Drawn from the 14,000+ titles in PW’s Fall Announcements issue, we asked our reviews editors to pick the most notable books publishing in Fall 2018. Links to reviews are included when available. For our list of anticipated fall children’s and YA books, click here.
Killing Commendatore trans. by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen (Knopf, Oct.) – Murakami’s first novel since Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is, according to the publisher, a story of “love and loneliness, war and art—as well as a loving homage to The Great Gatsby.”
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper, Oct.) – Willa Knox arrives in middle age with little direction. She has inherited a house in Vineland, N.J., where her father-in-law and two adult children live. Willa begins investigating the history of the house and finds a kindred spirit in the past: Thatcher Greenwood, a science teacher in the late 19th century who found himself besieged by the town.
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner, Oct.) – In the stories of Adjei-Brenyah’s debut (starred by PW), an amusement park lets players enter augmented reality to hunt terrorists or shoot intruders played by minority actors, a school shooting results in both the victim and gunman stuck in a shared purgatory, and an author sells his soul to a many-tongued god.
Melmoth by Sarah Perry (Custom House, Oct.) – Helen Franklin, a translator living in Prague, finds herself searching for the truth behind the dark, legendary figure Melmoth—while also being pursued by her. This gothic mystery novel from the author of The Essex Serpent is a treat.
A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler (St. Martin’s, Oct.) – Fowler (Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald) follows Alva Vanderbilt and her family as they preside over Gilded Age New York.
Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown, Oct.) – Det. Renee Ballard, introduced in 2017’s The Late Show, and Harry Bosch, Connelly’s main series lead, investigate the unsolved murder of a 15-year-old runaway whose body was found in a Hollywood dumpster.
Red War: A Mitch Rapp Novel by Kyle Mills (Atria/Bestler, Sept.) – CIA counterterrorism agent Mitch Rapp, the creation of bestseller Vince Flynn (1966-2013), travels to Russia on a mission to stop that country’s president from starting a war with the West.
Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland, Sept.) – In the fourth mystery featuring PI Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott, from Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling), the pair must sort out their increasingly tricky personal relationship in a case that takes them from the backstreets of London to a sinister manor house in the country.
The Best of the Best Horror of the Year: 10 Years of Essential Short Fiction edited by Ellen Datlow (Night Shade, Oct.) – Preeminent horror editor Datlow selects the darkest and most gleaming gems from 10 years of her outstanding annual horror anthologies.
An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris (Saga, Oct.) – Harris’s vividly detailed and bleak alternate history novel, set in a broken-up United States after Franklin Roosevelt is assassinated, stars a heroine who’s sure to be a new fan favorite.
The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner (Redhook, Sept.) – Rossner’s intricately crafted, gorgeously rendered debut infuses magic into the real history of the town of Dubossary, where two sisters learn to use their shape-changing powers as anti-Semitic sentiment becomes a rising threat.
The Paris Seamstress by Natasha Lester (Forever, Sept.) – This marvelous pair of intertwined romances draws readers into the lives of a seamstress, who must make her way in post-WWII New York, and her granddaughter, an Australian who falls in love with an American in 2015.
Blind Kiss by Renee Carlino (Atria, Aug.) – Two students who meet and fall in love thanks to a psych class experiment make a series of terrible decisions that force them apart. Decades later, they get a second chance at romance.
The Heiress He’s Been Waiting For by Kaitlin O’Riley (Zebra, Aug.) – Passionate stolen moments, intimate conversations, and lighthearted exchanges make O’Riley’s Victorian-era romance between an American heiress and an Englishman one of the season’s most vibrant stories.
So Far So Good by Ursula K. Le Guin (Copper Canyon, Sept.) – A poet and essayist in addition to being one of science fiction’s most acclaimed authors, Le Guin, who passed away in January, showcases an underappreciated element of her life’s work in these late poems.
The Carrying by Ada Limón (Milkweed, Aug.) – Limón follows Bright Dead Things, a National Book Award finalist, with a life-affirming collection about the body and interconnectedness that’s arguably as accomplished as its predecessor.
Evolution by Eileen Myles (Grove, Sept.) – After recently publishing a dog memoir, Myles gets back to the energetic verse for which the writer is best known in this hefty collection of poems, Myles’s first since 2015’s new and selected volume I Must Be Living Twice.
Monument: Poems New and Selected by Natasha Trethewey (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Nov.) – This first selected volume from the two-time U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner should lure new readers to her oeuvre and sate longtime fans awaiting new poems.
Home After Dark by David Small (Liveright, Sept.) – Small returns, following his acclaimed memoir Stitches, with a gorgeously drawn tear-jerker that “unearths an (almost) impossible tenderness,” per our starred review.
Berlin Book Three: City of Light by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly, Sept.) – Decades in the making, the indie-favorite Berlin trilogy reaches its conclusion in this artistic observation of the end of the Weimar Republic.
Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir by Liana Finck (Random House, Sept.) – Finck’s frenetic, expressionist, incisive line drawings of life commentary in the New Yorker mature into this heartfelt graphic memoir about embracing her unique oddity.
Becoming by Michelle Obama (Crown, Nov.) – The former first lady tells of growing up on Chicago’s South Side, working as an executive while raising kids, and of what it meant to be the first African-American first lady.
In Pieces by Sally Field (Grand Central, Sept.) – Actress Field depicts her personal life on and off the screen, beginning with her first role, as Gidget, at age 17 and moving on to her roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Sybil, and Norma Rae, and portraying Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln.
Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs (Grove, Sept.) – Brennan-Jobs explores her upbringing as the daughter of Apple founder Steve Jobs and Chrisann Brennan, an artist and writer, in what our review calls an “incisive” debut memoir.
Heartland: A Daughter of the Working Class Reconciles an American Divide by Sarah Smarsh (Scribner, Sept.) – Smarsh delivers what our starred review calls “a candid and courageous memoir of growing up in a family of working-class farmers in Kansas during the 1980s and ’90s.”
Let It Bang by RJ Young (HMH, Oct.) – Journalist Young explores gun culture in this searing take on race and gun ownership in the U.S. Young recalls his childhood in gun-friendly Mississippi and Florida, and the perception of black youths as being a threat to white America.
Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce by Colm Tóibín (Scribner, Oct.) –Tóibín profiles the fathers of three great Irish writers as a lens through which to view his country’s literary tradition.
What If This Were Enough? Essays by Heather Havrilesky (Doubleday, Oct.) – The author of the bestselling How to Be a Person in the World meditates on the contradictions of upper-middle-class American life and urges readers to embrace imperfection and “wake up to the unbelievable gift of being alive.”
The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. 2 edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (Harper, Oct.) – The second and last installment in a complete collection of Plath’s correspondence covers the years from 1956 to 1963 and includes many previously unavailable letters.
The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, ‘Stoner,’ and the Writing Life by Charles J. Shields (Univ. of Texas, Oct.) – This rich biography gives new insight into the enigmatic man behind Stoner, a novel quickly forgotten after its 1963 publication but more recently recognized as a midcentury American classic.
Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman (Knopf, Sept.) – The first essay collection from Pullman, a bestselling children’s novelist, addresses “the business of the storyteller.”
The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty That Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation by Miriam Pawel (Bloomsbury, Sept.) – Pawel uses the Brown political dynasty—Jerry Brown and his father, Pat, have collectively governed California for 24 of the last 60 years—as a lens through which to examine the state’s history and role in the U.S.
Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Tim Mohr (Algonquin, Sept.) – This history looks at the role of punk music, and members of the teen subculture it spawned in East Berlin, in bringing down the Berlin Wall and the authoritarian Communist East German regime.
The Library Book by Susan Orlean (Simon & Schuster, Oct.) – With the unsolved mystery of the 1986 Los Angeles Public Library fire as a jumping-off point, Orlean weaves the history of libraries with her own memories and interviews with LAPL employees in a love letter to libraries.
The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five Lives and One Legendary House by Norman Eisen (Crown, Sept.) – Eisen tells the story of 20th-century Europe via five occupants of a Prague palace: the Jewish original owner; the Nazi general who occupied the palace during WWII; two U.S. ambassadors determined to help then-Czechoslovakia; and the author’s mother, who fled after the Holocaust.
These Truths: A History of the United States by Jill Lepore (Norton, Sept.) – Lepore, of Harvard and the New Yorker, considers America, beginning in 1492, through the lens of its ideals, its ideas, and its contradictory understandings of historical truth.
On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope by DeRay Mckesson (Viking, Sept.) – The Black Lives Matter activist, former school official, and cofounder of Campaign Zero examines oppression and injustice, laying out a framework for making change.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval N. Harari (Spiegel & Grau, Sept.) – The historian and philosopher advises readers about how to navigate war, migration, terrorism, climate change, nationalism, and other 21st-century challenges.
Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation by Ken Starr (Spiegel & Grau, Sept.) – Starr recounts his experience as independent counsel investigating the scandals that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.
Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution by Ben Fountain (Ecco, Sept.) – In essays, Fountain identifies two previous crises in American identity that spurred extreme upheaval—the conflict over slavery, which led to the Civil War, and the Great Depression, the ultimate response to which was the New Deal—and argues that the 2016 election may be a third such crisis.
Thanks A Lot Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story by Roger Daltry (Holt, Oct.) – The Who’s lead singer relates his rise to music stardom in his first memoir.
Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back) by Jeff Tweedy (Dutton, Nov.) – Wilco and Uncle Tupelo member Tweedy writes about his youth in Belleville, Ill., his road to becoming an internationally known musician, and his creative process.
Acid for the Children: A Memoir by Flea (Grand Central, Sept.) – The bassist and cofounder of the Red Hot Chili Peppers tells his story, from growing up on the streets of L.A. to forming the popular band.
Accessory to War: The Unspoken Alliance Between Astrophysics and the Military by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Avis Lang (Norton, Sept.) – Popular astrophysicist Tyson tackles more politically loaded material than in his previous works by interrogating the relationship between astrophysics and the U.S. military.
The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams (Hachette, Sept.) – Williams, a New Yorker staff writer, debuts with the fascinating tale of how a Florida fossil hunter was prosecuted by the federal government in 2012 for auctioning off a dinosaur skeleton from the Gobi desert.
The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves by Eric R. Kandel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Aug.) – Kandel, a Nobel Prize winner, uses cognitive disorders to shed light on normal brain functioning, creating a meticulous overview of current research into the biological grounding of the human mind.
Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by Maryanne Wolf (Harper, Aug.) – Wolf, best known for Proust and the Squid, examines the effect of digital technologies on how humans process written language, focusing on how parents and educators can ensure children retain the benefits of reading.
A Call to Revolution by Dalai Lama with Sofia Stril-Rever (William Morrow, Nov.) – The Dalai Lama lays out his vision for the future in this manifesto for divided times.
God Is Young by Pope Francis (Random House, Oct.) – Pope Francis speaks directly toward millennials in this call for greater youth engagement in the politics of the world.
God in the Qur’an by Jack Miles (Knopf, Nov.) – Pulitzer Prize-winner Miles looks at the God of Islam, creating a character study similar to those he did on Christ and Yahweh.