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For Fall 2021, What Should be on your Reading List of the Best New Books?

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more.

We’ll have lots of time to read in the coming weeks, and happily there are a lot of great books out there. Actually, there are so many that it helps to have a guide to help you find the ones you’ll really love. For fall 2021, what should be on your reading list of the best new books? Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum shares her picks for the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more.

What are the best new books to add to your reading list for fall 2021?

It’s back to school! Though many of us have long since graduated, the dawn of autumn inspires an almost Pavlovian response: we see the first signs of the season, and we feel the urge to hit the books, no matter how old we are.

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In many ways, fall is the best time to read. After our summer plans have come to an end, there’s no better way to restore our energy than with a cozy blanket and the world’s greatest book.

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more.

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more.

And if the list of this year’s best-received titles has escaped you, don’t worry – this is your chance to catch up. Here are the ten books we recommend you start with: six of our favorite novels from the past eight months, and four that we’re looking forward to this fall.

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list for fall 2021

1. DeTransition Baby by Torrey Peters.

 

One of the bestselling novels of the year, DeTransition Baby lets the reader explore an unconventional idea of family. When Ames’s girlfriend discovers she is pregnant, she isn’t sure she wants to keep the baby. But he has a solution. He wants to ask Reese – his ex-girlfriend, from before his de-transition – to join their family, and to help them raise the child. Peters’ novel dives headfirst into the complexities of its proposition, showing the nuanced difficulties of gender and motherhood, for both trans and cis women.

BUY NOW: $20.21.

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2. A Passage North by Anuk Arudpragasam.

 

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more.

A Passage North begins with a phone call: Krishan learns that his grandmother’s caretaker, Rani, has been found dead under mysterious circumstances. As he begins to the passage north to attend Rani’s funeral, he is forced to face the lasting impact of Sri Lanka’s civil war, and the devastation for those left behind. Longlisted for the Booker Prize, Arudpragasam’s singular novel grapples with impacts of war and loss that are impossible to erase.

BUY NOW: $23.99.

3. Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead.

 

Ray Carney, hero of Harlem Shuffle, lives a good life. He’s a respected furniture salesman, and he and his wife are expecting their second child. But when he gets roped into his cousin’s jewel heist, he threatens to put all of that at stake. Now he will have to fight to keep his second life a secret, while also fighting to stay alive. Since this new family story is from Pulitzer Prize-winning Colson Whitehead, we know that it’s going to be one of the best of the year.

BUY NOW: $20.49.

4. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia.

 

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more

Of Women and Salt is a book about mothers and daughters, in which trauma stretches through a family’s generations. While struggling with addiction, Jeanette impulsively decides to take in her neighbor’s teenage daughter. This is after her neighbor is detained by ICE. Meanwhile, she struggles with her mother Carmen – who is simultaneously struggling with her own mother. Desperate to learn more, Jeanette goes to Cuba to see her grandmother, in the hopes that she will finally begin to understand the secrets at the root of her family’s story.

BUY NOW: $13.49.

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5. Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead.

 

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more

The plot of Great Circle takes as its starting point some of the real-life adventures of aviator Amelia Earhardt. After being rescued as a baby from a sinking ship, Marian grows up to become a famous pilot. Many decades later, the story of her disappearance in Antarctica is being turned into a movie. An actress named Haley Baxter has been cast to play her. The stories of these two women run parallel through the novel, separated by a hundred years, yet somehow connected and destined to one day meet. Shipstead’s novel is longlisted for the Booker Prize, and is one from this year that you absolutely should not miss.

BUY NOW: $18.00.

6. The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki.

 

The acclaimed author of A Tale for the Time Being is back with The Book of Form and Emptiness, a novel that sounds poised to appeal to adults and young adults alike. After losing his father, teenager Benny Oh begins to hear voices – the voices of all the objects in his house. Desperate for an end to this sudden calamity, he finds his way to the library, where he finally finds his peace and quiet – the objects know to speak quietly – and where he meets a cast of eccentric, empathetic characters who may help him find a greater peace.

BUY NOW: $25.49.

7. Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge.

 

The heroine of Libertie, Libertie Sampson is a young Black woman coming of age in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn. Even though her mother wants her to follow in her footsteps and become a doctor, she has other plans. When a man from Haiti proposes to her, she accepts, thinking that he is the answer she’s been looking for. When she gets to Haiti, her life is not what she expected it to be. Inspired by the true story of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States, Greenidge’s book asks the question, what does it mean to be free?

BUY NOW: $15.16.

8. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro.

 

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more

 

On the longlist for the Booker Prize, Klara and the Sun is the latest novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author. This one is told from the perspective of an AI named Klara, as she journeys from her store to the home of an ailing young girl. Through Klara’s eyes, Ishiguro presents to us a world that is like our own, but shifted slightly – making way for the reader to imagine the possibility of a future with Artificial Intelligence.

BUY NOW: $16.80.

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9. What Storm What Thunder by Myriam J.A. Chancy.

 

Set in Haiti, on the night a 7.0 earthquake shook Port-au-Prince, in What Storm What Thunder, we hear the story of the tragic occurrence through the perspectives of many different characters – including an expat, a drug trafficker, and a taxi driver – all of whom experience the catastrophic event in different ways. With the most recent earthquake in Haiti, this highly-anticipated new release could not be more relevant.

BUY NOW: $24.95.

10. What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad.

 

the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more

In What Strange Paradise, a boat washes up on a small island, carrying only one survivor. Amir is a nine-year-old boy from Syria, who has sailed to the island with refugees from all over the world. When he appears, a teenage girl takes her into his care, though she herself is struggling to call the island home. The book weaves back and forth between these two characters’ stories, showing the way connection and empathy can forge us through even the darkest moments.

BUY NOW: $20.99.

the best new books to add to your reading list for fall 2021

Those are our picks for the 10 best new books to add to your reading list this fall 2021, including fiction, memoirs, histories and more. What’s at the top of your list, dear reader?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

 

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