September: A Month in Books
A Legacy of Spies, John Le Carre, 7 September
The first George Smiley novel for over 25 years, John Le Carre returns to his hugely popular series from a modern-day perspective. Focusing on the investigations of the British Secret Service into the Cold War operations of well-known characters Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guilam, the book skilfully blends past and present to create a story rich with moral ambivalence, tension and humour.
The Secret Books, Marcel Theroux, 7 September
Based on real events, The Secret Books follows a young man who escapes the boredom of his banal life in 19th century Tsarist Russia by escaping to Paris. Later, he discovers a manuscript that redefines the world’s understanding of the historical Jesus. Dealing with themes such as revolutionary violence, propaganda, lost love and anti-Semitism, Theroux’s novel is both a page-turning adventure story and an examination of how far people will go to protect the stories they believe in.
Smile, Roddy Doyle, 7 September
With great dialogue, humour and a wonderful evocation of childhood, Roddy Doyle’s latest book has all the features of his previous work but is unlike anything he has written to date. It tells the story of Victor Forde, who struggles to come to terms with his own sanity after a man from his past reawakens painful memories of his childhood.
Sleeping Beauties, Stephen King, Owen King, 26 September
Sleeping Beauties is the first collaboration between father and son, Stephen and Owen King. Set in a small Appalachian town where women are wrapped in a cocoon-like gauze and transported to another world after they fall asleep, the book focuses on Evie, a woman immune to the mysterious disease or blessing. Unsettling questions arise regarding Evie’s position: is she a case to be studied, or an evil omen that needs to be destroyed?
The Last London, Iain Sinclair, 7 September
In The Last London, Iain Sinclair looks back on the city that has captivated him for most of his adult life. Exploring the ways in which London has changed geographically and sociologically over the years, the book traces a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions and is the last instalment of Sinclair’s writing on the enigmatic capital.
It, 8 September
Based on Stephen King’s iconic horror story, It focuses on a group of children who are terrorised by the eponymous title character. Primarily appearing as a clown, the entity shifts forms to embody the individual fears of each child. Adapted for the screen by True Detective director, Cary Fukunaga, the film is the first instalment in a planned duology.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle, 20 September
This is the second film in the Kingsman franchise, based on the comic book The Secret Service. Taron Edgerton and Colin Firth return as the Kingsmen – members of a secret spy organisation. Following the destruction of their headquarters, the Kingsmen travel to America, uncovering a parallel organisation with whom they must work together to defeat a common enemy.
Stronger, 22 September
Stronger is based on a memoir of the same name written by Jeff Bauman, who tragically lost his legs as a result of the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. A graphic picture of Bauman immediately following the explosion became the source of much controversy, leading to fundamental questions on the ethics of censorship within the media. The film focuses on the aftermath of the bombing, as Bauman navigates his way through painful physical therapy and the readjustment to everyday life following the traumatic attack.
Victoria and Abdul, 22 September
Based on the book of the same name, the film tells the story of the real life friendship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim. Directed by Philomena director Stephen Frears, and starring British heavyweight Judi Dench, the film charts the unlikely friendship that grows between monarch and servant during the later years of Victoria’s reign.
Dates for Your Diary
National Read a Book Day, 6 September
International Literacy Day, 8 September
Bloody Scotland, 8-10 September
Roald Dahl Day, 13 September
Man Booker Prize Shortlist announced, 13 September
Wigtown Book Festival, 22 September - 1 October
National Poetry Day, 28 September