September’s Most Anticipated New Releases

Posted by Cybil on August 31, 2020

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

Science fiction godfather Ray Bradbury said that, and it rings true in any era. One of the many benefits of a healthy reading habit is that you collect various new perspectives to add to your own. Gather enough of them and it’s like 3D vision—you can see the world from multiple viewpoints. Plus: all those free adjectives!
New this month: Fredrik Backman chronicles a crime gone deliciously haywire in Anxious People. Yaa Gyasi details a very specific immigrant experience in Transcendent Kingdom. And Jodi Picoult explores parallel timelines in The Book of Two Ways. Plus: the deadly side of gentrification, a house with infinite rooms, and the new book from Ken Follett.

Each month the Goodreads editorial team takes a look at the books that are being published in the U.S., readers’ early reviews, and how many readers are adding these books to their Want to Read shelves (which is how we measure anticipation). We use the information to curate this list of hottest new releases.

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A deeply engaging story of the immigrant experience in America, Yaa Gyasi’s much-anticipated book follows Gifty, a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford and the great hope of her Ghanaian family. With her loved ones in distress, Gifty looks for medical insights into addiction, depression, and nothing less than the scientific cause of human suffering.

Read our interview with Gyasi. 

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Crime doesn’t pay, except when it does—but even then it’s a hassle. This mischievous new crime novel documents a robbery gone very, very wrong. What’s a self-respecting bank robber to do when he makes the wrong choice and finds himself surrounded by eight impossible hostages? Funny and poignant, Anxious People explores what happens when people stop getting robbed and start getting real.

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Anyone who has read The Pillars of the Earth can tell you: Nobody does historical fiction like Ken Follett. The man is fearless, and no story arc is too ambitious. Follett’s new book slots in as a kind of prequel to Pillars, as one man endeavors to help bring England out of the Dark Ages by establishing an abbey in the middle of nowhere.

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From acclaimed author Sigrid Nunez (The Friend) comes a novel about communication, hardship, and the way we live now. The narrator describes a series of encounters with embattled friends and strangers: an ex-lover, a childhood friend, an Airbnb owner. She provides an empathetic ear for each but remains ultimately passive—until one person makes an extraordinary request. People helping people: Could the answer to our troubles really be that simple?

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Renown for her explorations of family dynamics and moral dilemmas, Jodi Picoult returns with a doozy. Dawn Edelstein has just survived a plane crash, rather miraculously. She has two choices: return to her safe but staid life as a mom and a wife, or set out for Egypt and rediscover her passion for archaeology (and archaeologists). But what if both timelines could unwind in parallel? Wouldn’t that be interesting? (Yes. Yes it would.)

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Christopher Paolini, author of the celebrated YA classic Eragon and its successors, makes his first foray into adult fiction with an intriguing science fiction premise. Xenobiologist Kira Navárez has found an ominous alien relic on an uncolonized planet. The discovery has the potential to change everything for Kira and the spacefaring human species. Anyone who loves a good first contact story will want to pay attention here.

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As demonstrated in her debut novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke likes to find the literary edges of fantasy and speculative fiction. Her new book takes place in a house with infinite rooms, endless corridors, and an entire ocean contained within its walls. Piranesi’s fate is to explore the house and make peace with the entity known as The Other. Alas, there may be a third roommate involved…

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First in the new fantasy series Scholomance, Naomi Novik’s A Deadly Education takes place in the kind of school that pops up in your junior-high anxiety dreams. No teachers, no holidays, no friends, and deadly entities around every corner. Hogwarts it ain’t. New student El isn’t afraid of the monsters, she’s afraid of losing control over her own dark magic, which has the power to level mountains.

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This new thriller from Alyssa Cole (An Extraordinary Union) is being billed as a mashup of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Jordan Peele’s Get Out. That’s all you need to say, really, but it gets better. The story takes place in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood where the former residents aren’t just disappearing, they’re disappearing. Paranoia! Plutocracy! Class rage! Good, clean American fun.

Read our interview with Cole. 

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Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway was a delightfully twisty thriller in the key of Christie. Agatha, that is. Her new thriller promises new variations on the theme. A corporate retreat in a remote mountain chalet becomes the ultimate trust exercise when an avalanche suddenly changes everyone’s priorities. Mental exercise: Which of your co-workers would you trust in a scenario like this?

Which new releases are you looking forward to reading? Let’s talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent articles, including:
32 New Historical Fiction Novels Readers are Raving About
September Romances to Fall For
September’s Most Anticipated Young Adult Books

Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

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message 1: by Angie (new)

Angie Simmonds I'm looking forward to the next Ruth Ware novel of course! I will probably read the Ken Follet, Jodi Picoult and Fredrik Backman novels to because they are always good authors.

message 2: by Nicola (new)

Nicola where's bestiary by k-ming chang?

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael Reit Pre-ordered the new Ken Follett. Looking forward to traveling back in time.

message 4: by Denise (new)

Denise Ken Follett, is a Must I suppose!

message 5: by Leslie Ann (new)

Leslie Ann Elena Ferrante's Lying Life of Adults!

message 6: by Manish (new)

Manish Kumar Looking for The Evening and The Morning, Transcend Kingdom and Troubled Blood by Robert Gailbraith

message 7: by Varun (new)

Varun Bhakay I can understand no Rowling because of what she said (even if I feel the book should still be up there) but no Robert Harris, that too when he's returning to his pet peeve (WW2)?

message 8: by Thona (new)

Thona preordered my copy of a deadly education 🥳

message 9: by Jim (new)

Jim how is pre-ordering different from ordering? i am confused, they are both, um, ordering, right?

message 10: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Scothon I am looking forward to ruty ware's new novel and when no one is watching

message 11: by Jamie (new)

Jamie I bought To Sleep in a Sea of Stars already as a pre-order and I am super excited for it. I have been looking for a good sci-fi epic space opera for a while and I really hope this fills that void.

message 12: by Dorie - Cats&Books :) (last edited Aug 31, 2020 03:52PM) (new)

Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Anxious People Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is phenomenal, I cant wait to share it with everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's his best one yet :)

Don't Look For Me Don't Look for Me by Wendy Walker by Wendy Walker is a stellar thriller, 5* from me:)

Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Jim wrote: "how is pre-ordering different from ordering? i am confused, they are both, um, ordering, right?

You can pre-order a book before it comes out so that you can pick it up or have it delivered right on the publication date :)

message 14: by Najiba (new)

Najiba Sadiq Hi I don’t know from where got pages story here just topics and names of books can someone help me iam new here

message 15: by Madina (new)

Madina looking forward to reading a book by Fredrik Backman!

message 16: by Denise (new)

Denise Yikes! 6 more books on my TBR list-maybe if I never sleep I’ll get to them all!

message 18: by Sophie (new)

Sophie Louise Penny's 'All The Devils Are Here' ought to be on this list!

message 19: by Melinda (new)

Melinda Why isn't Louise Penny's book, out today, on this list?

message 20: by Pi (new)

Pi Bar Varun wrote: "I can understand no Rowling because of what she said (even if I feel the book should still be up there) but no Robert Harris, that too when he's returning to his pet peeve (WW2)?"

This is a September list her book comes out in November.

message 21: by Varun (last edited Sep 01, 2020 09:13AM) (new)

Varun Bhakay Pi wrote: "is is a September list her book comes out in November."

Amazon says September - 15th for Kindle, 22nd for Paperback/Hardcover.

message 22: by Beth (new)

Beth Jim wrote: "how is pre-ordering different from ordering? i am confused, they are both, um, ordering, right?

Preordering-book isn't published yet. Paying to have it shipped when that happens.
Ordering: book is available and ready to ship.

message 23: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Jim wrote: "how is pre-ordering different from ordering? i am confused, they are both, um, ordering, right?

Jim, you're correct. Both are placing an order. The difference is that when something is pre-ordered, the item is not yet available. It will be sent once it is. For example, a book that hasn't yet been released can be pre-ordered, but won't be sent until the release date. Hope that helps.

message 24: by Hil (new)

Hil I can't wait for Shadows in Death by J D Robb - September 8th so not long now. Had it pre-ordered for ages. Should arrive on my Kindle at 1 min into that day 💖💖💖

message 25: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Najiba wrote: "Hi I don’t know from where got pages story here just topics and names of books can someone help me iam new here"

This site helps you find out information about books, keep records of what you've read and what you'd like to read, and communicate with others about books. It does not provide books. Good luck!

message 26: by Raegan (new)

Raegan Jim, I can't figure out how to respond directly to you! Pre-order s help authors get hype and on bestseller lists!

message 27: by Linda (new)

Linda Scott Ken Follett and Ruth Ware from your list and Victoria Hislop’s One August Night (sequel to The Island) and the new Robert Galbraith

message 28: by Donna (new)

Donna Already pre-ordered the next Longmire book that comes out this month.

message 29: by Yan (new)

Yan I’m so excited for piranesi!!!! Already pre-ordered the book!

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