30 of the Buzziest, Best Fall Books of 2022

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Liberty Hardy

Senior Contributing Editor

Liberty Hardy is an unrepentant velocireader, writer, bitey mad lady, and tattoo canvas. Turn-ons include books, books and books. Her favorite exclamation is “Holy cats!” Liberty reads more than should be legal, sleeps very little, frequently writes on her belly with Sharpie markers, and when she dies, she’s leaving her body to library science. Until then, she lives with her three cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon, in Maine. She is also right behind you. Just kidding! She’s too busy reading. Twitter: @MissLiberty

If you’ve been hanging around Book Riot for any amount of time now, you know that I live and breathe books. I work mostly with new release information for my jobs, and my brain pan is crammed full of upcoming releases. So you also know that it is SO hard for me to make these lists because I hate choosing when so many are worthy. There are a million upcoming books that I want to put in front of your eyeballs! But it would take me a long time to type up a million titles, so I have narrowed it down to 30 of the buzziest, best fall books of 2022. That’s big pick energy.

You won’t be disappointed, I’m sure. In this list, you’ll find dazzling debuts, highly anticipated works from favorite authors (living and dead), exciting nonfiction, and more. And be sure to read all the way to the bottom — I’ll hook you up with some links to find even more titles to tantalize your TBR! And my most anticipated book of the fall? It’s Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. I didn’t include it on the list, because it’s the third book in a series, and you should start at the beginning, with Gideon the Ninth. Just be ready to have your world rocked. Now, here are those best fall reads for 2022 I told you about!

cover of No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay by Julian Aguon; photos overlapping in the wings of a butterfly

No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies: A Lyric Essay by Julian Aguon (September 13)

Human rights lawyer Aguon has penned a series of powerful essays about his own life. They’re interwoven with a call for change and justice for people, Indigenous peoples especially.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton (September 13)

Beaton, best known for her Hark, a Vagrant comics, has written and illustrated this incredible memoir. It’s about her life before she was a well-known artist, when she went to work in the harsh climate of the Alberta oil sands to pay off her student debt.

Moonflower by Kacen Callender (September 6)

This is the latest in Callender’s outstanding career! A career which includes many award-winning books for children and adults, like King and the Dragonflies, winner of the National Book Award. It’s a sensitive and important middle grade novel about mental illness and hope.

Kiss Her Once for Me by Alison Cochrun (November 1)

Cochrun is following up last year’s runaway romcom hit The Charm Offensive with another adorable romance. When Ellie agrees to be the fake fiancée to help her landlord obtain his inheritance, she’s shocked to discover his sister is the one-night stand who broke her heart a year earlier.

cover of The Family Izquierdo by Ruben Degollado; illustration of a black crow in the middle of a floral collage

The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado (September 6)

This debut collection is getting rave reviews and love from several amazing authors, including Luis Alberto Urrea and Kali Fajardo-Anstine. It’s a series of interconnected short stories following the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family.

Toad by Katherine Dunn (November 1)

You would not be mistaken if you were wondering how Dunn had a new novel out this fall. Dunn, best known for her classic Geek Love, died in 2016. This is a previously unpublished novel, written before her tale of the Binewskis, about a young woman lost and lonely in the world.

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery (September 6)

This is another highly anticipated debut collection of stories that has received many starred reviews! These stories begin in the 1970s with a Jamaican family trying to make their way in Miami.

Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison (October 4)

Harrison has made a name for herself in horror with The Return and Cackle. Now she tackles werewolves in this tale of a young woman who is attacked by an animal shortly after returning to her hometown to help her pregnant twin sister.

cover of The Last Chairlift by John Irving; photo of an empty chairlift against a dusk sky

The Last Chairlift by John Irving (October 18)

One of the bestselling American authors of the last several decades, it has been seven years since we last got a novel from Irving. The wait is over and the weight is big — this novel is over 900 pages long! It’s the story of a young man who is raised at a ski resort by a single mother and his adventures.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver (October 18)

Another beloved American author is the amazing Kingsolver! She is known for her remarkable storytelling wrapped up in the natural wonders of the world. This latest is about a young boy and his teenage mother living in the mountains of southern Appalachia.

Bliss Montage: Stories by Ling Ma (September 13)

Ma’s dystopian debut novel Severance (not the basis for the show) was a huge, award-winning hit. This is her debut story collection, featuring stories about people trying to find themselves — and the truth — in a world of delusions.

The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy (October 25)

And as long as we have waited for a new Irving, it has been twice that long since Pulitzer Prize winner McCarthy released a new novel! This is the first of a two-part story, about a salvage diver in the South in the 1980s. The second part, Stella Maris, will be available December 6.

cover of Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng; image of a bird's feather slowly disintegrating into several little birds

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng (October 4)

Ng has gained a huge fan base with her first two novels, Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere. With Our Missing Hearts, she returns with her most astonishing and powerful book yet. It’s set in a chilling near future that is close to our reality, where hatred and fear have completely taken over society.

The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama (November 15)

And this was a recent surprise fall drop-in! Obama’s last book, the memoir Becoming, was the biggest book the year it was released. This follow-up discusses how to remain positive and hopeful in a world filled with uncertainty and pain.

Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry (November 1)

It has been 18 years since the last episode of Friends aired, and since the first episode, the cast has been subject to nonstop coverage in the tabloids, even today. Perry will become the first of the cast to release a memoir, which will hopefully include all the juicy gossip about Chick and Duck.

Fen, Bog and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and Its Role in the Climate Crisis by Annie Proulx (September 27)

Pulitzer Prize winner Proulx is best known for her fiction, including The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain. Now she has turned to nonfiction with a look at our swamplands, their ecological role in our environment, and why they’re in need of saving.

cover of The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn; image of an oval with a red curtain pulled back on a view of the sun in the sky

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn (October 4)

And this historical fiction debut is making waves! It’s about a community that builds a theatre in the rib cage of a dead whale that washes up on shore. Their theater eventually becomes the headquarters for secret WWII operations.

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn (September 6)

This book is so fun! It’s about four women assassins who have worked together for four decades, and they are finally retiring. But when someone tries to kill them on their retirement cruise, they must figure out who wants them dead and why. Kickass older women kicking ass is always a good time.

Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman by Alan Rickman (October 18)

Before beloved actor Rickman’s untimely death in 2016, he was writing his memoirs for 25 years with the intention of publishing them one day. This is the finished result of that effort, with a foreword by his friend Emma Thompson.

I Want to Die but I Want to Eat Tteokbokki: A Memoir by Baek Sehee, Anton Hur (translator) (November 1)

This memoir is a runaway South Korean bestseller, thanks in part to the recommendation given to it by K-pop band BTS. Sehee shares parts from her recorded 12-week therapy sessions with a psychiatrist and enhances them with self-reflective essays.

cover of The Revolutionary Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff; engraving of Samuel Adams

The Revolutionary Samuel Adams by Stacy Schiff (November 15)

Schiff is one of the most formidable nonfiction writers working today. The Pulitzer Prize winner’s recent works include The Witches and Cleopatra, and her latest tackles the most enigmatic — and according to Schiff, essential — of the Founding Fathers: Samuel Adams.

Seven Empty Houses by Samanta Schweblin, Megan McDowell (Translator) (October 18)

Schweblin is already the author of an amazing collection of stories and two awesome novels, including Fever Dream, which was recently made into a film! This is her excellent new story collection, about seven houses that are empty for seven different reasons.

The Furrows by Namwali Serpell (September 27)

This new novel from Serpell is one of fall’s most anticipated books because her last novel, The Old Drift, was an award-winning masterpiece. In what is sure to be another winner, The Furrows follows a young girl who is haunted over the years by the loss of her brother, who she thinks she sees everywhere.

When They Tell You To Be Good: A Memoir by Prince Shakur (October 4)

For starters, this excellent memoir is exciting because it’s Hanif Adurraqib’s first acquisition as an editor-at-large at Tin House. It’s about Shakur’s life as an immigrant from Jamaica, what his life was like in America after the murder of his father, and an examination of queer identity and belonging.

cover image for I'm the Girl by Courtney Summers; painting of half a blond girl's face with a blue tear under her eye and red smeared lipstick

I’m the Girl by Courtney Summers (September 13)

Summers is known for her intense YA thrillers and this new one doesn’t disappoint! It’s about a teenager who finds the body of a young girl and decides to team up with her sister to find the killer amidst a world of wealth and privilege.

The Fall of Númenor: And Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-earth by J. R. R. Tolkien (November 15)

The third posthumous publication on this list, this is sure to be a bestseller, given the new Lord of the Rings series. The book collects all of Tolkien’s writings on the Second Age of Middle-earth for the first time, along with new illustrations in watercolor and pencil by Alan Lee.

Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell (September 27)

This fantastic debut novel follows the story of Circus Palmer, a 40-year-old Boston-based trumpet player, and his teenaged daughter, Koko. This is also notable because it’s the first acquisition for publishing star Lisa Lucas since she made the move from the National Book Foundation to Pantheon.

Now Is Not the Time to Panic by Kevin Wilson (November 8)

Wilson’s last novel, Nothing To See Here, was a huge hit (and a freaking delight.) This bildungsroman follow two teenage misfits with a mysterious art project and the unexpected fallout that still reverberates decades later.

cover of Year of the Tiger: An Activist's Life by Alice Wong; yellow with red illustration of a tiger

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life by Alice Wong (September 6)

Wong’s last book, Disability Visibility, was a collection of important essays by disabled people. (Seriously, everyone should read it.) In this new memoir, Wong, founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, discusses her life as an activist and her unending fight for disability justice.

White Horse by Erika T. Wurth (November 1)

And in what might be the buzziest thriller-slash-horror novel of the fall, an Urban Native is haunted by the ghost of her long-dead mother and a terrible entity after she is gifted a bracelet that belonged to her mother. Spoiler: it’s excellent.

And as promised: for more 2022 releases, check out 22 Great Books To Read in 2022 and 22 More Great Books To Read in 2022. Book Riot also has a weekly New Books! newsletter, and All the Books!, a weekly podcast about our favorite new releases of the week. Still want to learn more? OF COURSE YOU DO. Here are more great ways to keep up with new book releases.