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Your Shelf Life: 4 Books to Read in September

A curated list of this month's top reads


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Ann Patchett, best-selling author of Bel Canto and The Magician’s Assistant, has a new novel about two splintered families that merge. Commonwealth explores how the stepsiblings’ experiences and shared secrets haunt their adult lives.

Literary circles are abuzz about Affinity Konar’s Mischling. It’s the story of twin sisters sent to Auschwitz and chosen by Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death, for his macabre genetic experiments. After the death camps, one twin and a friend search Poland looking for revenge.

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad imagines the railroad as literal, with a subterranean train carrying his female slave protagonist through state after state, each with its own sinister plans for runaways.

Here I Am is Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in 11 years, after striking literary gold with Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. In this new work, the Middle East has been struck by an earthquake and Israel invaded. Meanwhile, a Jewish family based in Washington, D.C. implodes when the parents divorce, leaving three traumatized sons.

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