Most Anticipated September 2018 Books

Leah Angstman
Sep 3, 2018 · 9 min read

The Coil dishes the best new books to read this month. Nonfiction with a history bent, literary novels, and poetry for our time.


Emily O’Neill
O’Neill’s gorgeous, lush poems dissect food, comfort, relationships, and how they are intertwined and earned.


Charles Dodd White
A savage and soulful new novel from the master of moody backwoods darkness and folkloric Appalachian landscapes.


Melissa Grunow
Beautiful essays of the woes and joys of adulthood, from grief and mental health to divorce to owning a new house.


Sherrie Flick
Fifty stories of varying length combining wit, humor, love, loss, and Flick’s amazing prose.


Amy Sayre Baptista
These Southern Gothic stories wrestle with southern morality, survivalism, feminism, and what’s at the heart of a wounded region.


Sarah Smarsh
In this memoir for our times, Smarsh talks truthfully about working-class poverty in the American Midwest.


Darren C. Demaree
Poems about Middle America as told through the thoughts of Rodin’s famous statue, .


Lydia Kiesling
With raw, sharp prose, Kiesling’s debut novel talks about the trials of motherhood in a broken America.


Nicole Tone
A woman finds solace in painting after the death of her fiancé, but a new mentor pushes her back to square one.


Rebecca Solnit
Solnit is back with her biting commentary on our times in this collection of essays about American crises, their roots, and our responses to them.


Eileen Myles
In their first collection of new poetry in years, the biggest mover-and-shaker in the poetry world is shaking things up again, changing our language forever.


Tiana Clark
Winner of the Starrett Poetry Prize and Pitt Poetry Series, this collection is sure to hit the heart with the honesty, pain, and beauty of identity.


Erica Dawson
A book-length poem chronicling the tragedies of our time, from our disastrous government to American racism to being a woman in the age of #MeToo.


Elliot Reed
A wiser modern-day Huckleberry Finn-type coming-of-age story about an epic boyhood that is quirkily and wittily fun.


Malinda Maynor Lowery
Lowery tells the history and modern-day story of the East Coast’s largest tribe who have survived in their original homelands in a tumultuous biracial South.


Joanne B. Freeman
The story of the violence in Congress that led to internal conflicts and sparked the Civil War.


Alice Hatcher
Winner of the Dzanc Prize for Fiction, this novel shows the absurd prejudices, racism, and class structures of humans through the viewpoint of cockroaches.


Andrei Guruianu
Deriving inspiration from the Arab Spring, this novella seeks to prove that ideas are still as beautiful as they are dangerous.


Daniel Torday
When a man’s life falls apart, he turns to making viral videos that ensnare him in a web of trouble involving the government, his family, and his ex.


Edited by Aimee Bender & Sherrie Flick
The annual collection of the best pieces of tiny fiction nominated by independent presses.


Jason Arment
A heavy war memoir by a Marine Corps Machine Gunner during Operation Iraqi Freedom, this one is sure to bring on the guilt and the pain.


Christina Collins
This is a middle grade book by a talented writer all about mutism, disorders, breaking the silence, and learning to be yourself.


Linda Kay Klein
Part reportage and part memoir, a former member of the evangelical church talks about the devastating effects its purity culture has on women.


William Knoedelseder
A look at Detroit’s heyday and Harley Earl, a college dropout who invented automobile styling, forever changing the way cars were imagined.


Nick Bunker
A new account of Benjamin Franklin’s early life and how the young visionary elbowed his way into success.


Kristin Garth & Elisabeth Horan
A collection of poems about trauma, abuse, the mind games men play on women, and above all, survival.


Sarah Bird
The story of Cathy Williams, a former slave and the only woman ever to serve with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers (dressed as a man, of course).


Bonnie Chau
Grand Prize winner of the 2040 Books Award, this story collection explores desire, lives of young women, and fresh perspectives of Chinese Americans.


Beth Castrodale
A former rocker who gave up music for fatherhood and a job as a gravedigger is haunted by the death of a band member buried at the cemetery.


Andrea Gibbons
An exhaustive, comprehensive study of the housing crisis and the history of segregation in Los Angeles.


Daniel Trilling
A heavily researched and engrossing account of the ongoing refugee crisis at the borders of Europe.


Melanie Hobson
A literary novel about three sisters returning home to encounter each other and to face their tumultuous pasts.


Paul Vermeersch
Monsters, futuristic machines, and disinformation abound in this dystopian poetry collection that is a survival guide for what’s clearly coming.


Sam Sax
Winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, this poetry collection touches on gay suicides, diaspora, and self-identity.


Sarah Fawn Montgomery
A memoir of mental illness following Montgomery’s descent into anxiety, OCD, and PTSD, and her ascent toward acceptance.


Natalia Hero
After a woman is raped, she gives birth to an agitating hummingbird, forever altering her life in this magical-realism novella of trauma and survival.


Sarah Weinman
The dark, real-life inspiration for Nabokov’s infamous novel finally receives justice in this meticulously researched look into Sally Horner’s kidnapping.


Eric Jay Dolin
Busting myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes, this account of historical North American pirates sheds new light on their lives and Colonial times.


Tilar J. Mazzeo
After the popularity of the musical , everyone wants a piece of Eliza, but it’s about time this remarkable mover and shaker truly gets her due.


Jose Antonio Vargas
“The most famous undocumented immigrant in America” has a powerful, tear-jerking, necessary message and call to arms for a broken country.


Doris Kearns Goodwin
Pulitzer Prize-winning researcher and historian Goodwin dissects the leadership roles of Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and Lyndon Johnson.


Deborah Blum
The story of Dr. Harvey Washington Wiley and how food, often deadly and full of known harmful ingredients at the time, was made safe in America.

Stephen Fried
The story of medical pioneer and unsung Founding Father Benjamin Rush, who helped transform treatments for mental illnesses and addiction.


Olivia Laing
A novel about learning to love at the cusp of an apocalypse and finding oneself when the whole world is falling apart.


Esi Edugyan
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this novel tells the story of a boy born into slavery who works his way up to become a free man.

LEAH ANGSTMAN serves as editor-in-chief for Alternating Current Press and The Coil magazine, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a proofreader for Pacific Standard. Her work has appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Tupelo Quarterly, Electric Literature, Slice Magazine, Pacific Standard, and elsewhere. Find her at her website.

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