Book Club / Culture

10 new books to add to your stack this month

Our bedside book stacks are tall and never-ending. Will that stop us from piling on a new paperback? Look, probably not. Especially when there's new fiction from Zadie Smith and debuts from the likes of Palestinian-Australian writer Sara Saleh, English comedian and actress Sara Pascoe, and short story author and poet, Siân Hughes. Pip pip! It's time to get reading. Below, a list of the new book releases we're loading our carts with in September 2023.


Songs for the Dead and the Living, Sara Saleh

Release date: August 29

Writer and activist, Sara Saleh, debuts her first novel with Songs for the Dead and the Living, the heart of which is firmly planted in Palestine even if the characters within are miles away. It follows Jamilah, a Palestinian refugee living above a paint shop in Beirut with her large, chaotic and loving family. As her family establish themselves in this new city, they must find a balance between blending in and honouring their roots. When trouble comes to Lebanon, Jamilah must flee to Cairo, and generations later, to Australia, in this story about displacement, family, war and grief.


A New Way To Bake, Philip Khoury

september 2023 book releases

Release date: August 30

Philip Khoury, the Australian born chef heading up pastry at Harrods, has released a cookbook dedicated to baking. Filled with recipes that prioritise natural, plant-based ingredients, A New Way To Bake is an accessible guide to simple yet refined desserts.


The Wren, The Wren, Anne Enright

Release date: September 5

Irish novelist, Anne Enright, shares more of her magic in The Wren, The Wren. The story unfurls as Nell, a young woman, leaves home in pursuit of her own adventures and stories. Nell's departure weighs on her mother, Carmel, and as the two adjust to these new circumstances, both are plagued by their family history; specifically the legacy of Carmel's father, a famous poet known for his beautiful words and brutal actions. With praise from Margaret Atwood and Sally Rooney, we look forward to tucking in.


Others Were Emeralds, Lang Leav

Release date: September 5

Acclaimed Australian poet Lang Leav lends her lyricism to this new novel set in the town of Whitlam. Taking place in the 90s, when the culture was thick with anti-Asian sentiment, Leav writes the story of Ai, the daughter of Cambodian refugees. But while Ai's parents have suffered greatly, she and her close-knit friendship circle have made it to their final year of high school largely unscathed. That is until a senselessly violent act tears her group apart. Years later, Ai is forced to confront the tragedy and the role its aftershocks that have had in shaping the person she's become.


The Fraud, Zadie Smith

september 2023 book releases

Release date: September 12

Zadie Smith tries her expert hand at historical fiction. A book that's been a long time coming, The Fraud takes shape around a real life Victorian court case, the Tichborne trial. It's a story about an Australian man's (a butcher from Wagga Wagga) attempt at claiming a title and fortune, and the reactions to the case by upper and lower classes. Told through the eyes of Eliza Touchet, who is both housekeeper, part time lover and cousin-in-law to novelist, William Ainsworth, The Fraud is surprisingly light given the subject matter, funny, and in parts, deliciously smutty.


Pearl, Siân Hughes

Release date: September 12

Taking a Middle English text as its springboard, Hughes launches plunges into grief for Pearl. Longlisted for the Booker Prize, and her debut novel at that, Pearl is drawing in boat loads of praise. It follows Marianne, a young mother who is contemplating the loss of her own mother as a child. With few details on her death, Marianne finds consolation in the Pearl manuscript, reflecting on the many griefs that came before her own.


Consent Laid Bare, Chanel Contos

september 2023 book releases

Release date: September 12

Most people will know Chanel Contos for her advocacy work under the Teach Us Consent movement. In 2022, we saw a win when it was announced state and federal governments would mandate consent education. In this book, Contos continues the conversation, creating an urgent read with the aim at ending rape culture. A good gift for the men in your life, just as much as your girlfriends, nieces, daughters.


Weirdo, Sara Pascoe

september 2023 book releases

Release date: September 12

English actress, comedian and writer Sara Pascoe pummels us with her pitch perfect debut. Weirdo slips into the world of Sophie, an Essex woman with a racing mind and hidden shame about who she is and the person she should be. It's of course much funnier than my description sounds; a "tragicomic masterpiece" in the words of Daisy Buchanan. But behind every laugh is a searing truth, about the difficulties all women face and the double-edged swords they're speared on.


Bright Young Women, Jessica Knoll

september 2023 book releases

Release date: September 26

It's January 1978 and a serial killer is terrorizing women across the Pacific Northwest. This means little to the sorority sisters at Florida State University's Tallahassee campus, who can only think about the promise of the night ahead. When Pamela Schumacher, the sorority president, decides to stay home, she unwittingly saves her own life while elsewhere in the house, two of her sisters lay dead and another two grievously maimed. On the other side of the country, a similar scene is taking place in Seattle that will bring Pamela and another grieving woman together in pursuit of justice and answers.


Love & Pain, Ben Gillies, Chris Joannou

Release date: September 27

The story of Silverchair, told through the memories of two of its founding members, Ben Gillies and Chris Joannou. The film tracks their trajectory from three teenagers jamming in a garage in Newcastle, to the inevitable highs and lows that go hand-in-hand with fame. So much has been written about Silverchair, but never from the horse's mouth. Until now.


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