best new books september 2023

The best new books coming out in September 2023

08 Sep 2023 | |By Kari Colmans

The sun has finally got its hat on. So, find an open space to sunbathe, and get into the late summer spirit with the month’s most momentous page-turners

Summer in autumn? Are us Brits really that surprised? Welcome in the topsy-turvy new season – whether that’s spent lounging on a rooftop pool, finding shade under a sultry willow tree, or nestled by a fire when things inevitably change again – with a great new book. From fascinating non-fiction and nail-biting biographies (we’re looking at you Elon Musk) to fashion photography with Lee Miller, cookery with Nadiya Hussain, thrillers from Linwood Barclay and historical fiction from Zadie Smith, getting lost between the pages never looked so inviting.

Lee Miller: Photographs

The ultimate coffee table talking point, this stunning compendium showcases 100 of the most outstanding images taken by photographer, model, and Surrealist muse Lee Miller, published in anticipation of the November 2023 release of the film Lee, starring Kate Winslet. Famed for being one of the most important female photographers of the 20th century, working in the fields of photojournalism, fashion, portraiture and advertising, this redolent book collects Miller’s most notable works, as well as photographs of Miller, all carefully compiled by her son, photographer Antony Penrose, with a foreword by Winslet. Out now.

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The Lie Maker by Linwood Barclay

From the Sunday Times best-selling author of Take Your Breath Away, this new thriller from crime whizz Linwood Barclay sees protagonist Jack in a race against time to find his father, who has ended up in witness protection. Left to be raised by his mother as his dad departed with the words, “Your dad’s not a good person. Your dad killed people, son,” it is only when Jack is recruited by the U.S. Marshals to create false histories for people in witness protection that he is compelled to follow the leads to the very end – before it’s too late. Out now.

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The Fraud by Zadie Smith

A first foray into historical fiction for this much-celebrated author, this story explores the momentous Tichborne Trial of the 1870s and what would become one of the longest legal battles in English history. In short, a cockney-speaking Australian migrant butcher claims to be the real Sir Roger Tichborne, heir to the Tichborne baronetcy who had been presumed lost at sea. Which sounds far-fetched until his star witness turns out to be the aristocratic family’s longstanding servant Andrew Bogle, who was formerly enslaved on a Jamaican plantation. Spanning Britain and Jamaica, the story explores the power of truth, manipulation, pretence, and fantasy. Published on 5 September.

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Living Bright: Fashioning Colourful Interiors by Matthew Williamson

A colourful, joyous foray into the beauty and power of design, this book is brought to life by Williamson himself, combining inspirational interiors with personal anecdotes from the master of colour. Calling all budding decorators to “embrace the paint pot” and live a life surrounded by hot pinks and roaring reds, no space is too small and no project too big. With photography from his homes in London and Mallorca, this heady handbook will have you burning the beige for good. Out 7 September.

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Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson

Synonymous with luxury electric cars, private space exploration, and AI (as well as taking over a little company called Twitter), this story of innovator and visionary Elon Musk from the author of Steve Jobs is alarmingly intimate and insightful. Growing up in South Africa, Musk was regularly beaten by bullies and emotionally abused by his father, which he sees as instilling in him a maniacal intensity, temerity and thirst for risk, drama, mission, and success. Isaacson shadowed Musk for two years in the writing of this book, as well as spending hours interviewing him, his family, friends – and adversaries. Available from 11 September.

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Nadiya’s Simple Spices by Nadiya Hussain

Former Bake Off winner and all-round nation’s favourite cook, Nadiya Hussain, is back with a chilli-flaked bang this month, exploring the versatility of just eight readily available spices that have been elevating her family recipes for generations. Get clicking on your next Ocado order and add cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, chilli, bay leaves, and curry powder to your basket, so you can get your hands dirty (and tastebuds watering) with a deliciously crispy leek biryani, yoghurt chicken, and the ultimate Peshwari naan. Out on 14 September.

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Unruly by David Mitchell

Famed for his quick-wit and cutting humour, the comedian and writer David Mitchell takes the reader on an historical tour of English rulers in a book that is like no history lesson you’ve had to endure before. From the “Pre-Willy” days that preceded the Norman conquest, through to the Elizabethan age, it’s full of weird and wonderful spectacle, scandal, and brutality. A semi-serious book by a not so serious man, it explains with hilarity how exactly we got here – and who is to blame. Available from 28 September.

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Read more: The best TV shows and films to stream in September