Summer may be over, but you still have plenty of things to look forward to this autumn, including an astounding array of must-read new books that span genres and age-groups. If you're anything like me, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed by all your options, so to make it easier for you to choose your next book, I went directly to the experts: Here are the best new books of fall 2019, according to 20 authors.
For this fall reading recommendations list, I asked authors who write in all different genres — young adult author Rory Power, memoirist Carmen Maria Machado, essayist Bassey Ipki, romance author Jasmine Guillory, and many more — to chose the one fall book they're most excited for everyone to read. Each of these books will be released between September and November, so they'll make the perfect addition to your seasonal TBR, whether you're planning on reading in between road trips and pumpkin picking, or just sitting on the couch with a blanket and a hot cup of apple cider. If you're looking for a spooky new thriller, a moving new memoir, or a steamy new rom-com, you'll find it all on the list below:
'I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying' author Bassey Ikpi recommends 'Pet' by Akwaeke Emezi
"What Akwaeke Emezi has done with Pet is extraordinary. They’ve taken the YA genre and spun it on it’s head — it’s a modern futuristic folk tale. What Pet offers is a look at the world in ways we hadn’t yet imagined. Jam is a heroine like no other and it’s a privilege to see the world through her eyes."
'A Prayer for Travelers' author Ruchika Tomar recommends 'On Swift Horses' by Shannon Pufahl
"Richly evocative and narratively distinct, On Swift Horses is the story of Muriel, a vibrant young woman who leaves her native Kansas after the Korean War to travel west with her husband, Lee, and his enigmatic brother, Julius. California lures the trio with cheap land and opportunity, but their journey is complicated by conflicting, emergent desires for autonomy, identity, and love. Secrets dwell in the shadows of Pufahl’s elegant, assured debut, her prose journeying us from the roughhewn landscape of 1950’s Los Angeles all the way to Las Vegas; from Tijuana, Mexico to the Marietas Islands — sparing no illicit pleasure in the barrooms and clandestine hotels in between."
'Don't Date Rosa Santos' author Nina Moreno recommends 'Dear Haiti, Love Alaine' by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite
"Maika and Maritza Moulite’s Dear Haiti, Love Alaine is one of the most unforgettable reads of the year. Told in an epistolary style through emails, texts, recipes, diary entries, letters and more, it’s about a bold and witty Haitian-American girl faced with a disastrous school project that kicks off a season of discovering and uncovering the many mysteries in her life. In a story full of so much heart, humor, and heritage — Alaine Beauparlant is YA’s new favorite heroine."
Nina Moreno's new novel Don't Date Rosa Santos is available now. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite will be released Sept. 3.
'Maybe You Should Talk to Someone' author Lori Gottlieb recommends 'Wild Game' by Adrienne Brodeur
"Adrienne Brodeur is 14 years old when her mother confides in her a secret: She's just kissed her husband's best friend. What follows is a riveting drama, a daughter co-opted as co-conspirator in her mother's epic affair, and the ripple effects this has on the choices Adrienne makes in her own romantic life later on. At its core, though, this is a story about mothers and daughters, about what gets passed through the generations, about how we escape what seem like our destinies, and ultimately, about love — both its limitations and its boundlessness."
Lori Gottlieb's new memoir Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is available now. Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me by Adrienne Brodeur will be released Oct. 15.
'Get a Life, Chloe Brown' author Talia Hibbert recommends 'Open House' by Ruby Lang
"Open House is everything that’s great about contemporary romance. Cute but sexy, fluffy but weighty, it features fully-realized characters with relatable issues stumbling angrily into love against the hot, atmospheric backdrop of summer in NYC. Ty is the adorable gardening hero whose friends are all old ladies; Magda is the struggling but ambitious heroine whose family baggage can’t drag her down. Watching these two circumstantial enemies — she has to sell the community garden he can’t let go — fight their deep connection was the most fun I’ve had in a while. And the dizzying passion between them didn’t hurt, either."
'I Wanna Be Where You Are' author Kristina Forest recommends 'The Good Luck Girls' by Charlotte Nicole Davis
"The book I recommend for Fall is The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis, a novel about five girls who escape a “welcome house” after one of them accidentally kills a man. I was hooked from that description alone. This book has all of my favorite things: strong female characters, adventure, suspense, and a little bit of romance. The fact that this is basically a Black girl western is an added plus. Like me, readers will be eager for book two."
'A Woman Is No Man' author Etaf Rum recommends 'I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying' by Bassey Ikpi
"In a world where mental health is constantly stigmatized and silenced, particularly the mental health of woman of color, Bassey Ikpi’s memoir in essays I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying is required reading for everyone. Bassey digs into stories from her life with raw and rare honesty from ostracizing early manifestations of her bipolar and anxiety as a child that were shamed by her family to dangerous drug-fueled attempts at solace as a young slam poet in New York City to her tumultuous relationships to therapy and medication. You will laugh and cry alongside her and find yourself on these pages."
Etaf Rum's new novel, A Women Is No Man and I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying by Bassey Ikpi are both available now.
'The Wolf Wants In' author Laura McHugh recommends 'Your House Will Pay' by Steph Cha
"Cha has already earned a loyal following in the crime fiction community with her L.A. noir series featuring amateur detective Juniper Song, but her first standalone novel has 'breakout' written all over it. Inspired by the real-life murder of Latasha Harlins, (whose case, along with Rodney King’s, incited the 1992 riots) Your House Will Pay is being billed as an ambitious and powerful story of racial tensions in Los Angeles. It has garnered rave reviews and tons of buzz, and the brilliant, evocative cover speaks for itself. This is a book that everyone will be talking about."
'Spin the Dawn' author Elizabeth Lim recommends 'Our Wayward Fate' by Gloria Chao
"I adored Gloria Chao’s American Panda, which managed to be hilarious and poignant at the same time. So naturally, when she announced her sophomore novel, Our Wayward Fate, I was very excited. When I found out that Our Wayward Fate takes inspiration from the romantic Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers (which, music nerds take note: also inspired a gorgeous violin concerto!), I couldn’t contain myself. I cannot wait [for readers] to see how Gloria weaves it into her latest novel, a contemporary romance about a teen who uncovers dark family secrets when another Taiwanese family moves to her small Midwestern town."
'Royal Holiday' author Jasmine Guillory recommends 'Not the Girl You Marry' by Andie J. Christopher
"Not the Girl You Marry is a ton of fun, and it comes out just when we're all going to need it most. It’s that book that will bring brightness to your November when the sun sets before you leave work; it’s that book that you’ll look forward to reading on the couch with a warm and cozy adult beverage; it’s that book that you’ll sneak away to read on Thanksgiving when your family is on your last nerve. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you swoon, and you’ll close the book with a satisfied sigh."
'Dominicana' author Angie Cruz recommends 'Ordinary Girls' by Jaquira Díaz
"In Ordinary Girls, Díaz does not flinch with the hard hitting details of growing up in communities that deserve our wholehearted attention. She complicates how we imagine girlhood and offers a beautiful memoir written with so much love, compassion and intelligence. This book is a necessary read at a time where the system and the media, is so often working against the survival of women of color. This book burns in the memory and makes one feel all the feelings. A triumph!"
'Wilder Girls' author Rory Power recommends 'The Tenth Girl' by Sara Faring
"I’m so looking forward to The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring, which features a handful of my absolute favorite story elements — a mysterious boarding school and many long-kept secrets — and it’s so well done. Layered and challenging, and full to bursting with intelligence, while at the same time exuberantly bizarre, like it’s having the best time on its own and daring you to join in. I can’t wait for people to read it."
'In the Dream House' author Carmen Maria Machado recommends 'Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl' by Jeannie Vanasco
"It’s hard to overstate the importance of this gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book, which tackles sexual violence and its aftermath while also articulating the singular pain of knowing — or loving, or caring for, or having a history with — one’s rapist. Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless; she is the perfect guide through the minefield of her trauma, and ours."
Carmen Maria Machado's new memoir, In the Dream House, will be available Nov. 5. Things We Didn't Talk About When I Was a Girl by Jeannie Vanasco will be released Oct. 1.
'Miracle Creek' author Angie Kim recommends 'The Starless Sea' by Erin Morgenstern
"Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea is a spellbinding novel about a graduate student who discovers and journeys through a fantastical subterranean library, a dreamlike world with lovesick pirates, painters, cats, dollhouses, and people who love stories and will do anything to protect them. I could not put it down, and when I finished, I turned immediately back to the first page so I wouldn’t have to leave this magical world. If you believe in the power of stories to transcend time and space, to marry love and fate, read this book! An extra treat: her first novel, The Night Circus, is just as immersive — one of my favorite books of all time."
'Ask Again, Yes' author Mary Beth Keane recommends ' Good Husbandry' by Kristin Kimball
"I’ve been making an effort to read more narrative nonfiction and I couldn’t have found a better choice than Good Husbandry by Kristin Kimball. From her naïve beginning and the capriciousness of weather and time, to the particular challenges she faced as a partner and a mother, I felt as invested in Essex Farm as she is. Like all good stories — fiction or nonfiction — Kimball’s memoir considers what it means to build a good, happy life, and how we are tested in that endeavor. You don’t need to know the first thing about farming to love this book."
'Permanent Record' author Mary H.K. Choi recommends 'All This Could Be Yours' by Jami Attenberg
"Jami Attenberg has been dubbed the poet laureate of difficult families and this is her unflinching crowning achievement. All This Could Be Yours follows the Tuchmans in the aftermath of their patriarch’s death and it is glorious. It’s dark, sexy, mordant and the characters are deeply flawed yet relatable in that ‘drag me’ way. It’s set in New Orleans and while Jami’s writing is sparkling and lucid, the muggy heat of the backdrop lends an air of sultry wooziness that evokes day drinking and other amazing decisions. This book captures the intolerable loneliness and occasional futility of loving your family. All This Could Be Yours makes you want to call your mom, get salty when she doesn’t pick up and then let her call go to voicemail when she rings you back."
'Steel Tide' author Natalie C. Parker recommends 'Rules for Vanishing' by Kate Alice Marshall
"Rules for Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall is, frankly, mind-blowingly good. Once every year, a road appears in the woods. If you follow it, you might just unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Lucy Gallows… This story unfolds in a haunting combination of first-person accounts, interviews, snapshots, text conversations, and more. On the surface, it’s a ghost story, but just underneath, it’s an exhilarating, terrifying mystery that will keep you turning pages until the very end."
'The Pretty One' author Keah Brown recommends 'Royal Holiday' by Jasmine Guillory
"I am currently reading Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory. It’s funny, charming, and the kind of swoon-worthy good that anyone could love [in] a romance novel. But, I think what also makes this so special, is that the main character is a 50-something black woman. You're sucked in immediately to the story of an older American woman heading off to England with her daughter for Christmas, and being immersed in the lives of royalty. I love living in this universe that she’s created, and while each book could easily be a standalone, I highly recommend that people go and read all of [Jasmine's books] starting with The Wedding Date."
'Good Things Happen to People You Hate' author Rebecca Fishbein recommends 'The Witches are Coming' by Lindy West
"The world has changed since West’s memoir Shrill came out in 2016. That’s evident in the news cycle, and also in The Witches Are Coming, a much darker collection of essays that focus more on our current political (and literal) climate than on West’s personal life and career. West digs into a lot here — #MeToo, climate change, political correctness, Joan Rivers, Twitter Nazis, why Adam Sandler movies suck — and though it’s clear she’s grappling with what it means to live in a post-Trump world like the rest of us, somehow she manages to do it with humor, and without descending into despair."
'Christmas Shopaholic' author Sophie Kinsella recommends 'The Giver of Stars' by Jojo Moyes
"I was lucky enough to be sent an advance copy of The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. It’s the dramatic, sweeping story of a group of women who work as horseback librarians in Kentucky, at the time of the depression. The novel follows the battles, loves and lives of all the women and is based on a true story. As well as creating wonderful strong characters, Jojo Moyes has an incredible eye for historical detail — I really felt as though I was riding over those Kentucky mountains with those women."