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This Just In

Interesting new titles in September

Augustus by Jochen Bleicken

Allen Lane
Augustus by Jochen Bleicken

The great modern biography of Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire. Born to a plebeian family in 63 BC, Octavian was a young solder training abroad when he heard news of Julius Caesar's brutal assassination - and discovered that he was the dictator's sole political heir. With the opportunism and instinct for propaganda that were to characterize his rule, Octavian rallied huge financial, military and political backing to eliminate his opponents, end the bloody turmoil that had so long wracked Rome and, finally, take autocratic control of a state devoted to republicanism. He became Augustus - Rome's first Emperor, and the founder of the greatest empire the world had ever seen. In this monumental biography, translated into English for the first time by Anthea Bell, Jochen Bleicken tells the story of a man who found himself a demi-god in his own lifetime and paints a portrait of one of the most dramatic periods of Roman history.

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Reckless by Chrissie Hynde

Random House Canada
Reckless by Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde, the songwriter and frontwoman of The Pretenders in its various incarnations, has for 35 years been one of the most admired and adored and imitated figures in rock. This long-awaited memoir tells her life story in full and utterly fascinating detail, from her fifties childhood in Akron, Ohio, to her classic baby boomer seduction by the rock of the sixties to her sojourn in the crucible of punk that was seventies London to her instant emergence with her band The Pretenders in 1980 into stardom as a frontwoman and songwriter. She brings a fantastic eye for detail, a withering and sardonic sense of humour and a fearless and sometimes naked emotional honesty to her memoir, and every line, every word of it, is unmistakably hers. It is sure to be recognized as a classic of rock literature--and man, is it fun to read.

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Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Scout Press
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy.

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke—her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor.

Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.

From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding’s caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke’s mother, the shattered outcast of the town—everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light.

Elegant and heartrending, and one of the most accomplished fiction debuts of the year, Did You Ever Have a Family is an absorbing, unforgettable tale that reveals humanity at its best through forgiveness and hope. At its core is a celebration of family—the ones we are born with and the ones we create.

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Walking With Abel by Anna Badhken

Riverhead Books
Walking With Abel by Anna Badhken

Anna Badkhen has forged a career chronicling life in extremis around the world, from war-torn Afghanistan to the border regions of the American Southwest. In Walking with Abel, she embeds herself with a family of Fulani cowboys—nomadic herders in Mali’s Sahel grasslands—as they embark on their annual migration across the savanna. It’s a cycle that connects the Fulani to their past even as their present is increasingly under threat—from Islamic militants, climate change, and the ever-encroaching urbanization that lures away their young. The Fulani, though, are no strangers to uncertainty—brilliantly resourceful and resilient, they’ve contended with famines, droughts, and wars for centuries.

Dubbed “Anna Ba” by the nomads, who embrace her as one of theirs, Badkhen narrates the Fulani’s journeys and her own with compassion and keen observation, transporting us from the Neolithic Sahara crisscrossed by rivers and abundant with wildlife to obelisk forests where the Fulani’s Stone Age ancestors painted tributes to cattle. As they cross the Sahel, the savanna belt that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic, they accompany themselves with Fulani music they download to their cell phones and tales of herders and hustlers, griots and holy men, infused with the myths the Fulani tell themselves to ground their past, make sense of their identity, and safeguard their—our—future.

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