Have you been waiting for the new releases? We have. This fall is full of promises when it comes to amazing titles. In this article, we’ve prepared a list of ten highly anticipated fall books (among them are How to Say Babylon, Let Us Descend, and The Hungry Season) and are ready to share our excitement with you. Tune in!
Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult
By Maria Bamford
Originally published: September 5, 2023
“Laugh-out-loud funny, weird, and touching—a great example of what a celebrity memoir can bring to readers.”
Meet a memoir fresh from print—Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult—and get a glimpse into the world where you try your best to “participate in something.” Maria Bamford, an immensely popular comedian, recalls her childhood, participation in numerous recovery and self-improvement programs (e.g., Suzuki violin lessons) and fellowships (e.g., Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous), and describes her struggle with mental illness.
If you have ever watched Netflix’s Lady Dynamite, you know what to expect from the book. If you feel you don’t belong anywhere and have exhausted your pool of ideas about what to do next, try this book. It’s a mix of very good humor (after all, Maria Bamford isn’t an accomplished comedian for nothing) with sincerity, which makes Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult a very good read. It’s also a message of hope to those who, like the author, have been struggling with some or other mental illness.
The Fragile Threads of Power
By V. E. Schwab
Release date: September 26, 2023
“A delicious treat for fans of the Shades of Magic series and a lush, suspenseful fantasy in its own right.”
In The Fragile Threads of Power, Schwab returns to the world of her fantastic book, A Darker Shade of Magic (2015), and its sequels to offer readers more of everything they love about the series: more suspense, rich characters, deep relationships, and great storytelling. She also adds the new characters, Tes and Kosika, who blend in well with the returning fan favorites.
The new series is set in Red, White, Grey, and Black London, and you can absolutely expect plenty of tangled schemes and adventures. Fans of The Shades of Magic series—rejoice. Those who haven’t read anything from the series may give it a try first.
How to Say Babylon
By Safiya Sinclair
Release date: October 3, 2023
“More than catharsis; this is memoir as liberation.”
In her memoir, How to Say Babylon, Safiya Sinclair recalls, “In the chaos of our rented house, the poem was order.” Her Jamaican childhood wasn’t great. With a militant Rastafarian father who—in the obsession with his daughter’s purity and in fear of the Western world’s influence—forbade her to talk to friends or wear pants or jewelry, it was miserable and a struggle. A struggle to break free of his expectations and find her own power.
When she was ten, her mother gave her a book of poems, and that’s when she turned to writing poetry. Why do we think it’s a great choice of a read? Among other things and the gorgeous prose, it’s a chance to take a look at the world of Rastafari we know so little about.
By Cassandra Clare
Release date: October 3, 2023
“A wonderfully enjoyable series opener.”
Embark on an epic adventure with Sword Catcher, written by the inspiring Cassandra Clare. Unveil secret plots, ancient magic, and hidden identities as you dive into this captivating fantasy. In Castellane, nobles and criminals alike pursue wealth, power, and pleasure. Here’s Kel. Everyone thinks that he’s the Prince’s cousin, but he’s an orphan turned “Sword Catcher” to this very Pricle Conor Aurelian, whom he considers a brother. And whom he trained to be a double for… and even to die for if needed.
There’s also Lin, a young woman from the Ashkar, a small community where people can still use magic. The two are bound to cause a stir. But wait; the plot will be getting even more twisted with every page, so get yourself comfortable with Sword Catcher, while long-kept secrets begin to unravel and more knowledge comes to light.
Let Us Descend
By Jesmyn Ward
Release date: October 24, 2023
“Ward may not tell you anything new about slavery, but her language is saturated with terror and enchantment.”
This is, perhaps, not the first book you may choose for a light read, but we really hope you give it a try. Let Us Descend takes us on a journey with Annis, a young Black woman who is enslaved like her mother. After her father-slash-sire sells her mother, she has to collect all her courage and skills, everything she’s learned and inherited from her African warrior grandmother, to hold on. Then, she and other slave women are sent off on a long and hard march South to the slave markets of New Orleans.
As she journeys forward, she exposes herself to a realm that lies beyond the boundaries of this world, a realm that is brimming with the elements of nature and the stories of myth and history. Here, she encounters spirits, some who offer comfort and support, and others who seek to exploit and deceive. To be precise, you’ll hardly find anything new about slavery in Let Us Descend, not from the angle of basic historical details. Yet, it’s the words of Jesmyn Ward that will help you think and feel with and for Annis.
The Hungry Season
By Lisa M. Hamilton
Release date: September 23, 2023
“A sensitive and carefully written story that sympathetically depicts the hard lives of refugees in a strange land.”
The Hungry Season is a nonfiction drama and the story of one radiant woman’s quest for survival. Meet Ia, whose birth name was Ai, born during the civil war in Laos in 1964. She belongs to the Hmong community that fled to Thailand after the Communist takeover in 1975. Together with the Hmong, Ia remained in a refugee camp for years—long enough to lose the feel and the possibility of the life they used to live and be self-reliant farmers.
Yet, Ia managed to do something great. She moved to the US with her kids, and there, she started planting and growing a very special sort of rice prized in Southeast Asia (as a sort of income and a connection to the Hmong people). She also started selling it way more expensively than other rice varieties, which helped her family stay afloat and, at the same time, kept the memories alive. It’s not an easy story, but one we strongly encourage you to read. After all, most of us need to understand that “Next year, you can start all over again.“
By Daniel Mason
Release date: September 19, 2023
“Like the house at its center, a book that is multitudinous and magical.”
Have you ever thought about how you live after you’re gone? North Woods can give you a few hints. This novel will tell you the story of a house in the woods of New England through the lives of those who lived there. The house (the cabin) was built by the lovers who fled their Puritan Massachusetts village once and then hosted a variety of inhabitants ever since—from an English soldier to a lonely painter and even a panther. You’ll witness the change in the cycles of history, nature, and language.
You’ll also see how we’re connected to our environment and history. Plenty of topics to expect here, from secrets and destinies to hidden desires and madness. You won’t regret starting the fourth novel by Daniel Mason (who’s also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth (2020), by the way.
The Voyage of Sorcerer II
By J. Craig Venter & David Ewing Duncan
Release date: September 12, 2023
“Important and adventurous science on the high seas.”
Even if you’re not that into science, The Voyage of Sorcerer II will be able to impress you. J. Craig Venter, a biotechnologist and entrepreneur, teams up with science writer and journalist David Ewing Duncan to tell the story of Sorcerer II (a sailboat-slash-research ship) expeditions and a fifteen-year quest to collect DNA from microbes—the world’s oldest and most abundant form of life.
Venter traveled over 65,000 miles around the globe, collecting various marine microbes (e.g., plant-like bacteria that get their energy from the sun or microbes whose genes shield them from ultraviolet light) and totally changing our understanding of the microbiome that sustains us. You’ll also read about the impact we make by littering the ocean (a hint: a bad one). It’s a thrilling read that will take you on a real-life adventure on the high seas!
By Martha McPhee
Release date: September 12, 2023
“A potent exploration of the complicated project of revisiting a childhood and maintaining a family legacy”
Before Martha McPhee wrote her long-awaited memoir, she authored several novels, including her last, An Elegant Woman. Now, here comes Omega Farm: A Memoir, a story of her bohemian childhood and return home to care for her ailing mother. Martha’s upbringing was quite unique in many ways. She spent her childhood at Omega Farm with her four sisters, five stepsiblings, mother, and stepfather.
Her mother was a full-time photographer with her own studio in Princeton, while her stepfather stayed at home and took care of the kids, and he also was so many things. In her book, Martha shares how she made the decision to return to the New Jersey farm and the challenges she faced in restoring all the acres of property in a state of disrepair—from a broken septic system to dying ash trees. She also had to balance taking care of her mother. We are positive you should give this masterful exploration of a complicated family legacy a chance. Not every day you can read such a unique and compelling family story.
By Olga Ravn
Translated by Sophia Hersi Smith & Jennifer Russell
Release date: September 26, 2023
“A stunning book that speaks aloud thoughts the reader believed had been theirs alone in long nursery hours of the night.”
My Work is about motherhood. Meet Anna; she’s a new mother, and she’s lost. After moving with her family to Stockholm, she can’t keep it together, as depression and anxiety threaten to completely take her in. She’s a writer and poet; she used to live the life of the mind.
Now she has to face so many things that make her uncomfortable (to put it mildly)—from breastfeeding to changing diapers—and universally trying to combine writing with the job of raising a child. So she does what many mothers do in her place: she spends too much time doom scrolling and seeks comfort in consumerism by doing shopping she can’t afford. In an attempt to find some sort of support and solace, she starts writing a book. And she repeatedly says she wants “to write a normal book.” So, we don’t know about “normal.” Still, we’d recommend My Work to anyone who wants to read about all sorts of emotions a mother can feel, presented in a mix of different literary forms—fiction, essay, poetry, memoir, and letters—and random chronology. It’s a deep reflection of a woman’s experience as a mother.