Once fall comes around, it seems like everyone is looking for spooky reading recommendations. But if you're like me, you're searching for books with fall vibes that won't keep you up at night. If you don't want to read fiction and are still in the mood for something ethereal, moody, or slightly strange, you might be surprised to learn that there are tons of new memoirs that will give you those exact vibes.
Below are 11 new memoirs that play with form, dive into heavy-hitting topics that will make you feel and think. They are slow-moving reads to lose yourself in, an otherwise take on an atmospheric tone. Whether you're a massive memoir fan or hoping to add a few new books to your end-of-year reading stack, you'll find something to love. I recommend grabbing a blanket, a warm drink (and maybe a box of tissues) before you dive in:
'In The Dream House' by Carmen Maria Machado (Nov. 5)
In this memoir, Carmen Maria Machado takes an unflinching look at a past abusive relationship. She uses a different literary device in each chapter (including classic horror themes) to tackle the difficult subject.
'Year of the Monkey' by Patti Smith (Sept. 24)
Smith's latest memoir follows her year-long travels on the coast of Santa Cruz, as she dives into her thoughts on everything from aging to the political climate in the U.S.
'Once More We Saw Stars' by Jayson Greene
Jayson Greene's stunning and heartwrenching memoir details his experience with grief after the accidental death of his two-year-old daughter, Greta.
'I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying' by Bassey Ikpi
In this memoir of essays, Bassey Ikpi shares stories from her childhood Nigeria and her family's move to the U.S. — an assimilation further complicated by bipolar II and anxiety that would go undiagnosed for decades.
'The Crying Book' by Heather Christle (Nov. 5)
The Crying Book is part personal musings on heavy topics like depression, childbirth and motherhood, and part research about crying in history, literature and politics. This book takes a deep dive into emotion and its meaning in our lives.
'The Yellow House' by Sarah M. Broom
In this sweeping memoir, Broom not only tells the story of her own family's history and their home in New Orleans, but dives deep into race, class, generational wounds, and inequality in the southern city.
'Magical Realism for Non-Believers: A Memoir of Finding Family' by Anika Fajardo
In this memoir, equal parts moving and melancholic, Fajardo tracks her family's history from growing up in Minnesota with a single mother, rediscovering her birthplace of Colombia and finding her estranged father there.
'Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls' by T Kira Madden
In poignant and lyrical prose, T Kira Madden takes an unflinching look at her coming of age as a queer teenager in a privileged community, with the specter of her parents' drug abuse and constant internal instability hanging over her.
'Wild Game' by Adrienne Brodeur (Oct. 15)
Adrienne Brodeur's memoir reads like riveting drama. She relates the experience of being co-opted as a co-conspirator in her mother's epic affair with her husband's best friend and dives into big questions of motherhood, legacy and love.
'The Collected Schizophrenias' by Esmé Weijun Wang
This award-winning memoir is Esmé Weijun Wang's intimate and raw look at the effects of mental and chronic illness. It examines her journey to diagnoses, the manifestations of schizophrenia in her own life and the complexity of finding care in a complicated medical system.
'Ordinary Girls' by Jaquira Díaz (Oct. 29)
In her memoir, Jaquira Díaz takes an unflinching look at growing up in poverty, experiencing assault and abuse, dealing with mental illness and challenging our conceptions of girlhood and coming of age.