Ah, autumn: the crisp air, the gorgeous foliage, the yummy apples and ripe pumpkins, and . . . the perfect fall book club reads. We can go on and on about the reasons to love fall, but let’s be honest: we’re mostly thrilled about the novels we’ll be reading in our book clubs this season. Here are some reads for your club to tackle this fall.
When a middle school girl is abducted in broad daylight, her fellow student witnesses the crime and struggles to cope with the tragedy—spending most of her time in her room, channeling the victim’s whereabouts. Like EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU and ROOM, THE FALL OF LISA BELLOW is an edgy and original novel about coping, coming-of-age, and forgiveness.
If your book club loved Khaled Hosseini's THE KITE RUNNER, THE MAP OF SALT AND STARS should be your next read. This rich, moving, and lyrical debut novel is the story of two girls living 800 years apart—a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker. Placing today's headlines in the sweep of history, where the pain of exile and the triumph of courage echo again and again, THE MAP OF SALT AND STARS is an epic story of one girl telling herself the legend of another and learning that, if you listen to your own voice, some things can never be lost.
From the author of WE ARE CALLED TO RISE comes a brilliantly conceived novel that will make you stop everything and read. IN THE MIDNIGHT ROOM follows the interconnected lives of four women in Las Vegas, each of whom experiences a life-changing moment at a classic casino nightclub.
Crisp as a gin martini and fresh as a twist of lime, THE NECKLACE is a charming novel about two generations of Quincy women—a bewitching Jazz Age beauty and a young lawyer—who are bound by a spectacular and mysterious Indian necklace. If you loved the 1920s glitz and glam of THE GREAT GATSBY, reading Claire McMillan’s novel is the best way to transition from summer to fall. Round out your book club meet-up with a martini to accompany this intoxicating story.
Meg Wolitzer continues to be a mainstay on our book club roster. In her latest novel, THE FEMALE PERSUASION, she explores power and influence, ego and loyalty, womanhood and ambition. When a shy college freshman, Greer Kadetsky, meets the dazzling persuasive and elegant 63-year-old Faith Frank, she’s lead down an exciting path winding toward a future she’d always imagined.
Filled with lovable, quirky characters, this charming debut novel is the story of a woman’s journey to win the world’s most important violin-making competition, repair her broken heart, and face her traumatic past. If your book club adores eccentric characters like Eleanor Oliphant and Louisa Clark, and the romance of a Parisian setting, GOODBYE, PARIS is the dream book club pick.
If your book club is going to dig into a nonfiction title this fall, why not read an incredible true story about a group of amazing women? Written with a sparkling voice, THE RADIUM GIRLS fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances.
Book clubs that loved Mindy Mejia’s GONE GIRL–esque thriller EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE will flock to her latest mystery, LEAVE NO TRACE. When Maya Stark is assigned to be the therapist to a damaged young man who was lost in the woods for ten years, she doesn’t realize how entwined their pasts are—as well as their futures.
Your book club probably read Nicole Krauss’s A HISTORY OF LOVE e a few years ago. Trust us, you’ll want to read FOREST DARK next. It’s about Jules Epstein—a retired New York lawyer who, after 68 years of hard work, is making a transition. He travels to Israel with a nebulous plan to honor his parents, but he’s sidetracked by a charismatic American rabbi and his beautiful daughter. Bursting with life and humor, FOREST DARK is a profound, mesmerizing novel of metamorphosis and self-realization—of looking beyond all that is visible towards the infinite.
Stretching from the early 1970s in the Iowa farmlands to suburban Chicago and across the map of contemporary America, THE YEAR WE LEFT HOME follows the Erickson siblings as they confront prosperity and heartbreak, setbacks and triumphs, and seek their place in a country whose only constant seems to be breathtaking change. (P.S. Book clubs that love this book will also want to read Jean Thompson’s new novel, A CLOUD IN THE SHAPE OF A GIRL.)
FEVER is an ambitious retelling of “Typhoid Mary.” Mary Mallon emigrated from Ireland at age 15 to make her way in New York City. Brave, headstrong, and dreaming of being a cook, she fought to climb up from the lowest rung of the domestic-service ladder. Then one determined “medical engineer” noticed that she left a trail of disease wherever she cooked and identified her as an “asymptomatic carrier” of typhoid fever. With this seemingly preposterous theory, he made Mallon a hunted woman. In the imagination of Mary Beth Keane, Mary Mallon becomes a fiercely compelling, dramatic, vexing, sympathetic, uncompromising, and unforgettable heroine your book club will love.