The end of summer always signals the release of new and noteworthy books. This fall season marks the release of some highly-anticipated memoirs, novels, and sequels. So, I did some research, read some lists (and then some books), and compiled a list of the 10 books you should read this fall. This list could be 10x longer because there are so many amazing stories to be told and writers willing to tell them. So let this article be the inspiration for a little research of your own—after all, the key to falling in love with reading is reading what you love.
Ali Wong’s Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life
Ali Wong first made waves with her Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra. At eight months pregnant, Wong shares her thoughts on marriage, sex, being a woman in a male-dominated profession, and Asian culture. She’s both hilarious and totally heartfelt, and that same emotional connection is present in her debut memoir. Her memoir is presented as letters for her daughters, in which she reveals the secrets to life. Her website says that “though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong’s letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and disgusting) for all.” Dear Girls is set to be released on October 15.
Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey
Patti Smith is a legendary writer, poet, activist, and musician (hello! She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007). Year of the Monkey takes place over a year and is filled with Smith’s “wisdom, wit, gimlet eye, and above all, a rugged hope for a better world,” according to Penguin Random House. This memoir tells of a transformative year for the writer, as she journeys from the beaches of California to a farm in Kentucky and everywhere in between. Year of the Monkey chronicles Smith’s own heartache, sorrow, and grief, masterfully told in the poetics Smith is known and revered for. Her book was released on September 24.
Liz Phair’s Horror Stories
Liz Phair is one badass chick; she’s a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and writer, too! Liz Phair’s memoir is named for the moments throughout her life “that have haunted her most” (Rolling Stone). Horror Stories tells of the anxiety, regret, and emptiness of her struggle for respect in the Chicago music scene to her rise as an Indie queen with the release of Exile in Guyville. Horror Stories is the first of two memoirs she’s set to release with Random House. It will be released in October.
André Aciman’s Find Me
André Aciman’s first book, Call Me By Your Name, sold almost three-quarters of a million copies and was made into an Academy Award-winning movie starring Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. Find Me is the sequel, and it shares the same intimate power as Aciman’s first novel. It features the same main characters, Elio and Oliver, but they’ve been living apart for twenty years. Find Me is full of heart as it addresses difficult themes “including fatherhood, music, the nature of time and fate, the weight and promise of the past,” as cited by Macmillan Publishers. If you loved his first, you’ll fall for his second. Find Me is set to be released on October 29.
Meghan Daum’s The Problem With Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars
If you’re stressed, curious, or passionate about the current political and social climate, then Meghan Daum’s The Problem With Everything is the book for you. This book explores contemporary American issues, ranging from feminism to Trump, hitting every issue in between. Meghan Daum writes in a way that examines without harsh criticism; she tries to make sense rather than pass judgement. “No matter where you stand on its issues,” suggests a review for Simon & Schuster, “this book will strike a chord.” The book will be released on October 22.
Dina Nayeri’s The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You
When she was eight years old, Dina Nayeri and her family fled from Iran. Eventually, she was granted asylum in America. In her book The Ungrateful Refugee, Nayeri uses the story of her own desperate attempt for freedom to tell the narrative of every refugee and asylum seeker’s truth. Nayeri poses questions and “challenges us to rethink how we talk about the refugee crisis,” according to Catapult. The Ungrateful Refugee was released September 3.
Elizabeth Stout’s Olive, Again
Olive, Again is the sequel to Olive Kittridge. Olive Kittridge was so well received that it won a Pulitzer Prize, and it was turned into an HBO series in 2014 (and won eight Emmys!). Stout’s latest novel, Olive, Again, follows the next decade of Olive’s life as she navigates her relationship with her son and her second marriage. Elizabeth Stout herself says, “It turns out—I just wasn’t done with Olive.” Her book is set to be released on October 15.
Cyrus Grace Dunham’s A Year Without a Name
If you think you recognize their last name, that’s because you do. Cyrus Grace Dunham is the younger sibling of Lena Dunham. And it turns out, just like Lena, Cyrus Grace has a lot to say. In their debut memoir, Cyrus Grace tells of the formative years in which they experienced nagging uncertainty that came with questions about gender and sexuality in their life. Little Brown publishers writes that the memoir “is potent, thrillingly unresolved meditation on queerness, family, and desire.” A Year Without a Name is set to be released on October 15.
Lauren Michele Jackson’s White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue…and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation
Lauren Michele Jackson is a scholar, educator, and writer. In her novel, she explores the ever-relevant issue of cultural appropriation in America. Jackson uses all of her experiences from being a professor of African American studies to both personal and collective narratives to unravel, as she puts it, “the racial contradictions lurking behind American culture as we know it.” White Negroes is an insanely relevant exercise in critical thinking. The novel is set to be released on November 12.
Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments
The Testament’s in the sequel to Margaret Atwood’s critically acclaimed novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The novel picks up 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale. The sequel is highly anticipated (obvi), and the author herself admits that “the world we’ve been living in” serves as the inspiration for Gilead and The Testaments. Atwood’s novel was released on September 10.
Although summer has come to an end, there’s a surefire way to celebrate the beginning of the fall season: reading all the fantastic books that are set to be released. Comment below the book you’re most excited to read!
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Recent college graduate, avid reader, lover of music and all things Yankees. Collector of pins, patches, and records.