The sun is rising later and setting earlier and the leaves are turning that bittersweet shade of burnt orange. It’s the time of the year when we must bid adieu to summer picnics and days at the beach. But fret not: there are perks to the autumn season, such as cozying up in a café (has anyone else been looking forward to a PSL?) and, of course, diving into a good book.
With that in mind, here are the books on our must-read list, from household names like Candace Bushnell, Margaret Atwood, and Philippa Gregory, as well as exciting debuts from up-and-coming authors.
Where the Light Enters, by Sara Donati | Available here
This historical novel dives back to nineteenth-century New York and follows the story of two bold pioneering female doctors: Dr. Sophia Savard, a widow, and her cousin Dr. Anna Savard. The two women join forces to offer help to the most vulnerable women in their society,
The Ten Thousand Doors of January, by Alix E. Harrow | Available here
This surreal debut novel from Alix E. Harrow tells the story of a young woman at the turn of the twentieth century who discovers a mysterious book amongst the artifacts heaped in her wealthy guardian’s mansion. Each page opens a new door and tells a different tale that leads her on a fantastical journey.
Is There Still Sex in the City, by Candace Bushnell | Available here
The author of Sex and the City is back with a new commentary on modern dating in her signature satirical and biting style. She charts new trends such as Tinder dating and revisits ones from her first book, such as the Bicycle Boys.
Postscript, by Cecelia Ahern | Available here
The highly anticipated sequel to PS, I Love You, the book that inspired the film starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, is here. Postscript starts seven years after Holley’s husband died and his letters helped her to be brave and to heal. Now, a club has formed inspired by her husband’s letters and she is asked to help them, putting her newfound peace at risk.
Call Upon the Water, by Stella Tillyard | Available here
In this historical novel set in seventeenth-century Great Britain and America, a love story plays out between a Dutch engineer and a local country woman named Eliza. Through their relationship, the story explores the relationship between order and love, and between humans and the earth.
The World That We Knew, by Alice Hoffman | Available here
Blending the historical with the fantastical, this moving novel set during the Nazi regime tells a story that begins when a mother sends her daughter away for her safety and a rabbi’s daughter brings to life a mystical creature to protect the young girl.
The Butterfly Girl, by Rene Denfeld | Available here
In this harrowing thriller, an investigator with a talent for locating lost and missing children vows not to take on any more clients until she can find her own sister. So begins a journey through the streets of Portland, which are dotted with children experiencing homelessness.
The Braid, by Laetitia Colombani | Available here
The stories of three unique women come together in this novel celebrating womanhood and resilience, spanning from India to Sicily to Montreal. It is a testament to the connection between us all across borders.
Watching You Without Me, by Lynn Coady | Available here
In this chilling page-turner, Karen returns home to assume the role of caretaker for her older sister, who was born with a developmental disability. Isolation and guilt begin to weigh on her and she makes the mistake of accepting the oppressive friendship of one of her sister’s support workers, Trevor.
Tidelands, by Philippa Gregory | Available here
Philippa Gregory, known for her novels set in the sixteenth-century Tudor courts, has moved away from stories of royalty to the seventeenth-century when Civil War rages in England and the king is in hiding. In Tidelands she enters the story from the perspective of a common, local midwife named Alinor.
The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood | Available here
This book is listed as #1 on the Amazon Charts as I write this. Perhaps the most highly anticipated release of the season, Margaret Atwood’s sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale opens more than 15 years later when the Republic of Gilead is beginning to crumble from the inside. It follows the stories of two young women who grew up under the regime and one woman who holds great power.