Fresh Fall Reads and the Coziest Classics
When I was in high school and expressed my desire to continue reading and writing well into adulthood, I was often met with skepticism. “You know… books really aren’t going anywhere!” They’d say, “Ebooks will kill print. TV and movies will always be the superior medium.”
Well who’s laughing now, world?! Book sales have INCREASED since 2015 and are only projected to get higher. Now that you’ve indulged my tiny (but persuasive, right?) rant about the book publishing boom, here are some ideas for the best new reads releasing this fall and the coziest classics to curl up with. Also if SZA is onboard with the reading trend, everyone should be. Just saying. Get to page-flipping people! Apologies in advance for my list leaning towards Young Adult.
Fresh Fall Reads:
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green -- Contemporary Fiction; Book Birthday: September 25
Hank Green (½ of the vlogbrothers) published his first book in early fall. Though Hank has always been known as the Green brother focused on science and music, his literary debut is a gamechanger. I’m only a few chapters in and I can already tell how important this book will be to our generation. Hank’s style of writing is determined and intelligent, yet fresh and insightful, as he tells the story of April May who suddenly starts a movement on the web. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is fiction written with a sociological lens exploring our obsession with internet culture and social media fame, and the consequences of both.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera -- YA; Book Birthday: October 9
Ever since these bestselling authors announced they would be collaborating on a book together, I’ve been counting down the days to release! I’ve read all of Adam’s fantastic books and fell in love with Becky’s standout novel Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, right before seeing the amazing movie companion, Love, Simon this spring. Both Becky and Adam know how to write stories driven by fate, and this collaboration focused on two teen boys brought together by… fate, is just the meet-cute novel we need for fall.
Becoming by Michelle Obama -- Nonfiction/Memoir; Book Birthday: November 13
Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was my true introduction into the world of politics as a teenager. Little did I know, when our country voted in the president we needed, we also got a First Lady we deserved. Michelle Obama is an inspiration to women everywhere and I am overjoyed to finally get to read a book in her own words. Michelle will take readers back to before she was First Lady telling personal stories of growing up in Chicago and her experiences as a working mother, and then as the first African-American First Lady. It’s too bad tickets for her book tour are being resold for $6,000 or I’d already have one.
The Witch Elm by Tana French -- Mystery/Thriller; Book Birthday: October 9
Not only has this book created a buzz in Entertainment Weekly and Vogue — I trust the magazines, ladies — but it’s author, Tana French, has received glowing reviews in the past from Stephen King and Gillian Flynn. I am so ready to fall down rabbit holes in this new thriller from a touted crime novelist. The fall calls for spooks and chills thanks to Halloween. Reading a story that kick-starts with a skull being found in the trunk of an elm tree will surely add to the frights.
Light Years by Kass Morgan -- YA; Book Birthday: October 9
An intergalactic romance YA novel set at an academy in space during a dangerous war period? Sign me up. Kass Morgan, bestselling author of The 100 series, pens this new sci-fi series focused on four main characters’ roles and relationships at the Quatra Fleet Academy. The stakes are high and there’s steaminess in the galaxy. I was lucky enough to get an early copy and devoured this book this summer! For fans of her work and anyone looking to hop on the YA sci-fi train, this series-starter is cosmic gold.
A Map of Days: The Fourth Novel of Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs -- YA Fantasy; Book Birthday: October 2
I was not expecting this book to be a reality. So when I heard the author was posing for photos on a swing at BookExpo and promoting Book #4, I was ecstatic. And yes, I sat with him on the swing. The fourth installment in this series brings Miss Peregrine and the Peculiar Children into Jacob’s world for the first time. After reading the chapter sampler, I’m assuming things are just going to go horribly wrong for Jacob and his family now that the kid with a mouth behind her hair is strolling around Florida.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Maybe it’s because fall denotes back-to-school time and my mind wanders to daydreams of my own school days, but The Catcher in The Rye is always a book I want to pick up in the Autumn months. I can just imagine Holden Caulfield stomping down leaf-caked walkways at Pencey Prep being the ultimate literary emo kid. If you haven’t read this essential novel, you’re a phony.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
If I pitched this book as narrated by the character, Death, I think many readers would be turned off. Yet, The Book Thief is a powerful ode to mortality and the way trauma in history affects people at all stages of life. The precious, book-stealing Liesel is navigating adolescence with an adopted family in Germany during World War II. She is one of my favorite contemporary literary characters and I have re-read this book many times because it never loses its power. I fell for Markus Zusak hard and would also highly recommend the Wolfe Brothers series. Bonus: He has a new book out in Fall, Bridge of Clay (YA; Book Birthday: October 9). He’s been overdue to grace us with his literary mastery so I have no doubts this will deliver.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Alright, I admit, I snuck this one in because not only is this book one of my favorites ever (and perfect to read in Fall and ANY season, really), but the Green brothers are just amazing people who deserve their success so I suggesting delving into all of their work. Looking for Alaska is another book set at a boarding school, but Pudge’s story is a poignant take on the realities of adolescence and a character’s attempt to understand and come to terms with the complexities of the dark world around him. If you’re overcoming challenges this Fall and need book therapy, this is the one for you. It won’t lift you up to cheery skies, but it’ll swarm you with empathy as you get lost in Green’s words. Also, you really should read this book before it FINALLY hits the screen, streaming on Hulu as a TV series from none other than The OC creator, Josh Schwartz. This is literally my dream come true!