19 Awesome New Books You Need To Read This Fall

You're going to need a bigger bookshelf.

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1. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff, author of the best-sellers Arcadia and The Monsters of Templeton, is back with Fates and Furies, a multilayered portrait of a seemingly perfect marriage that unravels over the course of two decades. Told from both sides, Fates and Furies is wholly complex, dramatic, and riveting — an exploration of love, betrayal, perception, and the destructive power of secrets. Groff's novel's crackling energy makes it the perfect read for fall.

Publication date: Sept. 15, 2015

2. Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta’s debut novel Under the Udala Trees is inspired by traditional Nigerian folklore and set against the backdrop of Nigeria’s civil war. An 11-year-old girl is sent away for her safety as war and violence begin to tear the country apart, but falls in love with someone taboo — a girl from a different community — and is forced to hide what she feels. Powerful and heartbreaking, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply moving commentary on identity, prejudice, and forbidden love.

Publication date: Sept. 22, 2015

3. Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen's Purity is a sweeping, epic novel about a young girl named Purity "Pip" Tyler who is searching for her father and her identity. A run-in with an activist from Germany lands Pip with an internship at a Bolivian collective that exposes secrets those in power would rather keep hidden. Complex, globe-trotting, and provocative, Purity is one of the most anticipated books this fall.

Publication date: Sept. 1, 2015

4. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Claire Vaye Watkins, author of the award-winning short story collection Battleborn, returns with a debut novel set in the future in a California made unlivable by severe drought. A young couple has learned to survive in an abandoned mansion on rations and scavenged sustenance, but a run-in with a mysterious child leads them on a dangerous search for a better life to the east. Watkins' brilliant writing in Gold Fame Citrus will scorch you just when you thought summer was over.

Publication date: Sept. 29, 2015

5. The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra

The Tsar of Love and Techno is a new short story collection set in past and present Russia by Anthony Marra, author of the award-winning A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. The characters in these interlinked stories are everyone from former gulag prisoners to actresses to Communist censors — and are often connected in surprising ways, making the collection feel more like a multifaceted novel than a set of stories. A portrait of a country touched by loss, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

Publication date: Oct. 6, 2015

6. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie

In Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, acclaimed novelist Salman Rushdie spins classic mythology to fit modern times, showing off his talents as a master storyteller. After New York City is struck by an unusual storm, its inhabitants begin to experience magic and mischief, unknowingly playing a part in an epic battle between good and evil that will last 1,001 nights. Imaginative and often humorous, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights will transport the reader to another realm.

Publication date: Sept. 8, 2015

7. The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth follows an auctioneer known as Highway as he makes his way through Mexico City. Highway prides himself on being a storyteller, which means that he is not always so honest about the items he sells — including several peculiar sets of teeth. Quirky and charming, The Story of My Teeth is a delightful meditation on art, value, and truth.

Publication date: Sept. 15, 2015

8. Not on Fire, but Burning by Greg Hrbek

Greg Hrbek's Not on Fire, but Burning is set in a future America reeling in the aftermath of a devastating explosion in San Francisco blamed on Muslims, who are then forced to relocate to designated territories in the west. After a young boy in suburban New York is told that his sister who died in the attack never existed, he struggles to seek out the truth, but when his neighbor adopts a Muslim orphan, a terrifying series of events is set in motion. Gripping and unnerving, Not on Fire, but Burning is a brilliant critique on the prejudices and fears of the post-9/11 world.

Publication date: Sept. 22, 2015

9. The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last is the newest novel by the acclaimed author of The Handmaid’s Tale and many other award-winning works. The fourth installment in the Positron series, The Heart Goes Last is the story of a married couple who must find a way to survive in extremely dire economic times. In desperation, they join the Positron Project in the town of Consilience, where residents alternate every month between living in comfortable homes and working as inmates in the prison. Dark and chilling, The Heart Goes Last will make readers reflect on the state of society.

Publication date: Sept. 29, 2015

10. The Hundred-Year Flood by Matthew Salesses

Matthew Salesses’s novel The Hundred-Year Flood, which is very much like a flood itself — devastating and brutal yet beautiful — is the story of a young Korean-American man who flees to Prague, hoping to forge a new identity in a new city. As Prague is faced with a flood that only comes once a century, he must reconcile with his identity as an adoptee in this tale of myth, love, loss, self-discovery, and forgiveness.

Publication date: Sept. 1, 2015

(Note: The Hundred-Year Flood was originally set to be published in August and therefore also appeared on our summer recommendation lists. We are just really excited.)

11. Upright Beasts by Lincoln Michel

Lincoln Michel’s debut collection Upright Beasts occupies a world that is at once dark and strange yet still familiar: Peculiar deaths, zombie attacks, and apocalyptic events abound in 21 stories that showcase the absurdities of both ordinary and extraordinary human experience. Written with plentiful humor and heart, Michel’s collection is a wry exploration of all the ways in which we — humans — are upright beasts.

Publication date: Oct. 13, 2015

12. After the Parade by Lori Ostlund

Lori Ostlund’s debut novel After the Parade follows 40-year-old Aaron Englund after he decides to leave his partner of 20 years in New Mexico in pursuit of a new, freer life in San Francisco. But Aaron soon realizes that he can’t take control of his life without first getting closure in the Midwestern town where he grew up — the town where his father died in a parade and his mother ran off with another man. Achingly tender and wise, After the Parade is a heartfelt rumination on reconciling with the past and finding one’s place in the world that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

Publication date: Sept. 22, 2015

13. Thirteen Ways of Looking by Colum McCann

Acclaimed National Book Award–winning author Colum McCann returns with Thirteen Ways of Looking, a short fiction collection containing three short stories and a novella. McCann’s characters in this new work — whether nuns or judges or writers — are mostly ordinary people encountering extraordinary situations often touched by loss. Powerful, profound, and deeply empathetic, McCann’s beautifully wrought writing in Thirteen Ways of Looking glides off the page.

Publication date: Oct. 13, 2015

14. Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser

In Rachel B. Glaser's debut novel Paulina & Fran, two young girls at a New England art school are drawn to each other on a school trip, starting what becomes a very complex friendship. When Fran, the more innocent of the two, begins to date an ex-boyfriend of Paulina's, jealousy and obsession threaten to permanently tear the two girls apart. A biting portrait of the turbulence of adolescence, Paulina & Fran brings all of the anxieties and uncertainties of youth to life.

Publication date: Sept. 1, 2015

15. Half an Inch of Water by Percival Everett

Half an Inch of Water is acclaimed author Percival Everett's first new short story collection in over a decade. Death and ghosts of the past thread through many of these stories, but ultimately the collection is an examination of how the unusual often underlies the everyday, and the ways in which our lives can unfold in surprising, wholly unexpected ways.

Publication date: Sept. 15, 2015

16. The Clasp by Sloane Crosley

Acclaimed essayist Sloane Crosley's debut novel The Clasp centers around three friends in their late twenties who went their separate ways after college but are reunited when they attend a mutual friend's wedding. When they hear a story about a necklace that mysteriously vanished in France, they set off on a grand adventure across America and France to find it and the connection they once had with each other. At turns funny and tender, The Clasp is a heartwarming read for anyone who has ever felt lost in the world.

Publication date: Oct. 6, 2015

17. Undermajordomo Minor by Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt's Undermajordomo Minor is the highly anticipated follow-up to his best-selling novel The Sisters Brothers. Darkly funny and fantastical, Undermajordomo Minor is a spin on the traditional fairy tale, but is at heart a love story. When an unlikely hero named Lucy takes the job of assisting Castle Von Aux's Majordomo, he sets in motion a grand adventure of love, heartbreak, secrecy, violence, and murder. Energetic and imaginative, Undermajordomo Minor is one of the most fun (and funny) books of the season.

Publication date: Sept. 15, 2015

18. The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth

Written in an updated version of Old English and set 1,000 years in the past, Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake is an exceptionally ambitious novel that depicts the aftermath of the Norman Invasion through the eyes of an Anglo-Saxon landowner turned guerrilla fighter seeking revenge against the French invaders. Gripping and immensely original, The Wake is an intimate, heartbreaking look at one country's past loss and turmoil.

Publication date: Sept. 1, 2015

19. Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Bill Clegg's haunting debut novel Did You Ever Have a Family begins with an unspeakable tragedy: A woman named June Reid loses her entire family in a disaster the night before her daughter's wedding. June, the sole survivor, leaves town, unable to cope with her grief, while others look for solace in unlikely places as the truth about what happened begins to emerge. Heartbreaking but quietly optimistic, Did You Ever Have a Family is a rumination on horrific loss, healing, forgiveness, and the families we choose for ourselves.

Publication date: Sept. 1, 2015