10 blockbuster reads in September
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye by David Lagercrantz (translated by George Goulding)
The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye is the fifth book in the Millennium series, and the second from David Lagercrantz. In this instalment, Lisbeth Salander has been sentenced to two months prison, which almost proves a welcome diversion for someone with her skill set. Meanwhile, her friend and partner Mikael Blomkvist is tasked with investigating a man who has connections to Lisbeth’s own childhood. The two of them will have to work together to discover the truth.
The Choke by Sofie Laguna
Abandoned by her mother as a toddler and only occasionally visited by her volatile, secretive father, Justine is raised by her Pop, an old man tormented by visions of the Burma Railway. Justine finds sanctuary in Pop’s chooks and in The Choke, a place of staggering natural beauty that is both a source of peace and danger. From Miles Franklin winner Sofie Laguna, The Choke is a claustrophobic novel about a child navigating an often dark and uncaring world of male power, guns and violence – a world in which grown-ups can’t be trusted.
A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carré
George Smiley fans rejoice – A Legacy of Spies is John Le Carré’s first novel in more than 25 years to feature this iconic character. The story follows Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of Smiley, who has retired to his family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany. When a letter from British Secret Service summons him to London he realises his Cold War past has come back to claim him. Interweaving past with present, Le Carré gifts fans yet another superb and elegant spy thriller.
Bitch Doctrine by Laurie Penny
Smart and provocative, witty and uncompromising, this collection of Laurie Penny’s writing establishes her as one of the most urgent and vibrant feminist voices of our time. From the shock of Donald Trump’s election and the victories of the far right, to online harassment and the transgender rights movement, these darkly humorous articles provoke challenging conversations about the definitive social issues of today.
I am, I am, I am by Maggie O'Farrell
I am, I am, I am is the electric memoir from bestselling author Maggie O'Farrell. The book tracks 17 near-death experiences that have punctuated her life, from a childhood illness she was not expected to survive to a terrifying encounter on a remote path. This is a book to make you question yourself. What would you do if your life was in danger? How would you react? And what would you stand to lose?
Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard (translated by Ingvild Burkey) (illustrations by Vanessa Baird)
Autumn is the much-anticipated first book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s new Seasons quartet. It opens with a letter the author has written to his unborn daughter. Throughout, he adds one short piece per day, describing the material and natural world with the precision and mesmerising intensity that have become his trademark. This tender and deeply personal book is beautifully illustrated by Vanessa Baird.
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
In the wake of his parents' deaths, his divorce and his retirement, 68-year-old Jules Epstein begins shedding the possessions and becomes elusive, distant. Resolving to do something to commemorate his parents, he travels to Tel Aviv and checks into the Hilton. Meanwhile, a novelist leaves her husband and children behind in Brooklyn and arrives at the same hotel. She is hoping to unlock her writer’s block but is instead drawn into a mystery involving Kafka. Carlton bookseller Marie Matteson calls this novel from award-winning author Nicole Krauss ‘an unexpectedly funny book, grounded at every turn by moments of humour and small human interactions’. Find her review here.
The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities and reinvent themselves as Roman emperors living in a lavish house in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society. The family’s story – their rise and undoing – is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, Rene, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. Invoking literature, pop culture, and the cinema, Salman Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years.
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.
The Red-Haired Woman by Orhan Pamuk (translated by Ekin Oklap)
The Red-Haired Woman is a fable of fathers and sons from Turkish novelist, and Nobel Prize winner, Orhan Pamuk. On the outskirts of a town 30 miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain and build an unlikely but powerful filial bond. When the boy come across an irresistible diversion in The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, it leads to tragedy. The boy flees, returning to Istanbul, but years later he will discover the truth of that day.