Bring on the changing leaves, the cable knits, and the pumpkin spice everything, because fall is finally here. And while a good chunk of our time will be spent attending festivals, watching new seasons of our favorite shows, and dressing like it's cooler than it actually is, the rest will be spent curling up to a good read. Here, to kick off the season, are our top picks for newly published works.
Cultural critic and n+1 co-founder, Mark Greif tackles everything from Octomom to the philosophical significance of Radiohead in a collection of intellectual essays the New York Times calls "a return to the pleasures of critical discourse at its most cerebral and personable." With chapters like "What Was the Hipster?" and "Thoreau Trailer Park," Greif gives the subjects of our modern-day newsfeed the rarely seen scholarly treatment.
The bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder is back with what some are calling her best book yet. In Commonwealth, what starts as a kiss between two married acquaintances at a party becomes the catalyst for two broken marriages and the children between them. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth looks at the blended family in a way that some might find all too familiar.
Born to Run
The Boss is back, this time with a book that's been seven years in the making. Actually, he started writing this after his 2009 Super Bowl halftime show (it was that good). Born to Run should be an easy purchase for fans of the iconic rocker, but Springsteen's publisher insists that the book will hit home to more than just E Street enthusiasts: "This book is for workers and dreamers, parents, and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll."
I'll Tell You in Person
Oh, Chloe Caldwell, you had us at "a disarmingly frank account of attempts at adulthood." I'll Tell You in Person is Caldwell's latest collection of essays detailing the manic norm of navigating through life (see: struggling with jobs, relationships, and all the other accoutrements that come with an addictive personality). If you enjoyed her previous works — Women and Legs Get Led Astray — or faithfully abide by the book reviews of Rookie Magazine, Caldwell's latest will probably be making an appearance in your Amazon cart this fall.
When a straight-edge daughter inherits her eccentric hippie father's home in New Jersey only to find it inhabited with anarchist squatters, her conventional ways are challenged (but in the good, coming-of-age, indie sort of way). This is the latest by acclaimed author Nell Zink, whose past works include Mislaid and The Wallcreeper.
The Wangs vs. the World
In Jade Chang's debut novel, we follow a Chinese immigrant family who made their fortune in the cosmetics industry only to lose it all in the recent economic crisis. With a colorful cast of characters and a road trip that takes them from their foreclosed home in Bel Air to the upstate home of their eldest artist daughter, The Wangs vs. the World is a funny, heartfelt tale of living in America.
If Brit Bennett's name sounds familiar, it's because chances are you've read her 2014 essay, I Don't Know What to Do With Good White People, which took the internet by storm and garnered roughly 1.5 million views on Jezebel alone. In her much talked-about debut novel, The Mothers, Bennett tells the story of a black community in Southern California, where the actions of a few teenagers shape their lives in the decades to come.
In the rougher neighborhoods of Long Beach, where the LAPD is overwhelmed, an intellectual dropout named Isaiah Quintabe (a.k.a. IQ) takes it upon himself to solve the cases they can't. Described as part Tarantino, part Sherlock Holmes, IQ is modern-day crime fiction to fuel your inner sleuth.
The award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty, Zadie Smith, returns with her much anticipated fifth novel, Swing Time. In this story set in London and West Africa, two girls becomes friends through their love of dance, discovering their similarities and their differences in the process.
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning author behind such literary favorites as The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and Telegraph Avenue is back with his sixth book, Moonglow. Described as a work of "fictional nonfiction," Moonglow stems from the dying confessions of Michael Chabon's grandfather, and weaves together family tales with 20th-century history.