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The 10 New Books to Read This Fall

The 10 New Books to 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.


The Nix

Nathan Hill

There’s an interesting dynamic shift when a child has to bail a parent out of trouble, especially when they’re a prodigal parent that essentially abandoned their child. The Nix comes at an appropriate time as well, as it deals with sensationalism on the news, the inevitable batshit insane reactions of the internet, and the exhausting political division of the United States. Also to be confronted is how you react to a parent you don’t really know and how that impacts yourself. There’s also the Nix, but since there’s supposed to be some mystery around that, we won’t talk about it. Link


The Leper Spy: The Story of an Unlikely Hero of World War II

Ben Montgomery

Most of us are lucky that our main interaction with leprosy was a quick scene in Life of Brian.  The disease can be a death sentence, often being interpreted as the mark of an unclean or cursed person.  You wouldn’t think that was an advantage, but sometimes it can be.  During the Second World War, Josefina Guerrero used her leprosy as an invaluable tool for the Allies.  Because of her disease, the Japanese wanted nothing to do with her, least of all the touching it would take to properly search her.  Using this, Guerrero became one of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s top spies, smuggling documents and explosives across enemy lines and keeping track of Japanese troop movements.  She’s credited with saving hundreds of lives and is a recipient of the Medal of Freedom, making her one of the more interesting war heroes in a time that was pumping out war heroes like Happy Meals. Link


How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight

Julian Guthrie

The title here’s a bit misleading. You won’t find schematics for the rockets or capsules from the Apollo missions in here. Instead, you’ll find the story of Peter Diamandis, the man who proved commercial space flight was a viable economic pursuit. When NASA’s manned space flight programs started winding down, Diamandis decided he didn’t need NASA to get to space, a ballsy decision. He used Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight as inspiration and instituted a prize for getting him to space. Turns out, people really like winning money. Link


Brief Histories of Everyday Objects

Andy Warner

Not every book you read has to be a weighty slog through the depths of the melancholy human condition. Sometimes you can learn about paperclips. Brief Histories of Everyday Objects is a monochrome graphic novel by award-winning illustrator Andy Warner and delivers exactly what the title promises. In easily digestible tidbits, Warner takes the reader through the origins of Velcro, the Slinky, the Yo-yo, and dozens of other things we never think of as having history. It’s a fun way to give a bit more context to everyday objects and will, at times, remind you the ancient Chinese were way better at everything than the rest of the world. Link


Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill

Candice Millard

We generally think of Winston Churchill as the man who carried Britain through World War II, but we rarely talk about what made him into that person. Candice Millard asked that question and wrote Hero of the Empire as the answer. As a young man, Churchill was pretty active as an officer in British colonial wars in India and Sudan and as a journalist in Cuba during an uprising. He was also imprisoned in South Africa during the Boer War, escaped, rejoined the army, then rescued the guys he was imprisoned with. After this book, Churchill’s later career makes way more sense. Link



Ann Patchett

Sometimes getting a little sweet with someone’s mom has long lasting effects. That’s the central conflict of Commonwealth, where one guy crashes a christening party and makes out with the kid’s mom. From there, we get fifty years of the effects this simple mistake (or not mistake, depending on your interpretation) has on two families. They’re profound effects, by the way. This isn’t a story about how one guy did a weird thing, apologized, and fifty years later everyone’s well-adjusted. Link


The Tetris Effect: The Game That Hypnotized the World

Dan Ackerman

Tetris is one of those cultural touchstones that we assume exist outside of time. A better way to say that is, if we suddenly found hieroglyphs of a Sumerian playing Tetris, Tetris would be the most normal thing in the painting. But, as hard as it is to believe, Tetris isn’t a billion years old. It’s 32. The Tetris Effect is about the invention of Tetris, but could also serve as a biography of its programmer, Alexey Pajitnov, since so much of his life was spent developing his idea. From development to publishing to global success, this is the whole story of the simple Soviet puzzle game. Link


Knives & Ink: Chefs and the Stories Behind Their Tattoos

Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton

Regardless of your personal feelings toward them, you have to admit tattoos have had a weird social arc. They used to mean you were a sailor in the Second World War, then they meant you’d killed at least one person in a biker bar, and now they mean your personal journey has been harrowing and unique. Now chefs’ tattoos are getting some attention. Knives & Ink compiles the stories and recipes of more than sixty-five tattooed chefs from every type of kitchen, including Jamie Bissonette, Mandy Lamb, and Dominique Crenn. It’s a book to read if you’re thinking of getting inked, cooking something, or simply looking for some good old-fashioned inspiration. Link


The Tao of Bill Murray

Gavin Edwards

Bill Murray is no longer a man. He’s a myth. And we don’t say that to draw the obvious connection to that old hackneyed “the man, the myth the legend” platitude. We mean because he’s quickly becoming to pop culture what John Henry was to mountains and railroads. The Tao of Bill Murray attempts to record true stories, so many of which end with the famous “No one will ever believe you” line, and to put them in a philosophical context. Almost like guiding principles. A sort of “the way of Bill Murray,” if you will. There are quite a few anecdotes in the book that didn’t make the more public circuit more famous stories did, so even the biggest Bill Murray fans will find something new here. Link


News of the World

Paulette Jiles

This book strikes us as the 16 Blocks of Westerns. A grizzled law enforcement veteran has to escort an unwilling captive somewhere the captive probably doesn’t want to go and neither of them trust each other. Which is good, since we liked 16 Blocks and we’re always up for a good Western. So while there’s no Bruce Willis or Mos Def, News of the World instead follows Captain Kidd (not that one) as he attempts to reunite the kidnapped daughter of American settlers with her extended family in San Antonio. Being the 1870s, there will be violence. Link

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