Entertainment

34 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Fall (And Beyond)

fall books
Frannie Jiranek/Thrillist

Books! We love those around here, basically as much as we love movies and TV. So when a new season brings a fresh crop of books along with it, we can't help but salivate at the bounty of choice. Do we want to try the new Margaret Atwood first, or maybe Leslie Jamison's new essay collection? Regardless, the options are plentiful. So make some space on your shelves for these new books you'll definitely want to pick up this fall (and winter).

To find even more stuff to entertain you this fall, check out our guides to upcoming movies, TV shows and music.

cold storage, akin
Ecco / Little Brown

Cold Storage

Written by: David Koepp 
Release date: September 3
Why we're excited: With his scripts for blockbusters like Jurassic Park, Mission: Impossible, and Panic Room, Hollywood screenwriter David Koepp has earned a reputation for generating scenes of white-knuckle tension on the big screen. (He also directed 2012's Premium Rush, the best movie about a bike messenger ever made.) Now we'll get the chance to see if he can create the same type of suspense on the page with Cold Storage, a thriller novel that sounds like a Michael Crichton-y riff on the biomedical disaster genre. 
Get it now on Amazon

Akin

Written by: Emma Donoghue (Room)
Release date: September 10
Why we're excited: Emma Donoghue's propulsive writing could make any subject matter appealing, and this new family drama, set on a retired professor and his recently discovered great-nephew's visit to the French Riviera, will undoubtedly be a novel to plow through over an upcoming weekend. It's a search for lost secrets and a familial connection that pushes this sentimental book forward.
Get it now on Amazon

bloomland, divers game
Dzanc / Ecco

Bloomland

Written by: John Englehardt
Release date: September 10
Why we're excited: This hyped debut from John Englehardt feels poignantly, somberly relevant in these times. It's about a nuanced take on a school shooting that carefully represents many of those affected, from one of the school's teachers to the community at-large, and tangles with the aggressor's story without glorifying the act. 
Get it now on Amazon

The Divers' Game 

Written by: Jesse Ball (Census, A Cure for Suicide)
Release date: September 10
Why we're excited: A popular satirical device lately has been to imagine a world where society is at its most primal, ones where power thirst runs amok. Here, Ball takes that to its eerie extreme with a society that consciously decided that "equality" is no longer a necessity and one group (the pats) can murder their "lesser" counterparts (the quads) with little-to-no consequences.
Get it now on Amazon

spectacular restaurant, out of darkness shining light
Abrams Press / Scribner

The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World 

Written by: Tom Roston
Release date: September 10
Why we're excited: On the 107th floor of the former World Trade Center was a restaurant called Windows to the World, meant as a beacon of New York's resiliency when it opened in the mid-'70s. Veteran New York-based journalist Tom Roston reconstructs the restaurant's timeline, its  bombastic owner, its wealthy patrons, the myriad menu changes that were reflective of American culinary values through to its eventual, tragic demise. 
Get it now on Amazon

Out of Darkness, Shining Light 

Written by: Petina Gappah (The Book of Memory)
Release date: September 10
Why we're excited: A historical novel set in 19th century colonized Africa, Gappah's continent-sprawling story follows a loyal support group attempting to get a dead doctor's remains and his work all the way back to the UK. 
Get it now on Amazon

testaments, last of her name
Nan A. Talese / Kaya Press

The Testaments

Written by: Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
Release date: September 10
Why we're excited: Praised be! Fans will finally know what fate awaits Offred from that cliffhanger ending of The Handmaid’s Tale, now that a long-awaited sequel from Atwood arrives this September. The book picks up 15 years after the events of the original novel, and while it's unclear whether sequel follows Offred specifically -- the plot details are held under an NDA -- it examines the lives of three women in Gilead and offers further insight into what life is like in the dystopian society.
Get it now on Amazon

Last of Her Name

Written by: Mimi Lok
Release date: September 17
Why we're excited: Overlapping short stories about the Chinese diaspora, Last of Her Name charts the globe to recount women's stories -- in suburban UK, Hong Kong during WWII, in California, etc. -- throughout decades. An intensely thoughtful account about how we cling to identity and our memories.
Get it now on Amazon

red at the bone, that will never work
Riverhead / Little Brown

Red at the Bone 

Written by: Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, Another Brooklyn)
Release date: September 17
Why we're excited: Woodson's latest novel has been one of the most anticipated all year. The award-winning author follows a family in reverse in Red at the Bone, starting in 2001, going all the way back to the earliest decisions that would shape the unit for generations. 
Get it now on Amazon

That Will Never Work

Written by: Marc Randolph
Release date: September 17
Why we're excited: By sending little red envelopes with DVDs through the mail and letting customers stream movies on their computer with ease, Netflix completely transformed the entertainment business. Want to know how they did it? This business book from co-founder and first CEO Marc Randolph, who left the company in 2002, promises an insider's guide to the start-up's early days.
Get it now on Amazon

future of another timeline, new kings of the world
Tor / Columbia Global Reports

The Future of Another Timeline 

Written by: Annalee Newitz (Scatter, Adapt, and Remember)
Release date: September 24
Why we're excited: A founding editor of iO9, Annalee Newitz has a discerning and authoritative take on speculative fiction with The Future of Another Timeline. A bit of time travel, a bit of murder, a bit of intertwined realities, Newitz's novel bounces between 1992 and 2022 through the lives of two women destined to meet.
Get it now on Amazon

New Kings of the World 

Written by: Fatima Bhutto (Songs of Blood and Sword, The Runaways)
Release date: September 24
Why we're excited: A deeply reported account about the biggest cultural forces in the world right now, American media notwithstanding. Bhutto offers thesis-level discussions about three of these: K-pop, Bollywood, and Turkish soap operas called dizi. Essential for those fascinated by global cultural exchanges rooted in regionalism.
Get it now on Amazon

make it scream make it burn, the water dancer
Little Brown / One World

Make it Scream Make it Burn

Written by: Leslie Jamison (The Recovering, Empathy Exams)
Release date: September 24
Why we're excited: Jamison solidified her position as a top cultural essayist after her memoir-ish The Recovering came out last year -- in fact, it was our favorite. So it's excellent that we'll be treated to another collection of her work, including an endlessly fascinating piece for The Atavist about the loneliest whale in the world, this fall.
Get it now on Amazon

The Water Dancer

Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me, Black Panther)
Release date: September 24
Why we're excited: After publishing 2015's National Book Award winning non-fiction masterpiece Between the World and Me, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates surprised some readers by shifting to another medium, penning imaginative storylines for a run on Marvel's Black Panther comic. Following the release of 2017's collection We Were Eight Years in Power, he's changing it up again with The Water Dancer, his debut novel about an enslaved man with "a mysterious power" who goes on a dangerous journey to freedom. Whatever medium he decides to work in, Coates is worth reading.
Get it now on Amazon

year of the monkey, pigs
Knopf / Red Hen Press

Year of the Monkey

Written by: Patti Smith (M Train, Just Kids)
Release date: September 24
Why we're excited: Patti Smith's Just Kids, the poetically rendered story of her creatively fruitful relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, remains one of the best rock memoirs ever written. Her latest nonfiction book, Year of the Monkey, takes on a more contemporary sliver of time, chronicling tumultuous moments in her personal life and the larger cultural fall-out of the 2016 election, a series of events we'd only want to relive through Smith's elegant prose. 
Get it now on Amazon

Pigs 

Written by: Johanna Stoberock (City of Ghosts
Release date: October 1
Why we're excited:Pigs has landed at exactly the correct time, when the entire internet has been consumed by thoughts about 30-50 feral hogs taking over one's lawn. This is not the premise of Stoberock's novel, which is set on a (possibly radioactive) island of trash where some pigs roam; in the post-apocalypse, it's about four children's need for survival, connection, and where the line of humanity begins and ends. 
Get it now on Amazon

Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Penguin Press

The Topeka School

Written by: Ben Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station, 10:04)
Release date: October 1
Why we're excited: It might not always be the first thing critics point out when celebrating his deceptively complex work, but meta-fictional high-wire artist Ben Lerner is a very funny writer. His first two novels, the Madrid-set Leaving Atocha Station and the Brooklyn-bound 10:04, are packed with droll observations, absurd bits of dialogue, and vivid descriptions of comic neurosis. Even if The Topeka School, his Midwestern novel about a troubled teenage boy, sounds heavier than his earlier work, it'll probably still be a blast to read on a sentence-to-sentence level.
Get it now on Amazon

Grand Union

Written by: Zadie Smith (Swing Time, NW)
Release date: October 8
Why we're excited: Zadie Smith writes the type of narratively rich, thematically ambitious novels that sprawl out in different directions, and her whip-smart essays have a similar tendency to make connections between seemingly disparate ideas. With her first short story collection Grand Union, which will feature 11 previously unpublished stories, it will be fascinating to see how that intellectually adventurous style meshes with the demands of the short story form. 
Get it now on Amazon

horror stories, rory thorne
Random House / DAW

Horror Stories

Written by: Liz Phair
Release date: October 8
Why we're excited: Where some rock stars just use memoirs to settle old grudges, wax philosophical about their process, and over-mythologize their journey to the top, Liz Phair, the piercingly observant songwriter behind the '90s alternative classic Exile in Guyville, feels like a musician who will keep it refreshingly real on the page. Even the title, Horror Stories, suggests this won't be an extended victory lap.
Get it now on Amazon

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse 

Written by: K. Eason 
Release date: October 8
Why we're excited: The start of the Thorne Chronicles, a brand-new fantasy series by K. Eason, this novel has been hyped to the stars and back by early reviewers. Yes, there is a princess, and yes, there is magic, but think of this as if Star Wars was actually about Princess Leia or Game of Thrones only consisted of Ayra and Sansa's perspectives. Deliberately feminist, Rory Thorne was written to upend old fairy tale tropes.
Get it now on Amazon

celestial bodies, your house will pay
Catapult / Ecco

Celestial Bodies

Written by: Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth 
Release date: October 15
Why we're excited: 2019's Man Booker International Prize-winner will be available in the United States this fall. Celestial Bodies is groundbreaking for two main reasons -- it was the first book written by an Omani woman translated to English, and it was the first book written in Arabic to win the Man Booker -- but it's the heart of this diverging story about three sisters from a village in Oman that will stick with you.
Get it now on Amazon

Your House Will Pay

Written by: Steph Cha (Dead Soon Enough
Release date: October 15
Why we're excited: This highly anticipated novel promises to be Steph Cha's breakout onto the main stage. Evoking the chaos of LA in the '90s after Rodney King's death, Your House Will Pay melds its suspenseful moments with bigger conversations about identity and personal history as a Korean-American family and an African-American family find themselves entangled.
Get it now on Amazon

initiated, the cheffe
Grand Central Publishing / Knopf

Initiated

Written by: Amanda Yates Garcia
Release date: October 22
Why we're excited: Like witchy stuff? Cool, so do we. Amanda Yates Garcia's memoir about her journey into witchcraft, which started when she was still young -- her mother was a practicing witch -- into the trials and tribulations of not only being a modern witch, but a modern woman, and finding empowerment in the body.  
Get it now on Amazon

The Cheffe

Written by: Marie NDiaye (Three Strong Women)
Release date: October 29
Why we're excited: The celebrated champions of French cuisine, the canonical Great Chefs, have all been white men, by and large. So it's delightful that French author Marie NDiaye has made her novel a retrospective celebration of a Great Female Chef cutting her teeth in a traditionally men's space, with all the vigor requisite of a Man Booker Prize-nominee.
Get it now on Amazon

the factory, females a concern
New Directions / Verso

The Factory 

Written by: Hiroko Oyamada (The Hole), translated by David Boyd
Release date: October 29
Why we're excited: As the first novel that notoriously strange Japanese author Hiroko Oyamada has published in English, The Factory will no doubt be a fascinating study of language and translation, but that's secondary to the novel itself. Centered on three rank-and-file employees of an industrial factory, Oyamada heightens the absurdity of thankless, menial tasks to make them into profound inspections of what it means to work.
Get it now on Amazon

Females: A Concern

Written by: Andrea Long Chu
Release date: October 29
Why we're excited: Andrea Long Chu is one of the most underratedly incisive essayists right now. (If you have not yet read her searing review of Jill Soloway's memoir, please do it now.) In her debut collection, expect the same rigor to be on display as she argues the grisly human condition of femaleness: "Everyone is female, and everyone hates it."
Get it now on Amazon

find me, book of lost saints
Farrar, Straus and Giroux / Imprint

Find Me

Written by: André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name)
Release date: October 29
Why we're excited: Now that we've all seen and read Call Me By Your Name, it's time for Aciman's requisite followup novel, Find Me. Blasting ahead, we pick up with Elio now as a classical pianist and Oliver as a college professor with a family in New England. It's only a matter of time until their paths cross again.
Get it now on Amazon

The Book of Lost Saints 

Written by: Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper)
Release date: November 5
Why we're excited: Best-known for his sprawling genre works of sci-fi, fantasy, and YA novels, Older is making a turn to adult dramas with this intense family saga about identity, memory, and loss through one nephew's search for information about his aunt who disappeared during the Cuban Revolution.
Get it now on Amazon

in the dream house, stan lee a marvelous life
Graywolf Press / St. Martin's Press

In the Dream House

Written by: Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties)
Release date: November 5
Why we're excited: Following the success of her acclaimed 2017 short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, which is being adapted into a horror show for FX, Carmen Maria Machado is releasing her first memoir. The topic is difficult -- it's about coming to terms with a relationship turned sour and the abuse that followed -- but expect Machado to wrangle it with grace, honesty, and a sharp, genre-busting creativity. The chapters find structure in common tropes, like the haunted house, but slices them up from the inside to find her own truth.
Get it now on Amazon

A Marvelous Life: The Amazing Story of Stan Lee 

Written by: Danny Fingeroth (Superman on the Couch)
Release date: November 5
Why we're excited: If you're even mildly curious about the tangled corporate history of Marvel, Sean Howe's Marvel Comics: The Untold Story is the gold standard behind-the-scenes account of the company's rise to cultural dominance. This biography of the company's most famous creator Stan Lee, written by former Marvel comics writer and editor Danny Fingeroth, looks like a compelling addition to the ever-growing Marvel syllabus in the long wake after Lee's death.
Get it now on Amazon

space invaders, carrie fisher
Graywolf Press / Sarah Crichton Books

Space Invaders

Written by: Nona Fernández, translated by Natasha Wimmer
Release date: November 5
Why we're excited: This slim novel from Chilean writer Nona Fernández packs a lot of story into its 88 pages. Through an adult group's reminiscing about a "disappeared" grade school friend and classmate Estrella, Space Invaders explores the cruelties of the Pinochet era through an intimately devastating lens.
Get it now on Amazon

Carrie Fisher: A Life on the Edge

Written by: Sheila Weller (Girls Like Us, The News Sorority)
Release date: November 12
Why we're excited:  In her novels, her plays, her non-fiction books, and her bracingly funny interviews, Carrie Fisher presented herself as an open book, willing to fearlessly speak the truth on a number of controversial topics that others often keep hidden. Though some may only know her as Princess Leia from Star Wars, she had the type of eventful career that makes her an ideal showbiz biography subject. Spanning from her Hollywood royalty childhood to her tragic death in 2016, this book seeks to put her complicated story in a larger cultural context, while also capturing the humor and wit Fisher brought to her own story.
Get it now on Amazon

dead astronauts, malorie
MCD / Del Rey

Dead Astronauts

Written by: Jeff VanderMeer (Southern Reach Trilogy)
Release date: December 3
Why we're excited:  Jeff VanderMeer, the celebrated author of the Southern Reach Trilogy and post-apocalyptic mindbender Borne, knows how to hook readers with a wild idea. His latest unclassifiable science-fiction novel, the intriguingly titled Dead Astronauts, has a synopsis that includes the phrases "a messianic blue fox," "a homeless woman haunted by a demon," and "a giant leviathan of a fish." That sounds like a crew we'd follow anywhere.
Get it now on Amazon

Malorie

Written by: Josh Malerman (Bird Box)
Release date: December 3
Why we're excited: Bird Box, before it was the Netflix sensation of January 2019, was just a post-apocalyptic novel published in 2014 with a finite ending that was much darker than its eventual movie counterpart. (The blind community we stumble into at the end, unlike the movie, is actually full of people who mutilated themselves to blindness.) Josh Malerman was inspired to write this sequel after the massive response to the movie, and so here we are with a new story -- all about Sandra Bullock's Malorie and the elusive shadow monsters -- he's promised will "scare readers shitless." 
Get it now on Amazon

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