Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2018

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Here are the most anticipated books of Fall 2018, according to major media:
People Magazine —“The Best Books of Fall”

Also available in audio
In the BIG LITTLE LIES author’s latest, guests gather at a wellness resort for a life-changing experience, but things are not as they appear.

A WELL BEHAVED WOMAN by Therese Anne Fowler
Also available in audio
Fowler reimagines the evolution of Alva Vanderbilt Belmont from socialite to suffrage crusader, to delicious effect.

Huffington Post — “Here Are 34 Fall 2018 Books We Can’t Wait To Read

SHE WOULD BE KING by Wayétu Moore
Set amid the founding of Liberia, SHE WOULD BE KING interweaves the stories of a man fleeing slavery in Virginia, a light-skinned Jamaican man and a West African villager who has been cast out as a witch. Moore’s debut unflinchingly depicts the convergence of brutal forces — colonialism, the slave trade — while brushing it with a glimmer of magic.

Berlin’s posthumous 2015 short-fiction collection, A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN, took the literary world by storm. Now fans of her powerfully crafted yet conversational style can look forward to another short-story collection, EVENING IN PARADISE, and a memoir in sketches and photographs, WELCOME HOME.

Vogue — “17 New Books You Won’t Want to Miss This Fall

THE FLAME: Poems Notebooks Lyrics Drawings by Leonard Cohen
Also available in audio
If you felt Leonard Cohen’s death in 2016 as a personal assault, this book is a posthumous balm: a collection of previously unpublished poems, lyrics, and sketches. All of Cohen’s work has a raw, straight-to-the-heart intensity—reach for this the next time you need inspiration for a wedding toast that will leave them gutted, or any other moment you need a little sustenance for the soul.

Also available in audio
Though Liane Moriarty has been a mainstay of best-seller lists for years, the HBO adaptation of BIG LITTLE LIES elevated this Australian novelist to a higher plane. The first book since that critical phenomenon debuted, the film and TV rights for NINE PERFECT STRANGERS have already been scooped up by Nicole Kidman. Set in a mindfulness retreat that may be more than its visitors bargained for, the novel promises to be an lively page-turner.

Buzzfeed — “These Are The Best Books Of Fall 2018

HOUSEGIRL by Michael Donkor
In Michael Donkor’s immensely readable debut, 17-year-old Ghanian housegirl Belinda is moved from one wealthy family’s home to another — the former in Ghana, the latter in London. She’s torn about leaving behind 11-year-old Mary, who was something between a little sister and protégé, but both she and Mary are excited about Belinda’s chance to befriend the new family’s daughter, Amma — whose surliness and Westernized habits and slang make her, unfortunately, utterly foreign. Belinda settles into her new home, adjusting her expectations of both her role in the family and the glamour of London, and the result is a refreshing story about coming of age in spite of conflicting ideas of what “growing up” means.

IMPOSSIBLE OWLS by Brian Phillips
Brian Phillips’ IMPOSSIBLE OWLS is an absolute blast. It’s always exciting to read a writer who so clearly loves what he’s doing, and this debut essay collection — where Phillips writes about, among other subjects, the Iditarod, sumo wrestling, and people who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens — delivers just that. Yes, he might second-guess his decisions (say, to learn how to fly a plane), but Phillips manages to explore subculture without othering his subjects. He is able to navigate extraordinary circumstances with curiosity, playfulness, and humility, and his enthusiasm is best seen in his extensive research within these communities and their histories. And this is why I couldn’t get enough of this book: Phillips is the perfect adventure guide — down for anything, talented enough to translate the experience.

THE GOLDEN STATE by Lydia Kiesling
Lydia Kiesling’s THE GOLDEN STATE follows Daphne — an exhausted mother whose husband is stuck indefinitely in his home country, Turkey, after being pressured into surrendering his green card — over the course of her frantic escape from San Francisco to the abandoned family house in rural Northern California. There is a breathless, antsy energy propelling us through these nine days. The reader chases Kiesling’s rambling, comma-less sentences like Daphne scrambles after baby Honey, who is always sliding, writhing, tumbling out of reach. It is enough, almost, to embody Daphne — to feel, along with her, how close she is to her wit’s end. So, too, do we feel the relief of her unlikely friendship with the 92-year-old Alice, who briefly joins the duo, and whose unimaginable hardships push Daphne to take stock of her circumstances and figure out what she can do about them — in other words, to reckon with what she controls and what she doesn’t. In heartrending prose, Kiesling weaves through an exploration of the political and the private, fear and love, survival and obligation, loneliness and longing.

In SHE WOULD BE KING, debut novelist Wayétu Moore reimagines Liberia’s past, building a world so clear and evocative you would swear you were in it. This version is seen from the perspectives of three characters, each blessed with (or burdened by) a supernatural gift: There’s seemingly immortal Gbessa, named a witch and exiled from her home; June Dey, the product of a miraculous birth and holding otherworldly strength; and Norman Aragon, the son of a black mother and the white man who enslaved her, who can disappear. Each is drawn to Monrovia — where Africans, both indigenous tribes and those emancipated from enslavement — maintain autonomy. Connecting them all is a mysterious, omniscient spirit, who pushes them toward each other and their destination with gusts of wind. Reading SHE WOULD BE KING is like being carried by that wind, too, and whisked into a darkly magical world.

Thank god for the posthumous revival of Lucia Berlin — how sad it would be to have never experienced her distinctive, vibrant voice. In these 22 stories, we see more of her world through fiction reflective of her own life in Texas, Chile, and Mexico. Her characters are utterly captivating — the moneymaking kids, the retired ambassador, the musicians, the actors, the addicts — and her scenery envelops you. But it’s the early stories, those that follow the meandering adventures of kids just trying to fill their days, that are most alive.

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