books

The 7 books everyone will be reading in September.

September is the perfect month for heading to a (socially distanced) park with a good book (if you're legally allowed to where you live). 

I've got a lineup this month that will transport you out of your own living room and across Australia - and around the world - in search of plot twists and much needed answers.

Start by solving a family mystery and a sudden disappearance in suburban Sydney, before investigating a murky murder in the middle of a girls' trip in Chile, and finally learn about love and the particular pain of being in your twenties in New York and Dublin. 

Here are the seven books everyone will be reading in September: 

Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty

Image: Pan MacMillan Australia/Mamamia. 

Liane Moriarty's latest novel centres around a family full of secrets. 

From the outside, the Delaneys seem like the perfect family. Former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments after decades in the industry. They've sold their business, their grown children are busy with their own lives, and they're easing themselves in retirement. 

Then Joy disappears. 

And her kids are forced to reexamine their parents' marriage with fresh eyes. 

Read it if you like: Big Little Lies, baby boomers in tennis whites, and non-stop twists. 

Magpie by Elizabeth Day

Image: HarperCollins/Mamamia. 

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Magpie follows the story of 28-year-old Marissa who falls in love with a man named Jake and soon moves in with him. Not long after, they're over the moon when Marissa becomes pregnant with their first child. But not everything is quite what it seems.

Lisa Taddeo described Magpie as "a book that needed to exist in the world" and she's completely right. 

It's terrifying, beautifully written and ultimately uplifting. 

Read it if you like: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, bird metaphors, and mid-book twists. 

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

Image: Penguin/Mamamia. 

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We Were Never Here could best be described as Thelma and Louise meets Gone Girl

Emily is on holiday with her best friend, Kristen, in the stunning mountains of Chile. It's the holiday of a lifetime, until the final night of the trip, when Emily returns to their hotel suite to find it covered in blood. 

Kristen claims a backpacker attacked her, and she had no choice but to kill him in self defence. 

Emily helps her hide the body but soon she begins to doubt Kristen's versions of events. 

Read it if you like: Gone Girl, holidays with your best friend, burying bodies, and a healthy dose of doubt. 

The Things We See in the Light by Amal Awad

Image: Pantera Press/Mamamia. 

Eight years ago, Sahar pursued her happily ever after when she married Khaled and followed him to Jordan, leaving behind her family, her friends and a thriving cake business. But married life didn't go as planned and, haunted by secrets, Sahar has returned home to Sydney without telling her husband.

With the help of her childhood friends, Sahar hits the reset button on her life. She takes a job at a local patisserie run by Maggie, a strong but kind manager who guides Sahar in sweets and life.

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But as she tentatively gets to know her colleagues, Sahar faces a whole new set of challenges. 

The Things We See in the Light is a novel about finding yourself and facing your past. 

Read it if you like: Chocolate, old friends, and new beginnings.  

The Housemate by Sarah Bailey

Image: Allen and Unwin/Mamamia. 

Sarah Bailey has already made a name for herself as one of Australia's best new crime writers with her Detective Gemma Woodstock series. 

The Housemate is her first standalone novel outside of the series. It follows the story of Melbourne crime reporter Olive Groves who was one of the first reporters on the scene of the infamous 'Housemate Homicide' in the early 2000s, which left one housemate dead, one missing and one charged with murder. 

When the missing housemate turns up dead almost a decade later, Olive is once again covering the case and is about to find out the truth is closer than she thought. 

Read it if you like: The Dark Lake, share houses, notorious Australian crimes, and epic twists. 

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Image: Allen and Unwin/Mamamia. 

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Beautiful World, Where Are You is a book about being in your 20s, not knowing what you want but wanting everything at once. 

Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a break-up, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood. 

Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young — but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?

Read it if you like: Normal People, Ghosts by Dolly Alderton, existential dread, and figuring sh*t out. 

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

Image: Penguin/Mamamia. 

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The Paper Palace is a book about all the different types of love that make up a life. 

On a perfect August morning, before anyone else is awake, Elle Bishop heads out for a swim in a freshwater pond. 

She dives beneath the surface of the freezing water to the shocking memory of the sudden passionate encounter she had the night before, up against the wall outside the house, as her husband and mother chatted to the dinner guests inside.

And so begins a story spanning 24 hours and 50 years, as decades of family legacies, love, lies, secrets, and one unspeakable incident in her childhood lead Elle to the precipice of a life-changing decision.

Read it if you like: Heartsick by Jessie Stephens, early morning swims, and family secrets. 

Keryn Donnelly is Mamamia's Pop Culture Editor. For more of her TV, film and book recommendations and to see photos of her dog, follow her on Instagram

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