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What We're Reading: Great September Leftovers

Courtesy of Pantheon Books/Random House

Our bookshelves overfloweth..ed... in September, so much so that we couldn't squeeze in all the great books we were excited about. Here are two you shouldn't miss just because we did:

The Grace of Silence

Author: Michele Norris, co-host of NPR's All Things Considered.

Genre: Revealing personal memoir by a master storyteller

What Happens: Norris, a highly regarded journalist who has reported for such news outlets (in addition to NPR) as ABC News and the Washington Post, recently was named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, and she moderated a series of conversations with voters during the 2008 presidential campaign about the intersection of race and politics. Those conversations inspired Norris to continue thinking about race, and the results became a memoir about race in Norris's personal history — including her father's shooting by the Birmingham police within weeks of his discharge from service in World War II.

Why Read It: Norris's personal story reveals fascinating truths about race in America — plus, it's never a bad thing to get a little insight into how one of the smartest women in America thinks.

Details: Pantheon Books, September 21, $24.95

All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost

Author: Lan Samantha Chang, Guggenheim Fellowship-winning author of Hunger and Inheritance.

Genre: Poetic novel ... about poets

What Happens: Two friends in a renowned Midwestern creative writing program become captivated by their professor, and their relationships with her begin to affect their lives to an extent they can only guess at.

When to Read It: Most definitely not after your boyfriend announces he's been accepted to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop.

Details: W. W. Norton & Company, September 27, $23.95

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