50 New Books to Read This Fall
We might not be going back to school this September, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get in on the smarty-pants spirit. Here, 50 new books we can wait to load onto our Kindles.
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (Sept. 5)
Her first novel since the National Book Award-winning Salvage the Bones, Ward’s latest is a Southern odyssey tracing the past and present of a black family in rural Mississippi.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Oct. 3)
Pulitzer Prize winner Egan has proven that she can write about pretty much anything. This time, it’s the Depression-era story of a resilient young woman whose one-night stand with a gangster has dire consequences for both parties.
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Fourteen-year-old Turtle lives with her abusive, survivalist father on the outskirts of Mendocino, California. After meeting a kind and gentle high school boy, she begins to imagine and plan an escape.
Improvement by Joan Silber (Nov. 14)
Silber’s sixth novel concerns a young single mother in Harlem, who, against the advice of her eccentric and matronly aunt, gets dragged into a smuggling scheme by her boyfriend, who's incarcerated at Rikers.
Wonder Valley by Ivy Pochoda (Nov. 7)
More than just another L.A. story, Pochoda’s novel connects six characters in various stages of desperation in the City of Angels. Think: A teenager on the run from his father’s desert commune-slash-cult, an unfulfilled lawyer and a drifter.
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss (Sept. 12)
Following his parents’ deaths, his divorce from his wife of 30 years and his retirement from a high-powered law job, 68-year-old Jules gives away much of his wealth (alarming his children) and heads to Israel.
The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo (Sept. 12)
Based on the true story of a 19th-century Spanish princess, this gripping historical novel recounts the travels (to Cuba and America) of the rebellious royal who documented her journey in her controversial feminist memoirs.
Here in Berlin by Cristina Garcia (Oct. 10)
A vivid portrait of a city in flux, Here in Berlin follows an unnamed visitor as she encounters a host of characters, from a young Cuban POW and the son of a Berlin zookeeper to a Jewish scholar who hid in a sarcophagus for 37 days.
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott (Sept. 19)
In 1940's Brooklyn, the suicide of an Irish immigrant has lasting effects on the unborn daughter who survived the fire he set and the group of nuns who help raise her.
HISTORY AND SOCIOLOGY
A Secret Sisterhood by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney (Oct. 17)
Calling all literature buffs. Midorikawa and Sweeney’s new book is an intimate look, through letters and diaries, at the literary friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf.
Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer (Oct. 10)
Inspired by the author's Jezebel column, Lady Killers is a thrilling investigation of female serial killers throughout history. Most notable? Kate Bender, a member of a family of serial killers responsible for the deaths of 11 people in Kansas in the 1870s.
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty (Oct. 3)
A mortician examines how other cultures care for their dead, from Indonesian mummification to the Japanese kotsuage ceremony, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved ones’ bones from cremation ashes.
POLITICS AND IDENTITY
The Origin of Others by Toni Morrison (Sept. 18)
Nobel Prize laureate Morrison’s latest is a poetic blend of history and literary analysis aimed at answering the question “What is race (other than genetic imagination), and why does it matter?”
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Oct. 3)
After his must-read 2015 book, Between the World and Me, Coates is back with another searing political commentary. This time, essays about the unprecedented election of a black president followed by the 2016 election of Donald Trump.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Oct. 10)
One of the genre’s most famous names is back with the story a 16-year-old girl who, with her best friend, pursues a mysterious fugitive billionaire in the hopes of winning a hundred thousand dollar reward.
A Dangerous Year by Kes Trester (Sept. 26)
The first book in a new series, A Dangerous Year follows the daughter of an American ambassador, who gets recruited by the State Department to go undercover at an elite boarding school. Far-fetched? Yes. Entertaining? You bet.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Oct. 10)
The author of the popular Shiver Trilogy returns with the story of a Colorado family who has been blessed with a generational ability to perform miracles.
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Oct. 19)
The first installment of a new fantasy trilogy, La Belle Sauvage is set ten years before Pullman’s 1995 smash hit The Golden Compass and centers on that book’s beloved protagonist, Lyra, and her daemon, Pantalaimon.
A Legacy of Spies by John le Carre (Sept. 5)
Le Carré’s first George Smiley novel in more than 25 years, this page-turner is about a long-retired British Intelligence agent who’s summoned back to London after his Cold War past comes back to haunt him.
Artemis by Andy Weir (Nov. 14)
There are outer space stories (like Weir’s The Martian), and there are heist stories. Artemis combines the two in this tome about the first and only city on the moon, where a struggling 20-something agrees to participate in an extortion plot.
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Sept. 12)
A black Texas Ranger hurries to solve the murders of two people—a black lawyer from Chicago and a local white woman—in this timely thriller about race and justice.
Origin by Dan Brown (Oct. 3)
Set in Bilbao, Spain, Brown’s latest follows his frequent protagonist, Harvard professor Robert Langdon, as he navigates the country’s hidden histories and extreme religions to unlock a billionaire’s potentially world-changing secret.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King (Sept. 26)
This spooky father-son collaboration, set in a small Appalachian town, imagines what would happen if all the world’s women stayed asleep and left men to their own devices. Spoiler alert: bad stuff.
STORIES AND ESSAYS
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (Oct. 3)
Each of the eight installments in Machado’s weird, sexy, funny and imaginative new collection takes on what it means to live in a woman’s body—from body image to sexual assault.
Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides (Oct. 3)
This collection about characters (a failed poet-turned-embezzler, a clavichordist and more) in the midst of personal and national emergencies marks Eugenides's (the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of 2002’s Middlesex) first foray into short fiction.
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks (Oct. 17)
Yes, that Tom Hanks. The Oscar winner makes his publishing debut with a collection of 17 stories with characters including an Eastern European immigrant, a famous bowler and an eccentric billionaire. Smart and heartwarming, just like Hanks himself.
The King is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcon (Oct. 31)
Immigration, broken dreams, Los Angeles gangs and Latin American families. These are just a few of the topics explored in Alarcón’s slyly political collection of deeply human stories.
I'm Fine...and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings (Oct. 3)
Comedian, actress and show creator (of 2 Broke Girls), Cummings gets in on the humorous essay game. In I’m Fine…and Other Lies, she covers everything from her mental health to why you should always ask a first date what his favorite animal is.
We're Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union (Oct. 17)
Actress and beautiful person Union’s funny and sweet debut essay collection takes on everything from gender and race to beauty and Hollywood.
Devotion (Why I Write) by Patti Smith (Sept. 12)
In this collection of stories and essays, New York’s original cool-girl explores the nature of creativity, as well as her own process and inspiration. Essential reading for anyone who’s ever stared at a blank page (or screen) and had no idea how to begin.
BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS
Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan (Oct. 17)
In this new memoir, Joy Luck Club author Tan writes candidly about the early traumas, self-doubt and complex relationships that led to her career in storytelling.
Coming to My Senses by Alice Waters (Sept. 5)
Subtitled “The Making of a Counterculture Cook,” Waters’s long-awaited memoir recounts her long and illustrious career in food, including the story of how she founded, at age 27, the famed Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse.
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe (Oct. 17)
Yaffe’s intimate biography is as much about the cultural and political scene in the ’60s and ’70s as it is about the incomparable Joni Mitchell (including her youth on the Canadian prairie, bout with polio at age nine and the child she gave up for adoption).
I Hear She's a Real Bitch by Jen Agg (Sept. 12)
A famed Toronto restaurateur, Agg examines what it was like to rise to the top of a male-dominated industry, along with the sexism (casual and in-your-face) women in the food world still face today.
Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Steven Davis (Nov. 21)
Another music-legend biography, Davis’s portrait dives deep into Nicks’s life and work, including her start with Fleetwood Mac, her drug addiction and the relationships that provided fodder for some of her most famous songs.
The Gourmands' Way by Justin Spring (Oct. 10)
In this fascinating look at six famed American food and wine writers (A. J. Liebling, Alice B. Toklas, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Alexis Lichine and Richard Olney), Spring focuses on the transformative experiences each had in Paris.
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (Oct. 17)
Just as he did for Steve Jobs, Isaacson brings da Vinci to life in this sprawling and in-depth biography. Based on thousands of pages of da Vinci’s notebooks, Isaacson weaves a narrative of one of history’s most famous geniuses.
Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Oct. 3)
Using dozens of hours of unaired video, government documents and interviews with members of his inner circle, Eig’s biography of Muhammad Ali does justice to one of the 20th century’s most polarizing figures.
The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown (Nov. 14)
Brown, a journalist, editor and author (of two books on Princess Diana) opens up about emigrating to the U.S. from England as a 30-something to advise on, and later serve as editor in chief of, Vanity Fair.
Heaven Is All Goodbyes by Tongo Eisen-Martin (Sept. 26)
As a movement worker and educator who has organized against mass incarceration and extra-judicial killing of black people, Eisen-Martin’s second poetry collection is as politically charged as it is imaginative and musical.
The Complete Poems of A.R. Ammons: Volume 1 (Oct. 3)
Ammons, a two-time winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, wrote extensively and beautifully abut the natural world, prayer, loss and mortality. The best of the best is collected in this volume of his work from 1955 to 1977.
Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing (Sept. 12)
An exploration of black girl- and womanhood through poetry, visual art and prose, Ewing’s debut takes the reader from Chicago in the ’90s to an unspecified future, all while blending the real with the surreal.
The Fearless Baker by Erin Jeanne McDowell (Oct. 24)
The first book from PureWow’s own recipes editor, The Fearless Baker features mouthwatering recipes and tips for baking like a pro. Think strawberry-filled popovers and apple cider pie. Yum.
Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi (Oct. 3)
Though he’s known for his savory, vegetarian dishes, food world icon Ottolenghi’s latest covers all things sweet, from simple cookies to showstopping confections like a cinnamon pavlova with praline cream and fresh figs.
Half Baked Harvest Cookbook by Tieghan Gerard (Sept. 12)
Gerard is one of our all-time favorite food bloggers, and her first cookbook promises to be chock-full of the unique recipes we’ve come to expect from her (including fancy toast eight ways and salted caramel-stuffed chocolate cookies).
State Bird Provisions by Stuart Brioza, Nicole Krasinski and JJ Goode (Oct. 24)
Featuring recipes from one of San Francisco’s most lauded restaurants, this new book brings Michelin-starred cuisine into your home with dishes like savory pancakes and fried quail.
Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman (Oct. 24)
Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen is one of our go-to blogs for insanely tasty recipes that don’t require a culinary degree to prepare successfully. Think: sticky toffee waffles, mango-apple ceviche and a crunchy Brussels sprout and three-cheese pasta bake.
Eleven Madison Park: The Next Chapter by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara (Oct. 3)
If you’re really (really) interested in food, this book—from the owners of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park—is a must. We say really interested because this collection of stories, recipes and illustrations costs a whopping $225.