As summer winds down and you turn the last pages of your reads on the beach, you may be looking forward to settling down with a different type of book for the start of fall. Summer may be the season for steamy romances and adrenaline-pumping adventures, but don’t let the cooler weather and grayer skies of fall dull your stack of TBRs.
There are plenty of exciting new titles coming out this fall. From stories of poems that sparked revolutions to a fantastical sequel in NK Jemisin’s Great Cities series…from an unvarnished look at austere childhood genius to a history lesson about the black men who became the first paramedics in the United States…these titles will add a little magic, adventure and thought to your fall reading.
“The Book of the Goose”
by Yiyun Li (Farrar, Straus and Grioux, $28, available September 20)
Agnès and Fabienne, preteen friends, hatch a plan to write a book that captures the brutal reality (with a fantasy side) of their life in the post-war French countryside. While it sounds like the beginning of a standard coming-of-age story, this story isn’t that at all.
Agnès and Fabienne are strange, willful, conspiratorial, mocking. They are hungry and poor and so the world sees them as pitiful and “savage” – a word that comes up often in the novel – but they are also daring little geniuses and alternatively they reject and slyly live up to the perception that the others have them. Just as easily they reject some of the most basic rules of their society, such as marriage and propriety or even honesty and success. Of course, as the back of the book says, it’s about fate, art, exploitation and intimacy. But, it is more simply a book about children and their absurdities and, more importantly, about the genius of childish absurdities and the tragedy of our loss of that genius to the vagaries of adult ambitions and expectations.
“Our Gone Hearts”
by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press, $29, available October 4)
In “Our Missing Hearts,” the latest release from Celeste Ng, the bestselling author of 2014’s “Everything I Never Told You” and 2017’s “Little Fires Everywhere,” makes a chilling comment about a potential America of tomorrow, filled with hatred, injustice and discrimination. . Here, the US government views Asian Americans with suspicion and animosity. Years after his mother’s disappearance, the novel’s mixed-race protagonist, Bird, learns that a poem his mother wrote has sparked protests against the American Culture and Traditions Preservation Act, which is in power. origin of government oppression of foreign cultural influence. It takes Bird on a trip down memory lane and a quest for truth and morality. As beautiful as it is disturbing, Ng grapples with the pressing questions of our time and asks, can we really make a difference? How can we teach our children to make the world a better place and to keep alive a sense of shared humanity, when we ourselves have failed?
“They’re Gonna Love You”
by Meg Howrey (Doubleday, $28, available November 15)
After venturing into the sci-fi genre with her second outing, “The Wanderers,” Meg Howrey returns with a moving coming-of-age tale set in part at the height of the AIDS epidemic. “They’re Gonna Love You” alternates between present-day Los Angeles and the world of professional ballet in the 1980s as readers witness the creative and emotional blossoming of protagonist Carlisle Martin. Growing up, Carlisle is enchanted by the magic of New York each time she visits her father and partner James’ apartment on Bank Street, imagining a glittering future filled with sophistication and style. Yet even as she grows from a young person dreaming of being a professional dancer to a successful choreographer, Carlisle continues to try to find a place in a world where she never quite fits in. Howrey’s writing is precise and eloquent, like a finely tuned ballet, but above all, this moving novel is about love, loyalty and a lifelong relationship to art.
“American Sirens: The Incredible Story of the Black Men Who Became America’s First Paramedics”
by Kevin Hazzard (Hachette Books, $30, available September 20)
These days, it’s hard to imagine city life without the occasional wail of ambulance sirens. But Kevin Hazzard’s “American Sirens” paints a picture of a time when it was abnormal to see medical care taking place on the streets. That is, until a unit of black men dressed in white burst onto the scene in Pittsburgh, rushing to the aid of those in need with efficiency, control and medical knowledge. mind-boggling emergencies that drastically reduced the number of people who died even before. returned to the hospital.
Hazzard’s background as a screenwriter, journalist, and former paramedic shines through as the story unfolds with the intensity of a first-hand experience and the fast pace of an engrossing television show. But it’s not all blood and glitter. Told through the story of John Moon, one of the 24 young men who became Freedom House’s first paramedics, Hazzard pays fitting homage to the history and social realities that made life difficult for these pioneers. , even as they revolutionized the medical system and saved lives. . It’s a punch to realize how relevant this book is at a time when the United States is beginning to rethink how and who should respond to certain emergencies, such as mental health emergencies.
Other books to watch this fall
“The Bird Catcher” by Gayl Jones (Beacon Press, $24.95, available September 13)
After her first novel in two decades published last year, Gayl Jones is back with another novel that draws on some of her favorite and most gripping cross threads – violence, art, madness, the inner life of women who come up against the social restrictions that bind them. In “The Birdcatcher”, an artist tries to kill her husband so regularly that he is barely phased with each new attempt. She goes in and out of institutionalization in Ibiza, creating art and trying to kill her husband.
“The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the 21st Century” by Peniel E. Joseph (Basic Books, $17.99)
If you’re looking for something more contemporary, Peniel Joseph’s “The Third Reconstruction” considers the years between the election of former President Barack Obama and the January 6 insurrection as the Third Reconstruction in the United States, drawing parallels between previous eras of racism. advancement alongside racist reactions.
“The course” by AM Homes (Viking, $28)
Like Joseph’s book, AM Homes’ “The Unfolding” takes us back to the 2008 election and the fissures that have spread from that historic moment into our current divided society. She does this through a look at one man’s mission to reclaim his version of the American Dream and the havoc it wreaks on his own family.
“The World We Create” by NK Jemisin (Orbit, $30, available November 1)
Fantasy writer and regular Hugo Award collector NK Jemisin continues “The City We Became” with a sequel that takes the avatars of New York City to save the world’s great cities from a new evil.