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28 Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Fall

New books by Salman Rushdie, Jennifer Egan, Jesmyn Ward, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and John Green, oh my!

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1. Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

Graywolf Press, carmenmariamachado.com

Carmen Maria Machado shows off her fresh new voice in Her Body and Other Parties, a genre-bending short-story collection that is part magical realism, sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. In Machado's imaginative, unsettling, haunting stories, she explores the violent realities of being a woman and having a female body in our society.

Publication date: Oct. 3

2. Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Scribner, Tony Cook

In Jesmyn Ward's new novel Sing, Unburied, Sing, drug addict Leonie's children usually live with their grandparents, but when their white father gets out of prison, Leonie takes them on a journey by car across Mississippi to the state penitentiary. Set in the past and present rural South, Sing, Unburied, Sing is the tale of one troubled family, racism, poverty, the strength and fragility of familial bonds, and hope.

Publication date: Sept. 5

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3. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

Riverhead Books, Alex Adams

In Gabriel Tallent's dark and gripping debut novel My Absolute Darling, Turtle Alveston is a 14-year-old girl who's lived in isolation with her survivalist father on the northern California coast since her mother's death. But when she finds a friend in a high school boy, she realizes she must escape her dysfunctional, abusive life with her father, using the survival skills he taught her and a whole lot of courage.

Publication date: Aug. 29

4. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Random House, salmanrushdie.com

Salman Rushdie makes a return to realism in The Golden House, a novel about an eccentric billionaire named Nero Golden and his three adult sons — who make quite the splash when they mysteriously move to a cloistered community in downtown Manhattan — and their aspiring filmmaker neighbor who chronicles their undoing. A tale of identity, reinvention, truth (and lies), and terror, The Golden House also captures the climate of American politics and culture from the Obama era to today — including the rise of a "narcissistic, media-savvy villain wearing make-up and with coloured hair" who embarks on a presidential run.

Publication date: Sept. 5

5. The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

Knopf, oliversacks.com

The River of Consciousness, one of the two books Oliver Sacks was working on prior to his death in 2015, is a collection of essays exploring what makes up the human experience. In essays about science, evolution, consciousness, memory, creativity, and time, Sacks's sharp intellect and observations, and passion for knowledge, shine through.

Publication date: Oct. 24

6. Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Knopf, Michael Lionstar

Set in Nigeria, Ayobami Adebayo's powerful, heartbreaking debut novel Stay with Me tells both sides of a marriage on the verge of falling apart. Yejide and Akin originally agreed to a monogamous marriage despite some people's expectations for Akin to have several wives, but four years later, Yejide is still struggling to get pregnant after trying multiple fertility remedies and doctor consultations. When her in-laws introduce her to Akin's second wife, Yejide, stunned and increasingly desperate, believes the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant — but at great cost.

Publication date: Aug. 22

7. Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Scribner, Pieter M. Van Hattem/Vistalux

When Anna Kerrigan was 12 years old, she witnessed her father make a mysterious pact with a man named Dexter Styles before vanishing. Years later, during World War II, Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and becomes the first female diver — a dangerous job repairing ships — when she chances upon Dexter Styles and begins to understand more about her father's disappearance and life.

Publication date: Oct. 3

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8. Kiss Me Someone by Karen Shepard

Tin House Books, Barry Goldstein

The stories in Karen Shepard's sharp collection Kiss Me Someone focus on the lives and relationships of women — who are often mixed-race — with their mothers, daughters, granddaughters, friends, and with men. Dark and often disturbing, Kiss Me Someone gazes unflinchingly at womanhood, isolation, betrayal, sexual assault, infidelity, and the depths of human cruelty.

Publication date: Sept. 12

9. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Penguin Press, Kevin Day Photography

Celeste Ng's novel Little Fires Everywhere is set in a quiet suburb of Cleveland where planning and order and playing by the rules is king — especially for resident Elena Richardson with her lawyer husband and four children. When bohemian artist and single mother Mia Warren arrives in town with her teenage daughter and rents a house from the Richardsons, she threatens to upend the peaceful status quo with the mysterious secrets of her past. A captivating examination of motherhood, identity, family, privilege, and community.

Publication date: Sept. 12

10. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Riverhead Books, Zain Mustafa

Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire is a modern retelling of Sophocles' Antigone set in London, where eldest daughter Isma has raised her younger twin siblings for years after their mother's and grandmother's deaths. The interrogation she is subjected to when leaving to pursue her PhD in America reveals the hidden, dark legacy of their father — a legacy she fears her brother is trying to follow. A thought-provoking commentary on loyalty, love, justice, politics, terrorism, religion, and family.

Publication date: Aug. 15

11. Don't Call Us Dead by Danez Smith

Graywolf Press, danezsmithpoet.com

Don't Call Us Dead is poet Danez Smith's ferocious second collection. With humanity and heart, Smith contemplates the assaults on a black, male body in America — police brutality, violence, and AIDS, and the resulting culture of danger, suspicion, grief, psychological pain, and resistance.

Publication date: Sept. 5

12. The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Epic Photography/Jamie Schoenberger

Alice McDermott's novel The Ninth Hour opens with the suicide of a young Irish immigrant in early 20th century Brooklyn, who leaves behind his pregnant wife Annie and unborn child. In the wake of his death, which affects multiple generations of lives, aging nun Sister St. Saviour and the Little Sisters of the Sick Poor convent take Annie and her daughter under their wing. A moving, heartfelt portrait of one Irish-American Catholic community.

Publication date: Sept. 19

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13. The King Is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcón

Riverhead Books, Adrian Kinloch

Daniel Alarcón's collection The King Is Always Above the People showcases his talent as a master storyteller. In 10 vivid, captivating stories, Alarcón explores immigration, family relationships, secrets, betrayal, hope, love, heartbreak, forgiveness, and redemption.

Publication date: Oct. 31

14. Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

Harper, Paul Emmell

In Louise Erdrich's dystopian novel Future Home of the Living God, evolution has reversed, with every woman giving birth to what appears to be a primitive species of humans. 32-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker is four months pregnant amid the panic about the impending end of humanity — and when pregnant women become branded as wanted criminals, the safety of both herself and her unborn child are at high risk. A terrifying, haunting tale that speaks to female reproductive rights, womanhood, and humanity.

Publication date: Nov. 14

15. Dinner at the Center of the Earth by Nathan Englander

Knopf, Juliana Sohn

Nathan Englander's new novel Dinner at the Center of the Earth paints a striking portrait of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of multiple time periods and characters — including a secret prisoner only a dying Israeli general knows about, and the guard who has watched over him for a decade. A thought-provoking political thriller with some romance and cheeky humor thrown in for good measure.

Publication date: Sept. 5

16. The Mountain by Paul Yoon

Simon & Schuster, Peter Yoon

Paul Yoon's The Mountain is a collection of six elegant, luminous stories that take place across multiple continents and time periods post-WWII: from a Shanghai camera sweatshop to the French countryside to a sanatorium in the Hudson Valley. Yoon's characters, though vastly different, are linked by their efforts to make peace with their traumatic pasts. A heartbreaking yet beautiful rumination on tragedy, loneliness, grief, and displacement.

Publication date: Aug. 15

17. Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Karen Yamauchi

Fresh Complaint is the highly anticipated first short-story collection from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jeffrey Eugenides. In 10 stories set across the world from the 1980s to today, Fresh Complaint examines an impressive range of characters' curious and often surprising personal struggles.

Publication date: Oct. 3

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18. We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

One World, Nina Subin

We Were Eight Years in Power is a collection of new and selected essays from Ta-Nehisi Coates, a reflection on the Obama presidency and the election of Donald Trump. With both sharp cultural analysis and critique and his own personal observations and experiences, Coates gives urgent, essential context to and perspective on today's political climate.

Publication date: Oct. 3

19. Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Knopf, Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Who knew beloved, Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks could also write?! In Uncommon Type, his debut short-story collection, Hanks explores what the American dream looks like for a multitude of characters, from an Eastern European immigrant to a war veteran. And, of course, Hanks' love for typewriters makes a cameo through each of the 17 stories.

Publication date: Oct. 17

20. Mean by Myriam Gurba

Coffee House Press, ideafestlb.org

Myriam Gurba's Mean is a hilariously honest coming-of-age memoir about growing up as a queer, mixed-race girl in 1980s California. A fearless account of racism, homophobia, misogyny, sexual assault, and true crime that manages to be as funny as it is dark.

Publication date: Nov. 14

21. All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

Bloomsbury, Meredith Heuer

All the Dirty Parts shows A Series of Unfortunate Events author Daniel Handler like you've never seen him before. Cole is a typical, horny teenage boy in high school who thinks about sex a lot. Like, all the time. He's also having a lot of it, enough that he's developed a bad reputation at school. During a dry spell, he begins to fool around with his male best friend, when he falls for a new girl who makes him understand how the girls he used might have felt. An irreverent, intimate glimpse inside adolescent desire, sexual identity, and emotional discovery.

Publication date: Aug. 29

22. Five-Carat Soul by James McBride

Riverhead Books, jamesmcbride.com

Short-story collection Five-Carat Soul is James McBride's newest fiction since his National Book Award-winning novel The Good Lord Bird. From an antiques dealer to an American president, McBride's authentic characters and stories capture with humor and poignant insight the messiness of our internal (and external) lives and the world around us.

Publication date: Sept. 26

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23. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Dutton Books for Young Readers, AP Richard Drew

Turtles All the Way Down is John Green's first novel since The Fault in Our Stars. Aza is a 16-year-old girl who finds herself investigating the mystery of a fugitive billionaire (for a hefty reward) with her best friend, while dealing with her own mental health struggles; at heart, a tale of the bonds of friendship and love.

Publication date: Oct. 10

24. Catapult by Emily Fridlund

Sarabande Books, Doug Knutson

Emily Fridlund's Catapult is a collection of 11 stories about dysfunctional or broken friendships and families. Strange, darkly funny, and sometimes grotesque, Fridlund's characters and writing in Catapult are a brilliant commentary on human cruelty and misunderstanding.

Publication date: Oct. 10

25. Smile by Roddy Doyle

Viking, David Levenson

In Roddy Doyle's Smile, Victor Forde goes to the same bar every night, alone after the end of his three-decade-long marriage to his wife, who became an A-list celebrity. But one night, a mysterious man named Fitzpatrick approaches him and seems to know him from school. The memories Fitzpatrick stirs in Victor are ones he's buried and would rather forget, and they begin to take a toll on his sanity. A thrilling, dark, yet often humorous story about reconciling with one's past.

Publication date: Oct. 17

26. An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon

Akashic Books, akashicbooks.com

In River Solomon's highly imaginative sci-fi novel An Unkindness of Ghosts, eccentric Aster was born into slavery on — and is trying to escape from — a brutally segregated spaceship that for generations has been trying to escort the last humans from a dying planet to a Promised Land. When she discovers clues about the circumstances of her mother's death, she also comes closer to disturbing truths about the ship and its journey.

Publication date: Oct. 3

27. Afterglow (a dog memoir) by Eileen Myles

Grove Press, Peggy O'Brien

Eileen Myles' Afterglow is a tender, lyrical memoir written from the perspective of her beloved pit bull, Rosie. Afterglow candidly details Myles' 16-year-long bond with and love for her dog, as well as her raw grief in the wake of Rosie's death.

Publication date: Sept. 12

28. Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar

Alice James Books, B. A. Van Sise

Kaveh Akbar's poetry collection Calling a Wolf a Wolf tackles addiction, alcoholism, recovery, sobriety, and faith with brazen, intimate honesty. Akbar's poems feel heartfelt and vulnerable — a stunning debut.

Publication date: Sept. 12

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