Dear readers,

For those of you who are returning to school this September, we wish you the very best of luck with the new semester.  For those who are lucky enough to make your own reading list, we have some pretty darn great new books to suggest.  For those who are reading for school AND pleasure... consider us impressed!  WORD recommends these books in September.

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Fiction We Love:


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (ebook)
Colson Whitehead has written in almost every genre, but it is in this bending of historical and the imaginary that he has created my favorite novel. Underground Railroad takes the idea of a literal railroad and applies it to the real trials of slavery. Whitehead's gift for character and dialogue are on full display in the brilliant Cora and bold Cesar, whose escape the novel follows. People will tell you this novel is important and powerful, which it is, but it is first and foremost a transportative read. (Hannah)

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (ebook)
An accidental murder has far-reaching consequences for five characters in Lisa Mcinernery's debut, prize-winning novel. With a touch of dark humor and a brutal look at the effects of poverty, crime, and religion on family, this novel will leave you wondering if redemption is possible for anyone. (Alison)



Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen (ebook)
Dumb criminals; a lackadaisical hero; hilarious, bloody misunderstandings; and a South Florida setting that makes you want to hop the next flight to Key West on one page, and never leave New York again the next (ask me again when winter rolls around, though...). This is classic Hiaasen through and through. (Mike)

The Muse by Jessie Burton (ebook)
A sophomore novel can be a very dauting task when your first novel receives a lot of attention. The Miniaturist was beautiful and sharp. The Muse is forceful and positions Burton as a writer to reckon with. Set in two very different times and very different countries the book tells the tale of a piece of art that has been lost and rediscovered. Little is known about the artist except that he does beautiful work. A fascinating mystery, and a lovely meditation on art and who gets to record our history. (Katelyn)



Security by Gina Wohlsdorf (ebook)
Have you ever imagined being stuck in a hotel with two Killers on the loose? That’s right, Killers, with a capital K. These two sadistic maniacs have begun to terrorize a hotel’s staff mere days before they open – their goal is to kill them all. Why? Who knows. But they’ve donned Halloween masks (“the one with Jamie Lee Curtis”) and are here to make sure that the innocent workers, each with their own elaborate backstory that only the eye-in-the-sky narrator knows, don’t make it to see the light of day. Each chapter is cleverly written as being from the perspective of the security cameras in the hotel, as our unknown narrator watches the unwitting victims as they try and go through their lives before it is cut drastically short by a man in a mask with a knife. Drawing influences from modern slasher movies, romance novels, and even from the classic gothic genre from which horror draws its roots, what Wohlsdorf does in her debut novel is something creative and unique, while still giving its proper tributes to the trailblazers that led her to make such an amazing novel. (Avery)

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride (ebook)
How Eimer McBride wrote a love story that is both believable and defies reason is beyond me. I read this book in two sittings; enthralled both by her prose and by the mind of its heroine. McBride spares you neither the pain nor the joy of learning and loving another person while discovering yourself.  (Hannah)

Nonfiction We Love:


The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race ed. Jesmyn Ward
This book is like good church; it is a welcome home and everyone gets their say. The likes of Isabel Wilkerson, Kevin Young, and Claudia Rankine provide raw and yet perfectly punctuated contributions- even with all the heavy hitters in this collection no one phones it in. The topic of race rarely gets more than a few inoffensive platitudes at best; instead Jesmyn Ward has curated in The Fire This Time harshly earned beauty and warm familiarity. I want to give this book to everyone I meet, and yet I feel it was written just for me.  (Hannah)

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick (ebook)
Never did I imagine that I’d one day read something so thorough about a hypothetical concept of movement! Just from the title, I am immediately reminded of the conversations (and let’s face it, arguments) I’ve had about the DOs and DON’Ts of time travel -- this book elevates that discussion. Time Travel: A History is fun, challenging, and well paced. Gleick is a huuuge nerd and if this isn’t a labor of love, I don’t know what is! (Jasper)


I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong (ebook)
A fascinating look at all the little creatures that live in, on, and around us by the best new science writer in years. (Kerry)

Paperback Picks:


Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg (ebook)
Funnier than you may expect. Picks up in the tradition of Woody Allen's humor collections when he used to regularly publish in the New Yorker. Smart, but absurd. (Tom)

You Are Having a Good Time by Amie Barrodale (ebook)
Amie Barrodale’s stories explore human impulses and illuminate the question of why we do what we do. These subtly powerful pieces highlight the small moments that create an intriguing story. The characters are delightfully weird as they navigate grief, love and everyday human interactions. (Lauren)

Books for Teens, Tweens, and Littles:


Sing by Vivi Greene (ebook)
This is a fun, light read about a break-up followed by a new summer romance while also showing how the main character, Lily, grows and finds herself outside of the new relationship. There's also some song lyrics throughout the novel that Lily writes, which I really enjoyed. This is what I call a good, clean teen novel. (Lydia)

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (ebook)
Alice comes to find out that her father's nightmares might be a reality.The first book in a great series has a different take on what a zombie is and it's done very well. With so many twists and turns it leaves you wanting more. (Melody) 

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart
The awesome sequel to Girl Waits with Gun dives further into the adventures of the Knopp sisters in turn of the century NYC and New Jersey. Historical and detective fiction at its best, Amy Stewart both entertains and makes you deeply curious. (Hannah)


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