A grid of five books repeating in a pattern: The Young Man by Annie Ernaux, How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler, Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, and So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan.
Images courtesy of publishers.

What We Read in September

The staff’s recommendations for your fall TBR pile.

Book cover for Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I enjoyed the audiobook of this weird, charming, and on occasion deeply disturbing novel. Eleanor is a one-of-a-kind protagonist, not easily likable, yet I was immediately invested in her journey. She’ll stretch your imagination in unexpected ways. —Anna Lind-Guzik

The Young Man by Annie Ernaux

If there’s a new translation of Annie Ernaux out in the world, you best believe I’m getting my hands on it ASAP. Her first since she won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, this is Ernaux at her best: sexy, a little melancholic, complex, intimate. It’s a wonderful meditation on desire, on aging, and on what drives an autobiographical writer to write about themselves. —Gina Mei

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan

This month I reread a short story by Claire Keegan, “So Late in the Day.” I heard of it on the New Yorker Radio Hour; the author George Saunders chose it and thought that Keegan could be compared to Anton Chechov. If that does not get your attention, Saunders also commented on how every line in the story had meaning, so it was worth reading once and then going back to notice its layers.

Keegan had challenged herself to come up with a story that was super tense but where that tension and suspense were not driven by the narrative. What she came up with is a story about misogyny and gender roles in relationships. I’m obsessed with it on so many levels—the writing, the craft, the message. It’s a story that stays with you. —Elyssa Dole

Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford

This month, I delved into Wonderful Ways to Love a Child by Judy Ford with the goal of enhancing my relationship and communication with my daughter. This insightful book offers a plethora of practical and creative techniques for building stronger connections with children. Through relatable anecdotes and heartfelt wisdom, Ford underscores the importance of spending quality time, being an attentive listener, and maintaining positive communication to nurturing these essential relationships. Whether you’re a parent or caregiver, this book serves as an invaluable guide to enriching the bonds you share with the children in your life. —Loleta Ross

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures by Sabrina Imbler

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures has been one of the best books I’ve read this year! Sabrina Imbler explores their queer and cultural identities through shimmery life in the ocean in 10 essays. Once I started to read the first chapter, about how goldfish can actually thrive in wild waters (some growing as heavy as bowling balls!) and how this reflects their experience coming out, I couldn’t put it down. This book is a beautiful reflection of life and acts as a reminder that every goldfish has the tenacity to live if only given the chance to escape their small bowl. —Kiera Wright-Ruiz