20 books everyone will be talking about this fall

20 books everyone will be talking about this fall

Readers, get ready. Fall is officially here, and as the seasons change, so do the books.

You know I adore summer reading, but I’m pretty excited about the change of seasons. If you’re anything like me, your heart warms at the thought of a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, and a big stack of books.

But which titles should go in that stack? That is the question.

I’m just home from the Southern Independent Bookstore Alliance’s fall trade show, where I got a sneak peek at the titles you’ll see everywhere this fall. On the blog, here’s your look at twenty of fall’s big books.

Today’s bonus podcast episode of What Should I Read Next is focused on fall’s hot new releases. Bookstore owner Holland Saltsman (from yesterday’s Ep 40—listen here!) and I talk about the titles we’ve read and are psyched about, plus the ones we can’t wait to get our hands on. I also bring you short interviews I did in Savannah with friends and authors (including Susan Meissner, Ariel Lawhon, and Greer Macallister) who share which books they can’t wait to read this season.

Check these out, decide which ones are for you, and stay tuned—because I’m sure we’ll see these titles again in future posts and episodes!

(If you’re reading this by email, click over to the blog to listen to this episode.)

What’s on YOUR fall reading list? Is there a new release you’re especially looking forward to? Tell us in comments. 

Series: Fall Book Preview
A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

Author:
The much-anticipated new release from Amor Towles, a former investment banker who splashed onto the scene with his stunning 2012 debut Rules of Civility. This new novel tells the story of Count Alexander Roskov, an aristocrat who the Bolsheviks sentence convict in 1922 for crimes of state (involving poetry). His punishment is house arrest, for the duration of his life, inside the elegant Metropol Hotel. Towles show us how, over many decades, the Count makes a life for himself after his walls literally close in. Publication date September 6 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Commonwealth

Commonwealth

Author:
Finally, a new Patchett novel! And one the author says is largely inspired by her own family history. In the early pages, two families fall apart. We spend the rest of the story examining how each of the family members put themselves back together after the break—or, in some cases, didn't. I would have read this just for Franny's storyline, and I would love to hear Patchett talk more about the inspiration for this particular character. A sad story, but a good one. Publication date September 13 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon
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The Trespasser

The Trespasser

Author:
This is the 6th and latest installment in French's Dublin Murder Squad series, which I called an addictive series you wish would never end. French rotates narrators in each new mystery of her series; this time we see the action through the eyes of detective Antoinette Conway, who we first got to know in The Secret Place. Publication date October 4 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon
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Today Will Be Different

Today Will Be Different

Author:
The author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette delivers another Seattle novel about a quirky female character. In this new story, which unfolds over the course of a single day, we meet Eleanor Flood, a relatable and hilarious character who is determined to finally get something right, for once. Reviews say this book is packed with interesting characters and situations. Publication date October 4 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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The Fall Guy

The Fall Guy

Author:
Kirkus calls this "a nasty piece of work, well done," and isn't that a great description? When three family members plan to leave NYC to spend the summer in the Catskills, they anticipate a season of relaxation in which to rebuild what has become a tenuous relationship. But things quickly turn suspicious, and then menacing, as the love and jealousy simmering beneath the surface threaten to erupt. Publication date October 18 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon
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The Perfect Girl

The Perfect Girl

Author:
I loved the author's previous novel What She Knew and am eager to read more. Her latest mystery revolves around a 17-year-old musical prodigy and a recital gone horribly awry. Publication date September 6 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
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The Bookshop on the Corner

The Bookshop on the Corner

Author:
I read the publisher's description on this and almost died: "Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more." I've heard good things about this from readers with great taste, which is a relief, because if this is terrible I'll be devastated. Publication date September 20 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Lady Cop Makes Trouble

Author:
The best-selling author of Girl Waits with Gun invites us along to follow the continuing adventures of Constance Kopp, the real-life first female deputy sheriff in New Jersey. The tales of the winning Kopp sisters are smart, fun, and compulsively readable. Publication date September 6 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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The Wonder

The Wonder

Author:
Since Room a new Emma Donoghue novel has always been big news. This new novel tells the story of Lib Wright, a nurse trained under Florence Nightingale, who is summoned to a tiny Irish village to investigate what the community believes is a miracle—an 11-year-old girl who is living without eating. Lib believes that to be impossible, but that belief doesn't prepare her for the truth she's soon to discover. Publication date September 20 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Swing Time

Swing Time

Author:
I've been intending to read a Zadie Smith novel since I heard her discuss her work at a conference earlier this year, and I'll begin with her latest, a tightly woven story about intense friendship, race, and class. Publication date November 15 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon
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The Things We Wish Were True

The Things We Wish Were True

On the surface Sycamore Glen looks like the perfect all-American neighborhood, but a near-tragedy at their suburban swimming pool sets in motion a chain of events that brings the neighborhood's long-buried secrets to life. Publication date September 1 2016. More info →
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The Mothers

The Mothers

Author:
This debut is getting a lot of buzz this fall. In this coming-of-age story, debut author Bennett shows us how grief predictably consumes a 17-year old girl growing up in a tight-knit community in Southern California, and how two friends get pulled into the tangled aftermath. Bennett tells the story through the eyes of the community's mothers—the community pillars who show up with casseroles when somebody's sick—but in this story, the mothers' vicious gossip causes nothing but trouble. Publication date October 11 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
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Kids of Appetite

Kids of Appetite

Author:
From the bestselling author of Mosquitoland, a story about relatable, sympathetic kids dealing with horrible situations, with E. Hinton's classic novel The Outsiders as a backdrop. For sophisticated YA readers. Publication date September 20 2016. More info →
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Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom

Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom

Author:
A new middle-grade release featuring a variety of multicultural characters, including a middle school heroine who is perpetually in self-generated crisis. This heavily illustrated work has been favorably compared to Raina Telgemeier's Smile. Publication date September 27 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
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Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe

Author:
Numerous fans of Niven's 2015 breakout book All the Bright Places {raises hand} are waiting with bated breath for this one. Niven is back with a story about two teens who forge an unlikely friendship: a handsome boy who's got swagger in spades, and a girl once dubbed "America's Fattest Teen." Is it a good sign that the author returns to the YA genre with her next title? We sure hope so. Publication date October 4 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon
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Mischling

Mischling

Author:
When twelve-year-old twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz in 1944, Nazi scientists seize upon the girls as ideal subjects for their ongoing scientific experiments in what become known as Mengele's Zoo. Anthony Doerr calls this "one of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year." Publication date September 6 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
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Among the Living

Among the Living

Author:
Historical thriller writer Rabb tells the story of a Holocaust survivor who, after surviving two and a half years in a concentration camp, finds freedom and travels across the ocean to Savannah, Georgia to make a new life for himself. He soon discovers that freedom remains complicated in his new home, as it becomes painfully apparent the post-war American South has plenty of problems of its own. Publication date October 4 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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The Guineveres

The Guineveres

Author:
Domet draws heavily on her Catholic school upbringing for her debut, which is already drawing comparisons to The Virgin Suicides. (Despite the Eugenides comparison, the cover reminds me of Anne of Green Gables. The story follows four girls—who all share the name Guinevere—raised by the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration after they're abandoned by their families. Their coming-of-age stories are woven together with stories of the female saints. Publication date October 4 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
The Other Einstein: A Novel

The Other Einstein: A Novel

Author:
In the tradition of The Aviator's Wife and Z: A Novel, the little-known story of Einstein's partner in life and work. Mileva Einstein, a brilliant physicist in her own right, undoubtedly contributed to her husband's work, but in this biographical novel Benedict wonders if that collaboration was much stronger than anyone suspected. Publication date October 18 2016. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
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Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Hag-Seed

Hag-Seed

Author:
Atwood's latest novel is a retelling of Shakepeare's The Tempest, from the perspective of Prospero. In her version, her hero is a prominent theater director who loses his job, and subsequently goes to work teaching literary in a prison, and directing plays with a cast made of inmates. Publication date October 11 2016. More info →
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20 books everyone will be talking about this fall

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56 comments

  1. Jacelyn says:

    I think this is the podcast in which Holland recommends a few more books for middle grade or YA, but they are not listed in the above titles. You talked about Kelly Barnhill and The Girl Who Drank the Moon. I just met Kelly Barnhill today at a children’s book festival! She was so nice! And, I think her recent release is her fourth book. Thanks, Anne and Holland for a great podcast. It was pretty cool to tell the author I just heard about her on the What Should I Read Next podcast.

  2. Ann says:

    The Mothers is fantastic and I’m reading Mischling right now. So far, it’s very good. So many others on your list I’m looking forward to reading.

  3. Sharen says:

    A fiction reccomendation for Eric would be the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child. The main character is a bit like Batman in that he is a good guy who sometimes does bad things, and a bit like Sherlock Holmes in his ability to notice things that others don’t.

    Books are a light read in the sense that they move along quickly with interesting plots around a retired army policeman who runs into situations as he travels around the US. Liked all the books and novellas/short stories so starting at the beginning would be great but anywhere in the series would work.

  4. My book club is going to read Commonwealth. It’ll be my first Ann Patchett book and I’m looking forward to it. We are also reading Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale. It just came out in August, but I haven’t heard much about it yet. Looking forward to reading these two.

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