There’s nothing like curling up with a good book, something warm to drink and a fall candle when the temperatures start to drop. Put these 10 new releases — from fiction to memoir to poetry — on your list of books to read this fall.
1. “Monument: Poems New and Selected” by Natasha Trethewey: Mississippi native and United States poet laureate Natasha Trethewey is back with a retrospective volume of poems featuring some of her best from past collections alongside new pieces. Trethewey’s poetry has always grappled with issues of race, history and family, particularly in Southern settings, and “Monument” is no different. In this latest collection, Trethewey tells the stories of working class African-American women, a mixed-race prostitute, one of the first black Civil War regiments, mestizo and mulatto figures in Casta paintings and Gulf coast victims of Hurricane Katrina. Release date: November 6.
2. “The Dinner List: A Novel” by Rebecca Serle: It all starts with a dinner party question: Which five people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner? After she answers, Sabrina Nielsen’s 30th birthday party gets interesting when her imaginary invites begin showing up. A little bit magical and a little bit romantic, “The Dinner List: A Novel,” is an imaginative story about friendship, love and how you might react if Audrey Hepburn showed up at your dinner table.
3. “Transcription: A Novel” by Kate Atkinson: In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. She is tasked with monitoring British Fascist sympathizers, and she finds the work to be tedious and terrifying. Once the war is over, Juliet puts all of that in her past, where she assumes it will stay. But ten years later, her past comes back and she finds herself again under threat while working as a producer for BBC. “Transcription” is a dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal and loyalty. Release date: September 25.
4. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama: The highly-anticipated memoir from former First Lady Michelle Obama hits bookstores on November 13. The book will tell the story of Obama’s childhood growing up on the South Side of Chicago, how her roots helped her find her voice and her journey alongside her husband during their time in the White House. The book also delves into her role as a mother to her two daughters, Sasha and Malia. Obama has described the book, written in her own words, as “deeply personal.”
5. “Uncommon Type” by Tom Hanks: Yes, Tom Hanks wrote a book. Much like the characters he portrays on the big screen, Hanks has created warm, realistic characters who inhabit the short stories in this collection of contemporary fiction. The stories of a small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world; a World War II veteran grappling with his emotional and physical scars; a second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket; and four friends traveling to the moon in a rocketship built in the backyard are all connected by one thing: A typewriter plays a role in each of their stories. Those who know of Hanks’ fondness for the machines will see “Uncommon Type” as an homage to his own collection of typewriters.
6. “Heartbreaker” by Claudia Dey: Billie Jean Fontaine is an outsider in her remote northern town. Seventeen years after she landed there, she still feels like she doesn’t belong. When Billie Jean suddenly vanishes one cold October night, her teenage daughter, killer dog and haunted husband must come together to find her. As they begin to discover Billie Jean’s dark secrets, they begin to understand the mysteries of the human heart, and with those insights they just might be able to find Billie Jean. In this wicked and often wry story, Dey explores what it means to love unconditionally.
7. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” original screenplay by J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter fans can jump back into the world of witchcraft and wizardry with this second screenplay from J.K. Rowling. “The Crimes of Grindelwald” is Rowling’s follow-up to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The two stories act as a prequel of sorts to the Harry Potter series, chronicling the adventures of Newt Scamander as he chases the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (fans of Harry Potter will recognize him as Albus Dumbledore’s former nemesis, long before Lord Voldemort). “The Crimes of Grindelwald” catches up with Scamander as Grindelwald is recruiting followers to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. To try to stop him, Scamander teams up with a young Dumbledore, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Sound familiar? The story further explores the good vs. evil divide within the wizarding world. Both the screenplay and the movie will be released November 16.
8. “Make Something Good Today: A Memoir” by Ben and Erin Napier: Laurel, Mississippi, residents and stars of HGTV’s “Home Town” Ben and Erin Napier have written a book that’s really a love letter to Laurel, small towns and of course, each other. Fans of the show know that Erin has long kept a journal where she writes about life and gratitude, and it’s those journal entries that inspired this memoir. “Make Something Good Today” takes readers behind the scenes of the Napiers’ journey to “Home Town,” offering glimpses of the struggles, triumphs and the hard work they put in as they breathe life back into houses and their beloved small town. The memoir also includes family photographs, Erin’s hand-painted sketches and never-before-heard personal stories. Release date: October 2.
9. “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott: Kit Owens and Diane Fleming formed an unlikely friendship as high schoolers in chemistry class, and one day, Diane shared a dark secret with Kit that forever changed their relationship. More than ten years later, Kit thinks Diane is just a part of her past, and she’s busy pursuing a career in science. All of a sudden, Diane reappears in Kit’s life when both women are competing for the same coveted position that would allow them to work with their idol on groundbreaking new research. The two former friends soon find themselves in a dangerous game where the risks might just outweigh the rewards.
10. “The Bookshop of Yesterdays” by Amy Meyerson: When Miranda Brooks inherits her eccentric uncle’s Los Angeles bookstore, she finds that he’s left her one final scavenger hunt like the ones he used to create for her as a young girl. She arrives in California to find that the bookstore is on the verge of bankruptcy and becomes determined to save it. As she works to keep the store afloat and discovers the clues her uncle left for her, she finds herself learning things she never knew about him and about secrets that tore her family apart. Through Miranda’s journey, Meyerson has penned an ode to reading that explores self-discovery, family and forgiveness.