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10 New Books You Should Read This Fall

10 New Books You Should Read This Fall

Whether you read on a tablet, Kindle, or still prefer the smell of a freshly cracked paperback, finding your next book is never easy. You could never read all the new novels, biographies, or nonfiction tomes released each week, so we’re here to help. These are a handful of the new or upcoming books we think deserve a space on your eReader or nightstand this fall.

Lake Success

Gary Shteyngart

Available Now

It’s hard to make the 0.1 percent feel like normal people, since most of what we hear about them is cartoonishly evil tales of wealth consolidation, modern work exploitation, and artificial wage suppression. If you really want to, as Gary Shteyngart does in Lake Success, slapping them across the face with the real world is a good start. It’s a funny book, so the characters in it deal with some level of absurdity. But they’re absurd on their own, so there’s still some natural order to the chaos. $19


Nico Walker

Available Now

The next step in fighting the opioid epidemic is turning it into a human issue instead of a political talking point. Cherry is working toward that next step. It’s about a young combat medic who’s sent to Iraq, where war involves a lot more porn and improvised drugs than anyone expected, especially Cherry’s narrator. Then he comes home and, along with his girlfriend, gets pulled down into the depths of the opioid crisis sweeping through every part of the United States. It’s a tough read, almost like if someone combined Jarhead and Trainspotting, but it’s worth it in the long run. $17

Like War: The Weaponization of Social Media

P.W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking

Available Now

The tonal shift in social media is not a new occurrence (think muckraking and yellow journalism of bygone eras). The new thing about it is the speed and accessibility. Anyone with an internet connection can establish a new celebrity/political/social/ethnic/economic hate club and post vehemently and endlessly about why they have such strong convictions about what’s ruining the country. Like War attempts to understand and explain why social media has fallen prey to such a dramatic and damaging shift, and will likely be a cause of yet another wave of “Why I’m Quitting Facebook” essays. $19

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, The Korean War’s Greatest Battle

Hampton Sides

Available Now

As people try to understand how American foreign policy became what it is, the Korean War is coming back into the historical spotlight. That’s good. The conflict was overshadowed by two enormous clashes, World War II and Vietnam, but is arguably as influential as either one. The Korean War blends the altruism and decency of the Second World War with the politicization of Vietnam, creating a conflict that’s ridiculously difficult to fully understand. On Desperate Ground attempts to shed a bit of light on the battle at the Chosin Reservoir, the biggest individual battle of the conflict. These were brutal conditions for both sides and knowing more about it helps clarify America’s place in the Cold War and beyond. $20

Washington Black

Esi Edugyan

Available Now

We’re not trying to make excuses for our own country’s past misdeeds, but we should remember that not all slave stories come from the American South. The entire western hemisphere played host to African slavery. Washington Black tells one such story. George Washington Black was born into slavery in Barbados and, at only eleven years old, is chosen to become the manservant of Christopher Wilde, Black’s master’s brother. But instead of a horrifying existence, Black is brought into Wilde’s world of exploration, naturalism, and even abolition. Obviously things have to go wrong, but when they do, it’s for both master and servant, drawing the two even closer than before. $18

The Ragged Edge of Night

Olivia Hawker

Available Now

A bit of espionage in World War II is always a good foundation for a story. It’s naturally interesting, vicariously fun, and the stakes are already high. In the case of The Ragged Edge of Night, we get a great look at what it was like to be a German victim of Nazism in the 1940s. Not every German was completely sold on Hitler and his Nazis, and sometimes they were the ones doing a lot of the internal scheming and plotting to foil Nazi plans. That’s approximately what this book deals with and does it extremely well. $16

Killing Commendatore

Haruki Murakami

Available Now

Haruki Murakami has written short stories and novels we love, so we keep our eyes open for when he has something else coming out. Killing Commendatore is difficult to describe and the closest we can get is to say it’s a sort of modern-day fantastical Odyssey, though that doesn’t quite do it, because this is definitely all Murakami. There’s no borrowing or stealing about it. He jumps across time and space, into different dimensions and across supernatural phenomena. Read it yourself and see if we got anywhere close with our Odyssey comparison. $20

Frederick Douglass

David W. Blight

October 16

Frederick Douglass is one of a handful of Civil War civil rights leaders we still learn about in school and to our teachers’ credit, they do a pretty good job with him. By the time we leave, we know his name, have a good idea what he did, and know why his work has stuck around as long as it has. But since we have to move on to other subjects, we don’t have time to fully dissect the man’s life, which is a shame, because Douglass was a busy guy. This biography is the first to make use of new information in a private collection as well as recently rediscovered newspapers from Douglass’s own publication. It’s a deep dive into one of the most intelligent Americans to ever live. $24

Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce

Colm Tóibín

October 30

Traditionally, men’s fathers have the biggest influences on who they become as adults. That could be out of admiration, hatred, or a mix of both. For Irish men like Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, and James Joyce, their relationships with their fathers were huge factors in who they became as adults, with each of them display a healthy mix of admiration and hatred for their patriarchs. So much so that each of them drew heavily from their family life in their later writings. Irish and Irish-American readers will get the most from a book like this, but anyone who reads it will learn something about their fathers, for good or for bad. $17

Beastie Boys Book

Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz

October 30

This book is exactly what you’d expect from the Beastie Boys. It barely makes any sense when you’re reading it, but by the end you realize you’ve just read something unique made by guys with too much talent. This is the Beastie Boys in their own words, with stories only they could tell, in ways only they could tell them. It’s entertaining, fun, educational, humorous, and distinct. We’d say we hope more musical memoirs were written like this, but we’d be lying. We don’t want any others like this, because that’d make the Beastie Boys less special. Unless Diamond and Horowitz start ghostwriting biographies, which we’d be okay with. $35