Fall 2015's Most Anticipated New Books By Women, From Sloane Crosley To Patti Smith

You’re probably still in summer beach read mode, but put down your copy of The Knockoff for a sec, because it’s time to start talking about the most anticipated books of fall 2015. After all, people start advertising for Thanksgiving decorations and turkeys before Halloween is even over, so there’s nothing wrong with looking ahead a little. Starting in September, you can stack your shelves with debut novels about star-crossed lovers in Africa, humorous essays about anxiety (fun!), some meta fiction from Rainbow Rowell, and Patti Smith’s followup to her stunning memoir Just Kids. And that’s just a start. Yes, everyone’s talking about Jonathan Franzen’s Purity and the return of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, but the books on this list are all written by women, for — well, anyone who wants to read them.

If you’re out of summer reading until then, you’re in luck, because for each fall release, there are always older works by the author you can catch up on as prep. Reading Sloane Crosley’s two previous essay collections might just give you a deeper appreciation of her upcoming novel The Clasp, and Rowell’s Carry On should definitely be read after her novel Fangirl, since the characters are plucked straight from its pages.

So clear some space on your bedside table and get ready for 10 of fall’s most anticipated books.

The Clasp by Sloane Crosley 

When It's Out: October 6.

Why You Should Be Excited: An homage of sorts to Guy de Maupassant’s story The NecklaceThe Clasp is about three estranged college friends who take off on a road trip through France in search of a lost piece of jewelry.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: The Clasp is Crosley’s first novel. If you haven’t read her two previous bestselling books of humor essays, I Was Told There’d Be Cake (a finalist for The Thurber Prize) and How Did You Get This Number, check them out immediately. (That is, if you like to laugh on subways, at the beach, or in line at the DMV.) 

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Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

When It's Out: September 15.

Why You Should Be Excited: More funny essays from writer/producer/actor/director Kaling, this time touching on love, relationships, diets, and the magical land everyone loves to hate: Hollywood.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: If you somehow missed Kaling’s 2012 debut Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), think of it as the prelude to this new book. She’s funny, she’s relatable, and she can skewer Hollywood’s (and America’s) fixations with weight, age, and beauty with her pen (or her laptop).   

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M Train by Patti Smith

When It's Out: October 6

Why You Should Be Excited: Legendary punk singer, artist, and icon Smith meditates on the craft of writing, her life, the universe, and the meaning of life itself.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: Smith’s poetic 2010 memoir Just Kids, about her younger years with equally legendary artist Robert Mapplethorpe, won the National Book Award, and for good reason. Her style is romantic, raw, mysterious, and ethereal. It’s such a beautiful book that it’s worth reading again.

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Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

When It's Out: September 22

Why You Should Be Excited: Lawson (aka The Bloggess) brings her brand of Southern (Texan, to be specific) humor to these essays about her struggles with mental illness. The book’s subtitle is A Funny Book About Horrible Thingsafter all. Yes, she makes anxiety funny.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: Lawson amassed a huge online following as The Bloggess, and in her first book of essays, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson writes about her eccentric upbringing, her kids, her husband, and taxidermy. And yes, she makes those topics funny too. 

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The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age by Joyce Carol Oates

When It's Out: September 8

Why You Should Be Excited: A memoir by one of our most gifted living writers, about her upbringing in rural New York State and the experiences that made her who she is today.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: With Oates, you have options aplenty, but her previous memoir A Widow’s Story and her National-Book-Award-winning Them are good starts. 

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Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

When It's Out: September 29

Why You Should Be Excited: A post-apocalyptic love story set in a drought-ravaged near future.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out Her short story collection Battleborn won a slew of awards, and Watkins was named as one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” Check out Battleborn — it won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Phew. 

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

When It's Out: October 6

Why You Should Be Excited: A fantasy following the triumphs and heartaches of Simon and Baz, characters from the book-within-the-book in Rowell’s bestseller Fangirl.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: Rowell seems to be putting out about a book a year at this point, so there’s plenty to read. But check out Fangirl, since that's where Simon's world originated. 

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Eve’s Hollywood by Eve Babitz

When It's Out: October 6 

Why You Should Be Excited: Babitz — a one-time wild child, Jim Morrison lover (literally), and artists’ muse — chronicles 1960s Los Angeles, and provides a snapshot of bohemian L.A. in all its decadent, decaying glory.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: Babitz isn’t as well-known as she should be. (This was the woman who posed nude while playing chess with legendary artist Marcel Duchamp for a photo in Ed Ruscha’s book Five 1965 Girlfriends.) Her books Slow Days, Fast Company, Sex and Rage, and L.A. Woman might be a little tough to find, but she’s worth your time. This one would look pretty cool on your nightstand next to M Train.

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After You by Jojo Moyes

When It's Out: September 29

Why You Should Be Excited: The sequel to Moyes’ bestselling love story Me Before You.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: Me Before You, obviously! Moyes said she wasn’t planning to write a followup, but tweets and emails from fans changed her mind. 

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Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

When It's Out: September 22

Why You Should Be Excited: A romance about two young girls, both displaced by war, coming of age and falling in love.

What To Read To Tide You Over Until It's Out: Nigerian-born Okparanta was named as one of Granta’s six new voices in 2012, and The New York Times wrote about her first short story collection Happiness, Like Water, “If this is Okparanta’s goal — the distillation of experience into something crystalline, stark but lustrous — she is well on her way there.”

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Image: kaboompics/Pexels

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