The best thing about fall (other than pumpkin everything) is being able to curl up with a good book, wrapped in a blanket or by a fireplace, and sipping on a hot beverage. Oh man, I am so excited. There's something about the cold outside that makes snuggling up with a good book seem that much better. And if you are able to grab one (or all) of the Goodreads most anticipated books of fall, well it will be that much better.
Goodreads put together one heck of a list. The website compiles their lists by checking out what their more-than-90 million members add to their want-to-read shelves, which apparently includes 18 million books. And that giant list is bringing me all the nostalgic feels since Stephen Chbowsky — author of Perks of Being a Wallflower — is on the list as he finally has another book coming out.
Plus there's a book by Jojo Moyes on the list and The Night Circus author Erin Morgenstern has another book ready for fall reading. And you know Morgenstern's book will be a beautiful work of art to devour all season long. Some of these books have already been released, but the others definitely give you something to look forward to.
1. 'The Giver of Stars' by Jojo Moyes
I am so excited about The Giver of Stars — and it's going to be a movie soon, too. It's about five incredible women's journey through the mountains of Kentucky — to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt's traveling library no less — during the Great Depression. This book is also based on a true story. Definitely a must-have on your bookshelf.
2. 'The Starless Sea' by Erin Morgenstern
You probably heard of Erin Morgenstern for her incredible novel The Night Circus. Her new novel, The Starless Sea, definitely seems like it will not disappoint and will give you the same magical, whimsy feels that The Night Circus did. This novel is a love story set in "a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea," the description says. Um, yes please. This world is found by grad student Zachary, when he discovers a mysterious book which then leads him to a masquerade party in New York, and then to a secret club, and then a doorway to an ancient library that's hidden below the earth. Y'all. I'm hooked.
3. 'Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know' by Malcolm Gladwell
I love Malcom Gladwell's books for the journalistic flair he gives to his stories. His novels are always well researched, and also told in such a way that keeps it interesting while you learn something new. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know talks about the Sandra Bland incident when she was pulled over for a minor traffic violation in 2015, then arrested and jailed, before dying from suicide.
"Through a series of puzzles, encounters, and misunderstandings" of real-life situations, including little-known stories and well-known legal cases, Gladwell discusses how things tend to often go awry when we encounter strangers and what it says about us as people.
The description asks, "How do we make sense of the unfamiliar? Why are we so bad at judging someone, reading a face, or detecting a lie? Why do we so often fail to 'get' other people?"
4. 'The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale #2)' by Margaret Atwood
The Testaments is the much-anticipated sequel to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, where we find out what lies ahead for Offred's future — "freedom, prison, or death." It picks up 15 years later from where The Handmaid's Tale left off.
This book was written for the fans, as Atwood says on the Goodreads website: "Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in."
5. 'Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life' by Ali Wong
You may know Ali Wong from her Netflix comedy hit Baby Cobra, where she was 8 months pregnant and provided unfiltered stories about "marriage, sex, Asian culture" and, most importantly, "why you never see new mom comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads," according to the description. Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life is written as letters she wrote to her two daughters where she tells hilarious stories about her life, which include life lessons, laughs, and disgusting situations all for her daughter's entertainment and knowledge. We're lucky to be along for this ride.
6. 'Ninth House' by Leigh Bardugo
Ninth House will be released on Oct. 1, and it's the first adult novel from Leigh Bardugo. Bardugo is a #1 New York Times best-selling author of YA Fantasy novels, and there is a lot of anticipation on Goodreads about this new novel, which will be part of a series. This story follows a Yale freshman named Alex, who ended up at Yale by pure accident, as she was raised by a hippy mom and she dropped out of high school, got involved with the wrong crowd, and then was the sole survivor of an unsolved multiple homicide. While in her hospital bed, she was offered a full ride to Yale, and Ninth House is the story of Alex trying to figure out why this happened to her of all people.
7. 'The Ten Thousand Doors of January' by Alix E Harrow
Goodreads calls The Ten Thousand Doors of January "a captivating lyrical debut." And in this lyrical debut, it shows how books can truly take you out of not-so-great situations and transport you to other worlds. And in 7-year-old January's case, this literally happens when she finds a mysterious book while living in a sprawling mansion as the ward of a wealthy man who largely ignores her.
Most of the reviews on Goodreads for this book stated they wanted to give it more than the five stars Goodreads offers for book reviews, and everyone was very emphatic that it was one of the best books they've ever read. Excuse me while I go add this to my "To-Read" list now.
8. 'The Turn of the Key' by Ruth Ware
Based on the description, The Turn of The Key is going to be insane — in the best way possible. It's clearly a thriller, and it will most certainly be a page turner. A young woman takes a job as a live-in nanny for a wealthy family, whose house is filled with all sorts of modern gadgets. Nanny Rowan Caine is then in the midst of a murder charge with one child dead and she's in prison. She has to explain to her lawyer in letters she writes from prison about the weird surveillance cameras, malfunctioning technology, the not-so-obedient children, and the fact she was left alone for weeks at a time with no adults except for the handyman. So who is to blame for the murder, and will Rowan ever get out of prison?
9. 'The Whisper Man' by Alex North
If you're looking for a great thriller to read this fall, The Whisper Man is a nice pick. Father Tom and son Jake leave the small town where Tom's wife and Jake's mother suddenly died, but unfortunately the new town they move to is pretty dark. A serial killer named Frank Carter abducted and murdered five residents by whispering at their window, and leading them outside to their deaths — hence why his name is "The Whisper Man." When Tom and Jake settle into heir new home, a boy disappears in a similar fashion as Frank Carter's crimes, so everyone is left wondering if he had an accomplice. Two detectives rush to solve the case, and then Jake begins to act strangely after he hears a whisper at his window.
10. 'Imaginary Friend' by Stephen Chbosky
Stephen Cbosky's Imaginary Friend is definitely a bit different than my favorite novel, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This story focuses on 7-year-old Christopher on the run with his mom, who is fleeing an abusive relationship. He's in a new town, and then he disappears for six days. When he comes back, he has an imaginary friend telling him he has to build a treehouse in the woods by Christmas or the town "won't ever be the same again."
11. 'The Water Dancer' by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Water Dancer follows the story of Hiram Walker, a young man who was born into slavery. When his mom is sold, he lost his memories of her, but gained a "mysterious power." When he almost drowns years later, this special power saves his life, and he tries to escape Virginia and the plantation. Along the way we learn about the "underground war between the slavers and enslaved, guerrilla cells in the wilderness," and the atrocity of separating families and all the violence that occurred.
12. 'Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge)' by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Again is the second novel in a series about Olive Kitteridge. This novel has many different moving parts and tells several stories, including a teenager who lost her father, "a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment," a lawyer who doesn't want her inheritance, and more. And it's all told around curmudgeon Olive, who struggles to understand herself and her own life, while also trying to understand the others in this story.
13. 'Find Me (Call Me By Your Name #2)' by André Aciman
The sequel to Call Me By Your Name, Find Me, is the continuation of the passionate story of Elio and Oliver and we also learn more about Elio's father, Samuel. Samuel is visiting Elio in Rome, and "a chance encounter on the train with a beautiful young woman upends his plans and changes his life forever," the description says. Meanwhile, Elio moves to Paris and also has an affair, all while Oliver is a college professor with a family in New England — that is, until he begins contemplating a trip "across the Atlantic."
14. 'Red at the Bone' by Jacqueline Woodson
An unexpected teenage pregnancy, two families from two different social classes, and a brand-new baby are just a few of the exciting encounters you'll find in Red at the Bone. "As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives — even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be," the description explains.