15 New Books To Stay Home & Read With A Mug Of Tea

by Kerri Jarema

When it comes to the perfect fall reads, nothing comes to mind more to me than an atmospheric read that you just have to hunker down and read to fully enjoy. Summer reading — for me, at least — tends to be all about flying through beach reads, funny memoirs, and lots of contemporary YA. But the fall is when my brain starts to slow down a bit, and my reading follows suit. It's not quite that I want to read less, but with only a few books left to make my yearly goal, I feel like I can take a breather and sink my teeth into some reads that require a bit more attention.

These are the books with gorgeous writing, intricately written characters, and engrossing plots that are calling out to be read on one long, lazy afternoon indoors with a cup of tea and a soft, warm blanket. And if you're anything like me, you want some variety on your cozy TBR; from literary fiction to young adult and even some memoir, there will definitely be a few picks on the list of 15 below (all released in the second half of 2017) that will appeal to you. Now all you need is a couch or reading chair, a snuggly throw, and a mug of something hot to get your read on.

'Goodbye, Vitamin' by Rachel Khong

A few days after Christmas in a small suburb outside of L.A., pairs of a man's pants hang from the trees. The pants belong to Howard Young, a prominent history professor, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Freshly disengaged from her fiancé, Ruth quits her job and arrives home to find her parents' situation worse than she'd realized. She throws herself into caretaking: cooking dementia-fighting meals, researching supplements, anything to reignite her father's once-notable memory. Told in captivating glimpses of insight, humor, and tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of life.

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'Stay With Me' by Ayobami Adebayo

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. But four years into their marriage — after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures — Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time — until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin's second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant, but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine.

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'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng

In Shaker Heights, a placid suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren, who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl. Soon all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

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'You Don't Have to Say You Love Me' by Sherman Alexie

When his mother passed away at the age of 78, Sherman Alexie responded the only way he knew how: he wrote. The result is this stunning memoir, featuring 78 poems, 78 essays and intimate family photographs in which Alexie shares raw, funny, tender memories of his childhood —growing up dirt-poor on an Indian reservation, one of four children raised by alcoholic parents. Throughout, a portrait emerges of his mother as a beautiful, abusive, intelligent, complicated woman. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me is a powerful account of their relationship, and an unflinching remembrance.

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'Genuine Fraud' by E. Lockhart

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. There is an intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. A bad romance, or maybe three. Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her. A girl who refuses to be the person she once was. This is the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? It's up to you to be the judge.

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'See What I Have Done' by Sarah Schmidt

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. As the police search for clues, Lizzie becomes increasingly distraught, her memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the fictionalized events of that fateful day are slowly revealed.

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'Wild Beauty' by Anna-Marie McLemore

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, a strange boy appears in the gardens. The boy is a mystery to Estrella, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his past, La Pradera leads them dangerous secrets.

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'What We Lose' by Zinzi Clemmons

Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love. In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold. Through emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss.

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'Rabbit Cake' by Annie Hartnett

Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, and that a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly 18 months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t know—like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother's silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother's death, in this emotional and witty exploration of grief and family.

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'The Leavers' by Lisa Ko

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. With his mother gone, 11-year-old Deming is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

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'I Hear She's A Real Bitch' by Jen Agg

I Hear She’s a Real Bitch tells the story of how Jen Agg fought her way through the patriarchal service industry and made it happen, from getting her first job pouring drinks all the way to starting Toronto’s culinary revival and running some of Canada’s most famous restaurants. Agg’s frank and often hilarious observations on an industry in which sexism has been normalized, her memoir is more than just a story about starting a restaurant: it is a rallying cry for a feminist revolution in the culinary world.

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'The Good People' by Hannah Kent

In 19th century Ireland Nora is bereft after the loss of her husband, and alone in caring for her young grandson—a boy who can neither speak nor walk. Nora enlists the help of two women just as the rumors are spreading: the talk of unexplained misfortunes and illnesses, and the theory that Micheal is a fairy child to blame for the bad luck the valley has endured since his arrival. As the trio's situation grows more dire, their folkloric practices become increasingly daring—culminating, at last, in an irreversible act that will put all their lives in danger.

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'Release' by Patrick Ness

Adam Thorn is having what will turn out to be the most unsettling, difficult day of his life, with relationships fracturing, a harrowing incident at work, and a showdown between this gay teen and his preacher father that changes everything. It's a day of confrontation, running, sex, love, heartbreak, and maybe, just maybe, hope. He won't come out of it unchanged. And all the while, lurking at the edges of the story, something extraordinary and unsettling is on a collision course.

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'Sourdough' by Robin Sloan

Lois Clary is a software engineer who codes all day, her human contact limited to the two brothers who run the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall. But when they close up shop, they give Lois the sourdough starter used to bake their bread. She must keep it alive, they tell her—feed it daily, play it music, and learn to bake with it. Lois is no baker, but she is encouraged to take her homemade bread to the farmer’s market, and a whole new world opens up. She soon discovers a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly?

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'It's Messy' by Amanda de Cadenet

Amanda is on a mission to facilitate conversations that allow all women to be seen, heard, and understood. Through her multimedia platform The Conversation, she interviews some of today’s most bad ass women—from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga—in no-holds-barred conversations that get to the heart of what means to be female. Now, in It’s Messy, Amanda offers readers an extension of that conversation, inviting them into her life and sharing her own story. Through it all, she offers an original perspective as a feminist on the front lines of celebrity culture.

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