September 21 is officially the start of fall, which means that it’s time to stock up on books that will keep you entertained (as well as informed) while enjoying the changing season. Tapping into its network of 40 million readers, Goodreads has put together a list of fall books that are just starting to break out as well as others that are already clear favorites.
This debut novel from a writer who is better known as a superstar literary agent is generating both a lot of anticipation and also stellar reviews on Goodreads. One Goodreads member, Maxwell, says, “It’s these kinds of books, ones that you can’t put down, that bring you to tears, or resonate deeply within you, that stay with you the most. It makes you grateful for the community around you; friends, family, even the people you don’t think affect your life, but at the end of the day are all part of your story.” Tip: This is a great book club choice, likely to provoke a lot of discussion about regret, redemption, and how life is impacted by small decisions and actions.
From the author of best-seller The Secret Keeper comes a new mystery set in Cornwall. A child goes missing in 1933, and in 2003, a London police officer on disciplinary leave stumbles across the case and starts investigating. On Goodreads, Susan says, “The book has so many layers and so many secrets that it’s like an onion. The layers keep being peeled away and everything you thought you knew is gone in a poof of smoke. Things keep being revealed and you can barely put the book down because you just have to know what’s going to happen next.” (Will be published on October 20, 2015)
One of the most talked-about literary novels this fall, Fates and Furies is getting rave reviews from readers on Goodreads. In this story about a marriage of 24 years, you first hear the husband’s side and then the wife’s. Karen’s review on Goodreads says, “this is a story of the moving parts that keep a marriage going; the sacrifices and the machinations under the smooth façade. It’s about how much work it takes to make it look effortless. It’s about secrets.”
A coming of age story about a young woman called Ijeoma that reveals the suppression LGBTQ people continue to face daily in Nigeria. In her Goodreads review, Betsey writes, “As the story progresses with a compassionate and vital energy, the reader is taken on a courageous journey of a woman who is fighting for love, family, personal justice, and as sense of inner peace. Okparanta, in this touching novel, gives voice to the many Nigerians who have been forced to go into hiding. She speaks up for love, in different forms.” (Will be published on September 22, 2015)
If your knowledge of the Bible’s King David is limited to the battle of David & Goliath, this book by the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning People of the Book will open your eyes to his extraordinary life and times. Goodreads reviewer Tony writes: “Brooks’ capacity to tell a gripping story, of a person who is immensely talented and deeply flawed is wonderful. David has an insatiable hunger for victory, love and sex. He is driven to rule and all that this entails—there is as much blood and slaughter as in several seasons of Game of Thrones here and almost as much lust.” (Available on October 6, 2015)
Everything about this debut novel is big; from the bidding war between 10 publishers which led to an advance of nearly $2 million to its 944-page length and its pantheon of vivid characters who live in the New York City of the 1970s. Goodreads member Susan says, “To try to capture the essence of this is impossible, but I would suggest that if you have read, and enjoyed, books such as “The Goldfinch,” you might also like this. It has a huge depth and takes in disgruntled youth, those living on the margins, the ultra wealthy, the art scene, drugs, infidelity, insider trading, and much more.” And for Goodreads member Loring: “This book will haunt any reader for months, perhaps years, because it never is quite clear what we have and have not lost in the fire.” (Available on October 13, 2015)
In this dark and peculiar fairy tale, high-jinks ensue when Lucien Minor takes a job at the isolated Castle Von Aux as an assistant to the majordomo. There’s a crazy missing baron to find, the heart of the winsome Karla to win, and many secrets to uncover. Goodreads member Sarah calls it “wonderfully smart … a yarn for adults, a fable without morals/talking animals, and it made me remember what it felt like to be a wide-eyed kid being told a new favorite story of the very first time."
This is the revealing and raw memoir of Carrie Brownstein, the star and co-creator of the award-winning series, Portlandia, and musician in the feminist punk band Sleater-Kinney. Goodreads member Lisa calls it “Terrific: sharp, smart, introspective, complex, funny, and sad. What you (I) want in a music memoir – a little creative process, a little zeitgeist of the times, a lot of self-awareness without too much self-indulgence.” (Available on October 27, 2015)
Secret identities. A request to dig up a body. The debate over the heir to a dukedom. Sounds like something out of a novel, but this is the true story of one of the most famous court cases in the Edwardian era in England. Jane sums up many Goodreads reviews with “The question at the center of the case—whether T C Druce and the 5th Duke of Portland were two men or one—was beautifully balanced, and as the case twisted and turned, as new claimants and new evidence emerged, I could never quite make up my mind. I knew I could go away and look up the case, and I so wanted to know what would happen, but I resisted because I knew this was too good a book to spoil.” (Available on October 5, 2015)