Fall Book Preview

Fall Book Preview

Readers, it’s finally fall—at least according to the calendar it is; our forecast is still in the 90s here—and with a new season comes new books. Woohoo!

Last week we tried something new: I hosted a live Fall Book Preview, on video, in which I shared thirty-five titles hitting shelves in Fall 2019. We deliberately timed this just after my trip to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance fall trade show. I was there to talk about my third book Don’t Overthink It, which comes out in March 2020, but of course I couldn’t be in a hotel full of publishers and booksellers without hearing about all the titles we’re collectively excited to read this fall!

Last week I shared new fall releases I already love, and those I can’t wait to get my hands on. I shared the titles the industry is buzzing about; the ones my favorite booksellers are eager to read, and to push in their customers’ hands. This special session was tons of fun, and gave everyone a jump start on getting their preorders and library holds in.

Today I’m sharing an abridged version here on the blog. I’m sharing ten hotly anticipated fall titles—five I’ve read and loved, five I can’t wait to read. I hope you’ll find a book or six that sounds good to you.

(We hosted that live event for our Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club and What Should I Read Next Patreon communities. Members can watch that replay at any time, no matter when you join, and get those additional twenty-five titles.)

I hope you enjoy this little preview. I’d love to hear what titles you can’t wait to read this fall—please share them in comments!

2019 Fall Book Preview
This Tender Land: A Novel

This Tender Land: A Novel

I read Krueger's first book, Iron Lake, this summer, recommended by a reader as a good series for someone who had run out of Louise Penny novels, and I really enjoyed it. I'm eager to read more from Krueger. This new standalone novel is drawing comparisons to Where the Crawdads Sing and Before We Were Yours, and being pitched as part Grapes of Wrath, part Huckleberry Finn. Publication date: September 3, 2019. More info →
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The Nanny: A Novel

The Nanny: A Novel

I've read and enjoyed previous books by Macmillan, like What She Knew and The Perfect Girl. I wasn't sure if I was going to read this one, but then my mystery-loving (and mystery-writing loving friends chimed to tell me how much they loved it. One reviewer described this as "a twisted version of Downton Abbey gone very, very wrong." Publication date: September 10, 2019. More info →
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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

I recommended this on a recent episode of WSIRN: episode 196 with Anudeep Reddy as a gateway fantasy, a fantasy novel for people who don't like fantasy. I loved this so much that we're reading this in February with the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club. This is a literary mystery, a book about books, coming-of-age story, a tale of adventure and suspense and revenge, and tattoo artistry is a main theme. This was creative and inventive and lots of fun. Also note, this was great on audio. Publication date: September 10, 2019. More info →
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The Dutch House: A Novel

The Dutch House: A Novel

Author:
If you're a Patreon supporter, you heard about this months ago, but I most recently recommended this on WSIRN episode 201 to a reader who loves sibling stories and meaty family sagas. Nobody can do a richly layered family saga unfolding over decades like Ann Patchett. I already want to read this one again. Audiophile alert: the audio is narrated by Tom Hanks. Publication date: September 24, 2019. More info →
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The Water Dancer

The Water Dancer

I'm really excited for this one, as many people are. Here's what I know: Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a novel and I'm going to read it. Booklist says, "Coates brings his considerable talent for racial and social analysis to his debut novel, which captures the brutality of slavery and explores the underlying truth that slaveholders could not dehumanize the enslaved without also dehumanizing themselves. Beautifully written, this is a deeply and soulfully imagined look at slavery and human aspirations." Publication date: September 24, 2019. More info →
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A Bitter Feast: A Novel (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels)

A Bitter Feast: A Novel (Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Novels)

This is book #18, but listen to me talk about the first in the series, A Share in Death, on One Great Book. You should definitely read this series in order. Crombie loves the classics like Agatha Christie and something I love about her series is that you get the characters' personal lives in every novel, but you also get the procedural and they have a strong sense of place. I love this British mystery series, and highly recommend it for Louise Penny fans. Publication date: October 8, 2019. More info →
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Olive, Again: A Novel

Olive, Again: A Novel

A follow-up novel to the 2009 Pulitzer winner Olive Kitteridge is BIG NEWS. But would you believe I still haven't read it? Maybe I'll read both Olive books together this fall. Publication date: October 15, 2019. More info →
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Nothing to See Here

Nothing to See Here

Author:
This was the first bonus episode of the season for One Great Book and then I turned right around and recommended it on episode 201 of What Should I Read Next of WSIRN. This is about an important political family that has a tiny little problem—their kids catch fire when they get mad. It's the perfect blend of the very real emotional family and the bizarre, which lets the author address serious things—life, work, power, ambition, relationships—without getting precious about it. This was a lot of fun on audio. Publication date: October 29, 2019. More info →
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The Starless Sea: A Novel

The Starless Sea: A Novel

At long last, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, has a new book on the way. Entertainment Weekly calls this "sweeping... an epic romance within a secret underground world of lost cities, handsome pirates, and endless puzzles to be solved." This is a big, fat release with an initial print run is 500,000 copies (more than any other title on this list). Publication date: November 5, 2019. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts

Author:
Kate Racculia wrote a sleeper hit so many of you LOVE, 2014's Bellweather Rhapsody, and I knew you'd be delighted for this new release! Erika Swyler, bestselling author of The Book of Speculation and Light from Other Stars said, "Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is so much fun it should be criminal. A mystery hidden in a game, hidden in a romp around Boston, with intrigue, a little romance, and a ghost? Perfection. Racculia has a gift for both humor and creating deeply relatable oddballs. Genuinely funny, whip-smart, and at times profound, it is a novel that reminds us both of the pure joy of play, and the importance of finding people who matter." Publication date: October 8, 2019. More info →
Buy from Amazon Kindle
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What fall titles look good to you? What new fall releases are on YOUR TBR? Please tell us all about them in comments!

57 comments | Comment

57 comments

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  1. Jennifer Geisler says:

    Is there a way to get a printed list of all the recommended Fall book releases?

    It appears that the wonderful book lists are now being limited to people who join the book club or the other organization (can’t recall the name). If this is true, please provide a summary of the benefits of these groups and the cost.
    Thank you.

    • Lauren says:

      Yes, I have been thinking the same thing. I understand that people have to make a living, but it really feels like so much of life is nickel-and dimed-these days.

    • Anne says:

      Please know that my decisions about what gets shared where, and in what format, are not arbitrary. I’m always trying to share information in a way that is genuinely useful, and easy for readers to access.

      For the Fall Book Preview to be genuinely useful, I need to make sure readers hear the nuance in what I have to say about each title. The visual medium is powerful. I’ve found that when people scan a book list here on the blog, they’re likely to remember that they saw a certain title here on MMD, and will remember that I “recommended” it—even if that’s not at all what I said. For the Fall Book Preview, I’m sharing 25% titles I have read and 80% titles I haven’t. It’s almost certain that I will actively dislike some of these titles. I don’t want readers to remember that I “recommended” a book because they saw it on a book list.

      One of the key reasons I chose to do the Fall Book Preview as a live video presentation is that it allows me to present titles in a way that better captures the nuance and caveats of each book presented. When readers hear these recommendations, as opposed to scanning them on a list, they remember the details, and not just that I “recommended” a book. They can see my face, and hear my tone of voice. If I have a physical copy of the book, they might be able to see the cover, but it won’t be memorable in the same way than it is on a book list. When we do the preview live, it also allows listeners to ask questions, which I highly value.

      I wrote a post about our Fall Book Club happenings—including this Fall Book Preview—right here, and I discussed the difference between the MMD Book Club and the What Should I Read Next Patreon community in this recent FAQ post.

      I hope this is helpful!

        • Anne says:

          Colleen, the book club is online, and can be accessed internationally. (Although sometimes we do run into time zone issues with live events.) About 15% of our members live outside the United States.

      • Kenneth H Geisler says:

        One of my questions is still awaiting an answer: At this point, are the complete Fall (and/or Summer) book lists limited to those who are part of the book club and/or Patreon? Thanks!

        • Anne says:

          The full summer list was in the Summer Reading Guide we released in May. The fall list is technically available but has no context; it’s simply a list of titles.

    • Jenna says:

      Jennifer,
      That all is laid out very clearly under the header “Book Club” at the top of the page. I’m a member and think it’s well worth the money FWIW. To the comment below, Ann and team don’t charge for literally…anything else? Curious how you expect her to make a living doing a free blog, free podcast, free book club etc…Seems to me like a tremendous amount of work and labor goes into all of this!

      • Pam says:

        Yes, I agree. So far, I’ve chosen not to participate in paid/subscription offerings, for financial reasons. Retired, and I have to make decisions about how to stretch my only partially indexed pension over what I hope will be a l-o-n-g retirement. But I *completely* respect Anne’s decision to put some of her knowledge and expertise to work for her family’s greater financial benefit. And thank her for what she continues to provide for free on this blog!

        BTW, I would point out that the blog and podcasts are also supported by advertising, so although readers and listeners don’t pay for the content, they are a source of income for the content producer. As they should be, IMHO. Can you tell I’m a retired business professor?

      • Terry says:

        I may not belong to the book club or Patreon, but I do support Anne the author by buying and gifting her books. I also click through her website to buy books as well as some of the products she endorses.

        I know there’s value in Anne’s book club and Patreon. However, as I approach retirement, I’ve scrubbed my budget and was astonished at how 5 dollars here and 10 dollars there add up. I made some hard choices. But just because some of us need to be more frugal doesn’t mean we begrudge Anne the right to make a living in other ways. I applaud it. I adore Anne, this site, and her podcasts.

  2. Violeta says:

    These recommendations look SO good!
    Other additions from my Fall TBR pile that weren’t mentioned : How to Treat People: A Nurse’s Notes; Bringing Down the Duke; The Bromance Book Club; Wild Life: Dispatches from a Childhood of Baboons and Button-Downs.

  3. Nicole says:

    I read Kate Racculia’s title, This Must Be the Place by accident this summer. I went to the library with a long list of your book recommendations from both the blog and podcast, and This Must Be the Place was the only title I could find on the shelves… only it was the wrong This Must Be the Place! It was a delightful mistake and I look forward to reading more of Racculia’s titles (and eventually reading the “right” This Must Be the Place, too.

  4. Kacie says:

    One not on this list is Know My Name by Chanel Miller. I pre-ordered that one. I expect it to be a tough read.

    Several of these are on my TBR/must buy list:

    This Tender Land — the description just sounds like something I’d love

    Ten Thousand Doors of January — I’ve seen a lot of IG buzz on this one, and I’m planning on adding it to my BOTM box. Glad to see it’s an upcoming book club pick!

    The Water Dancer

    The Starless Sea. I need to read Night Circus in a hurry!

    • Leslie says:

      I’m reading Know My Name now. The author is an incredible writer, and her story is very moving and compelling. She reads the audio, which is very powerful. I think this will be one of my top books this year.

  5. Julia says:

    I just got an email from the library to pick up “The Ten Thousand Doors…”, that’s the one I was most excited about since I’ve been on a fantasy kick after reading the Wayward Children Series!

  6. Liz wright says:

    I’ve read quite a few of these already (thanks to netgalley) and can give big recommendations to This Tender Land, Olive, Again and The Water Dancer. All three are fabulous.

  7. Angie says:

    I am DEFINITELY here for The Starless Sea!! And I’ve never read an Ann Patchett but I hear you talk about her time & time again so I think I’ll check out The Dutch House!

  8. Jessica says:

    I just finished This Tender Land, and it was such a sweet, moving story with great characters, as well as a wonderful sense of place and history.
    Looking forward to Ann Patchett – love everything she writes!
    In the middle of She Said, written by the NYTimes journalists about the Weinstein investigation, and it is fascinating.

  9. Ellen Keenan says:

    I loved This Tender Land and Krueger’s other novel not connected to his mystery series, Ordinary Grace. If you like This Tender Land, I highly recommend it!!

  10. Ellen Cole says:

    This Tender Land is next in line for me. I haven’t read his series, but his standalone book “Ordinary Grace” was one of my top reads this year.

      • Ellen Cole says:

        Might be too late on this, but I did the audiobook of Ordinary Grace. Interestingly, there was a “Recorded Books” interview with the author included at the end of the audiobook and the author said that he thought this story was meant to be read aloud in audiobook format.

      • Megan says:

        Krueger’s “Ordinary Grace” was one of my Top 5 favorite books ever. I put “This Tender Land” on hold at the library months ago and just got my copy, can’t wait to start reading!

  11. Shona says:

    I can’t wait read Water Dancer! I’m like you. Coates wrote a novel, I’m reading it.

    I was looking so forward to After the Flood by Kassandra Montag and Cantoras by Carolina DeRobertis. I pre-ordered both. I LOVED. After the Flood. Read it in a day, and that’s saying something for me. It was billed as if you liked Station Eleven (which I DNFd) you’ll like this which had me worried but I stuck to my gut…so good.

    Cantoras is next!

    Some others on my radar are A Tall History if Sugar by Curdella Forbes and A Short Philosophy of Birds

  12. Melissa says:

    I’m most excited about Tuesday Mooney and The Starless Sea! Thanks for the sneak peek. 🙂

    (Psst – there’s a typo in the pub date for Olive, Again — listed as 2009 when it should be 2019.)

  13. Belle says:

    Someone please get excited for Leah Bardugo’s first adult novel with me – The Ninth House! I loved Six of Crows. This title will be a drop everything book for me. Yay!

  14. Candace H says:

    And there grows my TBR list! 😂 Thank you, Anne, for sharing this list (and for making me sound “booksmarter” than I really am at Book Club 😉 Most excited about The Water Dancer.

  15. Tiffanie says:

    Thanks for this list! I’m looking forward to reading Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House—I visited Parnassus Books this summer, and this will be the first book of hers that I’ve read!

  16. Jessica says:

    I forgot to mention that The Nickel Boys was my hands-down favorite read in the past year. I enjoyed it much more than Colsun Whitehead’s first novel, The Underground Railroad, and found it a more compelling read. The story line of young boys being institutionalized is similar to that of This Tender Land.

  17. Jennice says:

    Oh wow, I have some ARCs of three of these books. I just cracked open The Water Dancer and already I’m sold lol. The Ten Thousand Doors of January was something I chose to fufill a book challenge requirement. Might start that this weekend. And Olive, Again may habe to wait until Winter or Spring 2020. My TBR is too long!!!

  18. Jessica says:

    I picked up Olive Kitteridge at my library book sale last fall, and it’s finally made it to the top of my nightstand. Now I can look forward to the follow up as well.
    After a summer of lots of new releases, I’m looking to read some older stuff, but I’m going to have to make an exception for The Dutch House. Commonwealth is in my lifetime top ten, and I’ve heard this one might be even better!?

  19. Claudia Templer says:

    Ooohh—so many good books to add to my TBR! “Ordinary Grace” and the Ann Pachett books are definitely going on! Thank you for this Fall list.
    Anne, Thank You for Your hard work in bringing these lists, podcasts, author interviews, book school etc. I have learned and enjoyed so much since I joined the Book Club! I really don’t know how you get around it all!

  20. Pam says:

    Another great list. And it’s given me ideas on books to suggest for my book club. Like Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”. I’ve owned it for years, and still haven’t read it. Yeesh! I love a good backlist reminder. And I love backlist titles for book club. No need to race out and buy a hard cover, as the wait list is too long at the library 🙂

    So many books, so little time. But I’ve put a hold on a couple of these fall books at my local library. Like others above, I’m particularly interested in the Coates book. I’d read an article about it, and placed my hold a few days ago. Serendipity to read about it here, too.

    Thanks Anne!

  21. Kathy says:

    Anne, thank you for the list. I am so happy for the release of another chapter in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James saga by Deborah Crombie. It’s been a long wait for fans of these evolving, interesting characters set in locations throughout the UK. I have friends who prefer this series to Louise Penny. I’m not sure about that, but it’s a close call!

  22. Franny says:

    Thank you, Anne! I just love book lists. Sometimes I wonder if I get more excited about one of your book lists than getting the actual books themselves, haha.

  23. Abigal M says:

    Non-fiction alert!:

    I’m looking forward to “A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith”, by Timothy Egan. The introspective travelogue/history is not the most original topic, but I like Egan and am interested in the subject, and am anticipating a fine book

  24. Anna says:

    My TBR list is so long that it will take me years to finish it, but there are always more great books coming out. I’m especially intrigued by “The Water Dancer.” I will have to see if our library has that one! Thanks for the recommendations.

  25. Kayla says:

    Thanks so much for including the new Erin Morgenstern! The Night Circus is one of my favorite books and I had not heard about her new release yet. Preordering today! I’ve also been curious about The Ten Thousand Doors of January since hearing you recommend it on the podcast.

  26. Leslie says:

    I’m interested in The Water Dancer and Nothing to See Here. Other fall books I’m currently reading are Know My Name and Dear Haití, Love Alaine. I’m also excited about reading The Only Plane in the Sky, Keeping Lucy, The Toll (#3 in The Scythe series), and Finding Chika by Mitch Albom.

  27. Libby says:

    I’m excited about The Toll from Neal Shusterman, last in his Scythe series finally coming out in November! Also very excited for Starsight, second in Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series to be released right around Thanksgiving. If anyone is into sci-fi, definitely check out the earlier books in both series! Both series are YA, but I’m not normally a heavy YA reader and I really enjoyed both. Starsight has no romance in it whatsoever (at least that I can recall), which is very refreshing for the genre.

  28. Tami Spence says:

    Dear Anne, I wish I was a speed reader sometimes. I do remind myself, though, to just enjoy the words. Let them steep right in my brain. “This Tender Land” is so good. I so want to know the rest of the story. I’m 2/3’s finished and fully immersed. Thank you so much for this recommendation.

  29. Glen says:

    I’d like to see printable lists, because I’m getting carpal tunnel pain, and running out of space to write titles and authors. I really don’t expect to like all the books on any list. That’s why I get twenty books out of the library in a week. Probably twelve to fifteen will be returned, unread or at least unfinished, because it didn’t grab my interest, or I got tired of the story, people, or whatever. But a list would be nice, otherwise I go to the library and think, “there was a book, author started with a c or maybe a g, about something….” I can forget author and title in a minute! I think I saw Helene Hanff listed in here. I’ve read her books several times, and finally bought my own copies. Excellent! But I agree with her ideas about reading the books mentioned before finishing the books she was reading!

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