Somehow it’s already September. But in these strange times, at least there are books.

Wherever you can, if you’re US-based, please use bookshop.org to buy books published in the US — you’ll be supporting independent bookshops, who really need you right now. For UK published books, or if you’re anywhere besides the US, Blackwells.com is the way forward. Plus, if you follow my links, whether to Bookshop or Blackwells, you’ll be sending a few affiliate pennies my way, too, which is much appreciated — and is at no extra cost to you.

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Anywayyyy, on with the show!

I take the titles for these monthly posts from a number of sources, including the highlighted books on The Bookseller, my own knowledge of authors to watch, and various lists around the web, and while I can’t claim to have read them all, they definitely seem to have merit — or, at least, buzz. Unless indicated otherwise, descriptions are taken from Goodreads, Amazon, or the publisher’s site.

we are familyWe Are Family, by Nicola Gill (UK, 3rd September, romantic comedy)

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Jess and Laura might be sisters, but they’re very different people. Laura is laid-back, eats cheese in bed, and takes life as it comes. Jess, meanwhile, is the classic overachiever: Chief of Chivvying, Queen of all WhatsApp groups. They’re family, but they’re not exactly friends.

When their mum dies, the sisters struggle to agree on anything, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is an acceptable term. But as life forces them together, Laura and Jess realise: the only way through this is as a team. After all, they’re stuck with each other – and drinking wine is more fun as a pair…

our storyOur Story, by Miranda Dickinson (UK, 3rd September, romantic comedy)

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Otty has just landed her dream job. She’s about to join the writing team of one of the most respected showrunners in TV. And then the night before her first day, she’s evicted from her flat.

Joe has been working with Russell for years. He’s the best writer on his team, but lately something has been off. He’s trying to get his mojo back, but when his flatmate moves out without warning he has other things to worry about.

Otty moving into Joe’s house seems like the perfect solution to both their problems, but neither is prepared for what happens next. Paired together in the writing room, their obvious chemistry sparks from the page and they are the writing duo to beat. But their relationship off the page is an entirely different story, and neither of them can figure out why.

And suddenly the question isn’t, will they, or won’t they? It’s why won’t they?

once upon a tyneOnce Upon a Tyne, by Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (UK, US audio and ebook, 3rd September, US hardback, 2nd March 2021

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Ant and Dec hold a special place in the hearts of TV viewers everywhere. This is their epic story, with never-before-seen photography and the very best tales from their 30 years in TV.

From their modest beginnings in Byker Grove through to their “unique” time as pop stars and an award-laden TV career, those three decades have flown by in the blink of an eye. They’ve also featured an incredible cast of supporting characters, including their first scriptwriter (an unknown comedian called David Walliams), Saturday night fun and games with countless Hollywood A-listers, and celebrities they torture – sorry, work with – every year in the jungle. Told through the lens of every TV show they’ve made, as well as everything they’ve learnt along the way, this is the riotously funny journey of two ordinary lads from Newcastle who went on to achieve extraordinary things.

bookseller's taleThe Bookseller’s Tale, by Martin Latham (UK and US, 3rd September, non-fiction)

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This is the story of our love affair with books, whether we arrange them on our shelves, inhale their smell, scrawl in their margins or just curl up with them in bed. Taking us on a journey through comfort reads, street book stalls, mythical libraries, itinerant pedlars, radical pamphleteers, extraordinary bookshop customers and fanatical collectors, Canterbury bookseller Martin Latham uncovers the curious history of our book obsession – and his own.

Part cultural history, part literary love letter and part reluctant memoir, this is the tale of one bookseller and many, many books.

ramble bookRamble Book, by Adam Buxton (UK, US ebook and audio only, 3rd September, memoir)

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Ramble Book is about parenthood, boarding school trauma, arguing with your partner, bad parties, confrontations on trains, friendship, wanting to fit in, growing up in the 80s, dead dads, teenage sexual anxiety, failed artistic endeavours, being a David Bowie fan; and how everything you read, watch and listen to as a child forms a part of the adult you become.

It’s also a book about the joys of going off topic and letting your mind wander.

And it’s about a short, hairy, frequently confused man called Adam Buxton.

islands of mercyIslands of Mercy, by Rose Tremain (UK, 10th September, historical fiction)

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In the city of Bath, in the year 1865, an extraordinary young woman renowned for her nursing skills is convinced that some other destiny will one day show itself to her. But when she finds herself torn between a dangerous affair with a female lover and the promise of a conventional marriage to an apparently respectable doctor, her desires begin to lead her towards a future she had never imagined.

Meanwhile, on the wild island of Borneo, an eccentric British ‘rajah’, Sir Ralph Savage, overflowing with philanthropy but compromised by his passions, sees his schemes relentlessly undermined by his own fragility, by man’s innate greed and by the invasive power of the forest itself.

just liek youJust Like You, by Nick Hornby (UK, 17th September, US, 29th September, fiction)

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Lucy used to handle her adult romantic life according to the script she’d been handed. She met a guy just like herself: same age, same background, same hopes and dreams; they got married and started a family. Too bad he made her miserable. Now, two decades later, she’s a nearly-divorced, forty-one-year-old schoolteacher with two school-aged sons, and there is no script anymore.

So when she meets Joseph, she isn’t exactly looking for love–she’s more in the market for a babysitter. Joseph is twenty-two, living at home with his mother, and working several jobs, including the butcher counter where he and Lucy meet. It’s not a match anyone one could have predicted. He’s of a different class, a different culture, and a different generation. But sometimes it turns out that the person who can make you happiest is the one you least expect, though it can take some maneuvering to see it through.

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collateral damageCollateral Damage, by Kim Darroch (UK, 17th September, US, 13th October, non-fiction)

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As the closest Brit to the story, Darroch explains why the British embassy suspected a Trump victory from as early as February 2016, what part every key figure – from Sarah Sanders to Michael Flynn – has played in Trump’s administration, and what balanced policy makers on both sides of the Atlantic should consider during this era of pandemic, seismic change and populist politics.

A riveting account from the best-informed insider, Collateral Damage charts the strangest and most convulsive period in the recent history of Britain and the US – and the state of the ‘special relationship’ today.

tomorrow will be a good dayTomorrow Will Be a Good Day, by Captain Tom Moore (UK, US audio only, 17th September, autobiography)

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Who is Captain Sir Tom Moore?

You’ve seen him on the television walking the length of his garden. A frail elderly man, doing his bit at a time of crisis. But he wasn’t always like this.

Captain Tom’s story is our story. It is the story of our past hundred years here in Britain.

It’s a time which has seen so much change, yet when so much has stayed the same: the national spirit, the can-do attitude, the belief in doing your best for others.

the baby groupThe Baby Group, by Caroline Corcoran (UK, 17th September, thriller)

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Scarlett’s golden life suddenly unravels when someone sends a shocking video of her to everyone she knows. The only people who claim they haven’t seen it are the friends in her new mothers’ group: Cora, Emma and Asha.

Scarlett is forced to delve into her past to discover who is out to get her. But as her circle of trust gathers around her, she has to ask – are her friends as innocent as they seem?

the high momentsThe High Moments, by Sara-Ella Ozbek (US, ebook and audio, 28th May, UK, 17th September)

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Scarlett has a tricky relationship with her mother and is desperate for people to like her.

She moves to London without a plan, but when she manages to land a job at a modelling agency she thinks that her life is finally on track.

Scarlett soon discovers that the fashion industry is far from what she had imagined and her life begins to spiral out of control. But at least people know who she is. She is starting to become someone.

And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

inside storyInside Story, by Martin Amis (UK, 24th September, US, 20th October, memoir)

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What begins as a thrilling tale of romantic entanglements, family and friendship, evolves into a tender, witty exploration of the hardest questions: how to live, how to grieve, and how to die? In his search for answers, Amis surveys the great horrors of the twentieth century, and the still unfolding impact of the 9/11 attacks on the twenty-first – and shares all he has learned on how to write.

The result is one of Amis’ greatest achievements: a love letter to life that is at once exuberant, meditative, heartbreaking and ebullient, to be savoured and cherished for many years to come.

diary of an mp's wifeDiary of an MP’s Wife, by Sasha Swire (UK, 24th September, memoir)

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What is it like to be a wife of a politician in modern-day Britain? Sasha Swire finally lifts the lid.

For more than twenty years she has kept a secret diary detailing the trials and tribulations of being a political plus-one, and gives us a ringside seat at the seismic political events of the last decade. A professional partner and loyal spouse, Swire has strong political opinions herself – sometimes more ‘No, Minister’ than ‘Yes’. She detonates the stereotype of the dutiful wife.

More British Books:

British Books Published in the US in 2020