Even though this bright and bustling summer is coming to a close, there’s still so much to look forward to for the rest of the year. Autumn brings us cooler weather, anticipation for the holidays, and of course, new books! This September’s new paperback selection is only the start of a full season’s worth of good reads that will have you itching to light a candle, grab a fuzzy blanket, and curl up at home, only to be transported to a new world via a novel!
This is the third installment of the Beartown series in which the Beartown community must grapple with many changes developing in their small town: death, reunion, violence, and more. In fact, these dire circumstances are what bring beloved characters Maya and Benji back to their hometown despite the lives they’ve built elsewhere. And here, their regular lives are anything but peaceful in this story that serves as a larger commentary on tragedy, family, love, and everything in between. THE WINNERS is an unforgettable conclusion to a trilogy that keeps you hoping for a happy ending, even when you know that may not be realistic.
The long-awaited conclusion to the beloved New York Times bestselling and “engrossing” (People) Beartown series—which inspired an HBO series of the same name—follows the small hockey town’s residents as they grapple with change, pain, hope, and redemption.
It starts with a storm, a death, and two funerals on the same day.
One person’s life is being celebrated by all of Beartown.
One person’s life is being forgotten.
Maya Andersson and Benji Ovich, two young people who left in search of a life far from the forest town, come home and joyfully reunite with their closest childhood friends. They can see how much Beartown has changed. There is a sense of optimism and purpose in the town, embodied in the impressive new ice rink that has been built down by the lake.
Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The destruction caused by a ferocious late-summer storm reignites the old rivalry between Beartown and the neighboring town of Hed, a rivalry which has always been fought through their ice hockey teams. Maya’s parents, Peter and Kira, are caught up in an investigation of the hockey club’s murky finances, and Amat—once the star of the Beartown team—has lost his way after an injury and a failed attempt to get drafted into the NHL. Simmering tensions between the two towns turn into acts of intimidation and then violence. All the while, a fourteen-year-old boy grows increasingly alienated from this hockey-obsessed community and is determined to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for his beloved sister’s death. He has a pistol and a plan that will leave Beartown with a loss that is almost more that it can stand.
As it beautifully captures all the complexities of daily life and explores questions of friendship, loyalty, loss, and identity, this emotion-packed novel asks us to reconsider what it means to win, what it means to lose, and what it means to forgive.
Lily and Asher were the pinnacle of a sweet and innocent high school romance—that is until Asher’s mother, Olivia, receives a call one day stating that Lily is dead and Asher is the prime suspect. Olivia does not believe her son could be capable of anything sinister, let alone cold-blooded murder, but as her own investigation into Asher’s secrets unearths truths related to bullying, peer pressure, domestic violence, and the intense bond that certain teens can share, Olivia recognizes she must question everything she thought she knew about her son. Could he be the spitting image of his father—an abuser who took advantage of Olivia before she was finally able to break free—against all of Olivia’s best intentions to raise him right? This is a novel about all the ways a relationship can be toxic and all the ways you can take back your own power, even when it feels impossible.
Horror galore! There’s a strange and sinister pattern that plagues the predominantly white town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania: the very few Black girls who reside here keep mysteriously disappearing in the woods. This is what drove Liz, a young Black girl, to run away many years ago. Now she is begrudgingly coming home for her best friend’s wedding. In the past decade, life has been pretty difficult for Liz, but nothing is more difficult than having to attend a ceremony in the very woods she has been terrified of her entire life. This is an unconventional story that tackles the realities of racism, violence, inequality, anger, and poverty, all of which amounts to the same central question: will Liz make it out alive?
A harrowing and previously unseen perspective into the realities of the Holocaust, Stella Levi’s story—as a part of the Island of Rhodes’ Jewish community—finally comes to light in this illustrated autobiography. When she was a young woman, her remote Italian island was taken over by the Germans, who sent its 1,700 Jewish residents to Auschwitz, where a majority were executed on arrival. Stella was one of the few who were spared and one of the very few who survived the concentration camps altogether. This recollection of memories, named after the endless Saturdays that Stella spent with Michael Frank recounting her life story, is an emotionally difficult but extremely worthwhile read that delves into the horrific details of extreme hardships, the power of sustained resilience even through the most dire of times, and the uncomfortable truths of living peacefully after experiencing such trauma.
One of Wall Street Journal’s Ten Best Books of the Year * Winner of the National Jewish Book Awards for Holocaust Memoir and Sephardic Culture * Recipient of the Jewish Book Council’s Natan Notable Book Award * Winner of the Sophie Brody Medal
The remarkable story of ninety-nine-year-old Stella Levi whose conversations with the author over the course of six years bring to life the vibrant world of Jewish Rhodes, the deportation to Auschwitz that extinguished ninety percent of her community, and the resilience and wisdom of the woman who lived to tell the tale.
With nearly a century of life behind her, Stella Levi had never before spoken in detail about her past. Then she met Michael Frank. He came to her Greenwich Village apartment one Saturday afternoon to ask her a question about the Juderia, the neighborhood on the Greek island of Rhodes where she’d grown up in a Jewish community that had thrived there for half a millennium.
Neither of them could know this was the first of one hundred Saturdays over the course of six years that they would spend in each other’s company. During these meetings Stella traveled back in time to conjure what it felt like to come of age on this luminous, legendary island in the eastern Aegean, which the Italians conquered in 1912, began governing as an official colonial possession in 1923, and continued to administer even after the Germans seized control in September 1943. The following July, the Germans rounded up all 1,700-plus residents of the Juderia and sent them first by boat and then by train to Auschwitz on what was the longest journey—measured by both time and distance—of any of the deportations. Ninety percent of them were murdered upon arrival.
Probing and courageous, candid and sly, Stella is a magical modern-day Scheherazade whose stories reveal what it was like to grow up in an extraordinary place in an extraordinary time—and to construct a life after that place has vanished. One Hundred Saturdays is a portrait of one of the last survivors drawn at nearly the last possible moment, as well as an account of a tender and transformative friendship between storyteller and listener, offering a powerful “reminder that the ability to listen thoughtfully is a rare and significant gift” (The Wall Street Journal).
Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner are an unlikely duo—Jeppe is highly sensitive and nursing a broken heart while Anette is a crude woman who doesn’t take shit from anyone—but when they discover the investigations they’ve been separately working on are somehow related, their opposites-attract dynamic works amazingly to solve crimes. Anette is dealing with a dead body, unceremoniously presented to her in an abandoned suitcase found in downtown Copenhagen, and Jeppe somehow resides on an island where the inhabitants are mysteriously connected to the deceased. It's a grisly Nordic slow-burn that will keep you on your toes and on the hunt for the most well-hidden clues.
From internationally bestselling author Katrine Engberg, the series that is a “gripping addition to the Scandinavian crime fiction pantheon” (Oprah Daily) comes to a stunning conclusion as Jeppe Kørner and Anette Werner rush to untangle a long-simmering mystery before a brutal killer strikes again.
Jeppe Kørner, on leave from the police force and nursing a broken heart, has taken refuge on the island of Bornholm for the winter. But when Jeppe lends a helping hand at the island’s local sawmill, he begins to realize that the island may not be the peaceful refuge it appears to be.
Back in Copenhagen, Anette Werner is tasked with leading the investigation into a severed corpse discovered on a downtown playground. As she follows the strange trail of clues, they all seem to lead back to Bornholm. With an innocent offer to check out a lead, Jeppe unwittingly finds himself in the crosshairs of a sinister mystery rooted in the past, forcing him to team up with Anette and a lonely island resident to help him unravel the Bornholm’s secrets before it’s too late.
With her signature “unforgettable characters and brilliant plot twists” (Kathy Reichs, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Katrine Engberg weaves a satisfying and white-knuckled finale to her “brazen and original” (The Toronto Star) Korner and Werner series.
The Mitford sisters have always dominated the English political and social scenes between the World Wars, but the family falls under scrutiny when Diana divorces her husband in favor of a fascist leader and Unity is rumored to be the mistress of rising controversial leader Adolf Hitler. The two girls are ostracized by three of their sisters, but the novelist of the family, Nancy, believes she can do something to mend the rift, even as Diana and Unity become spies for the Nazi party. It's a story of how innocent people can fall victim to an alluring ideology, depending on how that power is presented, as well as a discussion of the nuances of loyalty in family.
Vengeance is all that is on former Navy SEAL James Reece’s mind when he hears that a plane has been blown out of the sky in the African country of Burkina Faso and everyone on board was killed instantly. He knew one of the victims—a woman he owes his life to after she helped him on an old Mossad mission—and that she was on this particular flight as a part of a contract with the State of Israel to complete a hit on a known target. Reece knows he has to take action, even though he had promised his girlfriend he was finally ready to settle down into a quiet life. This may be a potential trap to lure Reece out into dangerous territory, but he is willing to traverse across the globe and commit as much international espionage as needed to avenge his fellow intelligence agent.
“Take my word for it, James Reece is one rowdy motherf***er. Get ready!” —Chris Pratt, star of the #1 Amazon Prime series The Terminal List
The #1 New York Times bestselling Terminal List series continues as James Reece embarks on a global journey of vengeance.
A woman boards a plane in the African country of Burkina Faso having just completed a targeted assassination for the state of Israel. Two minutes later, her plane is blown out of the sky.
Over 6,000 miles away, former Navy SEAL James Reece watches the names and pictures of the victims on cable news. One face triggers a distant memory of a Mossad operative attached to the CIA years earlier in Iraq—a woman with ties to the intelligence services of two nations…a woman Reece thought he would never see again.
Reece enlists friends new and old across the globe to track down her killer, unaware that he may be walking into a deadly trap.
In this sequel to the bestselling hit MY HEART IS A CHAINSAW, Jade Daniels is back as a free woman. Her four-year prison stint is over, and she returns to her hometown of Proofrock, Idaho, ready for a fresh start, but as luck would have it, the same night Jade returns a convicted serial killer comes into town, unbeknownst to her. Bodies start appearing almost instantly, and these killings are anything but usual. Finding herself in another slasher-film-esque situation, almost like déjà vu, Jade decides that it’s up to her again to save the town from such mindless destruction. However, this time around, with past experience and four years of maturity on her side, Jade is more prepared than ever to take on the gore.
December 12th, 2019, Jade returns to the rural lake town of Proofrock the same day as convicted Indigenous serial killer Dark Mill South escapes into town to complete his revenge killings, in this “superb” (Publishers Weekly) sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.
Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho.
Dark Mill South’s Reunion Tour began on December 12th, 2019, a Thursday.
Thirty-six hours and twenty bodies later, on Friday the 13th, it would be over.
Don’t Fear the Reaper is the “adrenaline-filled” (Library Journal, starred review) sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.
Expanding on the “found family” theme, OTHER BIRDS uses magical realism to create a vivid depiction of love and loss in this coming-of-age tale. Zoey is only eighteen when she finds herself without much family. Moving into her late mother’s apartment, and away from the father who didn’t want her, Zoey wishes for a fresh start only to find that everyone she meets in her building is just as sad, lonely, and broken as she is. But, in a fantastical twist, Zoey and the other tenants realize that they can connect with the ghosts of all those who have shaped their lives in the past; and with that guidance from loved ones, Zoey and those who are still living learn that there is power in starting over and that it is okay to allow yourself to love again. In the end, carrying baggage is not so hard when you’ve got friends to help share the burden!
In this latest installment of the Charlie Parker series—that actually acts as two intertwined novellas—Parker has completely removed himself from the NYPD life he used to live as he mourns the untimely deaths of both his wife and daughter. However, he still works in the law and crime realm of things as a private investigator in Maine, where he takes on two interesting cases: an occult situation involving the death of an infamous coin collector, and a mafia dispute where a boss’s widow is being stalked by henchmen who are after stolen money. Not only are these thrillers dark and exciting, but they are supernatural as well.
Chaos and murder arrive in Charlie Parker’s hometown of Portland, Maine, with two connected crimes in the latest novel in #1 nationally bestselling author John Connolly’s “flawless and highly suspenseful” (PopSugar) series.
New York Times bestselling author John Connolly pits Parker against two separate—but vitally connected—investigations, which prove to be among the most complicated of his entire career in this “must-read for the author’s fans and a good introduction to the series for newbie” (Booklist).
In The Sisters Strange, criminal Raum Buker arrives in Portland, only for a shocking act of theft to threaten not only his own existence but those of his former lovers—the enigmatic sisters Strange.
And in the title novel, The Furies, Parker must protect two women under threat as Portland shuts down in the face of a global pandemic. But it may be that those clients are more capable of taking care of themselves than anyone could have imagined.
Photo credit: iStock / Richard Villalon