What We Read in September

Jenn Wrenn
Back-to-school blues? Never fear, if you're into fabulous fifties women or shabby Manhattan bookstores, then we've got plenty of books worth putting off your homework for...

Red Joan by Jennie Rooney (Chatto and Windus)

Inspired by the true story of Melita Norwood – who was exposed as a Cold War spy at the age of 87 – Red Joan tells the story of Joan Stanley, a doting mother and grandmother whose quiet life in the suburbs is turned upside down when a knock at the door forces her reveal secrets that she had kept buried for fifty years.

 

Her Brilliant Career: Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke (Virago)

Rachel Cooke turns the spotlight on to ten women whose careers paved the way for future generations. From race car driver, Sheila van Damm to the unappreciated pioneers of the British film industry, Muriel and Betty Box, these are not your stereotypical rubber-gloved and lipsticked 50s housewives.

 

The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler (Bloomsbury)

Released to coincide with the Books Are My Bag campaign, The Bookstore follows Esme Garland as she finds herself in New York City for the first time. She falls for the charm of Mitchell Van Leuven, but when that starts to unravel finds salvation in a shabby little bookstore in the Upper West Side.

 

A Circle in the Fire & Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor (Folio Society)

An illustrated compilation of seventeen of O’Connor’s short stories, including The Heart of the Park, The Peeler, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Everything That Rises Must Converge. This collection  – unique to the Folio Society – also has an introduction by C.E. Morgan.

 

If none of those take your fancy, check out our latest rave reviews of Burial Rites, Almost English, The Lullaby of Polish Girls and Maddaddam.

 

(Image via JennWrenn)