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16 Books to Read This Fall

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Molly Wetta

Staff Writer

Molly Wetta is a feminist Gemini vegetarian librarian. She is employed by a public library in a liberal Midwestern college town selecting young adult literature, media, and graphic novels while also managing the library's Twitter and Tumblr, which is fortunate, as her aspirations of being a professor of Buffy Studies didn't pan out. When not working, she is most likely reading existential Russian novels, regency romances, comics, queer YA, or cereal boxes. Sometimes she finds time to volunteer at her local domestic violence shelter or watch CW shows on Netflix with her cats: Spike, Angel, and Furiosa. Challenge her to a game of Candyland or Risk at your own peril, as she is a very competitive player of board games. Blog: Twitter: @molly_wetta

Some look forward to fall because of the promise of pumpkin spice lattes and cooler weather, but I’m here for the books. After reading through my summer 2016 selections, I realized two of my favorite reading experiences were missing from it: vampires and short stories. I’ve made up for it with this list. My picks are still eclectic, with a mix of genres, and continue to be a mix of big buzz books and quieter, under-the-radar novels that piqued my interest. Here are 16 new releases to read for fall 2016.

16 new books to read this fall

leave-meLeave Me by Gayle Forman

September 6th, 2016

I’ll be honest: while I loved If I Stay and Where She Went, I have not been a fan of her last couple YA novels. Still, I am interested enough to check out her first foray into adult fiction about a woman who has had enough and peaces out on her family.


vampire in love

Vampire in Love and Other Stories by Enrique Vila-Matas

September 27, 2016

Short story collections with vampires in the title, plus a Spanish author? I haven’t been this excited since Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Via-Matas is known for his witty, ironic style, so I’m excited about these stories being translated. (Warning: may not contain actual vampires).


intimations-storiesIntimations: Stories by Alexandra Kleeman
September 13, 2016

The jacket copy of short stories often reek of pretension, and that sometimes scares me off them, but when I do allow myself to be seduced by the promise of the wondrously weird collections, I am sometimes rewarded with a delightful reading experience, and remind myself that every story doesn’t have to have a Point-with-a-capital-P. These stories are about what all stories are about—birth, life, death—and do what good stories do in my opinion: reveal the inner lives of their characters.


the lesser bohemiansThe Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride
September 20, 2016

To be fair, I wouldn’t judge you if you picked this up just for the cover. That’s what caught my eye when I snagged a copy of this at Book Expo. Then I remembered how much I liked McBride’s debut, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, which was a kind of stream of conscious novel that offered an unfiltered, un-self-conscious glimpse into the mind of a young girl. It was endearing and frightening and always witty and insightful. Her sophomore novel still has that intensity, but this time the protagonist is dealing with an all-consuming and ill-advised romance.

reputationsReputations by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
September 20, 2016

Before I became a librarian, I briefly pursued a career in academia, where I studied the politics of Latin America in grad school. While that ended up not being the right place for me, I still am interested in Latin American history and politics, so the latest novel from Vaquez about a political cartoonist in Columbia immediately caught my eye. Unsurprisingly, it focuses on a theme prevalent in Latin American politics: how the future is always shaped by the past and the intersection of the personal and private with public personas.

Do You Want To Start a ScandalDo You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
September 27, 2016

Yes. Yes you do want to start a scandal. Though I only recently discovered the Spindle Cove series, the installments I’ve read quickly became some of my favorite historical romances, and this latest addition is oh so fun and definitely sexy.


crosstalkCrosstalk by Connie Willis
October 4, 2016

I keep saying I want more smart sci-fi that is also a romantic comedy, and here it is. Award-winning Willis tackles communication and intimacy in a digital age that’s not only entertaining, but thought-provoking.



wangs-vs-world-jade-changThe Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang
October 6, 2016

Everyone in the book world is ready to cheer on the Wangs—this debut about a Chinese-American family that loses all their wealth but find each other on a cross-country road-trip is at the top of my TBR. I’ve recently fallen in love with but also been annoyed by stories of the 1%, but I’m prepared to enjoy this comedy.

The MothersThe Mothers by Brit Bennett
October 11, 2016

I am a fan of young adult fiction, even when it contains *gasp* love triangles. Still, I often wonder what happens later, when the reckless teens so in love grow up. What if they had chosen differently, what if the ending of the story isn’t so tidy? This exciting debut is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s all about the implications of unraveled secrets of youthful indiscretions, told in captivating prose. It’s about faith and friendship and identity and community, and you’re going to want to check it out.

the-annie-yearThe Annie Year by Stephanie Wilbur
October 11, 2016

This novel had me at “uptight accountant has affair with vo-ag teacher, plus exploding meth labs and high school musicals.” There are simply not enough novels that tackle the hilarious and fascinating dramas that pop up in small Midwestern towns, so I’m excited to check out this one.

hag-seedHag-seed by Margaret Atwood
October 11, 2016

Margaret Atwood reimagines Shakespeare. I mean, come on. This is on your to-read list, right?




Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-GarciaCertain Dark Things by Silvia Garcia-Moreno
October 25, 2016

I already raved about this new vampire story set in Mexico City on a Riot Roundup but I am here to tell you again this is a must read for fans of dark urban fantasy. The way Aztec mythology is woven into the history of vampires makes the premise fresh.


virgin-and-other-storiesVirgin and Other Stories by April Ayers Lawson
November 1, 2016

This has been the year I finally have learned to fully appreciate short stories, which is why so many collections have made this list. These stories promise to be a modern take on Southern Gothic, weaving tales about the intersection of faith and desire, sex and religion. Which is totally my style.

faithful by alice hoffmanFaithful by Alice Hoffman
November 1, 2016

It’s hard to believe that this is my first Alice Hoffman, especially because my sister has recommended I read her for years, but it was the perfect entry into her work for me. Shelby’s journey from guilt-ridden survivor floundering in adulthood to a person coping with tragedy and all her own hangups through forming connections with other people was an engrossing, character-driven story with just enough quirks and humor.

fate-of-the-tearlingThe Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
November 29, 2016

I’ll be honest: the first installment of this series, Queen of the Tearling, was just an average read for me, but I stuck out through the sequel, and was impressed with the unexpected trajectory of the plot and the complicated layers to the story. I’m halfway through the final book in the trilogy, and can say this has been a satisfying fantasy series with interesting characters and complicated mythology and world-building.

The Animators by Kayla Rae WhitakerThe Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
November 29, 2016

The bright, bold color of this ARC caught my eye at the ALA Annual Conference, but I read it for the rare book that centers on a platonic relationship between two women who are both collaborators and friends. Not only is it a foray into the creative world and process, but an honest look at the complicated relationship between partners in that creative process, and all the jealousy and self-doubt that can accompany it.

Any fall releases you’re excited to read or are already recommending to people? Let me know the books on your TBR pile!