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Tertulia Staff Picks: 10 Books Coming in September That We Can't Wait to Read

Every month, we share the books we can't wait to read. From the perfect cookbook gift, to a conspiracy-fueled noir set in Hollywood by crime-writing great James Ellroy, to the latest from social critic Naomi Klein, there's something here for every reader.
Tertulia staff •
Aug 25th, 2023


The Enchanters by James Ellroy (Sept. 12)

It’s 1962, Marilyn Monroe is dead, a starlet has been kidnapped, and James Ellroy’s iconic dirtbag cop Freddy Otash, from his 2022 novel Widespread Panic, is back to piece it all together. The Enchanters promises to be classic Ellroy: a thrilling, conspiracy-fueled hell-trip through the dark underbelly of glitzy Hollywood and her seedier counterparts in D.C. The perfect book to close the summer. — Erica Landau

Rouge by Mona Awad (Sept. 12)

Bunny was one of the most daring and original books of the past decade for me, so I've been counting down the days for Mona Awad's new novel. Surrealism, gothic horror and fabulism mix in this SoCal fairy tale that's sure to be one of the most darkly funny and self-reflective books of the year. — Sam Haecker

Move Like Water: My Story of the Sea by Hannah Stowe (Sept. 19)

Anyone raised near a coastline knows the ocean's mysterious and powerful draw. Hannah Stowe's Move Like Water is not just a personal story of a girl raised at the edge of the sea or a recount of existing marine creatures, it’s a deep dive into the complex relationship we have with the ecosystem that encompasses 99 percent of the living space on earth. — Romina Raimundo

Land of Milk and Honey by C. Pam Zhang (Sept. 26)

This dystopian novel from the author of the Booker Prize longlisted How Much of These Hills Is Gold, is set against the backdrop of a world where food crops are quickly vanishing and follows a young chef working in luxurious mountaintop colony after leaving the dull confines of city life. I was instantly gripped by the book's premise which prods at ideas around finding personal happiness while hardship swirls around us. — Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

Reykjavík: A Crime Story by Ragnar Jónasson & Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Sept. 5)

As anyone who’s been to Iceland can tell you, there’s something so beautifully mysterious about the remote Scandinavian country. This crime story inspired by a real-life cold case from the ’50s, in which a teen girl vanished from a desolate island off Reykjavík’s coast, piqued my interest from the jump. Add that to the fact that the thriller was a pandemic side project for Iceland’s current prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, who’s been an avid crime fiction reader since she was a kid, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a one-of-a-kind nordic noir caper. — Fernanda Gorgulho


The Lights: Poems by Ben Lerner (Sept. 5)

This new collection from the National Book Award finalist for poetry communicates through a variety of forms including verse, prose, song, and voice mails, exercising both intimacy and sprawling grandeur. These poems, written over a period of 15 years, look to be some of the most intensely personal, gorgeously unpredictable pieces Ben Lerner has produced. — Sam Haecker


The Coming Wave: Technology, Power, and the Twenty-First Century's Greatest Dilemma by Mustafa Suleyman, Michael Bhaskar (Sept. 5)

If you've been closely following the debate over the proliferation of AI-based tech over the past year, you've probably already heard about this provocative and thoughtful book from Mustafa Suleyman, the cofounder of the AI company DeepMind. Suleyman has lived and breathed this technology for many years, and his ideas for how to proceed safely with AI are particularly well-timed. — Emmanuel Hidalgo-Wohlleben

Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World by Naomi Klein (Sept. 12)

It’s tragic how much Naomi Klein gets confused for Naomi Wolf, which is the jumping off point of her new book Doppelganger. Getting mistaken for someone with views antithetical to her own helped elucidate how the growth of the ultra-right is often found in the ways it bends and distorts its politics (i.e. wellness personalities hyping anti-vax conspiracies or conservatives espousing faux-populist worker solidarity) all in service to the end goal of reinforcing status-quo, capitalist systems. I can’t wait to read it. — Erica Landau

The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope by José Andrés (Sept. 12)

Whenever there’s a humanitarian crisis, you’re likely to find the Spanish-American chef José Andrés there to lend a helping hand along with his nonprofit World Central Kitchen (WCK), which has been feeding people in crisis ever since the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. For humanitarian work like this, he’s received countless awards and even been nominated for a Nobel Prize. So while you may not be able to fly off to cook borscht for Ukrainian war victims, or make curry stew for refugees of the recent Maui wildfires, here’s something you can do: Go out and preorder this incredible organization’s very first cookbook before it comes out on September 12th! It’s filled with inspirational stories and recipes from local WCK cooks around the world, as well as famous supporters like Michelle Obama (breakfast tacos), Emeril Lagasse and Stephen Colbert. And all proceeds go right back to this incredible group! I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered the perfect gift for all the hungry, wonderful people in my life. — Fernanda Gorgulho

Blood in the Machine: The Origins of the Rebellion Against Big Tech by Brian Merchant (Sept. 26)

​​Automation is not exactly new, as Brian Merchant illustrates in this longlisted Financial Times Business Book of the Year. Two hundred years ago, a group of workers that became known as Luddites started the first uprising against the technology that was replacing their jobs. Today, in an evolving high tech present, where AI is exponentially growing and we are unaware of what to expect, Blood in the Machine provides an indispensable examination of a past that is more present than ever. — Romina Raimundo

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