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15 Compelling Fall 2021 Books to Add to Your Reading List

Get ready to smash a bunch of pre-order buttons!!

custom house/farrar, stars and giroux/Avon

Sure, reading a book on the beach—with the sun warming both your skin and the pages—feels like pure bliss. Or enjoying a few chapters on a park bench underneath a shady tree makes you momentarily forget summer doesn’t last forever. But fall is arguably the best season for reading. You can snuggle up near a fire, sip on a variety of warm drinks, and crack open a window to breathe the crisp, cool air—all while getting lost in a brand new book.

If you feel like you’ve read everything currently on shelves, good news: There are plenty of new books coming out in fall 2021. From deeply personal memoirs, to survival thrillers, to second-chance romances, you’ll want to devour these autumn releases the very minute they come out. And, in fact, you can, because they’re all available for pre-order right now.

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1 'Nice Girls' by Catherine Dang

If you’re a total true crime addict, Catherine Dang’s debut novel will have you hooked real fast. It follows a nice girl turned cynical failure who mysteriously got kicked out of college her senior year. When she meddles in the cases of two missing girls, she ends up facing a devastating truth.

2 'A Lot Like Adiós' by Alexis Daria

Set in New York City, this steamy, second-chance romance follows a career-focused Latina whose childhood best friend and mutual crush returns from Los Angeles for the first time in years. If you've ever received a text along the lines of Hey! It's been a long time. I've missed you, you won't be able to put this book down.

3 'You Got Anything Stronger?' by Gabrielle Union

Gabrielle Union is serving us another stellar memoir four years after her first one, We’re Going to Need More Wine, came out. She gets even deeper in this series of essays that detail what her life is like now, including her experience with surrogacy and racism in the entertainment industry.

4 'Our Country Friends' by Gary Shteyngart
Random House
$23.49 (16% off)

Are you mentally prepared for a pandemic-based drama? If so, this novel promises to be a hilarious one. It takes us back to March 2020 when a group of eight friends decides to quarantine in a country house to wait out the pandemic. Over six months, as you can imagine and may know first-hand, a chaotic mix of new relationships unfold—including romances, friendships, and betrayals. This, of course, causes everyone to reevaluate their priorities.

5 'Fault Lines' by Emily Itami
Custom House
$22.49 (20% off)

Marriage. Motherhood. Love. Self. This novel explores it all through a Japanese housewife in Tokyo who finds herself leading two lives: the seemingly perfect one with her family and the one with a restaurateur that fulfills her need to rediscover freedom and friendship.

6 'Speaking of Race: Why Everybody Needs to Talk About Racism—and How to Do It' by Celeste Headlee
Harper Wave

Some conversations about race can be unproductive. In this guide, PBS host and award-winning journalist Celeste Headlee shares advice and insight on how to make these conversations meaningful—especially with those who have differing views than our own.

7 'Ski Weekend' by Rektok Ross

Who doesn't love a good survival story that'll inevitably send shivers down your spine? On their way to a ski trip, six teens and a dog crash their car into a snowbank. Stranded in the freezing cold, they attempt to find help and stay alive... but not all of them will be so lucky.

8 'Portrait of a Scotsman' by Evie Dunmore
$13.79 (14% off)

Anyone who binge-watched Bridgerton needs this feminist regency romance on their radar. As the third book in the A League of Extraordinary Women series, it follows an heiress who marries a financier who is unsupportive of her ambitions. But a trip to Scotland helps her realize she can have it all... it just might be at the expense of her heart.

9 'These Precious Days' by Ann Patchett
$22.99 (15% off)

Want to be reminded how fleeting and inexplicable yet beautiful life is? Author Ann Patchett's series of essays has you covered. From her powerful relationship with Tom Hanks's assistant, to her early memories in Paris, to "gifts given by her three fathers" (*insert Mamma Mia! reference here*), it's packed with stories that highlight what matters most in life.

10 'Beautiful World, Where Are You' by Sally Rooney
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
$19.69 (30% off)

Sally Rooney, the author of Normal People, is giving us a new messy story to obsess over. In it, four young friends are caught in a cycle of desire, delusion, make-ups, and breakups. On top of that, they constantly worry about everything from sex to the world they live in. The question is: Will they find a way to see beauty in a world of darkness?

11 'The Pain Gap: How Sexism and Racism in Healthcare Kill Women' by Anushay Hossain
Tiller Press

American healthcare isn't immune to sexism and racism. This book explores true stories from women who have dealt with healthcare trauma and medical misogyny. It especially tackles how women of color are literally dismissed to death by the system.

12 'Our Violent Ends' by Chloe Gong
Margaret K. McElderry Books
$17.99 (10% off)

The highly-anticipated sequel to These Violent Delights, this novel is reminiscent of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Set in 1920s Shanghai, it involves betrayal, death, and the need to set aside differences to protect a city on the brink of collapse.

13 'First Love, Take Two' by Sajni Patel
$13.99 (13% off)

Imagine finding out your new roommate is... your ex! Oh, and you never quite got over them. That's what happens to one woman who, at the same time, is in the middle of dealing with finding a job and managing her family. 

14 'Court' by Tracy Wolff
Entangled: Teen

If you were (and possibly still are) obsessed with the Twilight series and haven't gotten into the Crave series yet, this is your sign to do so. Court is the fourth book, and it follows all sorts of supernaturals—bloodthirsty vampires, immortal gargoyles, and even gods—at boarding school. Who doesn't love a little fantasy paired with teenage angst?

15 'The Legacy' by Elle Kennedy
Elle Kennedy Inc.

Look no further than this book—the latest in author Elle Kennedy's Off-Campus series—for a super-steamy read. This installment of the college hockey romance asks: Where are they now? So it wouldn't hurt to read the first four before it!

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