Posted in Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, New & Upcoming, Nonfiction, Romance, Science

8 Books to Watch For This Fall

Big names are dominating the fall book press: Margaret Atwood, Bill Bryson, Jon Krakauer and Stephen King are all releasing new titles this season. Here’s what to watch for (and reserve early).

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Over 30 years after the initial release of Atwood’s celebrated dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, she returns to the Republic of Gilead. Set 15 years after the van doors shut behind Offred, the sequel offers the “testaments” of three more women from Gilead.

Release date: September 10

The Secrets We Kept by
Lara Prescott

The Secrets We Kept has gotten so much buzz that for a while, I was fundamentally convinced I’d seen a similar cover this spring. Lara Prescott’s debut novel, a tale of Cold War espionage, is based on the true story of how the manuscript for Doctor Zhivago was smuggled out of communist Russia to be published in Italy in 1957 and then secretly distributed to Eastern European intellectuals. Two secretaries who, despite their qualifications, are relegated to the typing pool, find themselves tapped to undertake the mission. One is experienced. The other is a novice. Their stories together showcase the little known history of the “Cultural Cold War.”

Release Date: September 3

The Water Dancer by
Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates is best known for Between the World and Me, a brief but powerful exploration of race in modern America framed as a letter to his son. His debut novel begins in Virginia when a boy’s near drowning instead gifts him with a mysterious power. Hiram uses his gift to escape from slavery and becomes part of the Underground Railroad. Exploring themes of family, separation, and memory with a trace of magical realism, Coates crafts a beautiful world full of complex characters.

Release Date: September 24

Classic Krakauer by
Jon Krakauer

The wilderness can be a bitterly inhospitable place and few authors showcase its indifference to human life more clearly than Krakauer. Best known for his account of the deadly Mount Everest blizzard in 1996 and Into the Wild, about a young man who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness looking to create a new life for himself, Krakauer has also written for Smithsonian, The New Yorker, and Outside Magazine, among other publications. Here his essays and shorter stories of survival are collected for the first time.

Release Date: October 29

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty’s YouTube series Ask a Mortician answers lots of niggling questions about what happens to us after we die: why do hair and nails seem to get longer? How do you dress a corpse? Can I legally hold a Viking-style ship funeral in America? Her third book answers the questions that kids have asked her (and the rest of us have wondered) about death, dying, and what happens if an astronaut dies on the space shuttle and their body is shoved out the airlock. Doughty’s respectful but good-humored perspective on life’s inevitable conclusion should be both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Release date: September 10

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

First love. First secret. First betrayal. Tate Jones falls hard for Sam Brandis in a whirlwind romance, only to find that her trust in him has been misplaced when he betrays her deepest secret in the worst of ways. Her world shatters and the course of Tate’s life is forever changed. 14 years later, Tate has found success as an actress and her newest project seems to be on track to be her big break and a big award winner. What she doesn’t expect is to step on to the set and find that the man who betrayed her is the film’s screenwriter. Still hurting over a decade later, Tate finally has a chance for closure – or maybe a second shot at first love.

Release date: October 22

The Institute by Stephen King

12 year old Luke, already in university and perpetually desperate to learn, wakes up one morning in a place that looks just like his bedroom at home – except the room has no window and his parents are dead. A shadowy government organization, the Institute, claims they’ll teach him how to save the world and become a hero. But there are other children in the Institute – they’re given access to the vending machines if they behave, tortured if they don’t, and slowly, inevitably burning out if they submit to the battery of tests designed to develop their psychic powers. As more children “graduate” and are never seen again, Luke becomes desperate to be the first child to escape the Institute’s clutches.

Release date: September 10

The Body: a Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

Best known for his travelogue A Walk in the Woods, which was made into a movie with Robert Redford, and A Short History of Nearly Everything, which explores the history of chemistry, physics, and astronomy, Bill Bryson’s greatest talent is exploring complex and detailed subjects in engaging and accessible language. This time, he turns to the human body – how it works, how it heals, how it fails. Bryson punctuates his explorations with intriguing facts, stories, and his trademark wit. Watch for the audiobook as well: Bryson’s narration lets his humor shine even more clearly.

Release date: October 3