsis: An incandescent memoir from an astonishing new talent, Beautiful Country puts readers in the shoes of an undocumented child living in poverty in the richest country in the world.

In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to “beautiful country.” Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal” and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive. 

In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days,” when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center—confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all. 

But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here.

Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.    

In Every Mirror She’s Black

Author: Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Adult Fiction

Cocoa Commentary: I read the synopsis to this one and I was intrigued…Honestly, it kind of sounds like the start of drama on TV and I’m here for it. This is a debut author. I’m excited to see where this story takes me.

Synopsis: A timely and arresting debut for anyone looking for insight into what it means to be a Black woman in the world.

Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people.

Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation’s largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi’s move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life.

A chance meeting with Jonny in business class en route to the U.S. propels former model-turned-flight-attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson into a life of wealth, luxury, and privilege—a life she’s not sure she wants—as the object of his unhealthy obsession.

And refugee Muna Saheed, who lost her entire family, finds a job cleaning the toilets at Jonny’s office as she works to establish her residency in Sweden and, more importantly, seeks connection and a place she can call home.

Told through the perspectives of each of the three women, In Every Mirror She’s Black is a fast-paced, richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that touches on important social issues of racism, classism, fetishization, and tokenism, and what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white-dominated society.

Lola Akinmade Åkerström is an African-American (Nigerian-American) award-winning author, speaker, and photographer based in Sweden. This is her first novel.

Hair Story

Author: NoNieqa Ramos

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Children’s Books

Cocoa Commentary: I love stories about hair for brown and Black girls! I can’t wait to read this my daughter!

Synopsis: With rhythmic, rhyming verse, this picture book follows two girls—one non-Black Puerto Rican, one Black—as they discover the stories their hair can tell.

Preciosa has hair that won’t stay straight, won’t be confined. Rudine’s hair resists rollers, flat irons, and rules.

Together, the girls play hair salon! They take inspiration from their moms, their neighbors, their ancestors, and cultural icons. They discover that their hair holds roots of the past and threads of the future.

With rhythmic, rhyming verse and vibrant collage art, author NoNieqa Ramos and illustrator Keisha Morris follow two girls as they discover the stories hair can tell.

Lies Like Wildfire

Author: Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Genre: Young Adult

Cocoa Commentary: I heard about this book during and SLJ event. It sounds like a good fast-paced thriller and the summary had me hooked. I think this is going to be a good one.

Synopsis: An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.

In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff’s daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.

But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah’s friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.

White Smoke

Author: Tiffany D. Jackson

Release Date: September 14, 2021

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Horror/Thriller

Cocoa Commentary: I already read this (and love it!) If you aren’t a stone cold, hardened horror reader…then do yourself a favor and read this in the daytime. My review will be out after the release date! Check out my currently reading post, Friday Night Highlights: White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson Has Me Shook on some initial thoughts I had while reading.

Synopsis: The Haunting of Hill House meets Get Out in this chilling YA psychological thriller and modern take on the classic haunted house story from New York Times bestselling author Tiffany D. Jackson!

Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.

The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?

As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.

Black Nerd Problems

Authors: William Evans; Omar Holmon

Release Date: September 14, 2021

Genre: Adult Non-fiction

Cocoa Commentary: The cover and the title sold me on this one immediately. I definitely fall into the Black nerd category…and proud of it! I’ve started reading this and the essays are hilarious. I plan to start checking out their website now for more comedic commentary.

Synopsis: The creators of the popular website Black Nerd Problems bring their witty and unflinching insight to this engaging collection of pop culture essays on everything from Mario Kart and The Wire to issues of representation and police brutality across media.

When William Evans and Omar Holmon founded Black Nerd Problems, they had no idea whether anyone beyond their small circle of friends would be interested in their little corner of the internet. But soon after launching, they were surprised to find out that there was a wide community of people who hungered for fresh perspectives on all things nerdy, from the perspective of #OwnedVoices.

In the years since, Evans and Holmon have built a large, dedicated fanbase eager for their brand of cultural critique, whether in the form of a laugh-out-loud, raucous Game of Thrones episode recap or an eloquent essay on dealing with grief through stand-up comedy. Now, they are ready to take the next step with this vibrant and hilarious essay collection, which covers everything from X-Men to Breonna Taylor with insight and intelligence.

A much needed and fresh pop culture critique from the perspective of people of color, Black Nerd Problems is the ultimate celebration for anyone who loves a blend of social commentary and all things nerdy.

When We Make It

Author: Elizabet Velasquez

Release Date: September 21, 2021

Genre: Young Adult

Cocoa Commentary: I was introduced to this book at a School Library Journal event and had the chance to hear the author talk about it. I like novels-in-verse and will probably listen to this on audiobook as well.

Synopsis: An unforgettable debut young adult novel-in-verse that redefines what it means to “make it,” touching on themes of mental illness, sexual assault, food insecurity and gentrification, for readers of Nicholasa Mohr and Elizabeth Acevedo.

Sarai is a first-generation Puerto Rican eighth grader who can see with clarity the truth, pain, and beauty of the world both inside and outside her Bushwick apartment. Together with her older sister Estrella, she navigates the strain of family traumas and the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. Sarai questions the society around her, her Boricua identity, and the life she lives with determination and an open heart, learning to celebrate herself in a way that she has been denied.

When We Make It is a love letter to anyone who was taught to believe that they would not make it. To those who feel their emotions before they can name them. To those who still may not have all the language but they have their story. Velasquez’ debut novel is sure to leave an indelible mark on all who read it.

A Man Called Horse: John Horse and the Black Seminole Underground Railroad

Author: Glennette Tilley Turner

Release Date: September 21, 2021

Genre: Children’s Nonfiction

Cocoa Commentary: I love history. I especially love historical accounts that I have never heard before. This book fits that bill to a tee. I have never heard of Black Seminole and Underground Railroad used together in a sentence. So I am excited to learn more about military leader John Horse.

Synopsis: A daring account of Black Seminole warrior, chief, and diplomat John Horse and the route he forged on the Underground Railroad to gain freedom for his people

John Horse (c. 1812–1882, also known as Juan Caballo) was a famed chief, warrior, tactician, and diplomat who played a dominant role in Black Seminole affairs for half a century. His story is central to that of the Black Seminoles—descendants of Seminole Indians, free Blacks, and escaped slaves who formed an alliance in Spanish Florida. A political and military leader of mixed Seminole and African heritage, Horse defended his people from the US government, other tribes, and slave hunters.

A Man Called Horse focuses on the little-known life of Horse while also putting into historical perspective the larger story of Native Americans and especially Black Seminoles, helping to connect the missing “dots” in this period. After fighting during the Second Seminole War (1835–1842), one of the longest and most costly Native American conflicts in US history, Horse negotiated terms with the federal government and later became a guide and interpreter. Forced to relocate, he led a group of Black Seminoles to find a new home, first heading westward to Texas and later to Mexico. 

Turner worked with descendants of Horse, who provided oral histories as well as many photographs and other artifacts. Her expertly researched and vetted biography depicts Horse as a complex, fascinating figure who served in many varied roles, including as a counselor of fellow Seminole leaders, an agent of the US government, and a captain in the Mexican army. But no matter the part he played, one thing remained constant: whether in battle or at the negotiating table, Horse fought tirelessly to help his people survive. The story of John Horse is a tale of daring, intrigue, and the lifelong quest for freedom.

The book includes black-and-white archival photos throughout (though the book is designed in full color), as well as a map, timeline, author’s note, endnotes, and select bibliography.

Crazy Faith: It’s Only Crazy Until It Happens

Author: Michael Todd

Release Date: September 21, 2021

Genre: Adult Nonfiction, Christian

Cocoa Commentary: I haven’t read Pastor Michael Todd’s other book, Relationship Goals yet. But when I saw this book I thought that I would start here first. During the crazy times we are in, I’m interested in what his commentary on faith is and how he connects his points to Biblical truth.

Synopsis: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Relationship Goals . . . Will you be remembered as a person who claimed to follow God but liked to play it safe? Or as a person who lived your life out on the limb and trusted God enough to live in crazy faith?
 
Noah looked crazy when he started building the ark . . . until it started raining. It was crazy for Moses to lead a nation of people into the desert away from Egypt . . . until the Red Sea parted. It was crazy to believe that a fourteen-year-old virgin would give birth to the Son of God . . . until Mary held Jesus in her arms.
 
There are many things that seem normal or average today that at one point in time seemed absolutely crazy. Smartphones, Wi-Fi, and even the electric light bulb were all groundbreaking, history-making inventions that started out as crazy ideas. Our see-it-to-believe-it generation tends to have a hard time exercising true faith—one that steps out, takes action, and sees mountain-moving results. Many of us would rather play it safe and stand on the sidelines, but it’s crazy faith that helps us see God move and reveals His promises.
 
In Crazy Faith, Pastor Michael Todd shows us how to step out in faith and dive into the purposeful life of trusting God for the impossible. Even if you have to start with baby faith or maybe faith, you can become empowered to let go of your lazy faith, trust God through your hazy faith, and learn to live a lifestyle of crazy faith. With powerful stories of modern-day faith warriors who take their cues from biblical heroes, Michael Todd equips you to
 
• believe for the impossible
• choose hope over fear
• be alert to the voice of God
• cope with loss and doubt
• develop a deeper level of trust in God
• speak faith-filled declarations
• inspire crazy faith in others
 
God’s not looking for somebody to give Him all the reasons why His plans can’t happen. He’s looking for somebody to believe they will happen. In fact, He has so much He wants to do through you. The question is, Are you crazy enough to believe it?

Now that you have checked out my recommendations for September books to add to your wish list. What new releases are you looking forward to this month?

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