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blonde woman reading a book in fall.

9 New Fall Books to Read Immediately

Nights are getting longer and the air is getting crisper, making it the perfect time to stay inside with a book—or, even better, to bundle up under a blanket and sit by a firepit or on a porch with one of these nine new fall books.

The Testaments, Margaret Atwood

The testamants book cover by margaret atwood.

Praise be, Handmaid’s Tale fans. A sequel to this smash-hit apocalyptic story is finally on the horizon (pre-order now to get it on September 10). The plot picks up 15 years after the first installment left off, with three female narrators from Gilead telling all.

What People Are Saying: “Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood

The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead

The nickel boys book cover by colson whitehead

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead returns to the literary scene with The Nickel Boys, set in a juvenile reformatory in Tallahassee during the Civil Rights Movement. Devastatingly, this story is based on a real reform school in Florida.

What People Are Saying: “While Whitehead doesn’t reprise the wholesale magic realism of his previous novel—in which the figurative underground railroad of history is made literal—he does pull off a brilliant sleight of hand that elevates the mere act of resurrecting Elwood’s buried story into at once a miracle and a tragedy.”—The New York Times

Stars of Alabama, Sean Dietrich

Stars of alabama book cover by sean dietrich.

The stories of a pregnant 15-year old, a widow with two children, and two migrant workers intertwine in this beautifully written novel set in America’s heartland.

What People Are Saying: “Sean Dietrich has given us an absolute treasure of a novel … Dietrich is an author who understands the hidden landscape of a soul; his voice both clear and authentic. The separate storylines are vivid and distinct yet they also move inexorably closer to each other in a world both cruel and beautiful. Healing and hope come alive in these characters, allowing it to come alive in us.”—New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry

State of Lies, Siri Mitchell

State of lies book cover by siri mitchell.

You won’t know whom to trust in this thrilling suspense novel by Siri Mitchell, in which the protagonist attempts to find out the real truth behind her husband’s hit-and-run death.

What People Are Saying: “Fans of Terri Blackstock will love this fast-paced tale with a surprising, disconcerting finale.”— Publishers Weekly

The Bright Unknown, Elizabeth Byler Younts

The bright unknown book cover by elizabeth byler younts.

Brighton Turner, raised since birth in an asylum in rural Pennsylvania, and her friend Angel attempt to hitchhike to Michigan to find out the truth about their history in The Bright Unknown.

What People Are Saying: “Elizabeth Byler Younts writes with heart, a poet’s pen, and courage. Younts has given us a story which is at once powerful and compassionate, revealing and dignified, heartrending and lyric. Compelling and infused with hope of redemption, The Bright Unknown ushers readers on a journey of empathy. I, for one, am grateful to have read it.”—Susie Finkbeiner, author of All Manner of Things

Polite Society, Mahesh Rao

Polite society book cover by mahesh rao.

Living amid the glitzy high-society scene of Delhi, bored socialite Ania Khurana tries her hand at matchmaking—until a handsome interloper from America comes and changes everything.

What People Are Saying: “Using Jane Austen’s Emma as a springboard, Polite Society takes us into the lives of a group of characters we never want to part with. Pairing stiletto-sharp observation and social comedy with moments of true tenderness, this delicious romp through the mansions of India’s elite celebrates that there’s no one route to perfect happiness.”—Goodreads

Grand Union, Zadie Smith

Grand union book cover by zadie smith.

Award-winning author Zadie Smith is back with an enthralling collection of short stories. Grand Union is composed of 11 new and unpublished stories plus popular reruns from New Yorker articles and others. Pre-order now for an October 8 release.

What People Are Saying: “Smart and bewitching … The modern world is refracted in ways that are both playful and rigorous, formally experimental and socially aware … Smith exercises her range without losing her wry, slightly cynical humor. Readers of all tastes will find something memorable in this collection.”—Publishers Weekly

Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home, Matthew Kepnes

Ten years a nomad: traveler’s journey home book cover by matthew kepnes.

Matthew Kepnes is one of the world’s most popular travel bloggers. His new book chronicles his nonstop travels since he set off on a year-long round-the-world-trip that turned into 10 years, 500,000 miles and 90 different countries.

What People Are Saying: “Throughout his ruminations on how travel affected him, Kepnes interweaves his tales of friends, girlfriends, and great loves discovered among exotic backdrops and how starting a blog ( about his adventures altered the way he traveled. His story is one of heartbreak, self-discovery, and the constant travel itch he had to scratch in order to become the man he was supposed to be. An entertaining, quick read by a man who did what many of us only dream about.”—Kirkus Book Reviews

The Wolf Wants In, Laura McHugh

The wolf wants in book cover by laura mchugh

In small-town Blackwater, Kansas, Sadie Keller investigates the untimely death of her brother. This twisting thriller will keep you guessing until the end.

What People Are Saying: “The Wolf Wants In perfectly balances gripping suspense with stunning, lyrical prose—a rare combination, but one that seems to be McHugh’s signature gift. Atmospheric and chilling, this novel takes place in the twisted, destructive wake of the opioid crisis as one woman struggles for justice and another for redemption. A truly thrilling read.”—Jill Orr, author of the Riley Ellison mysteries

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Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for photos from around the world

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

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