10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in September 2020

September is a busy month for fiction! Here are some great fiction titles arriving this month.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Gifty is a sixth-year PhD candidate in neuroscience at the Stanford University School of Medicine, still grieving the loss of her brother while she cares for her fragile mother and tries to make sense of her own life. “A book of blazing brilliance… Gyasi’s ability to interrogate medical and religious issues in the context of America’s fraught racial environment makes her one of the most enlightening novelists writing today.” (The Washington Post) Gyasi won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the American Book Award for her debut novel Homegoing
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein
The newest novel from the enigmatic Italian novelist is a coming of age story featuring Giovanna, whose father says she reminds him of her estranged aunt Vittoria every day. And he doesn’t mean it as a compliment. “What a relief it is when an author who has written a masterpiece returns to prove the gift intact… Here as in her past work, she captures the interior states of young people with an unflinching psychological honesty that is striking in its vividness and depth.” (The New York Times)
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

Jack by Marilynne Robinson
Robinson continues her mid-century, midwestern saga following the novels GileadHome, and Lila. Jack Boughton, a troubled drifter and small time criminal is in love with upstanding schoolteacher Della Miles, but their doomed mixed-race courtship is scandalous and their marriage forbidden by law. “Myriad manifestations of pain are evoked, but here, too, are beauty, humor, mystery, and joy as Robinson holds us rapt with the exactitude of her perceptions and the exhilaration of her hymnal cadence, and so gracefully elucidates the complex sorrows and wonders of life and spirit.” (Booklist) Jack serves as a prequel to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Gilead but can be read as a standalone novel for the uninitiated. 
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

The Awkward Black Man by Walter Mosley
Mosley is a beloved and acclaimed author whose honors include a PEN America Lifetime Achievement Award and a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award. His latest release offers seventeen portraits of Black men and their lives. “These first-person narratives present an array of men in varying circumstances facing racism, obstructed opportunities, and other terrors of modern life, including climate change, natural and manmade disasters, homelessness, urban violence, and failed relationships… Mosley's is an essential American voice and his portraits of Black men will have profound resonance.” (Booklist)
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez
The narrator of Nunez’s eighth novel is supporting a cancer-stricken friend when she is asked to help the friend end her life. “Spare and elegant and immediate… The novel is concerned with the biggest possible questions and confronts them so bluntly it is sometimes jarring: How should we live in the face of so much suffering? Dryly funny and deeply tender; draining and worth it.” (Kirkus Reviews) The author’s last novel, The Friend, won the 2018 National Book Award. 
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

A Girl Is a Body of Water by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi 
Kirabo is a smart, powerful young girl coming of age in 1970s Uganda. Raised by her grandparents and many women in her village, she is haunted by the absence of her mother as she tries to navigate the powerful feminine forces she senses inside her. “Luminous and sprawling… a magnificent blend of Ugandan folklore and more modern notions of feminism… this book is a jewel.” (Kirkus Reviews) Award-winning Ugandan writer Makumbi is also the author of Kintu (2017) and Let’s Tell This Story Properly (2019).
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim
26-year-old Margot Lee travels from Seattle to Los Angeles to check on her mother, only to find her dead—leaving Margot alone to uncover the traumatic details of her undocumented mother’s life. “Haunting and heartbreaking… With both sadness and beauty, she describes grief, regret, loss, and the feeling of being left behind.” (Booklist) A debut novel from an Oakland-based author.
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

Bestiary by K-ming Chang
This queer, intergenerational, transnational fable steeped in Taiwanese heritage takes off when Daughter grows a tiger tail and discovers letters from her grandmother cached in holes in her backyard. “A visceral book that promises a major new literary voice.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar
The latest from a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and acclaimed novelist (American Dervish, 2012) draws on his personal experience as the son of Muslim Pakistani immigrants in the eras of 9/11 and Trump. "Over the course of eight chapters—some narrative, some nearly essaylike, all bookended by an "overture" and a "coda"—Akhtar explores family, politics, art, money, sex, religion, and prejudice in vivid, bracingly intelligent prose... A profound and provocative inquiry into an artist's complex American identity." (Kirkus Reviews
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.

Likes by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
Shun-lien Bynum is the author of the PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Ms. Hempel Chronicles (2008) and the National Book Award finalist Madeleine Is Sleeping (2004). Her newest is a story collection, including the title story that appeared in The New Yorker a few years ago (you can read it here). “The adjectives that readers often attach to Bynum’s work — “enchanting,” “charming,” “precise” — are accurate, but can give the impression that she specializes in dollhouse miniatures, masterfully crafted but bloodless. Her skills and her sensibility are deeper and darker than that… Bynum offers her reader inventively landscaped, beautifully manicured gardens teeming with rewardingly warty toads.” (The New York Times)
Check out or recommend this eBook for purchase on Overdrive.


Did you know that some of our Oakland Public Library branches have been offering sidewalk pickup service? If you've been missing print books, you can pick up holds for books, DVDs, CDs, and WiFi hotspots at our doors. More information can be found here


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