- 1 Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life
- 2 The Dutch House
- 3 The Water Dancer
- 4 The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale
- 5 The Topeka School
- 6 The Art of Flaneuring: How to Wander with Intention and Discover a Better Life
- 7 Inside Out: A Memoir
- 8 Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
- 9 Year of the Monkey
- 10 Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth
- 11 Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love
- 12 Dominicana
- 13 Red at the Bone
- 14 Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
- 15 Find Me
- 16 Olive, Again
- 17 The Witches Are Coming
- 18 The Institute
The Absolute Best Fall 2019 Books For Cozy Fireside Reading
For some, fall is all about apple picking and carving pumpkins. But for bookworms, fall is the very best time to curl up with an addicting new book. You know—the type of book you just can't put down...the type of book you turn off the TV to read...the type of book that makes you think, "just one more chapter before I turn out the light." We rounded up 18 of the absolute best books, from horror to celebrity memoirs to spellbinding fiction, released this fall. So go ahead, get the fireplace going and settle in with one (or all) of our picks for the best fall 2019 books. A steaming mug of hot apple cider and plush throw blanket are strongly encouraged for maximum cozy reading.
Best Fall 2019 Books
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life
Did you love Ali Wong's standup comedy specials on Netflix? How about her rom com, Always Be My Maybe? Then we have great news: Wong wrote a book, and it's funny. Dear Girls is a series of hilarious and heartwarming letters to her two daughters, with instructions on everything they'll need to succeed and be happy, from dating advice to how to be a working mom, and dealing with racism. Don't worry, the humor is for adults—not kids.
The Dutch House
Patchett's eighth (!) novel lives in the realm of fairy tales. It's got a wicked stepmother, two siblings bonded together by parental neglect, and a majorly romantic setting: the family's sprawling mansion outside of Philadelphia. If you go for the Audible version, expect to be delighted by actor Tom Hanks as the narrator. We have a feeling this one will be made into a major motion picture, so read it now while it's still just one of the best fall 2019 books.
The Water Dancer
The celebrated journalist, Ta-Nehisi Coates, broke into fiction with this debut novel, which centers on a young man named Hiram living in antebellum Virginia. Hiram has supernatural powers and can remember everything, and we mean everything, except for his mother who was sold away from him. The metaphor is America's refusal to look at its history of slavery. Coates brings lyricism and magical elements to tell Hiram's story and bring readers face to face with the legacy of slavery. It's not the easiest read on our best fall 2019 books list, but it is one of the most important.
The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale
We're just going to go ahead and assume you're familiar with Margaret Atwood's world-famous book and its Hulu TV adaption, The Handmaid's Tale. The Testaments is the sequel and it takes place a decade and a half later in Gilead, though you won't hear very much from Offred (a short three sentences to be exact). Instead, the main story line is about a spy in Gilead who's trying to bring the place and its totalitarian regime down. Fans will also be happy to know that Lydia's backstory gets a chance to shine in Testaments. Read it now, watch it on Hulu later.
The Topeka School
The Topeka School has been named one of the most anticipated fall books by everyone from Entertainment Weekly to Vogue to O The Oprah Magazine and it's on our best fall 2019 books list, too. It's a novel with an updated take on American families, told from different perspectives and timelines of one Topeka clan. One Amazon reader put it perfectly: "Ben Lerner has an extraordinary capacity to capture the interior lives of his characters while placing them in the larger cultural and political storms of a distinct midwestern city. His ability to shift perspectives seamlessly helps to see how the struggles of becoming young men over 20 years ago foreshadow the dilemmas that continue to face us in profound ways today." This one digs deep.
The Art of Flaneuring: How to Wander with Intention and Discover a Better Life
'What the heck is flaneuring?', you might rightfully ask. Owen breaks down the historically French pastime of wandering for pleasure in this lightweight and easy-to-read book that explains the upsides of a good stroll. Namely, exercise, inspiration, and unexpected joy. This book makes a great gift, especially for friends who like to travel and explore. Prepare to feel inspired to stroll.
Inside Out: A Memoir
Whether you know Moore from her iconic acting career (hello, The Breakfast Club) or from tabloid magazines for her marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, we're sure you're familiar with the unforgettable actress. What you might not know are her struggles with addiction, body image issues, and childhood trauma—which she shares with clarity and wisdom in this memoir. And if you're also looking for celeb gossip, you're in the right place.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
Gladwell fans, prepare yourselves for another Gladwell classic. On this round, he looks to political dramas, scandals, and the psychology on how everyday people react to stories from Fidel Castro, Bernie Madoff, and Sylvia Plath. The point is, Gladwell is concerned that because we don't know how to speak to strangers, our culture is inviting conflict and misunderstanding. If you really love Gladwell and are a fan of his podcast, Revisionist History, note that he narrates the audiobook.
Year of the Monkey
Patti Smith's third and latest memoir focuses on her art and life in the year 2016, when she turned 70. The book has been compared to a painting, and much of it focuses on Smith's sleeping dreams as she crisscrosses the country to visit friends and receive awards. If you're looking for more of the young New York artist bohemian life she beautifully portrayed in Just Kids, you'll be disappointed—but the seventh decade in Smith's life is rich with experience and insight. This one deserves a solid place on our best fall 2019 books list.
Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth
Rachel Maddow, author and MSNBC host, goes for the oil and gas industry in this hard-hitting investigative book. She set out to answer the question on why Russia would interfere in the U.S. Presidential election, and followed the leads to big oil. This is a timely read about politics, power, and corruption that should raise questions and red flags before the 2020 race.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love
If you're familiar with the reboot hit TV show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, then Jonathan Van Ness (and his flowing mane of hair) is instantly recognizable. In his first memoir, Van Ness recounts growing up gay in a small Midwest town and his journey to self-love and acceptance. These chapters will tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh. Don't be surprised if you're also inspired to do something new with your hair. After all, Van Ness is the show's grooming expert for a reason.
This novel follows a young protagonist who, at age 15, moves from Dominican Republic's countryside to urban New York City for an arranged marriage in the 1960s. It's a powerfully written coming-of-age story with rich characters and memorable dialogue. This book is a definite contender for your next book club meeting, especially if the theme is best fall 2019 books.
Red at the Bone
Woodson’s beautifully written novel explores the multitudes of ways an unplanned pregnancy changes two families. It's only 200 pages, but it packs a powerful punch and explores themes such as sexuality, gender identity, gentrification, class status, and how quickly parenthood changes families. This will be another fall 2019 book club favorite.
Me: Elton John Official Autobiography
In the mood for celebrity, music, and royalty gossip? Look no further than Sir John's official autobiography. It's filled with fun snippets—like the time he watched the Queen of England playfully slap her grown nephew—and the far more serious subject matters of drug abuse, AIDS, fatherhood, and finding love. Bow down to Elton John and one of the best fall 2019 books.
If you sobbed through Call Me by Your Name, grab your tissue box because Aciman wrote a sequel. In Find Me, Aciman revisits his main characters in Paris some 20 years after the fateful summer they spent in Italy. Of course, there's passion galore. We're definitely excited for this book, but we're also excited for the possibility of Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer making a second appearance on the big screen.
Best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout brings readers the next life chapter of her beloved leading lady: Olive Kitteridge. Set again in Crosby, Maine, the book deals with Olive grappling with her own life, as well as a cast of unforgettable New England characters. If you haven't yet read Olive Kitteridge, you'll still appreciate Olive, Again—but here's your chance to read the stories back to back. Charming.
The Witches Are Coming
Lindy West, celebrated firebrand essayist and author of Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman (you may have seen the TV adaptation starring Aidy Bryant on Hulu), has a new book. The Witches Are Coming is an investigation of what it means to be a woman in the #MeToo era and a long hard look at how we arrived at this moment of cultural reckoning. West writes with her usual candor and comedic timing. Prepare to get fired up and informed.
Look, it's just not fall unless you're scared to death. And if you're looking for reading chills, go to the master. Stephen King's The Institute has been called, "the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It." The Institute is the story of a teenager with supernatural powers, who is kidnapped by strangers who murder his parents. He wakes up in a replica of his bedroom—except it doesn't have a window. Will he, and a band of mystical kids, escape or meet their untimely fates in the Back Half? Make sure you read this one with all the lights on.
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