The Best Books Of Fall 2018
Clear some space on your bedside table. This season, there’s an incredible array of books worth cozying up with.
Your fall reading list is here. From a smart rant on female rage to hot novel about erotic awakening, from Michelle Obama to Buffy Sainte-Marie, there is a lot of buzz about this fall’s newest releases. Here are 25 of the most compelling books to watch out for this fall. There’s something here for everyone.
1 of 25
In the mood for: Fraught adventure
By Esi Edugyan
The follow-up to the smash hit Half-Blood Blues has already made the long list for the Man Booker Prize. It tells the epic story of Washington Black, an 11-year-old slave working on a sugar plantation. After a man is killed, Black ends up on the run with his eccentric new master. $34. On sale September 4.
2 of 25
In the mood for: A sartorial adventure
Sara Berman’s Closet
By Maira Kalman and Alex Kalman
When Sara Berman left her husband of 38 years, she set off on a path of self-reinvention, living alone in a sparse Greenwich Village studio and wearing only white. After her death in 2004, her family preserved the contents of her pristine closet. (Items were put on display at The Mmuseumm in Tribeca in 2015 and then at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017.) This illustrated family memoir is an ode to self-expression. $35. On sale October 30.
3 of 25
In the mood for: Female rage
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger
By Rebecca Traister
The bestselling author of All the Single Ladies offers up a blistering history of women’s anger, including how it has shaped women’s role in politics and how its collective power may prove to be transformative. In the age of #MeToo and Trump, this is an essential read. $36. On sale October 2.
4 of 25
In the mood for: A timely read
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen
by Jose Antonio Vargas
In 2011, Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist born in the Philippines, disclosed that he had entered the U.S. illegally as a child. In this memoir, Vargas reveals what it’s like to live as an undocumented immigrant — to live in fear and secrecy and never truly feel at home. $32. On sale September 18.
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In the mood for: Closure
My Struggle: Book 6
By Karl Ove Knausgaard
Whether you’re enamoured of this Norwegian author’s painstakingly detailed account of his life or resigned to finish what you’ve started, you’ll want to pick up the final volume of this sprawling series, which has earned rapturous praise — Zadie Smith once compared the books’ addictive quality to crack. $50. On sale September 4.
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In the mood for: Teen angst
By Eden Robinson
The second novel in a trilogy that began with Son of a Trickster continues the story of Jared, a teenager grappling with sobriety while living with his well-meaning aunt, an Indigenous activist and a writer who is blind to the supernatural activity and magic that surround them. $32. On sale October 2.
7 of 25
In the mood for: Digging your fingernails into your palms
A Spark of Light
By Jodi Picoult
From the author of My Sister’s Keeper comes this tension-filled novel about what happens when a gunman takes hostages at a women’s reproductive health clinic. Individual stories converge, including that of a hostage negotiator who arrives on scene only to discover that his 15-year-old daughter is among those trapped inside. $32. On sale October 2.
8 of 25
In the mood for: Weed
The Little Book of Cannabis: How Marijuana Can Improve Your Life
By Amanda Siebert
With the legalization of pot on October 17, you might be curious: Are there any health benefits to getting high? Can weed really help you sleep? What’s the best way to consume it? Amanda Siebert, an award-winning Vancouver journalist who has dedicated herself to covering the cannabis beat, answers all your burning questions. $15. On sale October 17.
9 of 25
In the mood for: A belly laugh
I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities and Other Stuf
By Abbi Jacobson
After a breakup, Abbi Jacobson — best known as co-creator and co-star of the delightfully zany comedy Broad City — embarked on a three-week solo road trip. The result is this hilarious and candid book: part memoir, part travelogue, part sketchbook. $33. On sale October 30.
10 of 25
In the mood for: Getting cozy with Busy
This Will Only Hurt a Little
By Busy Philipps
Busy Philipps, who is known as much for her candid presence on Instagram these days as for her roles on shows like Dawson’s Creek and Cougar Town, has written a memoir that’s a lot like her social media persona: at once charming and remarkably unfiltered. $36. On sale October 23.
11 of 25
In the mood for: A mind-bending mystery
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
By Stuart Turton
When Evelyn Hardcastle is shot to death at a ball, Aiden Bishop must solve the murder. The catch? The day keeps repeating itself. Each time she dies, he awakens in the body of a different party guest. (Think Groundhog Day but with flapper dresses.) To stop the cycle, he must find the culprit. $25. On sale September 18.
12 of 25
In the mood for: A story of obsession
The White Darkness
By David Grann
In 2015, Henry Worsley — who spent most of his life obsessed with early-20th-century polar adventurer Ernest Shackleton — set off on a solo trek across Antarctica. David Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker, details what happened on Worsley’s perilous journey. The book has already been optioned for the big screen. $27. On sale October 30.
13 of 25
In the mood for: The life of a Canadian icon
Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography
By Andrea Warner
Andrea Warner, one of Canada’s sharpest music writers, traces the life of Buffy Sainte-Marie, a folk musician whose milestones include becoming the first First Nations person to win an Oscar and the first woman to breastfeed on national television (on Sesame Street, no less). $36. On sale September 25.
14 of 25
In the mood for: Outrage and inspiration
On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope
By DeRay McKesson
McKesson, a civil rights activist who found himself in the public eye — and with a legion of Twitter followers — for his role in organizing the 2014 Ferguson protests, examines the persistence of racial injustice in America and the possibility that technology might help enable social change. $34. On sale September 4.
15 of 25
In the mood for: Personal transformation
She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy
By Jill Soloway
Jill Soloway’s critically acclaimed TV show Transparent — about what happens when the patriarch of a Los Angeles family comes out as transgender — was inspired by Soloway’s own parent. In this memoir, the writer and director explores how they broke through a male-dominated Hollywood to find mainstream success, and their simultaneous journey to identifying as genderqueer and nonbinary. $36. On sale October 9.
16 of 25
In the mood for: Big-hearted comedy
By Gary Shteyngart
Gary Shteyngart’s latest novel follows a stressed-out hedge-fund manager as he abandons his wife and son at home in NYC and jumps on a Greyhound bus in search of his college sweetheart. The author’s trademark wit and insightful brand of satire are on full display as he turns his lens on America in the dawn of the Trump era. (He was inspired by an eye-opening cross-country bus trip he took in the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election.) $37. On sale September 4.
17 of 25
In the mood for: Southern comfort
Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits
By Reese Witherspoon
Fascinated by Reese Witherspoon’s southern charm? This is your chance to soak up the starlet’s secrets. Witherspoon offers up family recipes, decorating tips and personal style advice, and outlines how her grandmother Dorothea inspired her love of everything from fried chicken to book clubs. $45. On sale September 18.
18 of 25
In the mood for: A writer’s last words
The Flame: Poems and selections from notebooks
By Leonard Cohen
Shortly before his death in 2016, Cohen carefully selected and arranged a collection of new poems, which appear in his final work alongside song lyrics, drawings and excerpts from his notebooks. $33. On sale October 2.
19 of 25
In the mood for: Haunting historical fiction
By Kate Atkinson
During the Second World War, a young woman is tasked with transcribing the conversations of an M15 agent and suspected Nazi sympathizers, but is soon swept up in the world of espionage. Atkinson, known for writing page-turners marked by luminous prose, has focused her recent efforts on historical narratives: this is her third book in a row dealing with the after-effects of WWII. $33. On sale September 18.
20 of 25
In the mood for: Sex
By Tamara Faith Berger
Tamara Faith Berger, who started out writing porn, knows how to write convincingly about sex. Her latest novel tells the story of a young Israeli man’s erotic awakening and the consequences of his relationship with the captivating young woman who comes to live with his family one fateful summer. $20. On sale September 1.
21 of 25
In the mood for: A pep talk
By Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton creator Miranda has long had a habit of posting inspirational messages for his nearly 2.5 million followers on Twitter — often beginning and ending the day with notes like, “Gmorning. Just a little longer in bed. It’s okay. Breathe out that anxiety, get your guts right,” and “Gnight! Almost went to bed while reading the news. Give yourself a minute before you fall asleep, get your mind right! Love you!” This collection of Miranda’s life-affirming tweets — paired alongside illustrations by Canadian artist Jonny Sun — is the perfect read if you’re in need of a pick-me-up. $29. On sale October 23.
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In the mood for: A big screen preview
Nine Perfect Strangers
By Liane Moriarty
The latest from the bestselling author of Big Little Lies follows nine strangers who arrive at Tranquillum House, a remote health resort, and what happens to them as their lives connect in unexpected ways over a 10-day span. The novel, which features a plot twist sure to spark lively discussion within your book club, is already slated for a screen adaptation, with Nicole Kidman picking up the rights; the actor is also set to star. $36. On sale November 6.
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In the mood for: Some gumshoe action
The Feral Detective
By Jonathan Lethem
Jonathan Lethem dips back into the realm of detective fiction for the first time since 1999’s Motherless Brooklyn — the novel that put him on the literary map — with this funny and unconventional book. Our protagonist, Phoebe Siegler, heads to California in search of her best friend’s missing teenage daughter. She enlists the help of private eye Charles Heist, and the two set off on a search that turns out to be anything but what they expected. $34. On sale November 6.
24 of 25
In the mood for: Quality time with the “Forever First Lady”
By Michelle Obama
Less a tell-all of her time in the White House than a broad look at her journey to becoming a powerful role model and advocate for women, Michelle Obama’s highly anticipated memoir is a must-read for those nostalgic for the former FLOTUS’s time in Washington. “I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice,” she wrote of the book on Twitter. “I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be.” $40. On sale November 13.
25 of 25
In the mood for: What everyone else is reading
One of the most anticipated books of the year, Haruki Murakami’s latest is an enigmatic novel in the vein of his classic, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It tells the story of a painter who becomes the caretaker of a famous artist’s house. He discovers a mysterious painting in the attic, and strange things start to happen. $37, October 9.