15 New Paperbacks About Love At First Sight, Time-Traveling Librarians & More

by Sadie Trombetta

Now that autumn has firmly set in, I can't be the only one who would rather stay in for an evening of marathon reading than venture out into the cold, dark night, can I? If you (like me) plan on spending as much time as you can the next few months reading indoors, then you're in luck, because there are tons of new paperbacks for your fall reading list.

I've said it before, and I will say it again: paperbacks are seriously underrated. Sure, their hardcover relatives are bigger and fancier, but paperbacks have a lot of overlooked benefits. For starters, they are usually cheaper, and because of their size, easier to fit in a bag while commuting or traveling. You can hold them in one hand, and if you like to underline or take notes in your book, paperbacks are easier to fold and bend without ruining. Plus, they are the perfect kind of book to have a serious marathon reading session with. If you've ever struggled to get comfortable with a 900-page hardcover, you know exactly what I mean.

Are you ready to start hibernation early this year? Then grab your coziest sweatpants, your warmest blanket, your most delicious tea (or, you know, wine), and one of these 15 new paperbacks. Whether you're looking for a romantic love story, a thrilling mystery, a powerful essay collection, or a moving literary novel, there is something on this fall reading list for you.

'Sugar Land' by Tammy Lynne Stoner

Dara is a teenager in 1923 when she falls in love with her best friend, another girl, in their small town of Midland, Texas. Scared of what might happen, she takes a job at the Imperial State Prison Farm for men, where she meets the legendary Lead Belly, a real-life blues singer who eventually sings his way to freedom, and in the process, shows Dara how to achieve her own. A powerful paperback that doesn't pull any emotional punches, Sugar Land is a debut you don't want to miss.

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'Tell Me You're Mine' by Elisabeth Norebäck

A happily married mother to a 13-year-old son, Stella Widstrand lives a mostly happy life, but she has never been able to let go of the baby she lost over 20 years ago during a family trip to the beach. Alice is believed to have been drowned, but when a young woman named Isabelle comes to Stella's clinic, she is convinced her new patient might actually be her daughter, and there is no limit to what she is willing to do in order to find out the truth. A gripping story about love, motherhood, guilt, and obsession, Tell Me You're Mine will delight fans of the domestic thriller.

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'Friday Black' by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

From a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree comes a must-read short story collection, Friday Black. Using satire, surrealism, and a hint of the absurd, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah explores issues of race and cultural unrest.

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'One Day in December' by Josie Silver

When Laurie's eyes meet Jack's for the first time through the fog of a bus window one snowy December day, she does not know his name, but she does know they are meant to be. That is why, a year later, she is devastated when she meets her best friend Sarah's new boyfriend: Jack. Over the next decade, Laurie, Sarah, and Jack's lives become more and more intertwined as they struggle to navigate friendships, heartbreak, missed opportunities, and second chances. Tender and emotional, One Day in December is a touching love story that will warm your heart even on the coldest of days.

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'Scribe' by Alyson Hagy

In a world ravaged by civil war and disease, one young woman allows a migrant group to set up temporary camp on the family farmstead where she was raised, where her own sister met a tragic end. Her ability to make paper and ink and her letter-writing skills have helped her stay alive, but when an unusual request comes from a mysterious man with hidden motivations, it sets off a series of troubling events that will change the course of the girl's life and everyone around her. A delicious mix of traditional folktales and post-apocalyptic fiction, The Scribe is a compelling meditation on the power of words.

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'The Proposal' by Jasmine Guillory

When her actor boyfriend proposes to her at a Dodgers game after only a few months, Nikole Paterson has no problem saying no. What she does have a problem with is the stadium of judgmental fans and the army of angry social media posts that follow. Luckily, handsome doctor Carlos Ibarra is there to help in more way than one, but when their rebound romance starts to morph into something else, Nik has to decide whether she wants to pump the breaks or go full-steam ahead into the unknown.

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'Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of '80s and '90s Teen Fiction' by Gabrielle Moss

From Bustle's features editor, Gabrielle Moss, comes Paperback Crush, a fun and hilarious trip down memory lane through the lens of '80s and '90s teen fiction. As funny as it is fascinating, this pop culture history is a must-have for anyone who still treasures their collection of The Baby-sitters Club books.

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'You Were Always Mine' by Nicole Baart

Newly separated and living on her own with her two sons in a small Iowa town, Jessica Chamberlin is just trying to keep it together, but it seems tragedy follows her wherever she goes. When she learns that her estranged husband was in contact with her adoptive child's birth mother, she is determined to find out the truth — no matter what the cost. An electrifying family drama that shows the dark side of adoption, You Were Always Mine is the kind of book you will want to finish in one sitting.

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'The Witch of Willow Hall' by Hester Fox

Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean you have to stop reading ghost stories. In fact, The Witch of Willow Hall, an eerie enchanting tale about the Salem witch trials and the women it left behind, is the perfect excuse to indulge in another fine work of gothic fiction.

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'The Sadness of Beautiful Things' by Simon Van Booy

In his newest book of stories, award-winning author Simon Van Booy presents a collection of moving narratives about people: How they live, who they love, why they grieve, and how they survive. A slim but powerful book, The Sadness of Beautiful Things is a gorgeously wrought, emotionally stirring collection you will want to savor.

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'How to Be Alone: If You Want To, and Even If You Don't' by Lane Moore (Nov. 6)

From former Sex & Relationships Editor for Cosmopolitan and host of the comedy show Tinder Live with Lane More comes an honest, hilarious, and deeply intimate collection of essays about the author's own life. Featuring candid stories about mental health, poverty and homelessness, complicated family relationships, being a queer woman, and so much more, How to Be Alone is a profound first book from a truly talented writer.

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'The Mortal Word' by Genevieve Cogman (Nov. 27)

I always look forward to Genevieve Cogman's addictive Invisible Library novels, and the latest installment does not disappoint. In this new adventure, time-traveling Librarian spy Irene is tasked with solving the case of a dragon who was murdered at a peace conference before the world spins out of balance and the lives of her own parents become collateral. An exciting romp through 1890s Paris, The Mortal Word will please fans of the series and newcomers alike.

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'The Museum of Modern Love' by Heather Rose (Nov. 27)

After unexpectedly separating from his wife, Arky Levin thinks he finally has the time and space he needs to work on his film scores, and yet, he feels totally stuck. That is, until he stumbles into an art exhibition — based on the real piece of performance art by Marina Abramović in 2010 — that finally allows him to see what is missing from his life and what he must do to get it. Beautiful and provocative, The Museum of Modern Love is an unforgettable story about life, love, and art's ability to transform both.

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'My Favorite Half-Night Stand' by Christina Lauren (Dec. 4)

Determined to get dates to the university's black tie gala, permanently single Millie Morris and her group of best guy friends and fellow professors make a pact to join online dating services. While the guys find one potential date after another, Millie's digital inbox is flooded with dick pics and total creeps. That is, until she invents a fictional profile persona that allows her to be way more vulnerable than she can be in person. When it is matched up with Reid, the same friend she had a sexy half-night stand with after making the pact together, Millie is faced with losing her best friend, or missing out on a real chance for love. A hilarious and heartfelt portrayal of modern dating, My Favorite Half-Night Stand will sweep rom-com fans off their feet.

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'Milkman' by Anna Burns (Dec. 11)

In December, American readers will finally be able to get their hands on the winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize, Milkman. Set in an unnamed city in the '70s during a period of intense political violence and deadly conflict, it follows an unnamed woman as she is stalked and abused by a local paramilitary. A pulsating story about violence, paranoia, alienation, and survival, this award-winning novel deserves a place on everyone's fall reading list.

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