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September 2022’s Must-Read Book Releases

September 2022’s Must-Read Book Releases

Another month, another fresh set of book releases to devour. See NYLON’s monthly reading list, ahead.

Luda by Grant Morrison - Penguin Random House, September 6

Femme fatale Glasgow drag queens meet the dark arts in this thriller from famed comics writer Grant Morrison, where drag queens and their protégées derive their powers from the Glamour, a mysterious occult discipline.

Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House

Bliss Montage by Ling Ma - Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 13

From the author of everyone’s favorite End Times novel Severance, which I may or may not have read in a single day in March of 2022, Ling Ma returns with a collection of eight short stories that are as outlandish as they are delectable. In one story, a mysterious substance makes people invisible; in another a woman lives in a mansion with 100 ex-boyfriends.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Normal Distance by Elisa Gabbert - Soft Skull Press, September 13

Elisa Gabbert answers life’s most innocuous and important questions in this collection of poems, for people who love and hate poetry alike. Her musings are metaphysical, her concerns existential: How does one suffer ‘gladly?’ How bored are dogs? “There is a hole in your nightmare / you could fall down,’” she writes in one poem. “‘Everything reminds me of it, but I don’t know what ‘it’ is.”

Soft Skull Press

Soft Skull Press

Strangers to Ourselves: Unsettled Minds and the Stories That Make Us by Rachel Aviv - Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 13

In a time when you can diagnose yourself with BPD on Twitter, Rachel Aviv looks at the connections between diagnosis and identity. It’s a conundrum as old as the DSM 1, one that’s haunted the offices and TikTok accounts of therapists for millennia. In Strangers to Ourselves, Aviv explores how mental illness, and our feelings around it, affect the course of lives.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Notes on Shapeshifting by Gabi Abrão - Not a Cult., September 13

The work of writer and artist Gabi Abrão, also known as @sighswoon on Instagram, is dedicated to “developing a language with the invisible.” She does this online, with long captions about living, and dying and is now coming out with her first collection, which yearns to “sooth and arouse,” as it traverses the energy and feelings around heartbreak, confident and defeat, and the body.

Not a Cult.

Nobody Ever Told Me Anything by Rachael Finley, September 18

The founder of cool girl clothing company Hot Lava, former Vice TV host Rachael Finley (known to the Internet as Steak) has lived a life that could be an A24 film — from a Florida childhood in poverty to having cancer twice to touring with a heavy metal band to Tumblr fame. Read about it all in her searing tell-all book.

Rachael Finley

Tell Me I’m An Artist by Chelsea Martin, Soft Skull Press - September 20

Taking place over a semester in a San Francisco art school, Joelle has one assignment to complete. But she keeps getting distracted by everything: the pressure to make capital-A Art under deadline, her own dysfunctional family, the guilt trip her mom gives her for not sharing her loan money, and by her beautiful, wealthy roommate who makes beautiful art without a care in the world. A novel for anyone whose ever thought, “WTF am I doing?” about their art.

Soft Skull Press

Soft Skull Press

The Old Place by Bobby Finger - G.P. Putnam’s Sons, September 20

From the writer and co-host of Who? Weekly, which is regularly described to me as “the only podcast worth listening to,” comes a debut novel that is not about the antics of D-list celebrities. Instead, it’s about educators in small town Texas, specifically Mary Alice Roth, a retired schoolteacher whose decades-old secret threatens to be revealed, sending shockwaves through her town.

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

G.P. Putnam’s Sons

I Fear My Pain Interests You by Stephanie LaCava - Verso Books - September 27

The daughter of punk rockstars, with a jeweled cigarette case fill of pills and a bloody face, flees to Montana for a quieter life — only to uncover her congenital inability to feel pain, which puts her at risk of one man’s desire and ambition, in this absurdist novel about fame and bodies.

Verso Books

Verso Books

MOTHERTHING by Ainslie Hogarth - Vintage, September 27

Mother-in-laws are notoriously scary, but in this darkly funny horror novel, a woman takes drastic measures to save her husband and herself from the ghost of her vengeful mother-in-law after following her suicide.

Vintage

Vintage